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SoundDude7

Wireless system for film shoot in Asia

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Hi!

Does anyone have experience with radio frequencies in the region of vietnam, hong kong, laos, myanmar and/or burma?

I’m going to film with some film students for an independent documentary movie in this region.
The problem is, that their budget is really limited. They can’t afford to rent a good wireless system for those circumstances and want to buy two sets of EW 100 for the shoot.

Surely this is going to be a bad idea, but there is no other chance.
Can someone maybe recommend a suitable UHF Band or frequency region for Asia?


Best greetings
Andy

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Andy, you could find sensible frequency bands to work with, but you need GOOD lavalier mics to go with it, or even if it is the stock stuff, you need to spend some time with them and work out how you will use them. 

All of us have worked in the past with all kinds of gear, and it is possible to get some good stuff with low end gear as well. You have to simply work on it... do as much as you can with this gear before you go out to shoot, figure it out. 

my 02. cents

-vin

 

 

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the lavs are not the problem... i take some VT506 from our studio with me. those are great mics.

i don't worry about the handling, but i'm worried about RF problems in asia with the cheap wireless system.

don't get me wrong. even if the ew100 is cheap, you can get good results.. but i don't know asia. maybe there is for example a tv channel somewhere which kills an entire RF band.

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From my experience, your EW100 should be fine, I used to work with Sennheiser ew500 (B-Band) and Audio Ltd 2020 (700MHz as I remembered), was no problem.. As the big cities are very crowded and noisy, I would recommend Lav like DPA 406x.  

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As the big cities are very crowded and noisy, I would recommend Lav like DPA 406x.  

How is the DPA helping with noise and especially crowdiness?

Anyway, he said money is an issue and they already have lavs.

even if the ew100 is cheap, you can get good results.. but i don't know asia. maybe there is for example a tv channel somewhere which kills an entire RF band.

I think the title of your topic is a bit misleading, which is why people are commenting on your gear rather than frequencies.

There is a frequency table on this site somewhere which might help.

Sennheiser used to have a frequency guide, but I'm not sure it's still there.

I'd recommend getting the two wireless systems in two very different blocks so you have a better chance of at least one of them working

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If you can find out the TV channels in the areas, and avoid those frequencies, the G3s should preform very well. Unfortunately the EK100's on-board scanner is not sensitive enough and only detects extreme RF.
As was stated, the bungled ME2 lav sucks, so good quality alternate  would be wanted.

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How about the new(ish) Sennheiser AVX wireless system?

http://en-us.sennheiser.com/avx

It uses the 1.9 GHz band so it shouldn't interfere with TV transmission.

I've got a set for use with a small video outfit and they work as good, if not better, than a G3 system. The transmitter and receiver are both rechargable and can be run with a USB battery pack that you use to power a smartphone. The transmitter is very small, plugs right into the camera's XLR port and if you switch off the camera the transmitter detects the loss of phantom power and powers down, saving battery power.

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the rode link is amazing value atm, i just bought one for 300EUR plus tax.

i wouldn't want to try to use it with three walls in between, but as long as you're in the same room they should work very well even in crowded 2.4Ghz wifi areas. planning to use it mainly as camera hop, but it's a nice backup system too in case traditional frequencies cause problems.

i have some G3 which work well, thought about the AVX and although i like a lot of the aspects, it sits a bit in between price wise. perfect for one man camera jobs though.

 

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16 minutes ago, chrismedr said:

the rode link is amazing value atm, i just bought one for 300EUR plus tax.

i wouldn't want to try to use it with three walls in between, but as long as you're in the same room they should work very well even in crowded 2.4Ghz wifi areas. planning to use it mainly as camera hop, but it's a nice backup system too in case traditional frequencies cause problems.

i have some G3 which work well, thought about the AVX and although i like a lot of the aspects, it sits a bit in between price wise. perfect for one man camera jobs though.

 

How are you / TX setting the i/p level when using as a hop?

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26 minutes ago, daniel said:

How are you / TX setting the i/p level when using as a hop?

good question... need to find the wiring diagrams for the rode link to see if it accepts line level (a rode rep in a thread on cheesycam seems to indicate it does, but maybe he just means the -20dB option).. from: 
http://cheesycam.com/rodelink-filmmaker-wireless-lavalier-microphone-audio-system-review-and-distance-test/
"@Imran, yes the RØDELink Filmmaker Kit can accept line level inputs, just use the gain adjustments if necessary."
(he also mentions at a stereo receiver, but sounds like a distant possibility) 

anyway, otherwise i'll probably hook it up to the X2 out on the 633 and set that to mic level.

chris

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1 hour ago, chrismedr said:

good question... need to find the wiring diagrams for the rode link to see if it accepts line level (a rode rep in a thread on cheesycam seems to indicate it does, but maybe he just means the -20dB option).. from: 
http://cheesycam.com/rodelink-filmmaker-wireless-lavalier-microphone-audio-system-review-and-distance-test/
"@Imran, yes the RØDELink Filmmaker Kit can accept line level inputs, just use the gain adjustments if necessary."
(he also mentions at a stereo receiver, but sounds like a distant possibility) 

anyway, otherwise i'll probably hook it up to the X2 out on the 633 and set that to mic level.

chris

so the rodelink has a totally manual level adjustment? I don't think the sennheiser AVX does.

