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Coordinating Frequencies on Reality Travel Show

Matthew Sonnenfeld

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I am working on a travel show that has me going all over the country only spending a day or two in one area.  I am using four channels of WisyCom (470 - 640) wireless for talent, two Sennheiser G3 as hops (mono to two cameras), and Comtek 216's.


With all of this wireless, I am trying to find the best practice to coordinate frequencies in multiple locations quickly and efficiently.  For the first week out it was a lot of receiver scanning in local hotels the night before the shoot and adjusting accordingly on location the next day but I'm sure that I am not doing the right thing.


Any advice that anyone could give me would be hugely appreciated.  This amount of wireless is relatively new to me as I only recently was fortunate enough to get the work that could require, and pay for, a large expansion of my kit.



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Actually, what you did is the way to do it...  all the work ahead of time may or may not pan out at the time of production.... You don't know what is on frequencies until you actually are reasonably close to shooting...  You can figure out what blocks may give you difficulties, but from then on, you need to scan before shooting, set them up and let them rip...  


  I AM NOT a reality guy, but thought there may be someone to coordinate them as part of the work flow... but, maybe not, or it varies from show to show...


  I have scanned frequencies and an hour later I had to adjust as frequency situations changed....


  So, I would do it as you are, pain in the ass or not... Try to include the time spent  in your timecard or pay somehow as you are STILL working doing it.

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It's not the cheapest option, but I prefer to use IAS on any travel show I do.




I do a master coordination and then just plug in zip codes for all the dates on the itinerary.


It usually puts me about 98% in the ball park.  I'll over-coordinate (If I have 10 mics, I tell IAS 14) so I have some wiggle room for the occasional bad freq in any given location.


I've used this method for several years now and it's made RF life on the road much simpler.


I also recently picked up a spectrum analyzer, but that's another thread...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use IAS as well. Different programs with different algorithms will give you different results. We travel to a couple cities a week on Catfish and I always give myself a spare or two on each block as well. I do find myself still having to maintain it throughout the city as we travel around. Scanning should always be involved.

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I checked out the demo of IAS, and the freqs it gave me were none of the ones I usually use through trial and error+ Freq Finder.




An interesting thing to note is that if you hit the "test" button a second time, it will generate a new, and completely different list of frequencies, and possibly more, or less of them than the previous test. This can be handy if you are trying to maximize the number of freqs within a block, or if you are looking to see different results for any other reason.

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