Direct Input Boxes... at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 3rd, 2010, 09:20 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Wyckoff NJ
Posts: 65
Direct Input Boxes...

Hey all,

This past month, I was hired to do a concert event. Needless to say my equipment was under staffed....
I was tied to a 30 ft cable that people kept on tripping over during the course of the night, and to make matters worse, despite being plugged into the board, it didn't catch the good audio.

So, I'm now looking into a wireless direct input box. When I Was working the usual radio event, the sound guy gave me with box that I Was able to put into my pocket and plug into the camera...so I could get the direct feed from the station. Worked perfectly. I'd liek to get something similair in my arsenal, but I have no idea where to start...as I know nothing about them..

So any help in info, the type of price I'm looking at, and reliable brands is most appreciated..

Thanks!
NTV
__________________
www.vimeo.com/channels/PackingProtons youtube.com/WPLJTV
www.packingprotons.com Thanks!
Neil Vitale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2010, 09:52 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 1,521
I regularly use a pair of Sennheiser Freeport instrument sets for this. They are designed to take the output from a guitar or bass and send it to the mixer or amp. While I've had no problems with these even in a busy R/F environment, your mileage may vary. In the UK these have 4 preset frequencies in the licence exempt part of the spectrum, and I've had no problems with interference in a variety of venues. I've always checked the mic plan carefully to make sure that there's no going to be anything else on these frequencies.

A disadvantage of the Freeports is that the hardware is kind of the wrong way round - the transmitters are bodypack type and work off 9v batteries whereas the receivers are mains powered and relatively bulky.

I use this setup in locations where cabling is difficult or impractical (I had alarm bells ringing when you mentioned people tripping over your cable!) and I find it is worth the slight loss of quality that must inevitably occur in using these reliable but entry level radio links.
Colin McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2010, 10:24 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,844
I'm not aware of any...quote, Wireless Direct Input un-quote, and it's not really necessary anyway for wireless transmission. Many wireless transmitters can accept line level, or easily attenuated to -10dB or mic level (-50dB). via an in-line pad. You can usually do the same with a DI, if you do not mind the extra weight and size.
Don't get me wrong, DI.s are very useful to have in many situations. I have a Rolls Matchbox DB25 (about $30usd) -20 and -40dB attenuation settings, 1/4" though-put and a ground-lift. The DB25 can be used in either direction, though one would need a 'gender-bender' for XLR in.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2010, 01:07 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Wyckoff NJ
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
I regularly use a pair of Sennheiser Freeport instrument sets for this. They are designed to take the output from a guitar or bass and send it to the mixer or amp. While I've had no problems with these even in a busy R/F environment, your mileage may vary. In the UK these have 4 preset frequencies in the licence exempt part of the spectrum, and I've had no problems with interference in a variety of venues. I've always checked the mic plan carefully to make sure that there's no going to be anything else on these frequencies.

A disadvantage of the Freeports is that the hardware is kind of the wrong way round - the transmitters are bodypack type and work off 9v batteries whereas the receivers are mains powered and relatively bulky.

I use this setup in locations where cabling is difficult or impractical (I had alarm bells ringing when you mentioned people tripping over your cable!) and I find it is worth the slight loss of quality that must inevitably occur in using these reliable but entry level radio links.
Thanks for the reply!

Hmm, I was under the impression that pro sound boards where the frequency transmitters themselves, I didn't know each one came with it's own unit. I'd be worried about it getting damaged during the show at that price :).

On the other hand, it's nice to know it's not ridiculously expensive..... Do those frequency boxes work with ALL transmitters? If i go to my radio event, and they don't have a DI box handy, could I just scan the frequency and pick up on their signal?

Thanks!
__________________
www.vimeo.com/channels/PackingProtons youtube.com/WPLJTV
www.packingprotons.com Thanks!
Neil Vitale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2010, 01:32 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 1,521
Quote:
Hmm, I was under the impression that pro sound boards where the frequency transmitters themselves, I didn't know each one came with it's own unit.
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean. The Freeport Instrument set consists of 1 bodypack transmitter SK 2, 1 diversity receiver EM 1, 1 jack plug cable, 1 power supply, 1 user manual.
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/produc...ment-set-.html

Quote:
Do those frequency boxes work with ALL transmitters
Sorry don't know what you mean by "a frequency box"

I think we may be talking about different things here. I don't know what kind of device you were given by the audio guy.
Colin McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2010, 02:05 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Miami, FL USA
Posts: 1,483
I have often used a wireless mike transmitter --- this is an XLR-based transmitter to which you usually attach a hand mike-- plugged into an xlr output on a mult box or sound board, and it talking to the matching receiver on the camera.

Sennheiser makes two particularly nice ones, one provides phantom power, one doesn't. For your use, the unpowered one would work fine. You can see it here:
Sennheiser Evolution G3 100 Series - Wireless EW 100 ENG G3-B
Battle Vaughan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2010, 02:16 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Wyckoff NJ
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean. The Freeport Instrument set consists of 1 bodypack transmitter SK 2, 1 diversity receiver EM 1, 1 jack plug cable, 1 power supply, 1 user manual.
Sennheiser Freeport Instrument Set


Sorry don't know what you mean by "a frequency box"

I think we may be talking about different things here. I don't know what kind of device you were given by the audio guy.