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17 hours ago, daniel said:

so the rodelink has a totally manual level adjustment? I don't think the sennheiser AVX does.

the rode link has a 3 gain switch: 0db, -10db and -20db.
as far as I know there is no automatic gain applied, didn't have time to really test things though.

I mainly got it because i sometimes wish I had an extra wireless channel for unexpected things, but it's also nice to have a cheap backup in case one of the G3 breaks or if there are frequency problems.

The AVX is probably quite a bit better in most respects (and smaller), but it costs 2.5 to 3 times as much as the rode, so not terribly suited for a backup (even more so because you'd have to worry about special batteries).

 

 

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You might think about a different solution. You can use Zaxcom ZFR body pack recorders and a single  ERX3TCD for time code output to camera and QC audio monitoring . The Bodypack recorders will give you hard wire audio quality recordings with time code reference. The recorders will jam time code to each other when powered up and will jam the TC generator in the ERX3TCD that can be connected to the camera or used to can multiple cameras.

The ERX3TCD can also be used during setup to monitor the audio quality of each body pack recorder. Because each recorder has Neverclip the audio quality will far better than any wireless setup you might end up with. With this system you can record continuously all day and change media once a day.

Many documentaries use this system as away to get audio quality and operational flexibility that can not be achieved with any wireless system at a very low cost to rent and operate.

 

Glenn

 

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With this system you can record continuously all day and change media once a day.

Many documentaries use this system as away to get audio quality and operational flexibility that can not be achieved with any wireless system at a very low cost to rent and operate.

 

Glenn

 

That's true, and you wouldn't need to worry about radio frequencies from one country to the next, or even at all.

On the other hand, you being unable to monitor the audio as well as the director being unable to listen to the protagonists from anything further than 10m away would be a total desaster in most cases

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Is it possible to use a ZFR300 + ERX3TCD as a method of sending TC and a scratch track to camera from mixer/recorder?

Is the ZFR300 mono or stereo as well?

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To send a scratch track to the camera would require our wireless system where transmitter recording and wireless transmission are combined. The ZFR300 QC transmission is very low power as to only be useful for audio QC and TC jamming between units.

Glenn

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The OP said this is a documentary. Perfect for this type of Zaxcom setup.

Yes exactly, documentary. absolutely not suitable to cover longer distances (as you said later). How is the director going to know what everyone is saying if he can't listen to their mics? In many cases the crew needs to be further away and can't listen in without the help of a mic. Regular Zaxcom radio mics would be far more suitable, but also far too expensive in this case

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1 hour ago, glenn said:

To send a scratch track to the camera would require our wireless system where transmitter recording and wireless transmission are combined. The ZFR300 QC transmission is very low power as to only be useful for audio QC and TC jamming between units.

Glenn

Ok. I was thinking ZFR300+ERXTCD3 would have a better chance of providing an audio sync track on the camera beside me than trying to maintain a monitor signal for the more mobile talent mics. Drop outs on an audio sync track would not be so critical especially if the alternative is a DSLR with only* 1 of the follow: camera mic or traditional audio hop or TC device for sync.

* it is possible to have a splitter cable into a DSLR but ops might go for 1 box, 2 boxes is pushing - if they're hiring sound they want the audio from my bag and an easy way to sync it. TC and QC grade audio track is pretty good to this end. 

Maybe ZFR400 has more powerful QC TX and OLED :-)

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sorry for the late answer.

thanks for all your help! i really apreciate it :)

due to the lack of money in this student film. they deceided to buy some evolutions. and with your help and the scan protocols i found some good freq. bands.

 

thanks alot :)

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Could you share your experience and tell us which frequencies you used in the end? I'll be shooting in Myanmar in Januar/February and want to find out if my Wisycoms will work there.
Thank you!

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11 hours ago, tonvogt said:

Could you share your experience and tell us which frequencies you used in the end? I'll be shooting in Myanmar in Januar/February and want to find out if my Wisycoms will work there.
Thank you!

wisycoms should work anywhere with over 200 mHz... 

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Did some shooting in Asia.

I didn't seem to have any issues with Lectro blk 21 (537.600-563.100) and blk 25 (640.00-665.500) in Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Sennheiser G3 range A (516-558) for scratch track in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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I regularly do work in Vietnam and use 518-554MHz and 734-776MHz. Haven't had a problem with either block as there was always something available. One tip is to not try and get local permission- the reason for this is that you open an investigation where you have to go to all sorts of offices and government/police buildings to get approval. They will want to know everything/may even end up being on set. If its a small production just get in do your job and get out. Obviously if the job is big enough then you will undoubtably have the help of some locals to sort all the papers out for you. 

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