Stay Wired (Kind of Wonky)

At the same trade show last week, I had to use my wireless lavalier (microphone) setup on the event floor, which is almost always an ill-advised use of the technology. Porque? These environments are flooded with RF (a set of Radio Frequencies used for communications or radar signals), so whatever frequency you’ve chosen may be invaded by another passing radio (I’ve found this is usually facility security), risking a good quality audio capture. Conversely, if you’re broadcasting using an unallocated frequency, you may impose the same rudeness on someone else.

I was on a job about a year ago where I was taping participants in a videoconference room in the Bay Area who were yakking with meeting attendees in a second videoconference facility in New York City. The NYC location was smack-dab in the middle of a technology demo room awash with RF. The NYC crew (whom I did not hire) showed up with only wireless audio tools and wasted a good 40 minutes trying to locate an open and clean frequency. A more experienced crew would have known that wireless was a risky gear choice in an environment like that.

Be safe. Wherever it’s possible, choose a wired option – good quality XLR cables not only efficiently manage audio signals, they’re usually shielded to avoid interference from unwanted sources

ACTION ITEM: Unless your speaker requires the ability to move through three-dimension space or you have deep and legitimate concerns about the safety of laying an XLR cable on the floor, choose a wired audio setup.

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