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It's All Waves

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About It's All Waves

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  • Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About
    General Sound Engineer. Most of my income is from location mixing. I also do post + music recording/mixing.

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  1. It's All Waves

    Ultrasound, IoT and wireless

    borjam, thanks for your reply and story about that awesome ultrasound tech! I feel that sound is so underrated in its usefulness, compared to EM, so I love hearing about awesome sound-powered tools! I wasn't totally clear when explaining my situation. When I mentioned the problem with the dynamics processing, I was talking about audio-only processing, but that which seems to be necessary to prepare for a healthy analog transmission, i.e. companding, HF rolloffs, etc... Aaaand that's about as deep as my knowledge goes with RF transmission. 😁 Actually, the first time I experienced the G3 problem, I thought it was the mic, and called Countryman, sent them a recording, and a spectrograph, and they never responded, ha! The last time I experienced this, I had Cos-11's on all my Tx's, so that rules out the microphone, as far as I can tell. Regarding the point about microwaves, I didn't realize motion detectors use microwaves! Aye! But that is very good to know for many reasons, ha! I do think it was Tx-related, though, which in my limited understanding, would suggest that it was something coming through the microphone. The bit about seeing the Tx AF meter go crazy, but the Rx not, also tells me it was at the Tx. But I've rather recently become aware of the fact that Tx's can be hindered by other transmissions. So I don't really know! Thanks for clarifying for me! I hadn't considered the pilot tone bit–that's interesting... Larry, I feel like you nailed it! Mostly because of your background.😉 I imagine this explains the "key test" failure in the G3's as well. Have also had problems with super sibilant talent. Have had to set the gain lower than I'd like, to avoid it. Do you think the bit about interference with the pilot tone could have potentially played a roll? I don't recall the audio straight dropping to silence, as I would imagine a loss of pilot tone would incur. It reminded me of modulating something on a synth with a random step generator.
  2. It's All Waves

    Ultrasound, IoT and wireless

    I've experienced something funny which I believe is the result of ultrasound feeding my old G3 transmitters. It will sound like an irregular low frequency modulation of the audio that's coming through the microphone, and the Tx meter will be constantly peaking at almost any reasonable gain setting, but the receiver's looks relatively normal in size, and the space is relatively quiet. The sound is clearly not right. I assume it's an artifact of the dynamics processing involved in analog transmission. I originally thought this was a result of acoustic modulation by subsonic frequencies from newer A/C systems, since the modulation was more on the scale of a beat, than a pitch, but I could not hear it with the naked ear. I finally came up with the right Google search phrase, and found someone experiencing similar problems that stopped after disabling an ultrasonic light switch (auto light switch that uses ultrasound to detect a presence). I see this at almost every brand new elementary/high school in New Orleans. The last time I dealt with this, I had a lectro SRc, SMQV, and LT running at the same time, and only the Sennheiser G3 was affected. Maybe it's related to the G3's failure of the key test? It would seem the G3 transmitters do not like ultrasonic information! To sum it up, it seems that G3's are susceptible to ultrasonic interference, where Lectro hybrid systems are not. Have yet to try Wisy or Zax in this environment. If you ever have a strange Tx AF meter reading, and "choppy" sound, and are running a G3, it's very likely that you'll need to disable some ultrasonic detectors in your vicinity!
  3. It's All Waves

    Lectro SRc field reports?

