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JtotheH

Newbie in hot debate on Wireless

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Hey there. I'm Joe and I'm a recovering musician. Getting into location sound and I am really at a crossroads for my initial investment into my package: Jump into the level of lectrosonics kits (L series) along with only 1 G4 (512) or to pick up multiple Sennheisers. I'm just starting, but I know clients and others do judge on what you provide. I also have done enough studio work to know I hate messing around with cheap gear. But are Lectrosonics worth eating up so much of my initial budget? Or am I better to take my time, get into the game and provide solid quality with more channels of wireless with the 512 G4's?   THANKS!

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3 hours ago, JtotheH said:

Jump into the level of lectrosonics kits (L series) along with only 1 G4 (512) or to pick up multiple Sennheisers.

Normally when people say "G4" (or "G3") they mean the cheaper 112, not the more expensive 512. 

As a G3 (and the 112 G4 is basically the same as the 112 G3, don't bother spending much more for G4 vs secondhand G3) has for years (and before then, for years the G2 etc) been widely seen as the "minimum quality" necessary for semi professional work. 

Personally I view the Sony UWP-D11 as a much better buy in the sub $1K category, vs a G3/G4 for the same money. 

As for Lectrosonics L series, yes the LT/LMb are quite affordable wideband vs the others from Lectrosonics (if a bit bulky, and lacking sometimes in a few of the other features), I wouldn't so strongly recommend the LR. As one of the many benefits generally of buying Lectrosonics vs have G3 RXs in your bag is how you can easily see info at a glance that you couldn't with a G3 bodypack style receivers. Getting SRc (or older narrow band SRb / UCR411) instead would be a better idea in my opinion than a LT for your purposes. 

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How much your clients care about the specific gear your use depends on your clients mostly.  Most just like to see a very together LOOKING package: well organized, and with you knowing how to use it and where everything is without any fuss.  They don't care so much about brands as long as the tracks you turn in (and what they might hear in their headphones on set) sounds good, cuttable and mixable.  Beyond that they like CHEAP!   There are mixers all over the world who are doing good sound with inexpensive gear anymore (like Zoom recorder+Rode mic+Senny wireless etc), because they are organized, they've practiced with their gear and they LISTEN.  Yes, the more expensive stuff sounds better, and is easier to get a good sound with, but you can get on towards that stuff after you've gotten started.  The important thing is to get out there with what you have and get as much experience as you can under your belt.  That experience will inform your future gear acquisitions much better than opinions from people like us.

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Before you buy, rent different models that you have your eye on. You’re in NYC according to your profile, so there are a few choices for “usual suspects” (Gotham etc).

 

 Keep an eye on eBay and the Buy/Sell section on this site.

 

 I am in the “buy once, cry once” camp. And would recommend skipping the Sennheiser and Sony options. They may work fine in ideal conditions, but NYC Has lots of RF in the air, and the more solid your system is, the better. 

 

Socialize with some local sound people in your area and hang out here on this board. Learn how to charge real rates, and how to make gear pay for itself in the long run.

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I don't think you can go wrong picking up some used G3s or Sonys...they give flex and utility in your kit (hops, director monitor etc).  As you are just starting, I'm curious as to what shotgun mics you have and what you are recording with.

 

I am in the buy-once camp also...it is sometimes hard to square that circle when you don't have the steady income yet though as a starter.  I like things that hold utility even if they aren't what I'll be relying on a year later.  With that in mind, used Lectros have amazing value...UM400s, UCR211, UCR411...alot of these used on the market at great prices as the pros buy more of the SMs and SRs.  You won't be compromising on sound quality at all, just a bit on the conveniences.

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I have successfully used G2s and G3s outside on the street in midtown Manhattan (aka, RF hell), but I always used an external RF scanner to fined a low prx dB RF range. It's still a crap-shoot though, even with my Lectros. IMO, the G series Rx internal scanner is useless, unless you're just scanning for other G series Tx. Probably the same w/ the Sony UWP.

99.9% of the clients I've encountered in my 20+ year tenure, don't know .. or care.. what gear you have as long as it works and sounds good.

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4 hours ago, Johnny Karlsson said:

 

Socialize with some local sound people in your area and hang out here on this board. Learn how to charge real rates, and how to make gear pay for itself in the long run.

