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Old December 7th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #1
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Weddings and Wireless audio: G2 How to?

I have a HUGE question to ask about my new Sennheiser G2 wireless audio systems. I know this is an audio question but I only do weddings so I'm posting this both here and in audio to see what kind of response I get. I specifically am interested in people already using the G2's and what kind of settings they use to achieve 'perfect' wireless audio for weddings. Here we go:

NOTE: I've been a Micro32 series guy for close to three years. They were working perfect until the rigid antenna on the transmitters kept pulling the wires apart inside the unit. They were turning into a soddering nightmare. Towards the end, they seemed to be having more signal problems anyway for whatever reason so I decided to go with the, from what I understand, better Sennheiser G2's.

Now that I'm getting around to editing a few more weddings that I used these G2's on, I'm starting to notice a strange trend. In three different videos, there always seems to be some sort of interference more-so in the beginning of each ceremony. Sounds like low-level squelch that fluctuates with a drop out here and there, before going into 'better' audio for the rest of each ceremony after 5 minutes of 'problem' audio (ranging from 20 minutes to one hour in length). In each video, the occasional drop out will happen periodically throughout the rest of the footage after the initial bombardment of imperfections.

RECEIVER
-Freq: 519.750 mhz (I plan on finding a new channel suitable for the Baltimore/DC area given company charts)

-Bank?: 1 (Anything special I should do here?)

-Sensitivity: -10

-Pilot: ON (Can anybody explain this function?)

-Lock: OFF

TRANSMITTER:
-Freq: 519.750 mhz

-Bank?: 1

-AF Out: -18

-SQ (Squelch): LO

-Pilot: ON

-Loc: OFF

I mount the receiver on a tripod handle via velcro. From that I run the XLR cable to a SignVideo XLRPRO splitter which also receives a signal from a shotgun camera mounted mic, which runs a mini to my Canon GL2's for recording directly to tape. The transmitter I've been dropping in the groom's left sport coat pocket. Should I be hooking these things onto their pants at the back or on a particular side? Does that matter?

Anyway, if anyone wants to add their two cents my ears are wide open. I'm just trying to achieve problem free audio for my clients, and I've heard nothing but great things about these units. So far though, they've been less reliable than my old Micro32's. I'd love to hear specifically from wedding videographers and how you achieve perfect audio and what settings you use with these units. I just want to pull them out of my case, turn them on and go to work like I did for years with my Micro 32's.

Likewise, even if you don't use the G2's, what do you use for great UHF wireless audio? Any suggestions on other products?

Thanks for any responses in advance.

Matt
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Old December 8th, 2005, 07:27 AM   #2
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Did you happen to notice that announcement right at the top of EVERY FORUM explaining some of the reasons why cross-posting in multiple forums is not only poor netiquette (rude), but also not allowed?
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Old December 8th, 2005, 08:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
I'd love to hear specifically from wedding videographers and how you achieve perfect audio and what settings you use with these units.
While I have nothing to add here I'm curious about this also. The more I hear about wireless problems I'm kind of glad I took the "voice recorder + lav mic" approach.

I'm still considering a G2 though.
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Old December 8th, 2005, 11:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bob Costa
Did you happen to notice that announcement right at the top of EVERY FORUM explaining some of the reasons why cross-posting in multiple forums is not only poor netiquette (rude), but also not allowed?
Hi Bob,

I'm sorry I threw a wrench into your world. Please forgive me. I am also not famaliar with the word 'netiquette'. I'm more famaliar with the real life term 'etiquette'. Furthermore, I feel that forums like this are meant to help professionals solve problems and get advice. I'm a wedding videographer and perhaps not too many wedding folks post over in the pro audio section, so I'd like to get as much feedback from wedding people as possible. I made it clear as to why I posted in both places and think based on my reasons I'm justified. I'm sorry you don't have any advice to offer, and wish you well in all of your endeavors.
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Old December 8th, 2005, 12:51 PM   #5
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Dang Bob, a little thorny today?

Matt - can't help you with the G2 problem but as for the cross posting, usually I will try one forum first then the other one if I get no useable responses. That keeps everybody happy....

I do use the older sennheisers with good results. Wish I could help.

Mike
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Old December 9th, 2005, 10:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Matt Buerhaus
Hi Bob,

I'm sorry I threw a wrench into your world. Please forgive me. I am also not famaliar with the word 'netiquette'. I'm more famaliar with the real life term 'etiquette'. Furthermore, I feel that forums like this are meant to help professionals solve problems and get advice. I'm a wedding videographer and perhaps not too many wedding folks post over in the pro audio section, so I'd like to get as much feedback from wedding people as possible. I made it clear as to why I posted in both places and think based on my reasons I'm justified. I'm sorry you don't have any advice to offer, and wish you well in all of your endeavors.
You know, Matt, this is the 2nd time tonight that I've seen a post from you that was against the forum guidelines and a response from you of, who cares, that doesn't apply to me and writing it off as you're inexpereinced in the world of the net.