    Just got off the phone with Lectro for the Nth time... Same old story -- could not reproduce the issue in the lab. I brought up the emails referenced in this forum that mention hardware changes, and for the first time, this was confirmed verbally as reality. I believe he said the SRc A was getting a revision based on the PCB of Src B. (I have the whole thing recorded and am debating posting it. It's pretty gnarly and revealing...) Every other time I've called, they didn't know anything about any hardware changes to the SRc line. The rep said this lack of internal communication has been a problem for some time now. Side note: I have spoken with this rep in the past, and he has always been very knowledgable, patient, helpful, and honest. They should really promote that guy. Also, there is a pending FIRMWARE update for the SRc A. The problem with the firmware has to do with the overlap between B470 and 19, and a fairly large oversight in the programming of the unit. The scanner scans blocks in sequence, from low to high, so 470-->19-->20. What's funny, is that the scanner resets to the beginning of B19 after reaching the end of 470 (re-scanning the overlap), but the screen does not. So all of our scans above 470-ish have been VISUALLY OFFSET BY ABOUT 9 MHz! ~HOLY SHIT.~ Boy does that explain a whole lot of the problems I've been getting. And still, the report from the tech who serviced my unit Sunday (2 days ago) said "could not reproduce issue." In other words, the tech still doesn't know about this firmware problem. I'm so beyond upset and regretting my $6,500 purchase. Lectro needs to start a loner program until they get this right, or straight up refund every poor soul who had to deal with this issue for well over a year! For I fear they are moving towards a legal battle. Still selling known faulty units? Hmm... Still advertising the SRc as being effectively the same to the 411a in RF performance? This is all very out of character for the Lectrosonics I came up with. Losing confidence fast. There's a lot of good information in the recording of this phone call, about SRc's, internal company problems, and [FINALLY] a valid explanation of why Lectro's always said to set your gain so damn hot, from an engineering perspective–something I've been searching for for ages! If anyone would like a copy, I'd be happy to share it with you, as long as everyone agrees to keep it private unless Lectro never attempts retroactive "fixes," like refunds, loners, etc... I hope this clears a few things up for some folks.
  4. It's All Waves

    Lectro SRc field reports?

