I had a little brainwave whilst using some of my audio recording gear at church this morning to record the sermon, so I thought I’d share it on here and hopefully someone else will find it useful!
Problem: The locking ring on the Sennheiser ME2’s jack cable stops it fitting firmly into audio recorders such as the Zoom H1, so it comes loose and spoils audio.
Back in August 2014 we shot a wedding in Germany, doing both photography and video of the big day. Since our broadcasting licence only covers use of our Sennheiser Wireless System within the UK, I’d plugged the Sennheiser ME2 microphone directly into a Zoom H1 and placed that in the pocket of the father of the bride, the groom and the two best men for the speeches.
The trouble with that was that the locking end on the Sennheiser ME2 lavalier microphone’s cable fits quite loosely into the jack input on the H1 due to that not having the locking ring mechanism, so as the groom walked around during his speech it unfortunately came loose in his pocket and as a result the sound kept coming in and out. The trouble is that the male end of the jack doesn’t quite go all the way in until it ‘clicks’.
I could use a different lav mic but I like the ME2 so wanted to use it with the H1 in places where I can’t use the wireless system (or for times when I don’t need to). I spent some time searching the internet and videographer forums etc. but couldn’t find anyone who’d come up with a solution.
My initial plan to remedy this for future events was to solder together a custom-built extension for the ME2’s cable by getting an Inline Stereo Locking Jack Socket (from eBay) and soldering it onto the end of a right-angled jack extension lead (also from eBay). I worked out the wiring required to let the audio fill left and right but my soldering skills have gone downhill a bit in the last 10 years so I made a bit of a mess of it:
Then I realised that since I got the CL 1 cable (described on the Sennheiser website as “Line output cable for EK100G3 with 1/8 in. miniplug to 3.5mm threaded ew connector“) with my wireless system (it’s what connects the receiver into your camera/audio recorder if you need a jack ended cable) all I needed was a Female-Female Jack Coupler (which I had lying around anyway) to join that directly to the ME2 and that would give me a nice clean (non-locking) male jack end to go into the H1:
If you’ve not got a Sennheiser CL1 cable, try searching eBay for one.
When connected up with a coupler it looks like this:
The great thing is that the CL 1 cable has a right-angled end on it already, meaning the Zoom H1 can slot easily into the pocket of whoever’s wearing the lavalier microphone, and despite not having locking ends, the jack coupler I’m using seems nice and tight so should hopefully stay put. I’ll try it out and put it though its paces, and I can always put some gaffer tape over the ends if I need to – but if I can avoid that then it won’t get all sticky.
I hope that little tip helps someone out there, and let me know if you’ve had a similar problem and found a different or better solution!
Items mentioned in this post: