Audio is one of the most frequently overlooked, but one of the most essential parts of a video. Almost anybody can post a video online, but one thing that will help that video stand out in a crowd is high-quality audio. When acquiring audio, there are 3 main things to consider; audio source, audio levels, and ambient noise.
The most important thing to consider when recording audio for video is the audio source. Be it a built-in microphone, an external microphone, or a feed from a mixer, the source will be the most significant determining factor of audio quality.
Almost every video camera has a built-in microphone, and nearly every built-in microphone will produce sub-par audio. The audio from a built-in microphone will often pick up the noise from the camera itself, the noise made by operating the camera and lens motors. Not to mention they are not very directional, so they pick up a lot of ambient noise, and your camera needs to be pointing directly at your talent at all times.
An external microphone, when appropriately used, will always give better audio quality than a built-in microphone. Many video cameras will have an external audio jack that will either be a stereo mini-jack or XLR plugs on high-end cameras. Almost all microphones will work with any camera that has a microphone jack, either directly or with the use of adapters.
Stepping up to the plate to take on the challenge is the Comica CVM-WS60 Wireless Dual Lavalier Microphone System.
- Stated 194ft unobstructed, and 98ft obstructed, but I was able to get between 100 ft-110ft unobstructed and 45ft-50ft obstructed.
- For longer distances, Hide the transmitter on the side of your talent vs. the back to keep the talent’s body from being an obstruction.
- Changing to different channels, separating the channels as far as possible to avoid interference conflict when the talent is close together, and watching radio interferences from your surrounding area got me almost double the distance.
- The did well in the wind even w/o the dead cats – did even better with them and again better with the low-cut filters on.
- They do pick up ambient audio when the talent is not talking, but when talking does isolate a lot of the ambient but not all, be aware of your surroundings.
- When your talent is close to each other, putting the lavs on opposite sides help to avoid spillover, but be careful of tinny audio in rooms with a lot of reflections.
- I was able to use smaller 3.5mm shotgun mics as well to pick up ambient audio when needed.
- I love all the separate connection indicators: LEDs, Signal Strength, Audio Levels, and Gain Levels.
- The ability to record in Stereo (A = Left & B = Right) separating out each transmitter to its own channel is fantastic.
- It has a low noise floor (low self-noise). Self-noise is the hissing/buzzing coming from all the electronics (microphones, Transmitter, Receiver, recording device (DSPR, Phone, Audio Recorders) and even in the wiring (especially if it’s not shielded).
- Has the ability to record in Mono, where one or both transmitters record onto both L/R channels.
- No channel bleed when using both transmitters on different channels.
- The ability you select a Transmitter, essentially putting one or the other on mute. You’ll typically have this set A/B.
- I love the ability to adjust the Audio Gain (input levels) separately at the Receiver and digitally see the settings.
- Separate headphone jack for real-time monitoring.
- Can run off external power via Type-C connector.
- My iPhone 10 fit in great, even with its thick case, but I primarily used it with my DSLR and a Tascam Recorder/Mixer.
- (3) 1/4-20 mountain locations
- I’m not excited about the AAA batteries, especially since each device needs 3 for a total of 9. While they do last a long time, they add a lot more weight (120g/4.2oz) and add bulk to the overall size of the system.
- I added AAA rechargeable batteries when I read in the manual that they could be recharged via the External Power cable, and this got me excited about the AAAs – but only to find out that actually, you cannot charge them with the external power cable (verified by Comica), and then back to being bummed again. This means either I have to bring a pile of extra AAAs or chargers plus a power brick.
- Moderately small and light.
- The LCD shows indications, LED for connectivity, Signal Output, Strength, and Audio Level.
- They have low-cut filters to help with wind noise if needed.
- The ability to be either the A Transmitter or B via a Switch
- The ability to run on external power (but no charging).
- A mute button
- Belt clip or 1/4-20
In the end, these were a great buy, I see a lot of use for them in their future!