Good Lav Mic with Mini Plug
August 21, 2013 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Can someone recommend a good lav mic to accompany a Sony PCM-M10?

The recorder has a 3.5mm mini jack an no phantom power.

I'm planning on using the recorder and lav mic to record audio for filmed interviews with individual subjects in a relatively noisy office setting, so I'd appreciate recommendations for mics that might help me isolate the subject's voice and not, say, the pingpong match occurring in the other room.
posted by jacob to Technology (3 answers total)
Lavalier Mics are Omnidirectional, you will find a unidirectional design much better at isolating the subject, though they do tend to cost a bit more e.g. Audio-Technica ATR6550 Short Shotgun Condenser Microphone
posted by Lanark at 3:15 PM on August 21, 2013

There are very definitely lav mics that are not omnidirectional.

Many of them are omnidirectional because omni mics are not subject to "proximity effect", where the mic picks up more low end the closer you get to the mic. This can sometimes result in "popped P's" - if the person speaking tends to push a lot of air when the pronounce the letter P, there can be a big "PUH" sound louder than most of the rest of their voice. An omni mic won't have that, so much.

no phantom power.

The thing is, all lav mics are condenser mics, which need some kind of external power source.

I went poking though the manual for your Sony and it looks like it has a "Plug In Power" function that you can turn on for the mic input, so in theory it does have some kind of phantom power. Of course, there's no real info beyond that, no info on what kind of voltage it puts out, so it's not clear whether any mini-plug lav will work, or whether you can put an adapter on a lav with a different connector & still get power to the mic, or whether you're limited to Sony products.

So from that standpoint I would first see what Sony offers that you know will be compatible with your recorder.

If these interviews are a one-shot deal, I would also have a back-up system going simultaneously, and Lanark's idea of a shotgun mic is a good one.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:12 PM on August 21, 2013

At Lanark's link to solidstatesound above (which is actually to their listing of the PCM-M10), they appear to be recommending an Audio-Technica ATR3350 as a budget lav for this very recorder. The 3350 has its own battery-power module, doesn't require phantom power, and should do the trick.

You can buy more expensive lavs that also have their own power source. Or if you want to spend $$$, you can buy a phantom powered mixer to put between the mic and the recorder.

With a lav mic, directional pickup pattern is generally not a particular concern. You can get lavs with cardioid/unidirectional pickup patterns, of course. But an omni pattern should be fine for your purposes. The sound isolation is primarily achieved by the fact that the mic is so close to the sound source.
posted by spitbull at 12:53 AM on August 22, 2013

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