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Old September 14th, 2014, 02:17 AM   #1
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Recorder interfering with wireless?

Pretty peeved. The manager lady at yesterdays wedding was reluctant to allow me to tape my recorder to the mic. She said someone had not it the week before and that it had make her voice 'squeeky' - ???

She agreed to allow me to do it and she would test it.

So we did, I sound checked the mic, and then allowed her too. Perfectly fine.

The speeches also all sounded perfectly fine.

There was music played for the b&g entry though. This music sounded awful, it went quite, then loud, then quiet again.

Later on she found me and said, 'did you hear what your recorder did to the music?'. I said that it was unlikely to be anything to do with it. She disagreed. In fairness, she was 50+ - I don't imagine shes a 'techno-freak'.

But its not possible right?

I mean the music doesn't have anything to do with the mic anyway. Unless she was holding the mic to a small speaker or something to project it.

Regardless, the audio was fine for the speeches.

I didn't like that her attitude was quite aggressive, and almost placing blame, especially when its unfounded.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 02:33 AM   #2
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

Your recorder will be doing no harm. I find the best way to handle these situations is to fix their problem.

Had a wedding where there was crazy feedback during the speeches. They blamed me for standing too close to the speaker. Pointless arguing with people who have clearly something else in their mind. So I moved away to prove a point. Still I got blamed. So I walked upto the speaker and turned it away from facing directly at the person speaking. I then moved back and stood by the speaker like I wanted. Not for a better shot, just to prove a point.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 03:05 AM   #3
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

If it's a recorder that records the audio directly (like a zoom h1) without sending it wirelessly to a receiver there can't be any interference at all. I sometimes have priests that are worried when I tape my zoom h1 with a lav onto the mike that's fixed on the altar, that it will interfere with their sound system. I always tell them that is impossible as it is a simple voice recorder. Better to not get too technical as they don't understand anyway.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 03:10 AM   #4
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

This is a problem on the increase - systems being installed are now too complex, or just too different for the staff to manage and control. You will not convince them of anything other than it MUST have been you. They are not interested in your 'excuses'. Their logic dictates it must have been you, because YOU touched it. Even moving the speaker to cure the feedback isn't you fixing it, it's just you interfering - they have no understanding whatsoever. I've seen one spend a fortune hiring some very nice equipment, and then when all hell broke loose, phoning the hire company and yelling. They asked about the person operating it - what do you mean 'operating'? We assumed you had set it!

I don't do weddings, but when I'm in these kinds of situations, I always have backups - and one really handy device I'm using more and more are gopros - not really for the pictures, but because the audio can rescue you.

I'm going to buy one of these to test:
Easi-Speak Pro

They are designed for kids in classrooms to record themselves - and are 50. Info so far suggests they're not a bad product - and perhaps more user friendly at top table in a wedding on a table stand.

When I've got one.I'll report back - could be very useful rather than a box type recorder.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 03:39 AM   #5
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

Hey Clive, we once plugged into a house sound system, and that did seem to affect the wireless signal. In hindsight, we believe it was some sort of electrical interference, and that if we simply used a longer XLR cable and moved the recorder further away, problem would perhaps have been averted.

On film sets, it's not an uncommon problem that there's some sort of electrical interference affecting the radio microphones -- from the lights, for instance.

So, yes, remote possibility, I think, that taping a recorder to microphone would affect the transmission. But as for affecting music levels -- don't see how that could happen.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 03:44 AM   #6
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

Quote:
I think, that taping a recorder to microphone would affect the transmission
A recorder like the zoom h1 or a yamaha c24? The only interference I hear is with devices that send signals true the air, like cellphones do, I often hear the beep, beep beep sound when a mobilephone is receiving or sending.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 04:35 AM   #7
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

Paul, you are a lot more knowledgeable than any of us here I'm sure, so I'd like to ask you whether there are any circumstances in which the equipment we bring in could theoretically cause interference with the venue system. Whether we bring in standalone recorders such as H1's, C24's etc, or wireless, and if its wireless would it make a difference if they are on 863-865 and we are on 606-614 (or vice versa). What about if they are using ancient VHF equipment which many still do.

Thanks.

Hey Clive, careful with the preconceptions. Many if not most members here will have an age starting with a 5 or more and they are hardly technically challenged. Same applies in the wider world even if they don't spend every waking minute tweeting. I wonder if she sensed any "attitude" from you, unintended, and couldn't really be bothered with what she regarded as your problems. Just saying.

Pete
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Old September 14th, 2014, 05:18 AM   #8
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
A recorder like the zoom h1 or a yamaha c24? The only interference I hear is with devices that send signals true the air, like cellphones do, I often hear the beep, beep beep sound when a mobilephone is receiving or sending.
Hey Noa, the recorder we were using that caused interference was a Tascam DR-100, which is kind of like a Zoom H4N. But even the small recorders can possibly cause interference.

If you look at the manual for pretty much any recorder, it will probably have a disclaimer that says something like, "This device probably won't cause interference, but there's a chance it might."

For instance, here's an extract from the Yamaha C24 manual:

'This product has been tested and found to comply with the requirements listed in FCC Regulations, Part 15 for Class “B” digital devices. Compliance with these requirements provides a reasonable level of assurance that your use of this product in a residential environment will not result in harmful interference with other electronic devices. This equipment generates/uses radio frequencies and, if not installed and used according to the instructions found in the users manual, may cause interference harmful to the operation of other electronic devices. Compliance with FCC regulations does not guarantee that interference will not occur in all installations. If this product is found to be the source of interference, which can be determined by turning the unit “OFF” and “ON”, please try to eliminate the problem by using one of the following measures...'

