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Sennheiser G3 wireless output level


Ed Denton
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Hi all,

I'm setting up a Sennheiser G3 wireless system and I'm wondering what the optimum output to my Sound Devices 552 (or a camera for that matter) would be. Based on this discussion and here I thought I should output at the receiver's max of +12 and input to my 552 mixer at line level. When I do this however I get a really low signal and I need to boost the gain on my mixer to almost max just to get a good level. The same goes when plugging the G3 directly into the camera at line level. I have to turn the input level to max and it is still a fairly weak signal. With my Lectro 411a receivers I run +5 and line in on the mixer and get a great signal. How do others set up their Sennheiser G3 receivers for optimum output. Does everyone use a lower output on the receiver and input to mixer/camera at mic level. Surely you would want to avoid to not-so-great camera preamps? Does anyone know what unity level is on the G3 receivers? What I mean by this is, for example, on a Lectrosonics 411a the +5 setting is the un-boosted/un-attenuated signal. What is the equivalent on a Sennheiser G3 wireless receiver?

Many thanks!

Apologies in advance if this has already been covered in a thread already, numberous searches yielded no relevent results. If there is then please let me know.

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When linking with a 552 or other mixer with high quality pre amps there is no reason not to use them. On the other hand when I use My G3's as hops I always use +12 output. You will need to boost most cameras input quite a bit but it is still an improvement over the cameras pre's.

Note: I have found the real key is to make sure your transmitter is using its full meters range. I usually set it just one click under the peak meter blinking. You don't hear any distortion until pretty deep past that light activating. The meters are very poor on the G3's.

Jesse

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Why dont you do a test linking you Rx using instead of line level, Mic level? Adjust your Tx at -30 and Rx's at +6db or lower, and also adjust your 552's preamps. Listen to the difference if you don't like it go with the line setup. What mic are you using? Where's the scene taking place?

Best regards,

Marco

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Adjust the transmitter gain so its not too overloaded, but not too low.

when you lower the gain on a wireless TX to "lower the signal level", you are throwing away signal to noise ratio (aka dynamic range) by under-modulating...

This is improper gain staging

you are lowering the peaks closer to the noise floor on the TX, and cranking up the noise floor on the RX end.

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when you lower the gain on a wireless TX to "lower the signal level", you are throwing away signal to noise ratio (aka dynamic range) by under-modulating...

This is improper gain staging

you are lowering the peaks closer to the noise floor on the TX, and cranking up the noise floor on the RX end.

I couldn't agree more Senator. A lot of people just don't get s/n ratio when it comes to wireless systems. But s/n ratio is a huge thing in our business.

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I would agree with Senator also.. if your receiver's AF out is set to +12 and get inadequate levels, the transmitter's mic sensitivity level is set too low. Switching to a mic level settings would yeild you more gain at the mixer and would bring up the noise from the improperly gain-staged wireless system.

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I've been using the G3's for camera hops from my 552. When using the "unbalnaced stereo output" on the 552 I USED TO set the transmitter to -30, however I found that some of the extream peaks were sounding a bit "crunchy". I've since gone to a setting of -36. Yes, the noise floor is a bit higher, but the audio is clean.

I typically run the receivers at +12.

Tom

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Thanks for the tip Jesse about the G3 transmitter dynamic range. I probably have been running it too low because I thought it was getting too close to peaking. But it may be the metering on the receiver that make it look like it is peaking well before the "peak" light comes on.

Marco I use many different lav mics with the transmitter and they all require different level settings. For example COS-11 red dots have a very low output so I need to bump the transmitter level quite a bit. Normal COS-11's have a very high output so they need a much lower level. Rode lav mics or Tram lavs are somewhere in the middle.

Aristotle, check out the links in my original post as to why I wouldn't generally use mic level for wireless systems.

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