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A wireless microphone system is a very advantageous setup for many people such as musicians, video and content creators, public speakers, educators for a PA system, and more. Wireless mic systems provide users with freedom of movement and more mobility in terms of choosing where they can record or perform.
Setting up a wireless microphone system may sound daunting can sound daunting, but learning and understanding how these work will make things so much easier. Here are the basics you need to know about setting up wireless microphone kits.
A wireless system replaces either a microphone cable or an instrument cable, with the transmitter sending radio frequency to a receiver, receiving the signal, and then sending the audio over to your audio interface or mixer.
You can commonly find wireless microphone systems in places like houses of worship and sporting events, as they give performers more freedom, while also saving time and space by eliminating the need to use and hook up many cables. Wireless microphones also include handheld, plug-in, and lavalier.
It’s one thing to know how microphones work and another thing to set them up. Before learning how to set up your wireless microphone system, here are the most essential details of your setup.
The transmitter converts audio from an input device into radio frequencies and then sends them to the receiver. For microphones connected to a belt pack with an external antenna, make sure that the antenna is straight and not bent. If it is the latter, the transmission and sound of the transmitters will be severely impaired and the antenna damaged.
The receiver is the box with antennas that you connect to your mixer and is what takes all the incoming transmissions and translates that information into voice and sound. Receivers receive the radio signal, change it back into an audio signal, then send it to the input of your mixing board using an XLR cable.
Batteries in wireless microphones system are used to power the transmitter and receiver. The operating range and signal strength of a cordless microphone system are largely affected by how much power the batteries still have, so it’s recommended to change them regularly to reduce performance issues.
Brand-name alkaline batteries are the most recommended as they are more reliable and provide longer life than generic batteries.
Begin your setup by installing the receiver and antenna. Make sure to place the receiver where it is visible to the person holding the microphone while keeping it at least 10 feet away from wireless consumer devices as this will reduce dropouts and audio artifacts like static and feedback.
When installing the antenna, point it straight upwards or angle it in a V shape if you’re working with more than one antenna. Connect the output of your receiver to the appropriate channel on your mixing board before turning it on.
After this, you then need to begin the pairing process between the receiver and the transmitter. Plug the power supply into the receiver then plug it into the wall. Once plugged in, connect one end of your XLR cable to your receiver and then the other end to your microphone for the room or on a PA system. If using a lavalier mic, you will need to connect the mic with the transmitter.
Make sure that the frequency range of your wireless system is compatible with the room by using a frequency finder to confirm the compatibility. You can also use the auto-scan feature of your microphone system if it has one.
The pairing will be done through a group and channel or through an exact frequency. Press and hold down the Mute button on the microphone, and an LED light or radio frequency meter should indicate the status of the pairing.
When using more than one wireless system, make sure to use different frequencies for each one. Multiple systems on the same frequency can cause distortion, dropouts, or multiple mics on the same channel as your mixer.
Complete your process by setting the levels of your receiver, transmitter, and mixer. You should start with all the levels all the way down then slowly turn up the transmitter and receiver levels while speaking or singing into the input device. Once the audio meter reaches maximum level, turn it down until it stops clipping.
Lastly, turn up the channel’s gain knob until the indicator light turns on, and turn the gain knob down again until the light turns off. After this step, your levels will be properly set and your wireless mic system is ready to be used. Ensure that someone is monitoring the wireless microphone system in order to keep an eye on the channels and adjust as needed to keep a consistent voice and audio quality throughout the performance.
Whether it’s needed for a school’s PA system, recording a video, or performing at a live event, there are many places where having a wireless microphone system is essential. For people in these environments, understanding how to control your system is key to avoiding problems while it’s in use and has great sounding performances every time.
On the hunt for a wireless microphone? We have the perfect guide for you right here.
Keeping the transmitter and receiver in sight of each other is critical to keeping the sound quality good as you use your wireless microphone system. Aside from keeping them both within the same room, there shouldn’t be any obstructions between the two. Plug your receiver somewhere nearby and adjust the area of your wireless microphone system accordingly to keep signals clear.
Many wireless microphone systems don’t require any connection to a computer. However, if you do need a connection to a computer, you can directly connect the receiver to the USB port or use an audio interface that has digital inputs.
The method for connecting to a computer will depend however on how many channels your wireless mic system has and how many computer input ports you have available. Luckily, there are many different resources you can search through to help you with your specific setup.