Apr 19, 2012 12:03 PM, By Bennett Liles
Huge changes have come about in the wireless microphone industry since the last big functional innovation with diversity reception. Attention has been focused on the 700MHz exodus but another significant development has been the networking of wireless mic receivers. The implications have spilled out beyond big event production and are now infiltrating the academic arena. Our roundup here includes networked and standalone systems along with a good look at all of the new setup and operational features.
Released last year, the DMS 700 V2 digital wireless microphone system from AKG features 512-bit encryption and a 155MHz tuning range. The 2-channel receiver has a low-cut filter, three-band equalizer, dbx compressor, and dbx limiter with an infrared link to the transmitter for all frequency and setup data. The digital true diversity system also allows transmitter battery status monitoring and includes an AES/EBU audio output with word clock input in addition to its two analog XLR balanced and 1/4in. unbalanced outputs. The DPT 700 bodypack transmitter has a seven-segment battery level meter and manual input gain settings of 0dB, +10dB, and +20dB. The DHT 700 handheld microphone/transmitter can fit the D5, D7, or C5 microphone elements, and it is rated to handle up to 140dB SPL. The CU 700 charging unit can accept either the DHT or DPT transmitters.
Ansr Audio designed the Scan700 professional wireless mic system with a built-in recharging system and autoscan, manual, or preset channel selection. The audio output level is selectable between line/mic, and there are both 1/4in. and XLR output connections. The front panel provides an LCD screen and menu controls along with a large rotary volume knob, while the rear panel includes a manual squelch control. Consisting of the AW-71 handheld transmitter, the AW-72 bodypack transmitter, and the AW-75 receiver, the system can be configured as the AW-7572-14/14T using the bodypack transmitter and AM-14 head-worn mic, the AW-7572-H2O bodypack system, the AW-7572-19 or AW-7572-18 bodypack system with lavalier mic, the AW-7500 with lavalier and handheld mics, or it can be used as the AW-7572 bodypack system with no microphone.
Offering a choice of 996 selectable frequencies on two UHF bands, the 5000 Series diversity wireless microphone system from Audio-Technica consists of the AEW-R5200 receiver, the AEW-T1000a UniPak bodypack transmitter, and a variety of handheld mic/transmitter units: the AEW-T5400a large-diaphragm cardioid condenser based on the AT4050 studio microphone, the AEW-T3300a cardioid condenser handheld based on the AT4033 studio vocal microphone, and the AEW-T6100a hypercardioid dynamic handheld transmitter and the AEW-T4100a cardioid dynamic handheld transmitter. All of the components can store up to five preset user configurations including names. The dual receiver can be networked for remote control and monitoring from a central computer and features integral antenna distribution and power supply. Using both UHF bands, up to 40 systems are compatible.
Audix offers the RAD-360 with 193 selectable frequencies per system group and menu-driven displays on each component including the R360 receiver, the B360 UHF bodypack transmitter, and the handheld transmitter with its broad range of capsules. The receiver may be rackmounted as a pair using the optional ADS-4 antenna distribution system that allows up to four receivers to share a pair of antennas. Each handheld transmitter features a gain setting with a -6dB, -12dB, or -24dB attenuator pad while the bodypack unit has a mic/line adjustment and input sensitivity gain setting to enable it to be used with either microphone or electric instruments. Constructed of ABS composite, the bodypack transmitter is housed in a protective metal cradle.
The 330 series dual channel on-camera wireless microphone system from Azden consists of the 330UPR dual-channel camera-mount receiver, the 35BT bodypack transmitter, the 35XT plug-in transmitter, and the 35HT handheld transmitter. The system provides 188 user selectable UHF frequencies that are set on the LCD screen on the receiver and each transmitter. The audio output on the 330UPR is through a mini jack at -28dBm, and there is also a mini headphone out. The 35BT beltpack transmitter provides 25mW RF power on a quarter-wave antenna and runs for 6 to 8 hours on two AA batteries. The 35HT handheld transmitter has a frequency response of 50Hz to 15kHz, and the 35XT plug-in transmitter has a screwdriver adjustable level control, power switch, and audio mute switch.
With a wide selection of transmitters, receivers, and interchangeable microphone heads, the Opus 910 professional wireless system from Beyerdynamic has up to 2,880 selectable channels per frequency range and features an automatic channel targeting (ACT) function. Receiver modules may be mounted in a single, dual, or quad arrangement in 1RU, and when the scan function is activated, the units will find a clear channel and transmit the frequency to the transmitter on an infrared link. The S 910 M with metal housing and the S 910 C with plastic housing are the handheld transmitters, and these can be paired with a range of Beyerdynamic microphone heads. The TS 910 M and TS 910 C bodypack transmitters offer the same type housing choice and include a threaded mini XLR input connector. The gain setting can be used to allow a microphone or instrument to be connected.
Compact and simple to set up and use, the Clockaudio CW9000R receiver operates on bands between 630Mhz and 960Mhz with 192 PLL selectable channels per band. Using full diversity reception with twin receivers, the system includes a large front LCD, balanced and unbalanced outputs, and a sturdy metal case. The CW9004T transmitter is a tabletop base unit that can accept several Clockaudio microphone models; it provides 10mW RF output and controls include power, frequency, and audio level along with a programmable touch switch and LED indicator. Two AA batteries can run it for up to nine hours and the audio input is on a mini XLR.
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