Wireless Microphone SystemsModern wireless microphone systems are truly a wonder with more setup features and simpler operation—two trends that frequently work in opposite directions. 5/06/2014 6:16 AM Eastern
Wireless Microphone Systems
May 6, 2014 10:16 AM, By Bennett Liles
Modern wireless microphone systems are truly a wonder with more setup features and simpler operation—two trends that frequently work in opposite directions. These wireless systems have all come to the market during a period when manufacturers and users were set reeling from the seismic political and technical challenges coming into force with the digital television transition and there’s more of that in store in the upcoming incentive auctions. Analog, hybrid, and all-digital systems are currently sharing the marketplace and new strides have been made in networked control and digital encryption. As more microphones, musical instruments, in-ear monitors, and intercom systems cram the available RF bands, the world of wireless is becoming an ever more exciting place.
The AKG WMS 420 is designed for small- to medium-size venues where up to eight wireless systems may be needed to operate simultaneously in one frequency band. The group consists of the SR 420 receiver, the PT 420 pocket transmitter, and the HT 420 handheld transmitter with a D5 dynamic microphone head. The pocket and handheld transmitters feature charging contacts for use with rechargeable batteries. The pocket transmitter can be used with the head-worn C555L condenser mic, the C417L lapel mic for presenters, or the guitar set using an instrument cable. The system is compatible with all AKG MicroMics, and it features a low-battery warning indicator.
Through its Special Projects Audio line, Ansr Audio’s Evo True Wireless system is aimed at contractors who service demanding venues such as recreation and fitness centers. With 16 channels and a transmitter that is built into the head-worn microphone, the water-resistant system operates with the Scan16 UHF receiver, and it will find and remember the best clear channel in the local area. The noise-cancelling microphone element is attached to a flexible microphone boom and the rechargeable system will provide up to four hours of talk time. Separate replacement chargers and windscreens are available from Special Projects Audio.
For professional touring applications the 5000 series frequency agile true diversity UHF wireless mic system from Audio-Technica operates in the UHF C and D bands with two receivers in each 1RU unit. Multiple configurations can be made through the AEW-T1000a UniPak transmitter, AEW-T3300a, and AEW-T4100a cardioid condenser microphone/transmitters, and hypercardioid handheld microphone/transmitters in any combination. The system offers IntelliScan, an onboard Ethernet interface, digital tone lock squelch, and a 1/4in. external mute switch jack. Each transmitter is housed in a metal body with a backlit LCD display, and each component can store up to five configurations with names.
Consisting of a number of different handheld, head-worn, and instrument transmitter configurations, the RAD 360 wireless system is built by Audix around its R360 UHF true diversity receiver. Operating in the 614-638MHz and 538-661MHz bands, the receiver can pick up the handheld transmitter with an OM series microphone using a range of mic capsules to suit the needed pickup pattern. Guitar and saxophone mics can be used with the bodypack transmitter, and for more challenging RF environments, an amplified antenna distribution system and antenna signal booster may be added for four receivers to use simultaneously.
For quick camera mount setups with self-contained battery power, Azden offers the 330 series transmitter/receiver configurations to suit a variety of bodypack microphone situations. For a handheld system the 35HT microphone can be used or the 35XT plug-in transmitter can convert any dynamic handheld mic for wireless operation on its 25mW signal. The 35HT and all other transmitter components have an LCD screen for setup and battery condition monitoring. The 330UPR dual-channel receiver includes an LCD display, mic, and headphone outputs on mini jacks, 188 user-selectable frequencies, and a removable shoe mount. The unit gets five to six hours running time on two AA batteries.
