Ursa Mini Sound Quality

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rick.lang

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Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostSat Nov 10, 2018 7:52 pm

Here we are a year later and leaning toward the Sennheiser AVX primarily because of the ease of operation for a sole operator. My needs have changed in that I’ll be fine with something that’s good up to 30m, 100’. AVX is currently on sale at Vistek in Canada for some bundles so I’ll call them this week. But here’s a very disturbing comment from earlier this year that seems shocking. I don’t even understand the physics of this that would cause an issue. I’d like to have the XLR mono going into the URSA Mini 4.6K or the BMPCC4K, but on the Mini it seems I can’t also have my Sennheiser MKH416 feeding the other XLR audio input!

Would anyone have any insight into the veracity if this?

Interferes with hard wired mics, and can't use with analog
By Fred F. 2018-02-28 on B&H Photo review

This is the real major problem with this device. When you connect the receiver unit to a camera or recording device and then plug in a wired mic, the wireless unit interferes with any wired mic you plug in. We tried this on multiple cameras, with multiple wired mics, and multiple XLR cables... it interferes every time. When I called sennheiser about this, they tried to say 'my camera' probably wasn't wired up good. It's a professional Sony camera. Nonetheless we then tried it on 3 other cameras, with 4 other mics, and then even on a ZOOM audio recording device instead of a camera... the sennheiser receiver caused a buzzing on the other plugged in mic EVERY TIME.

So then I called Sennhesier back. They acted as if no one has ever reported to this to them before. Guy literally said I was the only one ever to report this even though there's several comments like this on the internet.

He says, oh it's definitely just that particular unit. Send it in for repair.

I send it in for repair. I get a notification they received it.

Two weeks go by and I hear nothing. I call in and ask what's going on... what's the status. Lady on phone literally admitted they had done nothing with it but said "I'll get someone on this today." I call back tomorrow and same lady says "We're sending you a new unit."

Ok, I get the new unit. IT DOES THE SAME THING! The first unit wasn't defective because the NEW unit is doing the same thing. It's a huge flaw.

Basically, you can ONLY use these AVX systems if you ONLY plan to use by itself or with another AVX system. You can't use an onboard camera mic, shotgun mic, or even another sennheiser earlier generation system.”


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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostMon Nov 12, 2018 12:34 pm

I’ve got two AVX units and haven’t had that issue.
The only caveat in running it with wired mics is that the AVX has 19ms delay (likely due to the channel jumping tricks it pulls to prevent interference). Generally not an issue, but if the wired mic is a boom on the same person that the lav is attached to, you’ll hear the slight difference in timing. Hasn’t been an issue for me because only time I run boom and lav that way is sit down interviews where I use wired lav anyway.
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rick.lang

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Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostMon Nov 12, 2018 2:26 pm

Thanks, Jamie! If I record the wired mic and the AVX on separate channels, then in Resolve I can have two audio tracks and slip the AVX audio roughly a frame in each clip independent of the wired audio track, so that would not be overly onerous. Is that how you do it as well?

Hopefully I can make the slip of a frame plus subframes apply to the entire timeline of the AVX audio track so this will just take a few minutes st the beginning of editing.

I’m thinking of getting bothered the MKE2 lav mic and their handheld wireless mic, don’t recall the actual name but something like MM42. So then I’d need two receivers for the URSA Mini. I’m assuming one receiver can’t handle two transmitters (like the Saramonucs can).

Then I start thinking about the Sound Devices MixPre-3 to input 3 XLR mics, but that doesn’t have timecode out and the audio out is the 3.5mm stereo which might not be a good quality input on the BMPCC4K. Would folks recommend I just record audio on the MixPre or still feed audio to the camera to record as post might be easier?

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Denny Smith

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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostMon Nov 12, 2018 5:29 pm

That should work Rick, I used my MixPre to feed the Micro camera with a signal from the 3.5 line out, whichnis balanced for sending a clean signal to DSLRs and video cameras. This is the route I would use, you get a nice clean audio on the MicPre and at least a sync track on the camera, if notheing else.
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rick.lang

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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostMon Nov 12, 2018 6:29 pm

And the Line Out would be a stronger signal that should get around the sound level controversy with mic level into the BMPCC4K 3.5mm port.


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Denny Smith

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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostMon Nov 12, 2018 7:01 pm

Yes it should, works great with both Micro cameras, and should solve this issue on the new Pocket 4K.
For the Ursa Mini, just take one of the XLR line outs to inout a solid line signal to the camera. In the UMPro and Broadcast camera, I use the digital AES output that gives me both channels on one cable, and eliminates an additional digital conversion in camera.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostMon Nov 12, 2018 9:47 pm

Delay of AVX is only an issue if it’s matched to wired recoding same source. If the wired is camera mounted, the distance from audio source to camera through the air already makes some delay.
If it is an issue, 19ms is just under half a frame at 24fps, so in post you’d either have to slip subframe, or apply 19ms delay to wired mic clips. Personally, I don’t bother with that. If you’re using an external recorder, even as cheap as a Zoom F4 can apply delay to specific channels on record. If you’re running direct into UMP, then might as well use wired lav + boom. Or, you can get second AVX and attach it to boom intend of lav mic.
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rick.lang

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Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostTue Nov 13, 2018 2:56 am

Jamie LeJeune wrote:Delay of AVX is only an issue if it’s matched to wired recoding same source.... you can get second AVX and attach it to boom intend of lav mic.