I don't understand all this stuff, but found a good article here: Resolving Interference Problems || Audio-Technica US. Describes different types of interference, including digital interference and electrical interference:

"• If there is interference when the system transmitter is turned on, and it is in the form of buzzy or raspy whines with a distinct cadence or rhythm that changes from time to time, digital interference [6] might be the problem. Likely sources include computers, digital delays, effects processors, lighting controllers, and other equipment using microprocessors and digital signal processors (DSPs).

• If there is no interference when the system transmitter is turned off and irregular popping, cracking or buzzing noises on the audio with the transmitter on, there may be electrical interference problems. This kind of interference is often caused by electric motors, neon lights, lighting equipment, appliances and other types of electrical equipment. Electrical interference [7] will generally affect all wireless systems at a location, not just one system."
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Old September 14th, 2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

If you're wondering how that's possible, consider that really any electronic device will create some sort of magnetic field. Really, the odds that your battery powered pocket recorder will create interference with a mic, especially since the hand held mic is the transmitter, not the receiver. I suppose their mic could be cheap garbage, or had been dropped, but, I still think it's unlikely it was the recorder.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 02:46 PM   #10
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

There is at least a "potential" for any electronic device to cause or be effected by some sort of interference, regardless of whether it's wired or wireless.... electronic circuitry almost always can "radiate" at least a small amount of energy, and most circuitry can act as an "antenna" under the wrong conditions. It is probably less likely with newer electronics, but is always "possible", thus the disclaimers with most devices.

I doubt the OP's problem was caused by his digital recorder... but the problem is that in a "live audio" situation, typically there's no "sound check" opportunity, plus there is always the fun of someone on the circuit activating a dimmer (or supposedly the new LED lights can be fun...), or another device that spews line noise... and of course cell phones in proximity can cause squawks or beeps... lots of "potential" for noise and "crosstalk", but in actuality probably happens very seldom, if everything is wired up properly.
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Old September 15th, 2014, 04:17 AM   #11
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

I accept that electronic interference is possible - but when people were using the mic, there were NO issues. It was only on the music. The mic wouldn't even be involved in that though - not unless the mic was being used to amplify the audio from a small speaker - but thats a shabby way of doing things anyway.

I'm pretty sure the lady was just looking for excuses to defend the poor audio from the venue's point of view. I doubt the B&G would even have mentioned it, but she sure would have told them it was all my fault if it had come up.

I'm 99% sure I had nothing to do with it.

Maybe when the music messes up again at the wedding the next day without my recorder she will realise....
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Old September 15th, 2014, 04:47 AM   #12
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

I had a wedding a couple of years back, where the audio in the church was disrupted by a loud crackling and buzzing with what sounded like a distorted voice. It happened a couple of times and the vicar glared at me, afterwards telling me that my cameras had interfered with his sound system. From previous experience I knew exactly what it was and sure enough after listening back to the camera recording, it was quite clearly a distorted signal from a cab sitting outside the church. The cab was was still there after the ceremony and the vicar apologised to me with a very red face.

Sometimes you don't hear the voice, just the interference signal which can do very strange things to a house wireless system. I have also had the same thing many times over the years whilst performing as a musician and having sometimes very clear cab transmissions drowning everything out over the PA..... 'OK control, on my way to 58 Bridge street now'. I once had every single transmission from a cab office next to a venue being picked up by a guitar lead. After isolating it, a change of lead cured it.

Roger
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Old September 15th, 2014, 05:56 AM   #13
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

Sure that wasn't 59th St Bridge Roger? That would be Groovy :- )

Gosh, there really is a lot that can interfere and precious little time to find the culprit just before a ceremony when they switch on the venue system.

Pete
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Old September 15th, 2014, 09:15 AM   #14
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Re: Recorder interfering with wireless?

RF device can suffer from many different kinds of interference, however, the testing that devices such as the zooms and Tascams get, to ensure EM compliance mean they shouldn't cause interference by emissions. That said, most power supplies and other small electronic items have chokes in the power cables, and Dell computers are well known for introducing all sorts of noises into audio systems.

Was the venue mic cabled or wireless? It's remotely possible that if it had a plastic housing, then noise from the various oscillators in the recording device could have an impact. Or if there was an electrical connection - by touching, this could cause problems, but it's very unlikely.

With radio system, any lump of metal, or absorbent material (like a body) can have an impact on the RF path, and if it's marginal, then the presence of a zoom or similar, could reduce the path integrity - but that would be hiss, then cutting out, then silence. Although unlikely, tuned circuits do impact on each other, especially if by bad luck they beat together. If you think about the newer hotel door cards and contactless debit cards, disturbances in the magnetic field can be detected when devices are close together.

So the physics says it's possible, but highly unlikely, with equipment well designed and tested. In most cases, it's a local issue, that uses ignorance to blame you. You can never convince people that this is not how it is. It worked yesterday, it does not work today, the only difference is your tiny little box - so it MUST be you!

Lots of weird things happen, and for my money, the worst device you are likely to run into trouble with are venues that have a hearing assist system that sometimes is on, and sometimes not. If it's a loop system, you can find all sorts of devices react badly. Electric guitars that seem to go berserk and feedback, radio mic receivers that hear the sound system when they're not connected, the list goes on. These can impact on sound quality, if any input device is unscreened - making a thin hollow sound on occasions. Whenever I get weird sound problems in a strange venue, I check for these beasts. Most are badly installed and quite uncontrolled.
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