Hello and welcome to my first issue covering my learning process in the realm of wireless audio, from the perspective of a location sound recordist / mixer and boom op. In these little bits I'll not only be taking a look into the latest kit but also having a look into the basic theory of UHF wireless transmission of audio in both the analogue and digital domains. It's something that I studied as part of my degree in Broadcasting Technology (ten years ago) but have had very little practical application for until the last three or four years, when I've been increasingly asked to use wireless mics on actors and presenters.
Like an excited child at the door to the sweet shop, I'm going to start with some product news and radio mic kit that I've recently been learning about that is getting me all worked up.
Audio Ltd 1010 Dual Channel Diversity receivers have been rumoured for a while, after the release of the single channel receivers last year, and now Wendy's Broadcast this week announced that they are taking pre-orders on dual channel kits right now, and they are doing special bundle deals with selected mics. They have suggested that they expect the kit to retail at about £4000 (exVAT) and you get a cut price on the mics in the bundle and an URSA strap for a transmitter.
The pricing is actually quite keen from Audio Ltd, putting other cutting edge systems from Wisycom, Sennheiser, Zaxcom and others a little under pressure. The digital system is reported to have the same superb audio quality of the old 2040 system, but with the added bonus of increased channel density and a modern UI screen making the units vastly more user friendly.
Here's one to keep an eye on.
It's been rumoured that Italian wireless designer Wisycom are working very hard on achieving a small 4 channel true diversity receiver that would round out their product platform. Ever pushing the limits of technology, it's said that it would be in the same or similar form factor to the current MCR42S dual channel receiver which, if true, is going to make this a kind of technical marvel. The timeframe for an official announcement is said to be "soon", with no news on pricing as yet.
And finally, probably the oldedst news; at BVE in London at the end of last month I was also introduced, by Raycom, to the completely waterproof wireless radio packs from Quantum 5X Systems (Q5X) from the sleepy town of London, Ontario, in Canada. They've been providing wireless kit for sports events for a little while now and have recently upped their game with release of a new range of radio packs in the QT5100 range, which includes the AquaMic transmitter. Completely water sealed, small and with audio quality to match it's hefty price tag, it looks like a great contender.