You got 80+ posts here, you're not new to this, I also don't think that you're that much of a web virgin that you can't see the large sticky at the top of each board about cross posting or not posting your ebay links etc. I think that it's time Chris puts you on double secret probation cause quite frankly even I am a little annoyed after seeing this.

Yes, we are all professionals here and very willing to help each other out but I don't see anyone else not follwing the basic rules of the board then coming back with a very caustic I'm above everyone answer. In the words of my 19 month old "Not Nice"!
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Last edited by Miguel Lombana; December 10th, 2005 at 01:20 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 01:42 AM   #7
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I apologize, again, for not following forum guidelines. Just because I have a certain amount of posts doesn't mean I know the forum guidelines like it's the American Pledge of Allegiance. Believe me, if I could delete these threads I WOULD DO IT MYSELF. It's pretty obvious that I was unaware of these rules that some of you care so much about. Again, I care and respect those rules, so WILL A MODERATOR PLEASE DELETE ALL OF MY THREADS, EVERYWHERE. I'm sick and tired of people pasting the link to the forum guidelines or acting like some internet no-life geek saying "you can't do this" or "you can't do that" or "if you looked closer here you'd see you're not supposed to to that". Instead of getting some good feedback about very valid queries, I'm finding nothing but a bunch of people thumping their chests like it's the end of the world.

To the PROFESSIONALS that did take the time to offer advice or solutions to the problems I was having, I really do appreciate it. Some of that advice allowed me to make some logical decisions about the problems I was having with the Sennheiser G2's.

So before somebody else decides to throw in their two cents, I GOT IT. Don't cross-post, even though this has to do with an audio problem specifically associated with WEDDINGS, and even if you're trying to solve the problem out QUICKLY to rectify the situation before another one of your clients has to pay the price because the audio from their vows is messed up because you had to follow some sort of protocol on a forum full of so-called professionals which didn't allow you to exhaust every option seeking a solution in time for their event.

I care about my clients. I care about making them happy. I care about my work and I am CERTAINLY not going to put them on the back seat and sacrifice the biggest day of their lives because I was afraid of taking heat on an internet forum for not knowing the rules or following them.

When I see people seeking help on here, I usually try to offer any advice that I might have. If I don't have anything to add that will not help, I don't say anything. Even if the person posts his problem in 12 different places within a forum. If you've got a problem with it, go 'report' me to a moderator and have them put me on super-duper-ultimate-primetime-high security probation or whatever the hell it is that you mentioned.

I've done all I can to ask that these posts be deleted myself. I don't know what more you want me to do.

Again, thanks to those with the advice. My clients would appreciate it too.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 10:38 AM   #8
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matt, not to stir the pot, but it's funny how you keep asking the same question and then ignore all of the responses to it. Several weeks ago I suggested (in the audio section) you avoid the frequency range of 518-524, as TV channel 22 occupies this spectrum. You keep wondering why your channel 519.75 is getting hammered. And we wonder why you keep asking. Netiqette or not, change your channel and be happy. it's not going to get better until you do.

now *I* have to be sorry for cross posting...
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Old December 10th, 2005, 01:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Greg Bellotte
matt, not to stir the pot, but it's funny how you keep asking the same question and then ignore all of the responses to it. Several weeks ago I suggested (in the audio section) you avoid the frequency range of 518-524, as TV channel 22 occupies this spectrum. You keep wondering why your channel 519.75 is getting hammered. And we wonder why you keep asking. Netiqette or not, change your channel and be happy. it's not going to get better until you do.

now *I* have to be sorry for cross posting...
No worries Greg... I heeded your advice and did several tests on a variation of frequencies going by the very chart you kindly pointed me to with the same results... drop outs and things of that nature. I'm not sure what was going wrong as I followed all of the recommended advice from you, Guy and others to no avail. I even followed up with other pertinent questions to narrow things down. I used the 519.75 only as an example because no matter what channel I tried, even after scanning for clear channels, I had the same results. Likewise, I wanted to present the situation in detail to the wedding folks who perhaps have experience with the G2's and weddings. I was just trying to solve the problem before having to 'take the chance' on an actual wedding, so I apologize for being redundant. In the wedding world, as I eluded to, some problems pose a sense of urgency so I was exhausting all helpful options at my disposal which paid off in the end.

Take care.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 02:46 PM   #10
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I've used the older Sennheiser series for years with similar issues you have with the newer one BUT. I just purchased the new G2. It's got the ultimate solution. SCAN (keep transmitters OFF during SCAN). It'll find clean channels for you. Then turn on and tune transmitter to clean channel.

I'm in NYC RF problem capitol of the world. SCAN has saved me on every shoot I've done so far. I've been in midtown Manhattan just blocks from the Empire State Building (you want RF issues - that'll slam you with all the transmitters along with all the radio cabs, others using wireless mics, etc) and my recordings have been completely clean.

Pilot. I believe if it looses pilot frequency the squelch engages to prevent a blast of noise. Can't think why anyone would turn it off but it's an option.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 03:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman
I've used the older Sennheiser series for years with similar issues you have with the newer one BUT. I just purchased the new G2. It's got the ultimate solution. SCAN (keep transmitters OFF during SCAN). It'll find clean channels for you. Then turn on and tune transmitter to clean channel.