Wireless Microphone Systems
May 6, 2014 10:16 AM, By Bennett Liles
The TG 1000 24-bit digital wireless system from Beyerdynamic operates in the UHF band (470-489MHz) with automatic frequency selection, encrypted transmission, browser control, and monitoring through an integrated web server in the dual receiver. Its white OLED front-panel display stands out in high ambient light and up to 12 of the units can be cascaded on one set of antennas looping through them. The handheld transmitter has an anodized aluminum housing and an IR receiver to sync channels with the receiver. Channel/group and battery status are shown on its display. To connect mics and instruments, the bodypack transmitter uses a mini 4-pin XLR and it has an internal switch to select 0dB or -12dB signal attenuation.
Clockaudio has a simple, easy solution for podium, stand, and conference microphones with the CW9006T mic base transmitter unit and its integral XLR connector, which can plug directly into a handheld mic or connect to the bottom of an XLR equipped floor stand. The other base models have 3-pin mini connectors and all table base models include a programmable pushbutton switch and LED indicator. Any two of the table base transmitters can be charged in the CU-2 Intelligent Battery Management System. These are used with the CW9000R diversity receiver, which provides balanced and unbalanced audio outputs along with a front-panel level control.
When specialized performance is needed with existing handheld wireless microphones, Earthworks Audio can respond with the WL40V back-electret condenser wireless capsule and its hypercardioid pickup pattern. Compatible with specific handheld mics from Lectrosonics, Sony, Line 6, and Shure, the WL40V easily screws onto the microphone body using a 25in. x 28-thread pitch. The case is hardened against 500MHz and 2.4GHz interference, and the unit exhibits uniform frequency response at 0, 45, and 90 degrees with 135dB SPL maximum acoustic input. Weighing 90 grams, the WL40V is well balanced for handheld mics.
The R300 system from Electro-Voice combines very simple setup and operation with some professional features such as one-touch ClearScan and EZsync transmitter update. The receiver quickly finds a clear local channel and then uses its IR link to match the transmitter’s frequency to it. The R300-L system uses the BP-300 bodypack transmitter and ULM18 directional lapel mic while the R300-HD includes the PL22 handheld mic. The R300-E is a head-worn system featuring the HM3 microphone. The transmitters have a backlit LCD display with a battery level gauge. The receiver’s half wave antennas can be removed and remoted when the unit is used with the APD4+ antenna distribution system.
Housing two 100-channel UHF receivers in a single small case, the UHF-4200M dual wireless handheld mic system was designed by Gemini Sound to provide a range of about 250ft. and allow either automatic or manual frequency selection. Up to eight channels can be used by transmitters equipped with power/mute buttons. The receivers have mixed signal 1/4in. and individual XLR output connections. On the front panel, there are bright channel displays and individual channel output level controls along with audio and RF signal indicators. The rear panel also provides a line/mic output level switch.
The Lectrosonics HH Digital Hybrid Wireless handheld transmitter has selectable RF power (50mW/100mW) and a wide range of receivers with which it can be configured to be compatible. To suit specific acoustic and SPL environments, the transmitter can be fitted with a variety of standard thread mic heads from Shure, Earthworks, Electro-Voice, and other companies, as well as Lectrosonics. The transmitter sends digital audio over an analog FM radio link to reduce compander artifacts and provide flat frequency response. It also has a very handy talkback feature in which a button on the transmitter can direct the receiver to switch the mic signal to a secondary channel for cueing or other uses.
Wireless Microphone Systems
May 6, 2014 10:16 AM, By Bennett Liles
Mipro has included a full-color vacuum fluorescent display panel on the front of its ACT-818 1/2RU single-channel UHF mic receiver to assist with setup and operation. The rear panel provides a very handy ground lift switch on the XLR output. It and the unbalanced 1/4in. output connections also are switchable between mic and line audio levels and there is a SPDIF digital output, as well. The antenna ports have an 8VDC bias that can be used to power antenna signal boosters. The system also offers 10 built-in SmartEQ presets and 256-bit encryption. The unit works with the ACT-80H handheld and ACT-80T bodypack transmitter as well as the rechargeable versions 8Ha and 8Ta.
