5 Must-Know Tips About Wireless Audio

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with product specialists from Lectrosonics, Rode, and Shure to discuss the latest in wireless technology and their products. I’ve also picked up some great tips for users no matter what wireless systems you use. Here we go.

 

1. Antenna Switching Diversity

Diversity technology allows your wireless system to constantly switch between two signals using the strongest signal at any given time. This happens in micro seconds without you even knowing allowing you to have the cleanest signal at all times. As a professional using wireless, you should always use diversity technology to make sure you avoid problems. Almost every company brands their diversity technology differently but as long as you see the word “diversity” you should be fine. The easiest way to spot a system with diversity technology is to look for the two antennas on the receiver (device on the right).

Wireless diversity helps ensure strong signal more often

TECH NOTE : Lectrosonics uses an advanced technology called “digital fusion” to send uncompressed audio signal through the air unlike their competitor’s wireless technology. The system calculates how much change can happen per microsecond, sending only the necessary data needed to deliver a full uncompressed signal during that moment.

You can identify diversity receivers by the two antennas

Shure UR5 Wireless Receiver has diversity

2. The Wireless Straw Trick

Wireless signals do not like water. Because our bodies are made mostly of water, it is never a good idea to let the antenna touch our skin. I learned this from a Lectrosonics rep and I remember it opened my eyes when he told me. Get this, by placing a straw over the antenna of the transmitter, the antenna will not touch the skin and still allow wireless signal to cut through like a knife. This is important to know because our goal with is to always maximize the signal.

When the antenna on the body pack is under the shirt touching skin, be sure to put a straw on the antenna to avoid interference.

When the antenna on the body pack is under the shirt touching skin, be sure to put a straw on the antenna to avoid interference.

3. Bending The Antenna Will Hurt Your Signal 

Wireless systems rely on the full length of their antennas to give you the strongest signal. Did you know that bending the antenna is actually cutting down the power of the antenna? Antennas are made to certain lengths precisely for this reason. Always let the antenna extend to it’s full length without any bending to ensure the strongest and cleanest signal.

4. Polarity of Signal

Did you know it matters what angle your wireless transmitter and receiver are faced? Yep, the antennas should be parallel though wireless signal does bounce around rooms once transmitted. Keeping the antennas in parallel will always ensure a stronger and cleaner signal.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 5.21.03 PMDO THIS
Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 5.21.20 PMDON’T DO THIS

5. Scan Every Location

Every time you change locations with your wireless system, you should always re-scan the area. The reason to scan a room or area is to find the strongest signal available to avoid any interference. More expensive systems will usually go through a more detailed scanning process to choose from more frequencies.

Shure UR2 and UR5 being synced

Always sync your wireless units after changing every location


5 Replies to "5 Must-Know Tips About Wireless Audio"

  • Fairlie
    July 29, 2016 (1:53 am)
    Reply

    Hey Adam, thanks for the audio tips, especially the straw, what a great idea I had no idea about it being a problem when the pack is against someones skin. In fact a shoot I did for a live seminar last week the woman wore a tight dress so I had to put the pack under her dress against her skin and I kept getting interference, so maybe between that and the antenna not being completely straight was my problem. Filming episode 2 on Sunday so I will definitely be bringing a straw. You rock!!!!. Thanks again

    • Adam Forgione
      August 2, 2016 (10:52 pm)
      Reply

      Thanks Fairlie, Let me know how it goes. Great to hear from you again!

  • Craig N.
    August 29, 2016 (3:38 pm)
    Reply

    Thank you sharing your knowledge! I never paid attention to the orientation of the antennas or keeping the wire straight but now I will. There are times when a presenter will take the transmitter pack and put it in his pocket, thus bending the antenna. In the game of corporate and education lecture recording chess, the presenter trumps the videographer….. 🙂

  • http://www./
    February 28, 2017 (7:53 pm)
    Reply

    Yes, more evidence of black men and their long sick fetish for white skin. All these “don’t dare call me full black” bi-wishers of the white womb, even the white looking ones want their 15 minute Obama fame. Yawn.

  • Gary
    June 3, 2017 (4:05 am)
    Reply

    Nice tips Adam one extra tip for you East coasters we use in Hollywood when it rains cover the whole transmitter receiver with a condom with the straw rain can get in.
    How do you know the guy or gal in the drug store is a sound guy or gal? He or she is buying the biggest box of condoms he or she can find. and the largest pack of moleskin.


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