I'm in NYC RF problem capitol of the world. SCAN has saved me on every shoot I've done so far. I've been in midtown Manhattan just blocks from the Empire State Building (you want RF issues - that'll slam you with all the transmitters along with all the radio cabs, others using wireless mics, etc) and my recordings have been completely clean.

Pilot. I believe if it looses pilot frequency the squelch engages to prevent a blast of noise. Can't think why anyone would turn it off but it's an option.
Hey Craig,

Just out of curiosity, did the problems you experienced frequently occur during movement by the person wearing the transmitter... in my case the groom? It seems like I'd only get the 'pops' when the groom would move around. Other than that, there didn't seem to be any problems with the audio when he was perfectly still.

If that was the case in your situation as well, perhaps with a few more tests of searching for that clear channel and using it I might solve the problem... although I tried that once to no avail. Maybe it was just bad luck for me that day...lol.

I came to the conclusion after that test that there must be a line-of-sight issue going on with these things that I didn't experience with the Micro 32's, which never had a problem transmitting a clear continuous signal no matter where I put the transmitter on the groom (pant pocket, jacket pocket, etc.).

Do let me know,

Matt
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Old December 11th, 2005, 02:47 AM   #12
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RECEIVER
-Freq: 519.750 mhz (I plan on finding a new channel suitable for the Baltimore/DC area given company charts)

((Meh, im in aus, this dont apply to me.. if im on a boat or near water, or heavy traffic (trucks) i run a clean scan.. but most of the time, its not needed...))

-Bank?: 1 (Anything special I should do here?)
((nup))

-Sensitivity: -10
((drop this down to -20))

-Pilot: ON (Can anybody explain this function?)
((I used to know this abotu 18months ago, but for the life of me, no idea right now.. hell i used to sell the buggers i should know... ))

-Lock: OFF
((this locks the buttons in case u get a wearer who likes to get freindly with buttons.. ))

TRANSMITTER:
-Freq: 519.750 mhz

-Bank?: 1
((bank/freq should be the same as reciever))

-AF Out: -18
((this should be ok... ))

-SQ (Squelch): LO
((id be careful with this.. if u have a quiet bride and the groom is about 1.5 metres away from here.. she may ge tfiltered out altogether... ))

-Pilot: ON

-Loc: OFF

thats about it..

Oh and always use fresh rcharge nimh batteries.. make sure the transmitter ha battery power which is higher than the transmitter if u dont have 4 matching batteries..


---> as for cross posting, its up to the mods to kick ur ass about that.. but from a mods perspective (i run a different forum to ths one on a different subject matter) i can understand their annoyance at it.. but in the end, its up to the mods to police this, not members..
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Old December 11th, 2005, 09:52 PM   #13
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Thanks for the tips Pete. Do you/have you ever gotten drop outs or anything of that sort (sssssssss-pft)? For the life of me I can't figure it out. Anyway, I appreciate the help! What kind of video/audio stuff do you do down under?
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Old December 11th, 2005, 10:08 PM   #14
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Hm, had a thought. Try turning your squelch off. It might be making noise as the squelch circuit cuts in and out.

Mike
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Old December 11th, 2005, 11:20 PM   #15
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i havent had any noise from the squelch, but it IS risky leaving it on, as you wont know what levels youre dealing with until your subject actually begins to talk. Headfones are paramount.. what u hear is whats recorded...

i always run redundant sound, I dont use an Iriver as for me, i have enough work to deal with as it is, without having to worry about more gadgets. I used to use minidisc, and im considering an irivr, but im yet to come into a situation where an iriver makes my G's redundant... mind u their dirt cheap so having one as a backup in case a G is killed in combat would be an idea...

I usually only mic up the groom or the groom and the lectern (if there is one) or tap into the PA system or whatever is available. I try not to bug the officiant/minister as this only intrudes ... here in aus, theres a stigma toward video so our job is already difficult enough...
I dont do anything special... i run a G1s and G2's depending on the location, sometimes, i find G1s are a little cleaner than the G2s and vice versa, so i run tests beforehand.
Other times i plant mics (jewish weddings and the Houppa) or plant a mic in an alter if a groom refuses to wear it... we work with whats given i guess.. other times i run multiple recievers if there is alot of interferance..
I always use two cameras, so theres always an abundance of recordings happening..

I also run Senny K6 and ME64 mics on the cams themselves, theyre a little hot and not as flat the Rode NTG4, but ive had them for years and apart from that, i cant fault them
And for those that think that onboard cam mics are shite.. well i beg to differ.
ALWAYS run the onboard cam mics in Stereo during the dancing at receptions and i make sure the AGC is on in EVERY situation (if i notice fluctuations, i deal with that in post...)
Ive NEVER had a problem with this way of working, in fact, ive had clients and bands ask me to burn CD's of their gigs as the recordings are so clear. Mind u there is some EQ tweaking involved, but for such high volumes, u really do need to be careful not to overdrive the capsules.
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