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I’m on a stunts day so I have a chance to write between the explosions. Seems that NAB didn’t bring any announcements of new gear from Lectro. That got me thinking about my wish list of improvements to radio mic systems - regardless of manufacturer.

When I started in this industry 30 years ago I used Micron VHF radio mics which were fixed frequency. Later models had three switchable frequencies. I became used to what we now call frequency agile wireless about fifteen years ago with the Audio Ltd 2020, later the 2040 range and now use Lectro. A lot of the equipment we use is tuneable over perhaps 30mHz but Wisycom now have a tuning range of 230mHz and new to the market Audio Wireless have a 120mHz tuning range. With multi camera we now use far more wireless and at crowded studio complexes or big events we cannot always stick to the blocks that we have in our kit so that we have to rent in alternative equipment – inconvenient and we loose the rental on the kit we own.

I assume that what Wisycom and Audio Wireless have started will be picked up by other manufacturers. In particular, now that Lectro have tracking receiver modules and wide band Venue and Field frames, it seems to me that the next step is freeing receiver modules from individual blocks and like Wisycom designing wide band receivers and a similar tuning range on transmitters. I am not suggesting that this will be anything but a challenge for the RF engineers but for me, the user, a system that would tune from 520 to 640mHz (Audio Wireless tuning range) or even better from 470 to 700mHz (Wisycom tuning range) would be a really significant improvement.

The Sound Devices Pix 260 has a Dante connection that inputs 24 channels of 24 bit audio via a single Cat 5 cable with minimal latency. I have no doubt that Dante - already adopted by many audio manufacturers http://www.audinate.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=343 - will be incorporated into new recorders from other manufacturers. As the track count increases, a system such as Dante frees up a lot of socket real estate on both the recorder and potentially the wireless receiver. So imagine a bigger receiver rack such as the Venue with Dante  – Lectro have already made their own Dante boards and break out for the for their Aspen system - perhaps with space for 12 wide tuning range VRT receivers in a deeper 1U enclosure - able to tune across different blocks with one set of receiver modules and a single Cat5 connection to the recorder. That would be space saving both on the receiver and the recorder and money saving because you wouldn’t have to rent in alternative blocks if some or all of the kit you own is not usable in a particular location.

It will come at a price just as VRT is more expensive than VRS but the versatility and convenience as well as the cost saving on rental would make it a very good incentive to upgrade. Is anyone like minded?

Tim

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::) I am, I have some remarkably similar recent experience to you that makes me think wider tuning range is only going to become a bigger and bigger issue.

 

Dropped in on Audio Engineering to get a channel converted a couple of weeks back. They are definitely looking into wider tuning ranges (also saw a mini tx prototype but thats another topic). As far as I'm aware they don't really have a rack that requires Dante.

 

Best

 

Nick

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I think something else to consider is that with the recent announcement of the FCC frequency auction, we will have a lot less room to play, so we need to start venturing into a completely new spectrum if we want to continue to use our wireless in the future.

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