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Static Hisses and pops with wireless mic

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joseph wilkins
Static Hisses and pops with wireless mic
on Mar 7, 2007 at 2:19:06 am


First post in this forum.

I recently bought a sennheiser wireless mic and tried using it in a studio shoot.

I found that as the talent moved around the set, every now and then I would hear a static hiss.

This made a few of the shots unusable without looping.

The mic kit was about $600 new - I think it was VHF but am not sure.

What can I do to solve this? I can control a few things... turning off the wireless phones upstairs and cellphones.

Anything you can suggest? I really need to solve this problem.

Thanks for your help in advance


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Will Salley
Re: Static Hisses and pops with wireless mic
on Mar 7, 2007 at 4:18:48 am

[joseph wilkins] "The mic kit was about $600 new - I think it was VHF but am not sure"

I don't think Sennheiser offers a VHF model anymore... At least not in the Evolution series.

Some tips (some of these may seem rather obvious but just in case they get overlooked):

-Keep batteries fresh.
-If the unit is frequency agile, select another channel and monitor it for awhile to check for interference. This might take awhile in some areas.
-Try positioning the receiver as high as possible OR obtain a remote antenna and get it up high (it must be compatible with the receiver & frequency range). Of course, get the receiver as close as possible to the transmitter.
-Try to orient the transmitter antenna and the receiver antenna alike. For example, if the transmitter (and it's attached antenna) is turned parallel to the ground, the receivers antenna should be horizontal as well. Keep antenna straight - don't let clothing or other objects bend it.
-Keep the receiver away from metal objects and electronic devices (a least six inches).

And most importantly. ALWAYS monitor your recording during a take. Not doing this is the same as a shooter just holding the camera up to a scene without looking into a monitor or the eyepiece, hoping it will be framed correctly throughout the shot.

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Peter Perry
Re: Static Hisses and pops with wireless mic
on Mar 8, 2007 at 6:35:01 pm

It sounds like you were on the edge of your RF far away was the transmitter from the reciever when you heard the hiss?

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joseph wilkins
Re: Static Hisses and pops with wireless mic
on Mar 9, 2007 at 3:06:17 am

I was around 10-20 feet away at all times

Thanks for the help so far...

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edward  chick
Re: Static Hisses and pops with wireless mic
on Mar 9, 2007 at 4:32:09 am

I've owned the Sennheiser G2 Evoloution series for three years. I've been up to fifty feet away from talent and or camera with no drop out. Sounds like you were having rf interference issues. Or maybe your mic was not connected properly? All it takes is a little play in the connection to wreak havoc.
Was the studio you were shooting in near any high rf transmitters i.e. cell towers, airport, etc? Sennheiser website has a frequency chart showing compatible frequency blocks in your area. Also check Lectrosonics website for same.

If you are going wireless to camera, then ask your cameraman to monitor the audio through headsets, not the earhole on the side of the camera (broadcast models only, mini dv/hdv don't offer) If he refuses then make sure Producer is aware that there could be quality control issues you are not adherently responisble for. It's impossible to guarantee quality, if everyone is not on board to maintain it. Like the previoius poster stated fresh batts, and getting the transmitter up high also helps for distance purposes, try to keep trans/receivers in "line of sight" as much as possible. The G2s do not have the range Lectros do; but in the studio environments I've used mine in, I have never had any problems.

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Ty Ford
Re: Static Hisses and pops with wireless mic
on Mar 10, 2007 at 2:10:26 pm

All good points here. When buying the Sennheiser, did you check to see if the operating frequency was fairly clear in your geographical area? If you have TV stations in town operating on the same frequency, you'll greatly reduce your range and run the risk of interference problems. Finding clear spectrum will allow you to maximize your range.

If two different wireless mics are too close in operating frequency, they can interfere with each other.

I did audio on a shoot several years back and my wireless were acting really wacky. Turns out the venue had a locked up wireless mic system they left turned on (weird). When I asked if by chance they had anything on, a custodian unlocked a door and hit a power switch on a rack (turning it off) and my wireless worked fine.

When I run into things like this, I try moving the receiver as close to the edge of the frame as I can (usually in a bag hanging off of a light stand) and cable back to my mixer.


Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at
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