Wireless Microphone Tutorial - Setup your handheld, or lav mic quick!

Uploaded by dvestore on 10.10.2008

bjbj Hello, my name is Kyle, and I'd like to lead you through four simple but crucial
steps that will enable you to get the best performance out of your wireless system. First,
let's start with what a wireless system is. It's essentially a radio transmitter and a
receiver. So it has two crucial parts, the first part is the transmitter, in this case
a handheld transmitter, you are probably familiar with that. Another version of a transmitter
would be this. This is a body-pack transmitter which we attach to our body, and it can have
any number of various things plugged into it. In this case, it's a lavalier microphone
attached to my shirt. You could also put an instrument cable on if you wanted to send
a wireless transmission of a guitar, for instance. I also have a headset on attached to another
body-pack transmitter on my back. So, that's the transmitter part. This is the receiver.
The receiver is much like the radio in your car. It listens to a signal that is sent to
it, and it enables you to listen to what that signal is. So this receiver takes the radio
signal we send from the transmitter and de-modulates it and puts it in an electronic signal form,
and we send it into whatever device we want to plug it into. Most likely, it'll be a mixing
console, maybe, a guitar amplifier or in the case of right now, it's a wireless receiver
that's attached to the camera that's filming us. Actually, I'll tell you real quick for
the record this is a Sennheiser Evolution Wireless 300 Series G2 System. So what are
those four steps we were talking about? Well, steps one and two are going to be concerned
with the actual radio transmission or the "RF" transmission as we'll call it from now
on, the RF link between the transmitter and the receiver. And then steps 3 and 4 will
have to do with the audio and getting high quality audio out of these components. So
let's start with step one. The first thing that you can do is make sure that you have
good antenna placement. I'm going to turn this receiver around so you can see the back
of it. You should be able to see these two antennas here. This is a true diversity system
which means that it has two antennas going into two electronic receiving circuits with
a switcher in between, and it switches so fast you can't even hear it, but it's basically
for redundancy. If one of the antennas isn't getting a good signal, we're going to hope
that the other one is. That's the idea there. What you want to do with your two antennas
is you want to place them at 90 degrees to each other and 45 degrees to the ground. That's
going to give you the best overall performance you can get out of these two antennas. Now
that we've placed the antennas correctly on the back of the receiver, we have to make
sure that the receiving antennas are within line of sight of the transmitting antenna.
This is very important. Radio transmission likes open air just like we do with light.
It will go through some things, but it performs best in the open air. So, how do we do that?
That's difficult to do in today's world. We've got our body-pack down on our body somewhere
hidden, and we can't see the antenna, can't help you much with that other than try to
keep that outside of clothes and make sure this antenna is free and not being bent over.
But on the receiving end, we can do that by placing the receiver in an area that is going
to get the best line of sight to the transmitter. For instance, at the front of house mixing
position we want to get the receiver up high so the antennas can "see" the performer. That's
not always possible either, and there's a way to remote antennas, but those require
special antennas. Do NOT take these antennas off the back of this receiver and use a cable.
In order to work correctly, they actually have to be attached to this chassis. So, that's
step number 1, antenna placement. And this has to do, again with the transmission of
our system. The second step we're going to do on that is we have to find an open frequency.
All good wireless receivers have the ability to look at lots of different frequencies or
utilize lots of different frequencies. This particular unit has over 1,400 frequencies,
and we have a scanning ability to go in there and scan selected ones of those frequencies
to find an open one. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my receiver and I'm
going to scan for open frequencies. I'm going to give you a tip: before you use your scanner
in your receiver, make sure your transmitter is off so that it doesn't take up one of the
possible frequencies you can use. So I'm going to go into the menu. Your wireless may be
a little different so I'll let you use the menu in yours to do it correctly. I'm going
to hit the "scan" function, and I'm going to start the scan. Now this is going to take
a little while because this is a fairly sophisticated machine. It has taken those 1,400 frequencies
and broken them down into nine banks of eight frequencies each. Now that doesn't equal 1,400,
but you can manipulate some of those frequencies to access any of those 1,400 plus you want.
The point is we've taken these banks, and we've created banks that work well together.
The frequencies within each bank work very well together. If you use multiple wireless
systems; you'd want to stay within a bank. So, let's see how we're doing here. We are
almost done. We are done. So the screen is going to show that we have nine banks with
eight free channels in each bank. Well, that's rather fortuitous, isn't it? It's because
we are in a really good building. To make life easy, I'm just going to pick bank one
and channel one and use that as my channel. Why make things difficult? So now that I've
set that on the receiver, I need to set the same thing on the transmitter. I'm going to
go into this transmitter, and I'm going to turn it on. Remember, we want the transmitter
off when we are scanning. It just so happens that this transmitter is set to bank one,
channel one. If it were set to something else, I could go into the menu and reset it to bank
one, channel one, and then I would have a nice, wireless linkup. So those were the two
steps to get a solid link, which we have now. We've got the antennas placed correctly, and
we find an open frequency and we use it. Once we've done that, we now move onto the audio
portion. Let's put that down. We're going to talk about audio. The first thing we have
is we have a source of audio. In this case, the source is my voice. My voice may be quieter
than some and louder than others. I have to match the person's voice or the guitar signal
or whatever it is we're transmitting, and I have to attach it to the input level of
this transmitter. Once again, I'm going into this transmitter and I am going to find what
is called sensitivity in this particular unit, and I am going to discus the sensitivity.
I'd like to make a note that I'm going to switch from a headphone mic here, my headset
mic, to this lavalier mic which is attached to this. So this audio is going to change
to this microphone. Now, this particular unit has four sensitivity settings. I have it set
on the second highest setting because that's appropriate for my voice. But let's listen
to what happens when I turn it down. I'm going down 10 DB. It's should have gotten quite
a bit quieter right there. Now I'm going down 20 DB. I'm probably going to have to yell
for you to hear me at all. It's probably not a very good setting for my voice. I'm going
to bring it back up. There's 10 DB. Now I'm going to set it at zero. Excuse me, that was
-10, -20, -30, but I'm going to set it at zero DB, and that should be pretty hot. That
might be a little too hot, so I'm going to go back to my original setting and leave it
there. So, we've just done step number three. We've set the sensitivity of the transmitter
microphone appropriately for the source material, which in this case is my voice. That was step
number three. What's step number four? Just like in the transmitter where we have a sensitivity
setting, we have an output setting on the receiver. Now you're going to be plugging
your receiver into I don't know what, actually. It could be a mixing console, again, a guitar
amplifier, or a camera. Each one of those devices may want to see a different level
of output coming into the input of that device. What we have here is the ability to go into
my receiver and adjust that output accordingly. Now, this is a pretty simple thing to do,
but knowing what that output level or what the input of the device you're plugging into
wants to see is going to require a little homework on your part. You can open the manual.
Oh wait, if you were a manual person, you probably wouldn't be looking at this video,
would you? Manuals are good, so if you can open your manual and find out the camera,
for instance, what it likes to see, then you can set this accordingly. If you're using
a mixing console, you might want to set the gain to unity gain and then adjust the output
of this to get a nice good signal without over-modulating that signal. That's basically
it. We've covered the four steps of how to get good performance out of your wireless.
Let's review that real quickly. The first step is antenna placement. The second step
is to find and utilize an open frequency so that the transmitter and the receiver can
talk without interference. The third step is to set the level of the audio in the transmitter,
and then the fourth step is to set the level of the output of your receiver into the device
you're plugging into. Pretty simple. I hope that works for you, and we'll see you next
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