Yes, I’ve thought that makes a lot of sense. I’m thinking of one MKE2 lave System and one with their wireless mic and then that could even become stereo as the delays would essentially be equal. Or keep the tracks separate mono and adjust in post if they’re not identical delays.


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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostFri Nov 16, 2018 5:30 am

Finally purchased the Sennheiser MKE2 lavalier system today. Could only afford one system so I’ll likely try to use with the Sennheiser MKH416 at times recording two mono channels. Relatively easy to correct the 19msec delay by shifting a frame roughly as it’s about 1/50th of a second behind the visual. Lots of pros and cons to consider, but I’ll give it a go finally after deliberating forever.


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Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostSun Dec 02, 2018 7:51 pm

The Sennheiser AVX MKE2 mic system just arrived today! As you know I’ve thought about this since it was launched. Meeting the producer for my next shoot this afternoon so I hope I can be ready for her with that option.

Is it possible to use the lapel mic and transmitter just left somewhere on stage or hanging from an existing mic boom over centre stage to see what it might pick up? That’s one option I suppose if someone thought it might work, otherwise I’ll see if I can mount it to the principal actor’s costume. I’ll be leaving in a couple of hours so hasty reply appreciated.


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Denny Smith

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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostSun Dec 02, 2018 8:00 pm

Rick, you will get a hollow sounding audio with the lav mic just hanging from a boom. It is designed to be closemin to the speaker, so I would mic the principal actor, and use your other mic to get house sound, or a feed from the house audio board, if there is one.
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Last edited by Denny Smith on Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostSun Dec 02, 2018 9:02 pm

Rick, when I would cover Opera and Musical productions for magazine programs I would use a parabolic microphone. We would mix the on camera mic(ambient audio) with the more direction parabolic mic. We found that it would pick up the singers on stage clearly even though we had an orchestra in the pit.

Something similar to this:


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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostSun Dec 02, 2018 9:16 pm

We would also use PZM's(pressure zone microphones) that we mounted to pieces of large plexiglass and suspend them at the front of the stage(if we had the time to setup and had permission from the production).

Theaters often have foot mics placed at the front of the stage with the footlights.
You may be able to place a shotgun mic there.
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Theater: Lighting Designer, Light board Operator, Stage Electrician, Stage Management
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rick.lang

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Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostMon Dec 03, 2018 2:42 am

Meeting with the producer was very good.

The principal actor has worn a lavalier before and is keen to use it so no problem at this point getting the MKE2 fixed to her costume. The sound engineer said he would also ensure I would have no interference in terms of the 1.9 GHz band.

I’ll also be using the 32mm APO with the 1.3x-65 Anamorphot and the PD Movie synchronous follow focus which I tested for sufficient coverage of the stage and for the ‘cast and crew’ photo after the show. The show will likely be ProRes 444, but possibly raw 3:1 as the photo will be raw lossless.

So able to put all the new toys to work this month, except for the Tokina 11-20mm and the BMPCC4K both AWOL. They’ll both be used for the January two camera shoot (a first for me).

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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostMon Dec 03, 2018 4:35 pm

The Sennheiser MKE2 AVX system supports mic and line usage. Would it be best to use line since I have the option on the URSA Mini 4.6K? I plan to use the Sennheiser MKH416 mic feed as well on a separate mono track if that matters to your answer.

Considering I usually record events at 30 fps, the 19 milliseconds delay of the AVX, means I need to pull the AVX audio track exactly 4/7ths of a frame to the left in the timeline. (For the moment ignoring the speed of sound coming to the shotgun mic which might well be similar to 19msec—I need to work that out when I see both audio track recordings.). In Resolve I can ‘nudge’ audio left and right. But does anyone know how many nudges equates to a full frame? At 30 fps if that’s a variable in your answer.


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rick.lang

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Re: Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostMon Dec 03, 2018 9:46 pm

Talking to myself here! I tried a test at 30 fps and it appears a slip of audio (not a ‘nudge’ of a video) is 1/10th of a frame.

Did my indoor tests talking through walls which does have an expected effect on the quality. Will do an audio line of sight outdoors shortly. I could get Line to work but contrary to what I thought it was much lower volume. May be fine for a typical interview but I think I’ll stay with the flexibility of Mic levels.

Mic High set on the camera and I can hear my breathing. You can use four levels on the AVX receiver: it defaults to four bars or 0dB. You can select -10dB, -20dB, -30dB at one bar, in addition to the High and Low range on the camera and the camera Gain adjustments that I leave at 50% (no camera gain).


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Ursa Mini Sound Quality

PostTue Dec 04, 2018 1:57 am

Conducted tests using various settings and I think I’ll use the -10dB (3 bars) on the AVX receiver with the Mic at 50% gain in the Low range. Sound seemed fine watching the audio levels. I’ll test briefly in each shooting situation where I have a principal wearing the lavalier.

Finally found a good use for the Sound Devices MixPre-6 over the Mix-Pre-3. More lavs.
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