Camera Mic for the C100

Camera Mic for the C100

After my 30 day shoot with the C100 and posting my likes and dislikes, I found that I was getting a lot of questions about what kind of mic I was using and what my overall strategy was regarding getting good quality audio in the field. So, I thought I would do a quick overview of how I set the camera up for sound.

C100 with a Sennheiser ME64 Short Shotgun and a Sennheiser G2 Wireless Receiver

C100 with a Sennheiser ME64 Short Shotgun and a Sennheiser G2 Wireless Receiver

Because Dean and I work as a two-person crew, Dean has to wear many hats and often steps in as an assistant director and kid/animal wrangler. When we’re not shooting lengthy in-depth interviews, scripted host segments or other elements with tricky audio, we’ll often rely on the camera mic to gather all the sound we need – so it has to do a pretty good job of it.

The Sennheiser ME64 is a great all-around camera mic. It’s perfect for general b-reel and grabbing the odd quick interview or soundbite on my own if I’m in nice and tight. The sound quality matches quite nicely with all the other stuff Dean is recording. We also mount a G2 wireless receiver. This the primary way Dean feeds audio to the camera from his mixer. It’s just so much easier and quicker just to turn it on and go rather than connecting and un-connecting audio. Plus, I’m much happier not being tethered to Dean and I’m sure he feels the same way. If we do encounter the occasional hit or dropout on the wireless signal, Dean always has a backup recording we can go to if needed.

Keeping everything tight and compact.

Keeping everything tight and compact.

Top view.

Top view.

On a side note, I really like to keep everything on my camera nice and tight – nothing lose, hanging off, bouncing around etc – it makes me crazy. I have all my audio cables made specifically for each camera I use. I get them the perfect length so there’s no extra weight or cable in my way, and I generally add right-angle XLR connectors so they lay nice and flat. Don’t hesitate to ask at your local camera shop for the same thing. Just take your camera and whatever mic or receiver you want to connect and have them measure everything and make some up for you. It’s quite inexpensive and well worth it!

To learn more about camera mounted mics in general and why the ME64 is our choice for a great shotgun, check out this video we posted a few months ago – lots of great info from Dean!

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12 Comments

  1. May 31, 2013, 4:26 pm   /  Reply

    Thanks Dean. How did you attach your receiver to the handle?

    • Dean Miles
      June 1, 2013, 9:37 am   /  Reply

      There’s a cold shoe on the front of the handle that most wireless receivers will have the ability to attach to. There’s also screw holes at the back to add an additional cold shoe if needed.

  2. January 2, 2014, 4:55 am   /  Reply

    What is the exact xlr you got and where did you get it? Ive order 3 cables now from BnH w angled adapters that go everyway other then flush back the camera like you have. its getting frustrating :/

    • Dean Miles
      January 3, 2014, 9:19 am   /  Reply

      Hi Jason, most of the time we have to get a cable made for the specific camera/mic setup. Because all cameras are different there’s no one-size-fits-all cable.

    • Scot McDonald
      January 6, 2014, 7:48 am   /  Reply

      Hi Jason,
      I see that Dean has replied to you but I thought I would as well. Yes, you do need to have them made – at least that’s what I did. I took my camera, shotgun mic and wireless receiver to my local camera shop and had their technician measure everything and make cables that fit perfectly and had the connectors in the correct orientation. It obviously costs a bit more but not that much. To have all your cables fit perfectly and be snug and out of the way is well worth the investment. In fact, I would recommend having the technician make up two or three of each cable you need so you always have a spare on hand.

      Cheers!
      Scot

  3. Michael Sergi
    January 30, 2014, 12:27 am   /  Reply

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the video. What brand and model is the shock mount you are using for the ME 64 on the C100?

    Cheers,
    Michael

  4. Krishna Yalla
    April 7, 2014, 7:24 pm   /  Reply

    Hi,

    What is the cable maker you hired for the xlr cables you have?

    • Dean Miles
      April 12, 2014, 10:41 am   /  Reply

      I go to Lorne Laphams Sales in Burnaby, BC. They’ve been making cables for Scot and I for as long as I can remember.

  5. Conor Mullen
    October 10, 2014, 8:18 am   /  Reply

    Hey guys! Here’s a question regarding the C100 and the Sennheiser G2 Wireless Receiver – which may or may not permit a “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of answer.

    Do you suppose there would be anything wrong with mounting a receiver “backwards” in the C100’s hot shoe? Pointing the receiver’s antenna back towards the cameraman and running the XLR cable between the C100’s handle and lens to the TRS connector’s input. My thinking is that this set up would keep things away from the mic and “unclutter” the camera’s “face” (by only a smidge though).

    Cheers!

    • Dean Miles
      October 10, 2014, 8:26 pm   /  Reply

      Conor, mounting the G2 with the antenna away from the lens is a good idea. The G2’s antenna tends to droop down and can actually get in the way of the shorter prime lenses. The only issue I’ve had spinning the G2 around is the camera op will often grab the antenna when they pick up the camera by the handle – there is a chance damaging the G2’s antenna.

      Thanks for sharing a good tip!

      Cheers,
      Dean

  6. January 13, 2015, 10:39 pm   /  Reply

    When using an on camera mic (not the camera handle mic) on the C-100, do you use atten or limiter? If so how do you set it up. I am a one man band so I either use a Sony wireless lav or a Sennheiser shotgun. Was wondering how to set up internally in camera to avoid audio spikes like a persons changing volume from normal speech, laughing, etc.
    Thanks
    John

    • Dean Miles
      January 17, 2015, 11:33 am   /  Reply

      Hi John, I’d use the limiter on the camera on both camera mic and wireless system all the time. This will prevent possible distortion when unexpected volume changes occur. What a location sound op uses to soften volume spikes is a compressor, you’ll only find them on field mixers.

      Regarding attenuation, I’d only switch the attenuation to “ON” in the camera when going into loud locations. The attenuator just turns down the incoming signal (usually -10dB). Some shotguns are louder then others and need an attenuator in all the time, so after you set up your camera mic make sure the camera’s input volume is hovering around 50%. If it’s really low use the attenuator to knock down the incoming signal so you can increase the camera’s input volume. Don’t put the attenuator on the wireless channel on the camera ever, you’re just creating poor gain structure and this can cause hiss. It’s all about proper calibration and keeping an eye on your audiometers.

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