Hmm, I'm going by memory on what this thing looked like.. it's so much tougher to explain when you don't understand the technology and only used it one time :)...But it was my impression it scanned for radio frequencies and when it found the base unit, it picked up the sound board's frequency.

Looks like I've got yet more research to do, because wires just arn't an option in the future....thanks for all the replies guys, keep 'em coming if you got 'em!
__________________
www.vimeo.com/channels/PackingProtons youtube.com/WPLJTV
www.packingprotons.com Thanks!
Neil Vitale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2010, 03:46 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 1,521
Radio scanners are common enough - I have one for listening to Air Traffic Control. Not sure about how good quality the audio output is though. What I am mystified about is why the mixing desk would be putting out an R/F signal unless it had a transmitter plugged in specially for this.

It this was a live radio transmission, was the audio taken off air from the broadcast? There's often a short delay put in the transmission in the UK for decency and security purposes, and digital processing tends to introduce a delay anyway - I wouldn't have thought off-air audio would sync with live video.

I paid a lot less for each complete Senny Freeport kit than I did for my scanner BTW.
Colin McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2010, 03:58 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,570
I know of no sound board that has a frequency. One can easily enough attach a transmitter to the output of any audio device including a mixer and from that a receiver can pickup the signal.

What a sound board would likely have at a large event is foldback to in ear monitors and these are almost always wireless. At very large events foldback mixes may be handled by a separate board and crew as different performers and musicians want different mixes. Recording such mixes as the main / only audio recording of the event is a recipe for disaster.
Bob Grant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2010, 05:31 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,123
Especially as each person has their own mix - so the singer might want drums for timing and keyboards for tuning, but no bass and no BVs, while the bass player wants the drums and no guitar, and the guitarist wants everything louder than everything else (quote shamelessly nicked from Deep Purple!)

Whatever system is in use - wireless or hard wired, then you're at the mercy of the sound op, who is busy enough without worrying about giving you a proper mix. They can easily give you a 'copy' of the mix going to the PA, but that might be a bit strange.

The other thing with in-ear systems is that sometimes, the sound op actually talks into them, feeding the front man info. A rather popular Irish singer with a really keen middle-age lady audience always has a great command of dates, times, places and tracks on CDs, plus he always knows the names of people in the venue. It's great when he thanks Joanne on stage door, Jenny and Darren on follow spots, Paul at the back and the group of ladies from Belfast who came across on the ferry. The sound op with the sheet of paper just reads it out into his in-ears! Imagine recording this!

I use a proper mains powered in-ear transmitter when I do this, and hope for the best - but I also give the sound op a recorder and ask for a direct record out, which most can do, in stereo. An aux mix is almost certainly going to be mono.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Wyckoff NJ
Posts: 65
OK, here's another option..

Are there specialized recorders you'd have to use for a direct line out? I tried it once with my Creative Zen MP3 recorder, and it didn't work at all........

For those who might be wondering, here is the event I was talking about... The one and only time I was allowed a direct mixer. This was picking up the live feed from the broadcast location, and you're right in that it picks up EVERYTHING from the sound board that goes out on air... You can hear at the end the band starting to fine tune their instruments, and that went out over the air... It was a handy little box to have, then, and certainly handy to have now :)..

YouTube - WPLJ - Joe Nolan Kick Off to Summer 2009
__________________
www.vimeo.com/channels/PackingProtons youtube.com/WPLJTV
www.packingprotons.com Thanks!
Neil Vitale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 391
Neil - hi .. I live in Wyckoff too, so by definition can't be more than 10 mins from you .. I've got a bunch of stuff, DI box, wireless, etc. let me know if you're around and we can trade notes .. or PM me and I can give you my home #... I've used the DI box to connect to sound boards, etc. so can show you what I did ...

Last edited by Dave Stern; November 11th, 2010 at 06:51 AM.
Dave Stern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2010, 01:33 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Vitale View Post
<snip>
Are there specialized recorders you'd have to use for a direct line out? I tried it once with my Creative Zen MP3 recorder, and it didn't work at all........
I wouldn't call it specialised, I used the Edirol R-4 for several years and have now added the R-44 for this role. I use a 4 channel recorder because it give me the ability to record a stereo feed from a desk (not too many are stereo) plus I can record from my own stereo mic and oftenly pickup part of the performance that did not make it into the front of house mix.
A Zen mp3 recoder in this role just sends shivers down my spine. The levels coming out of a desk can be anything. Remember the person running the desk is there for only one reason and it isn't to meet the needs of a guy with a camera. Turning up with audio gear that looks remotely the part says you're serious. Having your own leads, adaptors and line isolators and having some vague knowledge of how a desk works also goes a long way to breaking the ice.
Bob Grant is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:17 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network