    Please forgive my enthusiasm, but YES!!!! THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I AM HEARING OF ANOTHER DEVICE EXPERIENCING MY ISSUE! Less Relevant Backstory: Originally bought a batch of B1 SRc, LT, and 21 SMQV, in December of 2017, and had nothing but problems from day 1. I opened the boxes that shipped directly from Lectro while still at the dealer, and the entire batch looked like it had been dropped on a concrete floor, kicked around a bit, then picked up by oily hands and thrown into a crate. The packaging was perfect, so the devices were in this condition when they were placed in the packaging. Have a bunch of photos, but that's the not the point of my post. Long story short, I sent them straight back to Lectro, took the opportunity to lower my block due to the recent FCC vacation mandate, which was announced post-purchase. Got my replacement batch of A1. Seemed in much better physical condition out of the box. Seemed OK for the first day out. Then the problems started. Issue #1: The most frequent issue I experience is EXACTLY what happens on the 2nd line of your audio example, @Jaymz: 10DDT03_4.wav. I hear what sounds like a noise gate operating––when someone speaks, a hiss rises and falls with the speech and silence, respectively. The funny thing is, the ambient noise is unaffected. It's only when there's an acoustic "signal" present, that I hear this hiss. As a rule, I roll with SNR off. I'm guessing it's some kind of RF interference. Issue #2: Compared to my years of experiences with 411a's, my SRc A1 does not receive well. In fact, hands down, I get better performance out of my G3s. I rented my unit to another mixer, and standing next to someone with a 411 getting the same Tx, the 411's signal was clean, and my buddy reported that the SRc was flippin' out (hits and interference). I get frequent interference when letting scans run for minutes at a time, and finding channels in massive holes in the spectrum. Getting hits and RF hiss (def not mic or amp noise) with greater than 8 or 10 ft range. Calculating freqs with FreqFinder and/or Lectro groups. Only choosing blank channels in my scans! The problems are much worse around highways and rivers. This is to be expected, but this is really bad. I intuitively know that this is not correct. A week ago I was getting white noise blasts in both channels by the river. Yes, I know, it's the river. I know there are momentary broadcasts like 2 way comms. But still. Somethin' ain't right with this thing. Issue #3 After a lengthy scan (5-10 cycles), I choose I freq in open waters–not a pixel on the screen when zoomed in. Back on the home screen, I immediately see a little RF meter flicker on that channel. Go back and scan–nothing. Back to home screen–flicker. This is the only issue Lectro addressed when they "repaired" my SRc. (Rant below.) Issue #4 (a bit of a rant): A short version of this–Lectro has not been able to reproduce this issue, and therefore cannot do anything about it. This is a big problem for me, because I can reproduce this seemingly random, intermittent, yet frequent problem, almost any day of the week. I don't always have faith that a tech is listening in the same way that I am. "Passing" factory testing is not passing real world testing. I hate that I have to post about this, but unfortunately, one of my biggest issues is with the support I've received from Lectro. Honestly, I felt like they did me a big solid swapping out my original purchase (even given the above-mentioned, poor physical condition). After several (probably more than 10) calls to Lectro support, I finally bit the bullet and sent in my SRc, assuming that was the culprit, since I was having the same issues on both channels (always using SMQV as ch 1). Through all the phone calls, no one had ever heard of this issue (Issue #1 above–something I had very occasionally experienced with 411s in the past). Fine. After enough explaining, and maybe just wearing out the poor tech who had to deal with me, I would get varied technical answers as to what could be causing the problem. They ranged from a bad RF board, to a bad audio board, to a bad [whatever the device is that tells the RF board how much juice it's getting], to my gain-staging. I called so many times because I was adamant about speaking with someone who had actually experienced this before and knew a direct path to fixing it. Finally, I got someone who put me on hold to go speak to "the SRc tech," and when he returned, he said the tech said the note about Issue #3 above rang a bell and he knew exactly what it was. Not exactly but I was looking for, but close enough, so I sent the unit in. They adjusted something related to the RF meter, and sent it back 6 weeks later. The whole time, I was renting to make up for the temporary loss. Upon receiving the unit back from "repair," I took the unit out of the box and immediately heard Issue #1. Since getting the unit back, I'm almost positive the problem is worse. I deeply regret this purchase. Now, I'm about to send the entire system to Lectro so they can take another look. The while, I'll be spending more money renting supplements. At this point, it would be more cost effective to sell this thing, but I can't in good conscience put this problem on someone else. I'm kinda screwed out of a large chunk of change right now. Especially since I don't really know if it's the Rx or both of my Tx's. Questions/Thoughts: I suppose it's possible that both of my transmitters, a B21 SMQV and an LT have issues? They were both purchased brand new with the SRc and shipped from Lectro to my dealer at the time of the order, as my dealer does not keep these in stock. Both times I purchased. ***Maybe it's the wiring of my Cos-11d's? Maybe the "simple" wiring lessens their RFI rejection, somehow? Details below. Details/Gear: SD 664 SRc A1, SMQV b19, LT ***Sanken Cos-11d's with "simple wiring," wired by the dealer as per http://www.lectrosonics.com/Support/images/WiringDiagrams/Wiring_diagrams11fig-2017.jpg i.e. no resistors*** this stands out to me as most mixers I know do not use this wiring. Could this somehow affect RF rejection of the mic? I know Sankens are supposed to be especially good at this. Something else to note is that Tx gain with this wiring is MUCH lower than with the common resistor wiring. But why would an Rx need gain to get a strong signal? Especial 1x G3 (EW100) A band hops Tx to 2x G3 IEM (EW300) (At least Issue #1 persists even without any of this on, or connected. I suppose a G3 unit, be it an EW100 Rx or a tx, loaded with batts, is near me sometimes? Referring to the funny powered-off G3 issue mentioned earlier in this forum). Power - HiQ (Inspired Engergy) batts to Remote Audio BDS v4 to everything in the bag. G3 Hops Tx powered by batts. G3 A band, B band systems - rarely in use. Problems persist regardless. ----- Cameras I'm frequently shooting with: FS7, C100, Epic, Alexa, Alexa Mini Please let me know if I left anything out! To the quote below: Unfortunately, I am still getting the same treatment... "Performing as intended," given after a long, LONG talk about gain-staging with 2 Lectro techs, in which I was given simply incorrect information: set my 664's line gain to "0" or 12 o'clock, and turn down the Rx out to 0db? But that's not a 1 to 1 ratio of output to input dynamic range... just scream into the mic at that setting and you'll see max peaks at about -12 dbFS on the recorder. Aside from the point, but presents another: maybe not everyone in that building really knows what they're doing... Sad because that's why I buy from a smaller, well-respected tech company–to ensure that I always speak with someone who knows a lot more than I do about their own equipment. All of this is to say that I'm no longer confident that all of Lectro's techs could even identify such a problem. Most people don't hear the problems. But my ears do, and my wallet is saying, "WTF?!" I just want Lectro to make this right so I can love them and their gear again... Thanks for reading!