Tag Archives: microphone

Sony Second Generation Dual Channel UWP-D Radio Mic Receiver.

DSC05650-copy-1024x875 Sony Second Generation  Dual Channel UWP-D Radio Mic Receiver.
Sony URX-P41D UWP-D Dual Channel Radio Mic Receiver

 

I’ve been using Sony’s UWP-D series radio mics for more years than I can remember. In those years they have proved to be absolute workhorses and they have never let me down. The audio quality is very high, the transmission range very good thanks to the use of a diversity receiver and you have the added benefit of being able to attach the receiver to most of Sony’s more recent cameras via the MI Shoe.

When you use the MI Shoe the mic receiver is powered by the cameras battery and the audio passes into the camera via the shoe. If the camera has XLR connectors then these can be used to connect additional microphones allowing you to record from up to 4 audio sources without needing a mixer.  

 


If you want to get 2 channels of wireless audio into the camera you can either use 2 receivers and connect them via the XLR inputs or put a single channel receiver on the MI Shoe and then connect a second receiver via XLR. But an even neater way is to use one of Sony Dual Channel receivers.  I already have the previous dual channel receiver, the URX-P03D and I really wanted to see how this new version compares.

 

The URX-P41D a new dual channel receiver that replaces the previous model, the URX-P03D. It is slightly shorter but a little fatter than the previous receiver so overall similar in size and weight, but features some really nice new features. You will also be pleased to know that it is completely compatible with the previous generation of UWP-D transmitters including the UTX-B03 belt pack lavalier mics. It even includes an Infra Red port for wireless pairing. You can even bypass Sony’s digital compander, allowing it to be used with microphones from other brands. However to get the very best out of this receiver you want to use it with second generation UWP-D transmitters such as the UTX-B40 belt packs or UTX-P40 plugin transmitter.

DSC05607-copy-1024x636 Sony Second Generation  Dual Channel UWP-D Radio Mic Receiver.
URX-P41D on an FX6 using the MI Shoe

 

The UTX-B40 belt pack transmitters are smaller than the previous generation and have a couple of new features that are quite handy. The first is the ability to set the audio gain to auto. Auto gain set the audio to a high gain level and then uses a limiter to ensure the the audio doesn’t clip or distort. This mode can be useful for presenters that talk quietly but may become much louder if they get excited. Another nice feature is the use of NFC for pairing rather than infrared. 

DSC05655-copy-1024x689 Sony Second Generation  Dual Channel UWP-D Radio Mic Receiver.
You can see the pairing IR port for backwards compatibility on the side of the receiver

 

Pairing a transmitter to the receiver is very easy. You simply press and hold the NFC Sync button, the receiver will then scan for a clear channel. Once it has found a suitable clear frequency a message pops up on the nice clear OLED display to pair the RX and TX. This is done simply by holding the transmitter and receiver together so the NFC logo on each are facing each other. The receiver will then vibrate to confirm the pairing process has finished.

DSC05614-copy-1024x633 Sony Second Generation  Dual Channel UWP-D Radio Mic Receiver.

The dual channel receiver has 2 on and off switches, one for each channel. So if only using one channel the other can be switched off to save power. There are separate 3.5mm sockets with locking rings  for each channel and the receiver is supplied with two locking 3.5mm to XLR cables. In addition there is a Y cable that connects both 3.5mm outputs to a single stereo 3.5mm plug. this is handy for cameras or other devices that only have a 3.5mm jack plug input. As well as the outputs there is a 3.5mm headphone socket.

DSC05611-copy-1024x684 Sony Second Generation  Dual Channel UWP-D Radio Mic Receiver.

In addition to the outputs, rather curiously there is also a 3.5mm microphone input socket, the previous P03D also has this extra input. This additional input allows you to connect a 3rd microphone to the receiver. This third microphone is then mixed with the other 2 channels. This might be handy for some applications where you absolutely must have 5 sources feeding the camera but don’t have a mixer, but because this extra input is mixed with the wireless channels I think it has only limited usefulness. 

300x250-ad-box1 Sony Second Generation  Dual Channel UWP-D Radio Mic Receiver.


When you want to connect the receiver directly to a Sony camera via the MI Shoe you have to use an adapter called the SMAD-P5 (Sony accessories have such easy names to remember, apparently it stands for Sony Multishoe ADapter). The SMAD adapter for the new second generation receivers is neater and more compact than the one used by the first generation.  It connects to a socket hidden under a rubber cover on the underside of the receiver. If you are using the URX-P41D with an FX6 as well as the MI-Shoe powering the receiver and providing the audio connection you get the added benefit of the receive signal strength of both channels being displayed on the cameras LCD screen.


DSC05660-copy-1024x660 Sony Second Generation  Dual Channel UWP-D Radio Mic Receiver.
The UWP-D radio mic system is a hybrid Analog/Digital system. The transmitters and receivers use a digital compander system to process the audio to ensure as little loss of quality as possible during the transmission process. The companded signal is then transmitted from the transmitter to the receiver using analog FM. The frequencies these radio mics use offer greater range and are much less affected by obstructions or reflections than the 2.5Ghz band commonly used by many lower cost all digital radio mics.  I typically get over 100m(300ft) range. The digital compander is particularly good at preserving the sibilance in human speech. Often “S” sounds and other sharpe notes can become muted with lower quality radio mics, but the digital compander in the UWP-D series does a very good job of maintaining a wide frequency response. 

