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Old October 25th, 2010, 02:16 PM   #1
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Wireless Mic Interference

Has anyone had interference/ loud static noise on a wireless mic when you clip it to the groom that is wearing a silk vest? the microphone works great on anyone else, but as soon as I put it on the groom, crazy static...not constant...goes in and out.
Mario Buffone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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Nope, but I've only done two weddings and I'm not doing any more.

What kind of mic are you using?
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Old October 26th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #3
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Have not encountered it myself but see:

Materials that Cause Static Electricity - Succeed in Understanding Physics: School for Champions

Silk rubbing against some materials can generate static electricity, and the mic exterior might be one of the materials in the "Become negative" column.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 04:05 AM   #4
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With respect to Mr. Palomaki it may not be static electricity at all. When you're filling out your work sheet for a wedding always carefully request the grooms age.

Wireless interference could be caused by a pacemaker which may be one of the early generation which will inadvertently set off any number of things from the church security to the wedding car alerts. Can't be too careful, it's advisable to request a substantial deposit.

30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 07:14 AM   #5
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I gave up on wireless mics. I think cell phones were causing my issues.

I always ask the wedding party and officiant to turn their cell phones off, not just put them in silent mode. If they don't listen to me, what else can I do?

I now use a small Olympus IC recorder and lapel mic for the bride/groom audio. The recorder is small enough to fit in the groom's inside tux pocket.

The only thing that bothers me about using the IC recorder is that I can't monitor the sound while recording. It hasn't failed me...yet.

As Allan said, get a substantial deposit. I'd also add, make sure the contract they sign states that you are not be held liable for unexpected problems or technical issues. It's a live event, anything can happen.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 07:23 AM   #6
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Cell phone interference is a strong possibility, and is typically periodic as the phone is hand shaking with the cell tower. In my experience it typically needs to be within 10 or so feet of the receiver. It can get into small recorders, and even into near by wired telephone receiver if they include electronics. Static issues will be likely when the groom is moving and shoud stopp when he stops moving around.

Pacemaker - forgetting the potential for wireless interference from it, in general I would not want to place a transmitter on a groom with a pacemaker. But then, I have not been to many wedding in the pacemaker-age group, except maybe an officiant.

I have wired officiants when the prospects of reliable groom performance with a mic was low.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 03:16 PM   #7
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I have now started to double mike the Groom. One wireless and one solid state both on a double lapel clip.
I was getting fed up with the stress of just the wireless.
The wireless records direct to my camera so I can hear it and adjust the levels if needed.
I couldnt imagine not having the back up now.
john estcourt
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 04:20 PM   #8
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Plenty of fabric/accessories choices can give grief. In theatre, it's quite common to find this particular problem - we get it with silks and to a slightly lesser degree, other man-made fabrics. The usual circumstance is with two dissimilar fabrics being in loose contact, and they charge up amazingly. So much so that touching metalwork generates a spark. Wardrobe are used to requests from the sound dept to try to solve these problems, and the solutions seem to fall into two distinct categories. Sometimes it's a case of providing discharge paths. Our sound man once had problems with a silk waist-coat (vest) and the solution was a fob watch, with the chain going through a hole in the shirt underneath so it touched the skin - it stopped the silk charging up, and we had quiet audio. Other times, the problem seems to be the pack and the mic cable. Sennheiser mic often have over long cables that get looped up because nobody wants to chop them off - and swapping to a different mic may cure it.

The plastic cased packs I have (Trantecs) are slightly worse in static situations than the metal cased Sennheisers. The Trantecs can also have their display segments 'broken' by static. On some mic brands, the static charge is sufficient to actually arc to the metal body, with a loud crack. The only real things that seem to matter are how individual system behave in charged circumstances.

What type of packs were you using?
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Old November 10th, 2010, 01:41 PM   #9
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Mario, what brand are you using? I love my Sennheiser.
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Old November 10th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #10
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Simple solution - equipotential bonding of all participants and crew, then run a 4mm earth (= "ground" to you folks across the pond ) cable to a copper spike buried in the churchyard. Chain mail vests help as well. Never fails.
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