 

This is perhaps more important than anything. Charging real rates will attract real clients that only care about the kinds of things that @Philip Perkins said. Charging less only hurts you and your career, as well as lowers the bar for everyone else. 

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Jesus, gentlemen. I can't thank you enough. Yes, my plan is to definitely socialize. Just shifted my entire initial order from B&H to Gotham because it takes about 3 seconds to realize their actually connected to the community. 

Honestly, if any of you know someone who would like to be a mentor in the NYC area I am all about it. I've been doing live sound for bands and studio work  in Europe for the last 5 years, so it's basically translating the demands and headaches to a different arena. That will definitely be easier with getting to know most of you folks, as well as those in my area.

 

On 6/18/2019 at 9:06 PM, Rick Reineke said:

I have successfully used G2s and G3s outside on the street in midtown Manhattan (aka, RF hell), but I always used an external RF scanner to fined a low prx dB RF range. It's still a crap-shoot though, even with my Lectros. IMO, the G series Rx internal scanner is useless, unless you're just scanning for other G series Tx. Probably the same w/ the Sony UWP.

99.9% of the clients I've encountered in my 20+ year tenure, don't know .. or care.. what gear you have as long as it works and sounds good.

Rick, what type of scanner would you use? Would love a link!

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2 hours ago, JtotheH said:

 

Rick, what type of scanner would you use? Would love a link!

 

Inexpensive and quite effective: RF Explorer.

 

https://www.gothamsound.com/search?result=rf explorer

 

Although the 6G combo model is overkill for users of wireless microphones. I would rather recommend the much cheaper WSUB1G model which covers the 240 MHz  to 960 MHz range, or even the ISM Combo (240 MHz - 960 MHz plus an additional 2350 MHz to 2550 MHz to hunt for rogue 2.4 GHz stuff).

 

The WSUB1G+ (note the plus sign) has a downwards extended frequency response reaching 50 KHz, which can help locate troublesome VHF or even HF/LF signals. The latter can have hefty transmission powers. 

 

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8 hours ago, John Blankenship said:

Note that the Pro Audio specific model that Gotham (and other professional dealers) sells has some worthy features, such as presets, which adds definite value to the unit.

 

 

True, and guaranteed compatibility with Vantage, the spectrum analyzer software.

 

By the way, I always recommend buying the input limiter/6 dB attenuator unit they sell. Otherwise strong RF might damage the input stage.

 

 

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19 hours ago, borjam said:

 

Inexpensive and quite effective: RF Explorer.

 

https://www.gothamsound.com/search?result=rf explorer

 

Although the 6G combo model is overkill for users of wireless microphones. I would rather recommend the much cheaper WSUB1G model which covers the 240 MHz  to 960 MHz range, or even the ISM Combo (240 MHz - 960 MHz plus an additional 2350 MHz to 2550 MHz to hunt for rogue 2.4 GHz stuff).

 

The WSUB1G+ (note the plus sign) has a downwards extended frequency response reaching 50 KHz, which can help locate troublesome VHF or even HF/LF signals. The latter can have hefty transmission powers. 

 

 

So if I find trouble in VHF or HF/LF how would being aware of that help me avoid it since my devices are working in fixed bandwiths?

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20 minutes ago, JtotheH said:

 

So if I find trouble in VHF or HF/LF how would being aware of that help me avoid it since my devices are working in fixed bandwiths?

 

Sorry I wasn't explicit enough. It would help you explain apparently paranormal phenomena like interference even to wired microphones. Also, depending on what wireless equipment you are using you may have overload issues in the presence of strong off frequency signals. 

 

 

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WSUB1G+ is actually also compatible with various software options, and you can also set/recall  your own presets (per frequency block for example). Covers 50KHz – 960MHz.

 

However, the Pro Audio edition does have other additional features. For example, it can analyze the 2.4GHz WiFi band.

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8 hours ago, borjam said:

 

True, and guaranteed compatibility with Vantage, the spectrum analyzer software.

 

By the way, I always recommend buying the input limiter/6 dB attenuator unit they sell. Otherwise strong RF might damage the input stage.

 

 

Another selling point is that the RF Venue Audio version has a "configurable input attenuator" built in.

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