One particular advantage the new UWP-D  receivers bring over the previous generation is the ability to output the audio either conventionally as analog audio or digitally. To take advantage of the digital output you have to use the MI Shoe and your camera must support the digital output. There isn’t a huge boost in audio quality when you use the digital out, but you do get a little less background hiss and the audio is less likely to suffer from other electrical noise from the camera. It’s certainly a nice feature to have, but if your camera only has an analog input the audio quality is still very good. 

DSC05602-copy-1024x606 Sony Second Generation  Dual Channel UWP-D Radio Mic Receiver.
You can see the W1 and W2 signal strength indications from the attached URX-P41D towards the top left of the FX6 LCD. In this example on one channel was in use.

 

These second generation UWP-D radio mics are fully compatible with the previous generation, so you can upgrade just your receivers or add new transmitters if you wish. I think these are great and I would recommend anyone looking for a good quality professional radio mic system to at the very least have a close look at the Sony UWP-D series.

Rugged, Lightweight Mic Mount for the Sony FX6.

AJC09657-600x401 Rugged, Lightweight Mic Mount for the Sony FX6.
Rugged replacement microphone mount for the Sony FX6

I have designed a custom, robust, yet lightweight microphone mount for the Sony ILME-FX6 camcorder (it will also fit the FS5). It’s low cost and it replaces the existing microphone mount and provides a strong and flexible mounting solution for a wide range of microphones with very good vibration and handling noise isolation properties. It is fitted to the camera by unscrewing the two screws that attach the factory supplied mic mount and using the same screws to attach this mount in the same place (do not over tighten the screws). 

AJC09659-600x401 Rugged, Lightweight Mic Mount for the Sony FX6.
Front view of the custom FX6 mic mount.



This mount will take heavier microphones than the standard mount which is prone to becoming floppy and breaking over time.

There are two sets of mounting holes so you can have the microphone at two different distances from the carry handle to suit your individual needs. The microphone mount will not obstruct or block the MI Shoe as many other 3rd party mic mounts will.

You can order the mount from Shapeways where they are made to order in a wide range of colours out of a very tough plastic material with a textured finish. https://www.shapeways.com/product/JKWA72Y6T/fx6-rugged-mic-holder-fit-sony-ilme-fx6-camcorder?optionId=193365147&li=marketplace

AJC09661-600x401 Rugged, Lightweight Mic Mount for the Sony FX6.


This mount will take any microphone up to approx 32mm in diameter. You will need 4 “O” rings to loop over the slots in the mic holder to act as the suspension for the microphone. these should be 2 or 3mm thick with an inside diameter of between 28mm and 32mm (30mm recommended). The O rings will not be supplied by Shapeways, you must source these for yourself. These are very cheap and are normally available on ebay, from car spares stores, plumbing suppliers and DIY stores. If you can’t find the right O rings it is also possible to use elastic bands, but these don’t tend to support the microphone as well as O rings.

Sony’s XLR-K3M Includes an MI Shoe relocation cable!

Screenshot-2019-11-29-at-17.19.55 Sony's XLR-K3M Includes an MI Shoe relocation cable!
Sony’s XLR-K3M kit includes an MI Shoe relocation cable.

This is something a lot of people have been asking for. An extension or relocation cable that allows you to place devices that will be connected to a camera via the MI Shoe away from the shoe itself.

But in order to get the MI Shoe relocation cable you have to buy the whole XLR-K3M XLR adapter kit, you can’t get the cable on it’s own. This is a shame as I would like to use the cable with my UWP-D series radio mics. I’m not a fan of having the radio mic receiver right on top of the handle as it tends to stick out and get in the way when you put the camera into most camera bags. But, I don’t really need the XLR adapter.

Anyway, here’s a link to the XLR-K3M for those that really need that cable (or the new XLR adapter).

Replacement Mic Holder for the PXW-FS5 (and others).

Here’s another of my “I need one of these” products. The standard Sony mic mount isn’t the greatest thing in the world. It’s a little limited as to the range of microphones it can hold and over time they become floppy and loose. What I wanted was a lightweight, sturdy, simple to use mic mount that would fit easily on to the camera without taking up either of the shoe mounts. So I designed one for myself. A  few years ago I did a mic mount for the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 that turned out to be be pretty popular and this mount shares some of that DNA.  It’s made out of plastic and uses either rubber bands or O-Rings to give really good vibration and handling isolation.

It mounts where the stock mount attaches using the two screws used to secure the original mount. There are two different mounting positions so you can adjust how far from the carry handle the microphone sits.

If you want one for yourself you can order one from my Shapeways store in a variety of colours. I also have a similar  generic mic mount that fits many of the Sony camcorder lineup.

To buy one check out my Shapeways store: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/alisterchapman

AJC05213-1024x683 Replacement Mic Holder for the PXW-FS5 (and others).
Microphone mount for the PXW-FS5

AJC05214-1024x683 Replacement Mic Holder for the PXW-FS5 (and others).
Replacement microphone mount for the PXW-FS5. Note the two sets of mounting holes so you can choose how far the mic is from the camera body.

AJC05212-1024x683 Replacement Mic Holder for the PXW-FS5 (and others).
Another view of my replacement mic mount for the PXW-FS5