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Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera

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Michael Tapp
Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 13, 2013 at 11:40:25 pm

Hi everybody,

I'm a videographer and I am going to be working on a live event gig. The client requested to send an audio signal wirelessly(Sennheiser G2 Set) from the PA soundboard to the camera and for the camera to record the audio. I believe that the PA will be 50 feet from the camera. Since this will be in NYC I thought the radio frequencies might be too congested to send audio 50 feet without getting any interference.

Do you have any ideas on how to send a wireless signal 50 feet without any interference? Thank you for your time!


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Richard Crowley
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 14, 2013 at 12:02:02 am

New York City has the reputation of being one of the big cities known for "RF Hell".

50 feet doesn't seem far enough to warrant using wireless between two fixed locations (the PA mixer and your camera). 50ft would be just one length of XLR cable off my reel. If you really MUST go wireless, then rent a professional rig and get expert advice on what band/frequency to use.

I would NOT trust a low-end wireless system to perform reliably in NYC. I would be MUCH more likely to just use a hard-wire connection. Or I would use a separate audio recorder located at the PA mixer. A low-end wireless kit would be my LAST choice.

Do you have appropriate adapters and cables to interface the PA mixer with the wireless transmitter?


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Michael Tapp
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 14, 2013 at 1:58:04 am

Thank you for your advice! It sounds like I am going to have to sell them on running cable or just hooking my zoom recorder into the mixer and monitor the recorder at the board.



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Craig Alan
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 20, 2013 at 4:52:26 am

strongly rec. doing sound tests in advance of event. work out the kinks before it matters.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Eric Toline
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 14, 2013 at 12:37:28 am

Regardless of which way you go make sure you speak to the house mixer and find out if you'll be getting a mic or line level feed from the board. If you end up with the Sennheiser G2 and you're getting a line level feed (most likely) you'll need an input cable wired for an unbalanced line level into the transmitter. A line feed into the transmitter requires the audio signal to be connected to the ring of the 3.5mm TRS connector.

Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


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Michael Tapp
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 14, 2013 at 2:00:30 am

I am going to try and sell them on recording the audio separately on a zoom H4n recorder located at the board. I am planning on going from 1/4 -> xlr into the H4n. Do you recommend any other adapters for this scenario? Thank you!



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Bill Davis
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 14, 2013 at 2:35:56 am

Also think BEYOND the hardware. The biggest hassle of taking a board feed in a live sound situation, is that they're typically mixing FOR THE HOUSE.

You don't specify if it's a music gig, a speech, or some other type of performance, but if it's anything other than a "voices only" gig - then you risk having the mix be great for the house but lousy for your recording.

Depending on what you need to record, see if the board op will give you a PFL (pre-fadeer level) channel insert if that serves your needs.

If it's a music performance, the only REAL solution that won't lock you into the house mix is grab the channel inserts to capture the individual channel feeds to a multi-track rig.

This is what often makes good sound more difficult to record than good video

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Ty Ford
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 14, 2013 at 2:47:14 am

Hello Michael,

Yes, NYC has a very congested RF environment. You are well served by the suggestions here. There is one other suggestion. If you use Zaxcom transmitters with on-board recording, if the signal doesn't get to the Zaxcom receiver, it will still be recorded on a miniSD card in the transmitter.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Peter Groom
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 14, 2013 at 9:30:18 am

You could always try the radio mic approach AND insist on the zoom as a backup.
Im ALWAYS very nervous where the audio recording on which you rely is an un attended recording.
Is the house mixer going to mic to the optimum levels for a recorder?
If it goes too low or high, is he going to respond to your recorder and adjust - I doubt it.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Peter Groom
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 16, 2013 at 9:30:01 pm

Just to add to my last post....
Today I was vision mixing and camera directing a stage presentation at a conference for live broadcast to the web.
Given my backgound as a post dubbing mixer, you can imagine I'm tricky to mix audio for!!!
The av sound guy looked at me like I was mad when during rehearsal I stopped the rehearsal and asked him why I was seeing faders open from the panel mics whilst the main pres was on. I explained that I only wanted the current speaker in the mix at any one time sitting on a bed of low but constant fx bed mics.
His day just got complicated
"How will I know who will speak" he said
When I direct them too I said. Watch the screens and listen to the cue feed..... Be in top of it , but I don't want a mushy all up mix!!!
The point.... There's a wide variety of experience and expectations outside of a studio. You should presume someone else will mess it up until they prove they won't.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Ty Ford
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 17, 2013 at 12:32:47 am

Well said, Peter.

While working with hotel AV staff here, they usually don't listen with headphones, only speakers where ever they are in the space and yes, pots up.

One speaker was clearly off mic and when I brought AV's attention to it, it was like they didn't hear it. I don't know where that mic was, but it wasn't on the guy speaking. We could hear him Waaay off mic.

story 2: I was hired by a shooter to corral the AV audio and feed it to his camera. I did. As we started he was shocked that my levels hit -6 and told me it would distort. I told him I'd put it anywhere he wanted, but that I was listening to the headphone return and it was not distorted.

He said, "NO! This is digital. No peaks over -20! (yes, no peaks over -20!!) I told him that I'd do that but only under protest. Things got pretty chilly after that. He emailed me later that the first part WAS distorted. I replied that he was probably trying to bring audio in from a line level into a mic level input on his editing setup. I told him to rewind the tape in the camera, plug in headphones to the camera and listen. If the first section was distorted, then his camera was way out of calibration. Besides, even if it was, I wold have heard the distortion. I never heard back from him.

Audio is a mystery to some people. Because of this. I have a job.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow AUdio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Peter Groom
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Oct 17, 2013 at 6:27:25 am

Video based people often really struggle with audio I find.
Perer

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: Wirelessly transmit audio from a soundboard to the camera
on Nov 1, 2013 at 6:39:56 pm

Probably a late reply, but...

RF sent to camera is only a "scratch track" as far as I'm concerned. Use a multi track recorder to isolate as many tracks as you can from the mixer so you have a decent chance of good audio later during post. You don't want the "house" mix, you want isolated multi tracks. Today with very inexpensive multi track recorders and computer interface boxes, there is "almost" never an issue with recording multiple tracks in the field. The day's of having "only" a 2 track Nagra are long gone.

I shoot industrial and documentary films and use a Tascam Dr-680; 6 input channels and 2 internal mix down channels. My camera has two channels, I have a small 2 track recorder with XLR's, and three 2 track pocket sized recorders with lavs for on talent use. I also have 2 radio mics, which I "almost" never use, they are just for the occasional scene where I cannot wire talent or plant a mic on set. Preferably both, I regularly run 3~5 tracks with two different recorders on every job. I never want to be dependent upon one mic, you never know when it will fail.

If you want "good" audio, record as many isolated tracks as you can on location, and then mix in post.

My $0.02; now $0.002 with inflation.

M

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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