In-ear binaural microphones: Which ones are best?

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joeyluck
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Post 15 Sep 2018

Here is my current setup! :D
I'll hopefully have some examples to post soon. But I am very happy with the F1 and the Sound Professionals binaural mics. Maybe I'll do a review...

Image

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selig
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Post 15 Sep 2018

The F1 is a smart design, since it can be used with so many microphones. May have to pick it up just to have a decent portable recording system. Now to decide which mic to start with…
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joeyluck
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Post 15 Sep 2018

selig wrote:
15 Sep 2018
The F1 is a smart design, since it can be used with so many microphones. May have to pick it up just to have a decent portable recording system. Now to decide which mic to start with…
Yeah it really is great. And it's on sale now! $30 off the lav package and $50 off the shotgun package.
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=zoom+f1

I have capsules already from my Zoom H5:
XYH-5
XYH-6
SGH-6

The XYH-5's mics are suspended/shockmounted, but are fixed at 90 degrees. They can handle louder sounds than the XYH-6, but I haven't had any issues with capturing loud sounds with the XYH-6 at lower gain levels...

The XYH-6 is great for the adjustment between 90 and 120 degrees. And from what I understand, they are the largest diaphragm X/Y mics on a handheld recorder.

I use the SGH-6 shotgun mic to capture specific sounds, foley, voiceovers. It works well.

The handling noise on the F1 is slightly greater (since it's hard to hold it anywhere but close to the mics) but I am looking to pickup the SMF-1 shockmount, which I can then attach my MA-2 mic stand adapter (which I also use as a handle). Unfortunately, unlike the H5 and other Zoom recorders, the F1 doesn't have a 3/8" screw hole for attaching, so you need the SMF-1 if you want to mount it to anything. And it's $29... (unless you get the shotgun package, it comes with it). It does have a tiny screw for attaching the belt clip (which I have).

Here is the F1 with the XYH-5 attached next to the H5 with the XYH-6 attached:
F1 and H5.jpg
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selig
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Post 15 Sep 2018

You have any experience with the lav or the SSH-6 shotgun? Those are the two that most interest me so far...


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joeyluck
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Post 15 Sep 2018

selig wrote:
15 Sep 2018
You have any experience with the lav or the SSH-6 shotgun? Those are the two that most interest me so far...


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I got the lav package, so I've used the one it comes with a little bit. It's decent. It's certainly great to get started with and great for the price tag no doubt. It's not as forgiving on placement as some other lav mics might be. I noticed in many videos, people would clip them on the collars of their t-shirts...and when placed there it can easily sound a bit muffled. Have to place it a bit further down and not directly under your chin. Some other lav mics like the Countryman B3 are typically more forgiving on placement. But nothing that can't be fixed in post if need be. And getting another lav mic is certainly an option.

I haven't used the SSH-6. It looks cool and pretty neat that you can make adjustments after the fact. But now I have a setup to where I can capture stereo/binaural audio with one recorder and focused sound via shotgun on another, if I want to.

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selig
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Post 15 Sep 2018

joeyluck wrote:
15 Sep 2018
selig wrote:
15 Sep 2018
You have any experience with the lav or the SSH-6 shotgun? Those are the two that most interest me so far...


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I got the lav package, so I've used the one it comes with a little bit. It's decent. It's certainly great to get started with and great for the price tag no doubt. It's not as forgiving on placement as some other lav mics might be. I noticed in many videos, people would clip them on the collars of their t-shirts...and when placed there it can easily sound a bit muffled. Have to place it a bit further down and not directly under your chin. Some other lav mics like the Countryman B3 are typically more forgiving on placement. But nothing that can't be fixed in post if need be. And getting another lav mic is certainly an option.

