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Need some wireless recommendations


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This is double-posted in the electric guitar forum as well, to try to get input from players as well as techs:

 

I need to purchase 2 new wireless systems for a vocal headset and my guitar. Application is musical theater - I'll be playing part of the guitar score from stage while acting. I'm looking for input from anyone who has experience using a guitar wireless in an application where there are a LOT of other signals flying around - other headset mics, the crew/director headsets, other instruments, etc. The key requirement is to operate without either creating or being susceptible to interference and/or crosstalk.

 

Any ideas? Any experience with systems that didn't work well that I should avoid?

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This is double-posted in the electric guitar forum as well, to try to get input from players as well as techs:


I need to purchase 2 new wireless systems for a vocal headset and my guitar. Application is musical theater - I'll be playing part of the guitar score from stage while acting. I'm looking for input from anyone who has experience using a guitar wireless in an application where there are a LOT of other signals flying around - other headset mics, the crew/director headsets, other instruments, etc. The key requirement is to operate without either creating or being susceptible to interference and/or crosstalk.


Any ideas? Any experience with systems that didn't work well that I should avoid?

 

Your best bet is to

1. find out what RF landscape exists already and then

2. buy the absolute best you can afford in the remaining available spectrum

 

you may need some sort of antenna distribution and/or directional antennae depending on RF environment and transmission distance.

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Without knowing what's already being used, there's no way to make a good reccomendation, but the Audio Technica 3000 is available in 3 differenty spectrums... C, D & I band. That's a lot of options... and good performance, reasonable cost etc.

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Your best bet is to

1. find out what RF landscape exists already

 

 

Understood. Unfortunately, I'm having real trouble figuring that out before we show up at the venue for tech rehearsals. It's community theater, so there are several different people who control different parts of the equipment. Add to that the fact that they are all volunteers, and I find myself in a situation where the most common response is: "Feel free to look at what we have when we pull it out at tech rehearsal and figure it out for yourself". They all understand it's a pain in the rear, but nobody has ownership - it's all ad-hoc. Trouble is, I need to have the guitar rig this week for blocking, and I'm betting I'll have to order the headset to get what I need.

 

 

 

2. buy the absolute best you can afford in the remaining available spectrum

 

 

Agreed and understood - I just don't know if completely avoiding bands in use will be possible. Some questions:

 

> How much does a frequency-selectable system buy you in terms of being able to get around other signals that will be present?

> Does a digital system make matters worse or better?

> Is it safe to assume that different brands are likely to use separate bands, or does mixing brands on a single stage increase the risk of cross-talk?

 

 

you may need some sort of antenna distribution and/or directional antennae depending on RF environment and transmission distance.

 

 

Understood - thanks. Guitar should be limited to about 75 feet line-of-sight, so I'm assuming that it should not be a problem. The vocal headset could be an issue, as I expect that the receiver will be in the sound booth at the back of the hall. Can a directional receiving antenna be fitted to any receiver, or is this brand-specific? [i know that antennae are frequency-tuned - just not familiar with the details in today's market.]

 

Thanks for the input!

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Without knowing what's already being used, there's no way to make a good reccomendation, but the Audio Technica 3000 is available in 3 differenty spectrums... C, D & I band. That's a lot of options... and good performance, reasonable cost etc.

 

 

Thanks - I know that at least two of the existing performer headsets are A-Ts, but I don't know what band they are. Have you had any particularly good or bad experience with the bands? Is higher frequency generally more noise-immune, or does it really depend solely on the specific signals present in the space?

 

Sorry for all the "dumb questions"; I haven't dealt with a wireless rig in over a decade, so I've forgotten the few things I once knew that haven't changed.

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is what I use for my instrument wireless and I know a few folks using their vocal handhelds stuff but not sure about their headset stuff. I know of 2 guys here that both highly recommend there handhelds so I imagine their headset should be just as equivalent.

 

 

Ever had any interference or drop-out issues with this? It seems interesting, but I'm always a bit skeptical of Line 6 (I've never heard anything by Line 6 that sounded good to my ear).

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You need to know all the competing frequencies. If you don't rely on 2.4 Ghz wi-fi for anything I'd recommend the new Line 6 stuff as well. Going this route you won't have to figure out all the other frequencies either as you'll not be competing with them.

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You need to know the other local signals present as well as any broadcast signals present. There are software apps available on the AT website.

 

Digital could be a good dolution or could be a bigger problem, depends on the environment and what else is being used.

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You need to know the other local signals present as well as any broadcast signals present.

 

 

Yeah, I was afraid that was the answer - I was just hoping for something non-obvious that could help. Trouble is, I'll have to get my guitar rig purchased before I'll have access to the venue and/or the other equipment, so I just don't have access to all the right info at the right time. Sounds like I'll just have to chance it and get something with as much flexibility as possible.

 

Thanks for the input - at least I know a bit more about what I'm trying to deal with.

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Digital could be a good dolution or could be a bigger problem, depends on the environment and what else is being used.

 

 

This could be said of ALL radios. Also, the more radios you use the more important planning becomes as radios interfere with other radios. That said, a good antenna distribution system will make things run a lot smoother.

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> How much does a frequency-selectable system buy you in terms of being able to get around other signals that will be present?

 

Frequency agile systems help A LOT because you can tune around any other spurious or predictable RF power. I would not recommend a fixed system tuning.

 

 

Depends totally on the system and available spectrum.

 

 

Anytime there is an RF transmitter, regardless of brand, if your receiver is in the same bandwidth you will be able to "see" which frequencies are being used by turning through the available bandwidth on your receiver.

 

If you see RF, it could be a DTV station, somebody's wireless mics, IEMs, etc.

 

Regarding antennae, you do want an antenna capable of picking up your RF. They are not necessarily brand-specific, but you do need to power nearly all of them if they are directional.

 

Again, you may not need directional antennae. The best thing to do is to find out what else is happening within the available spectrum. Find out what DTV stations are in your area at a minimum.

 

You should try renting a couple systems in the meantime. I suggest you look into the Lectrosonics stuff or Shure UHF-R. If that is way out of the realm of possibility, look into the Shure ULXP.

 

If there is an option to place the receivers somewhere on or near the stage, that may be your best option. Where are you located?

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If everyone's walking in with their own wireless and there is no co-ordinator they're pretty much forked. The Line6 probably has the greatest chance of working "out-of-the-box" with all that other unknown stuff. Good luck!

 

 

agreed

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If there is an option to place the receivers somewhere on or near the stage, that may be your best option. Where are you located?

 

 

Milwaukee area. The guitar receiver will be just off-stage in the band area, so I don't expect a whole lot of trouble with that rig. Max distance of probably 75-80 feet. I'm going to try a Sennheiser G3 (UHF-B) tonight and see how it works out.

 

The vocal headset has me worried a bit more, as I expect the receivers to be stacked at the soundboard (back of hall). That's going to push the range as well as putting them right next to a whole bunch of EMI sources (sound, lights, video, crew comms, etc.). The good news is that I don't have to have that one for a few more weeks, so I have some more time to try to track down all the other stuff that's in use before committing to a purchase.

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