I'm looking into IFB systems but I really don't know much at all about them: how to set them up, use them, which ones to buy, what accessories (earpieces etc) to buy. I know the basic idea of what they do. You can send one feed off audio to an IFB receiver and then break in with another feed of audio from a different source (such as a director). But I don't know the practical application of this theory. I.e. Does that mean you have two IFB transmitter going to the one receiver? Or is it switched at the mixer level? I'm not expecting you guys to answer all these questions or explain everythin about IFB on this thread. But if someone could point me in the direction of some information where I could learn about IFB- maybe a website or a book - that would be fantastic. I haven't had much luck looking for info myself.
Sound Devices 552
Sanken COS-11 D
Ed, can you please give a little more info on how you want to use the IFB system?... eg. portable location work, Outside Broadcast work, News / satellite remotes, Studio, feeding directions to tallent.
Do you have access to mains powering for the transmitter? how many people do you want to use the system?
I probably want to use it for a number of these purposes. I do a lot of location sound recording where I want to give the director a wireless feed. Also I want to be able to set it up so the talent can receive messages from the director. Also I want to have a wireless communications link with a boom operator so he can be listening to the sound mix but also receive messages from me that are not recorded to the mix. But like I said in my first post, I'm not so much asking you to answer all my questions and explain IFB to me but rather hoping someone could point me in the direction of more in depth information about IFB. Maybe a good website or book where I can learn about it.
Sound Devices 552
Sanken COS-11 D
An IFB (Interupted Fold Back) system is basicly 2 things.
1. How to move the signal..?
Cable or Wireless... Now you mentioned that you do location work so battery powered would be the go, I know that Sennheiser do a portable IEM (In Ear Monitor)system that is the same size as the portable radio mic TX / RX packs.
Other brands that might be worth looking at might be Comrex, Sennheiser, Shure, Lectrosonics, MiPro. Many of the transmitteres are mains powered and some are stereo.
Radio mics can also be used as IFB systems with the talant wearing a portable reciever. I own several Sennheiser G2 kits and have used them as an IFB set up, not ideal in loud noise level locations. I dont use an IFB that often and it seems to do the job.
I have also tried MP3 FM transmitters on the FM radio band with marginal sucess.
2. What signal are you going to feed the IFB system? I have often used the right channel to create the IFB feed, the director could use a mic panned right then fed to the IFB transmitter.
Still leaving the left channel to do the audio on the shoot.
Or another mixer could be set up to feed the transmitter (a cheap low cost audio mixer is fine as high quality is not required)
I hope this helps a little for you.
The difference between Knowledge and Wisdom is... Knowledge is the knowing of facts.... Wisdom is the sensible application of good quality knowledge...
To my way of thinking "IFB" (and monitor or foldback in general) is something used by/for the "talent" (actors, musicians, conductors, etc.)
A boom operator should be monitoring the signal from their own microphone exclusively, else they will never know if what they are doing is causing what they are hearing. Now if they also need to be in on the "production intercom" that may be in addition to the clean feed of their own microphone.
And communication among the crew (behind the camera) is "production intercom" in my book. It is NOT the same as IFB and it is typically duplex (two-way). In some cases, the program audio (or at least a "scratch mix") may be leaked into the production intercom at a low level so that crew members can hear what is happening where they might otherwise be completely isolated from the program itself. My perspective is mainly from multi-camera live-switch video production. I believe that other kinds or productions (like Broadway stage plays, etc.) use very similar systems.
Again, IFB is a concept or a technique. It is rigged up however works best for the particular production. There is no single golden definition that applies equally everywhere. You seem to be wishing that "IFB" is a well-defined monolithic topic and I don't think it is. IFB is more pragmatic and situational than that.
"IFB" is a concept. Foldback (aka "monitor") is used in many different places from local newsreaders to rock musicians.
"Interruptable" foldback is a technique where the director (or whomever) can insert information and/or instructions into the audio that the "talent" is hearing. If the monitor/foldback feed is interrupted, it is done "in the mix" before it goes out to the earpieces or transmitter.
Foldback (or IFB) isn't required to be wireless. There are no good examples of any kind of system that uses two transmitters for one receiver, IFB included. In many places still today it is done with wired earpieces. (Hard-wired is ALWAYS more reliable than wireless, whatever you are talking about.) Now you could make the argument that hard-wired may be more vulnerable to tangling and tripping, less mobile, etc.
If you are considering IFB for some particular application, it would be good to reveal it here so that we can respond with relevant information. Perhaps you haven't found much information because your question is too broad and unfocused.
Hi Richard Crowley,
I'm glad i got to cross this thread as I'm trying to learn myself of IFB. It is my first time to handle audio. I'm doing a live link system (studio technology) linked by fiber and I got an IFB port, so I tried to research about it.