The new PCX U-1002 from Peavey features auto scan on the half-rack space receiver and the system can frequency synchronize it with the transmitter in a quick setup. The rear panel includes both XLR and 1/4in. output connections and they can be switched between line and mic levels. The antenna connections are DC powered to operate antenna-boosting equipment and the front-panel color LCD is used for settings as well as battery level, channel, and audio/RF signal level displays. Multiple receivers can be daisy-chained on a network line for centralized control and monitoring. The PCX U-1002 system can include handheld and bodypack transmitters for vocal and instrumental roles.
Making its debut at ISE this year, the Executive Elite wireless mic system from Revolabs can be set up as a 4- or 8-channel installation using a distributed architecture, which connects the remote antenna receiver and the base unit on Cat-6 cable. Its PoE feature simplifies installation and the rechargeable microphones can provide up to 12 hours of continuous talk time. The receiver can be linked to many others, expanding the system’s total channel capability to 80. Conference participants can use either gooseneck or wearable microphones, and the system can be controlled remotely or through a local connection.
Sacom’s idea behind the 8-channel DS8000 digital wireless microphone system is expandability through modular configuration. A 1RU rack frame holds up to eight of the receiver modules and works with any of the system’s rechargeable handheld, bodypack, and gooseneck table base transmitters. The digitally encrypted signals can be sent through up to eight linked receiver rack frame units operating on a single pair of distributed half-wave antennas. The free software package can control and monitor the system through USB, RS-232, or Ethernet, and the transmission power can be adjusted for 1, 10, 25 or 50mW.
For a very sophisticated and high-end wireless system loaded with features, Sennheiser offers the Digital 9000 system operating in the UHF band with up to 40 channels between 470MHz and 798MHz. With a built-in graphical spectrum analyzer and RF level recorder, the EM 9046 receiver can find the best channels in today’s challenging RF environment. The SKM 9000 handheld transmitter can be fitted with any of 12 different microphone heads including the evolution wireless/2000 series and Neumann capsules. The SK 9000 bodypack transmitter has a magnesium case, and it can accept microphones and instrument connections on a 3-pin Lemo connector.
The BLX Wireless System from Shure is intended to be configurable to suit any specific user scenario with simple setup and connection. Built around the BLX4 single-channel and BLX88 dual-channel receivers, the system can include any combination of instrument, lapel, or head-worn microphones working with the BLX1 bodypack transmitter. The BLX24/SM58 is a handheld version that incorporates the well-known Shure SM58 microphone head. Up to 12 compatible systems may be used on each frequency band and the QuickScan feature finds the appropriate channel. Each receiver has both XLR and 1/4in. output connections, and the transmitters can run up to 14 hours on one set of AA batteries.
For touring professionals and upscale installations, Sony has developed the DWX Digital Wireless series with rackmounted DWR-R02D dual-channel UHF receiver that can be paired with Sony’s DWM02 handheld, DWRS02D bodypack, DWTB01 bodypack, or DWTP01 plug-on transmitters. For field operation, these transmitters can be used with the DWRS02D/42 battery-operated receiver. For those who prefer to travel lighter, there is the DWZ Digital Wireless system with small, mobile receivers such as the ZRXHR50 half rack unit that can be used with a range of belt-pack, handheld, and instrument transmitters using the 2.4GHz ISM band.
Designed to allow economical entry into the wireless microphone realm with easy operation, the Trantec S4.16 Series from TOA Electronics can be purchased as either the Q-S4.16H for handheld operation or the Q-S4.16L with a lapel mic and bodypack transmitter, which includes a switch for microphone and instrument input levels. The system provides 16 channels within the 616-630MHz range with simultaneous operation of up to eight transmitters. The receiver has both XLR and 1/4in. connectors and it allows the output audio on the XLR to be switched between line and mic level. Diversity reception and RF signal strength can be monitored on the front panel. The transmitters each operate at a 10mW RF power level.