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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:39 PM   #1
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Frequency question

Forgive me if I sound like an idiot, but I'm pretty confused about my potential wireless mic purchase.

Here's the rundown... I have a Panasonic 150 with a Sennheiser Wireless set up Sennheiser USA - ew 100 G3, wireless microphone systems, audio wireless system - Professional Audio

Well the first few weddings I'm shooting I am doing on 1 camera, but I'd like to use 2 wireless set ups on that 1 camera.
I was looking to either buy another receiver that would work with the plug-in transmitter and stick mic I already have...

OR... buying a 2nd wireless lav set up like this...
Sennheiser ENG Wireless Camera Mountable UHF Lavalier System - EW112PG2 - A

So here's my question... Can I use 2 wireless set ups on 1 camera? Will it screw with the frequency?
Also, what's up with the frequency stuff... I noticed B&H and Media-Solutions have several wireless systems that are EXACTLY the same except they are labeled A or B.

I've used the wireless set up I have now with zero issues. In fact it was too easy. I switched it on and it worked... so I guess I'm just concerned about what might happen when I add another mic to the mix. (And yes, I will be adding a 2nd camera in the next few months)

Once again, forgive my ignorance but any help would be amazing!!!
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Old May 26th, 2010, 12:53 AM   #2
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Hi Melisa

You can use two transmitters and two receivers on one camera as long as the frequencies are different. Of course you will have to plug one into the left XLR channel and one into the right and find space on the camera for 2 receivers.

You can get dual channel receivers which will allow 2 transmitters to feed into one receiver and each receiver channel is tuned to it's own transmitter frequency.

However just bear in mind that you cannot take two transmitters and set them to the same frequency and except the single receiver to handle both signals!

I personallly use 2 systems with one receiver on the back of my cam and the other clipped onto the hotshoe and each use an XLR channel for themselves. Each "set" have their own transmitters. Usually one on the groom and one on the lectern for the readings

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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:01 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply Chris!

Any idea why Sennheiser has A, B and C versions of the wireless systems?
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:12 AM   #4
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More than that! It really boils down to TV transmission. Radio mics have historically co-existed with the mega high power put out by the broadcasters, so territory is important. If you work in just a single geographical area, then you buy the band that everyone else uses and has appropriate licenses for if required. However, take a trip to maybe another country close to you, and their frequency planning will no doubt be different - and you might need another band version. They can't make a single model that will work anywhere in the world, so they split them into bands. People here in the UK frequently buy US second hand gear on eBay - and although they work in most cases, they're actually illegal. However, the casual user doesn't even notice. Only when they turn them on to discover horrible noises coming out of them do they realise anything is amiss!
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:52 AM   #5
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To emphasize what Chris said, yes you certainly can use either 2 receivers or a dual channel receiver such as the Audio Technica 18XX series which is my unit of choice, but I used to run 2 seperate units. Remember though that when you plug the 2 untis into the camera you will lose the on board mic of the camera whether it's a shotgun or other sort of external mic you need to plug into the camera OR the internal or built in mic on the camera. You COULD use a Y cable to run 2 receivers into 1 XLR plug but then that kind of kills off one of the advantages of using 2 receivers.

As for the A, B, C designations, those are the frequency ranges the transmitters and receivers are capable of using. I don't know off hand what each freq range is for Sennheiser but you could look that up at the Sennheiser website or by looking at the units info at say B&H website. As for the legality of each frequency, well EU has different rules and regulations than the US so lets keep the conversation about legalities local so as not to get confused. DO stay away from units in the 700 mHz or higher frequency as the FCC (here in the US) has designated that frequency to be unlawful to use as of June 12th (it might be the 6th but regardless) so stay in the 500 or 600 mHz, there is plenty of room there. I'm using the 655 to 680 mHz band and have been in scrums with numerous other video people using wireless (news) and haven't had a problem. The various frequencies that are assigned to major stations around the country are posted on the Lectrosonics website, but honestly, unless you're shooting a bunch if other vid people using wireless, I really wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm in a major major market and honestly have never had a problem.
Anyway I hope the information you get here helps you out and BTW some of this has been discussed before in the audio forum
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #6
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Thanks Don! That makes more sense. I work in news too as a backpack journalist and in the 7 years that I've reported I have only had interference with my wireless ONCE. When I have trouble with my gear at work I just hand it off to the engineers.

Now that I'm starting a wedding videography biz I'm learning all sorts of stuff about gear. Thanks again for clearing stuff up!
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