Wireless Audio at NAB 2006
From the people that brought us the revolutionary Pin Mic comes a new breed of wireless radio for mics and camera linking.
Utilizing Spread Spectrum and QOS (Quality of Service) technology, this is a fully digital system offering analog or AES/EBU outputs with 20Hz-20kHz response with no compression.
The receiver is a barrel, slightly larger than an XLR connector with a jointed antenna at one end and a male XLR plug at the other. One of the two available transmitters looks identical, with a female XLR, and supplies 48V phantom power, for use as a Plug On mic, or mixer transmitter. Both of these takes 2 AAA batteries that last 25 hours. The “Little Buddy” transmitter is a cute little blue module that fits inside the palm of your hand. It takes 2 button batteries that last 15 hours, and has a pigtail wire ready for any (other brand transmitters) connector.
The specs are:
48k sampling rate, 16 bits, 96dB S/N, 10 Meter range or more.
Price, around $1800.00/set
I wish I had set up a camera to capture the number of dropped jaws, looks of disbelief, and variations of “You’re kidding, right?” when hearing about Zaxcom’s new digital wireless transceivers. That’s right, as in 2 way radios for microphone and IFB.
Not only do these two new transceivers replace the IFB beltpack receiver, it is also a digital audio recorder capturing up to 12 hours of 24 bit, SMPTE time code referenced digital audio! Whether you use the recording for transcription, backup or primary audio, each unit on the set constitutes a virtual multitrack audio recorder. Transfer the files from each Mini-SD card to your computer while selecting (after the fact) from a choice of file formats and sampling rates, and the clips will drop into your editing time line, in sync with video.
But wait, there’s more! The system can distribute time code as well as video sync to your cameras, acting as the master sync source, or slaving to another.
At this point, I had to help steady some folks to keep their knees from failing,
BUT WAIT! The transmitters are RF remote controlled. You can change the audio input gain, adjust the built-in HP filter, put it in sleep mode, and wake it up, and even change the transmit frequency—all without going anywhere near the wearer!
Yes, there are more features in the never before available category that this amazing system does, but at this point the poor guy was usually glassy eyed and drooling, so I just let this much sync in, so to speak.
There are two transmitters, the TRX-900/910 designed for lav mics, and the TRX-990 designed for boom or sideline EFX mic operators with two XLR balanced, 48V phantom powered mic/line inputs and a powerful mixing headphone amp. Both offer the receiving and recording options.
There are two receivers, the single ENG model, very much like the original, and the single r.u. 12V RX4900 four channel stereo receiver for studio, truck and sound cart applications
Transmitters and receivers are available now with the recording option. The self upgradeable IFB option is scheduled for September 2006.