I haven't used the SSH-6. It looks cool and pretty neat that you can make adjustments after the fact. But now I have a setup to where I can capture stereo/binaural audio with one recorder and focused sound via shotgun on another, if I want to.
Sounds cool - I may have to go for the shotgun M/S, since it's a pretty handy technique for field recording in my experience. I have the X/Y for iPhone from Zoom, which is OK. I've never been a huge fan of X/Y for field recordings, or any stereo recording if you cannot get them close to the source, preferring ORTF or spaced pair (or M/S). Another favorite, but clunky, favorite is the Crown SASS, which is essentially a bi-naural boundary mic setup (huge and cumbersome for field work, but sounds great).

I already have a Lav mic from Rode that I like, so I can use it with the F1 if I need to record at the source.

Thanks for your feedback!
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joeyluck
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Post 16 Sep 2018

selig wrote:
15 Sep 2018
joeyluck wrote:
15 Sep 2018


I got the lav package, so I've used the one it comes with a little bit. It's decent. It's certainly great to get started with and great for the price tag no doubt. It's not as forgiving on placement as some other lav mics might be. I noticed in many videos, people would clip them on the collars of their t-shirts...and when placed there it can easily sound a bit muffled. Have to place it a bit further down and not directly under your chin. Some other lav mics like the Countryman B3 are typically more forgiving on placement. But nothing that can't be fixed in post if need be. And getting another lav mic is certainly an option.

I haven't used the SSH-6. It looks cool and pretty neat that you can make adjustments after the fact. But now I have a setup to where I can capture stereo/binaural audio with one recorder and focused sound via shotgun on another, if I want to.
Sounds cool - I may have to go for the shotgun M/S, since it's a pretty handy technique for field recording in my experience. I have the X/Y for iPhone from Zoom, which is OK. I've never been a huge fan of X/Y for field recordings, or any stereo recording if you cannot get them close to the source, preferring ORTF or spaced pair (or M/S). Another favorite, but clunky, favorite is the Crown SASS, which is essentially a bi-naural boundary mic setup (huge and cumbersome for field work, but sounds great).

I already have a Lav mic from Rode that I like, so I can use it with the F1 if I need to record at the source.

Thanks for your feedback!
It also comes in handy as an interface for recording my little synth gadgets on the go (since MacBooks no longer have mic/line inputs). I was using my H5 for the same thing, but of course this is more compact and makes more sense to use in those instances now.

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selig
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Post 16 Sep 2018

Hey Joey, one more quick question about the F1 - if you're using the mono shotgun mic, can you ALSO record a second mic (lav or other 1/8" mono input)?
Also considering this for my GH5, mounting the mono shotgun on top and adding the lav as an additional mic, either recording onboard or passing through to the camera audio input (or both for redundancy). Will this work, or is the external input "either/or" with regards to the connected microphone?

If not, I may as well get the stereo shotgun, but I don't see a package (at least not on sale) with that version of the shotgun. Maybe better to get the F1 on it's own and add the stereo shotgun?

Sorry for so many questions!
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joeyluck
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Post 16 Sep 2018

selig wrote:
16 Sep 2018
Hey Joey, one more quick question about the F1 - if you're using the mono shotgun mic, can you ALSO record a second mic (lav or other 1/8" mono input)?
Also considering this for my GH5, mounting the mono shotgun on top and adding the lav as an additional mic, either recording onboard or passing through to the camera audio input (or both for redundancy). Will this work, or is the external input "either/or" with regards to the connected microphone?

If not, I may as well get the stereo shotgun, but I don't see a package (at least not on sale) with that version of the shotgun. Maybe better to get the F1 on it's own and add the stereo shotgun?

Sorry for so many questions!
Yeah it's one or the other. It switches over when there is a Zoom mic connected.

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joeyluck
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Post 16 Sep 2018

Also keep in mind the shockmount only comes with the shotgun package. It's $30 separately.
The lav package is on sale for $169 (down from $199) and the shotgun package is $199 (down from $249). In the end, I think the cost is the same with the sales if you look to add the shockmount to the lav package. Just have to decide if you want an extra lav or shotgun mic.

The shotgun package also comes with a 3.5mm cable to go line out to your camera so you can record to both and use the marker tone for syncing. The lav package comes with the belt clip, although you can use the shockmount rails as a belt loop I guess. All accessories are available separately though.

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