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Ideal Wireless Lav Mic for use both in Canada and UK

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Jeanette Wilkinson
Ideal Wireless Lav Mic for use both in Canada and UK
on Apr 22, 2012 at 5:06:22 pm

Hi there,

I live in Canada but will be shooting in the UK this summer and need a set of 2 wireless lavs for use on location. Have been checking out the Sennheiser EW112p series which looks great but realize the mics come in different band frequencies and in the UK the only license free band appears to be 863-865Mhz. We're shooting a documentary and so not sure exactly when we will need access to band frequencies.

Is there any way around this? Is there a mic that would be ideal for both Canada and the UK (to reach the license free frequencies)?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Jeanette


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Bill Davis
Re: Ideal Wireless Lav Mic for use both in Canada and UK
on Apr 22, 2012 at 9:34:02 pm

Hi Jeannette.

First off, understand that so long as the transmitter and receiver are on the same frequency, the basic function of the system isn't actually impacted by whether the frequency is "local" or not.

So the issue isn't "will my gear work." Given proper functioning gear - it will certainly work just fine anywhere the two units are near enough each other for the receiver to acquire the transmitters matching signal.

The issue in travel is whether or not the frequency band needed by your gear is already in use by other RF generating equipment.

With low power gear like wireless mic rigs, you're not putting out a very big signal in the great scheme of things. So the chance that you'll screw something up for someone else is typically very small. (Bets are off if you're in a pack of 20 news camera operators ALL of whom are trying to use similar wireless sound devices, so if that's on your agenda, this IS a big deal for you and keep researching to get a better chance for success!)

But as a single user in limited area n well away from other users, your chances for success will be very, very good.

If the recording situation is critical and you can't fail, the best bet is to get a "frequency agile" pair of transmitter receivers so you can search for clean channels at your location. Another reasonable approach is to take one unit in the VHF band, and one in the UHF band, and therefore have a fallback if one of the frequencies is problematic.

It all comes down to how lucky you feel, but the risk actually isn't all that big that you'll have any problems in a temporary - limited area - low power wireless use situation.

Hope that helps.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jeanette Wilkinson
Re: Ideal Wireless Lav Mic for use both in Canada and UK
on Apr 23, 2012 at 2:45:37 am

Hi Bill,

Thank you for the extremely detailed and helpful answer!

Jeanette


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Ideal Wireless Lav Mic for use both in Canada and UK
on Apr 23, 2012 at 5:41:18 am

Jeanette,

When it comes to wireless, you really get what you pay for. I wouldn't consider any system under $400USD, honestly. All it takes is one bad experience and you'll regret cheap wireless…when you go for pro-level equipment, you should never regret having bought it.

Go for the good stuff - you'll never regret it, I promise. :-)

Wolf
<><


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Jeanette Wilkinson
Re: Ideal Wireless Lav Mic for use both in Canada and UK
on Apr 23, 2012 at 6:04:44 am

Hi Jordan,

Thank you very much for the advice. If you have any particular systems you would recommend, please let me know.

Thanks again!

Jeanette


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Bob Kessler
Re: Ideal Wireless Lav Mic for use both in Canada and UK
on Apr 23, 2012 at 3:44:43 pm

The "low budget" standard these days seems to be the Sennheiser G3 series at between $600 & $700 per set. When doing narrative work it is fairly common practice to replace the stock lavs with Countryman B3 or B6 lavs or Sanken COS11 lavs.

Peace,

Bob
____________________________________________________________________
Filmmaking is the art of the invisible;
If anyone notices your work you haven't done your job right.


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Peter Groom
Re: Ideal Wireless Lav Mic for use both in Canada and UK
on Apr 24, 2012 at 9:50:46 am

HI
Speaking specifically about your UK use.
Id really recommend you hire kit in the UK. We have recently switched to channel 38 from 69 here, and although there are still VERY limited (4) bands of free use in ch 70 they are VERY congested with every mobile disco and keep fit class. If youre doing something of even tiny importance, id remove yourself from the likelyhood that it will already be taken by an amateur, or overridden with intereference. Ch 69 will work up until the end of the Olympics, and is then given over to mobile broadband, where it this will swamp and radio mic out of the sky (and likely take ch 70 with it so is the rumour)
So ch 38 is where you need to be from now on in the uK, and this is regulated by JFMG. They charge £70 per mic license. If you hire from a broadcast kit hire outfit, it will already be licensed for you.
You can buy ch 38 kit and use illegally it without a license, but if youre shooting say in London where there is v high radio use, and youre on a licensed users frequency, dont be surprised if JFMG officers turn up and confiscate your kit.
Just hire, or hire a sound recordist here who will have the necessary licenses (hopefully)
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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