Beginner’s guide to wireless lavalier microphone system

Wireless lavalier microphone system makes your short film or vlog audio appear professional. It allows you to get consistent and clear audio pickup. The audio will be of the same quality regardless of where the camera is pointed or how far away the subject is. If you are new to wireless recording, you may find it confused to understand the term like analog and set up the whole system correctly for recording high quality audio. In this article, we will tell you some basics.

Video: Wireless lavalier microphone system for DSLR explained and audio example

There are two main parts to every wireless microphone setup. One is a transmitter, which normally has a rear clip for attaching to the performer's clothes. The other is receiver. It gathers radio signals from the transmitter, transforms them to audio, and then transfers the audio over a wire to your recording device.

You may record audio from a single subject using this system. And there are also some systems that have dual transmitters sending sounds to a receiver. For example, the SYNCO G1(A2) is a dual wireless lavalier microphone system. It consists of two clip-on transmitters and a receiver. You can check the video by Fenchel & Janisch to see what makes it and how it performs in audio pickup.

Different types of wireless lavalier microphone systems and their differences

There are analog and digital wireless lavalier microphone system on the market. If classified by the frequency range, there are also VHF, UHF, and 2.4GHz ones. What are they? What are their differences? Read on to find the answers.

Analog VS Digital

Despite their name, digital wireless systems require analog carrier signals much like analog systems, hence they are not entirely digital. The major distinction is that digital systems transmit ones and zeros over the signal instead of just pure analog audio. A digital technology makes it simpler to remove noise. Professional-grade analog wireless systems effectively reduce background noise. Despite this, signal quality degradation is still a possibility.

Contrarily, digital wireless systems encode your audio as digital at the transmitter, transmit it to the receiver, and then decode it as analog at the receiver. Your receiver doesn't even consider analog noise or interference because it solely works with digital data. Anything that isn't a continuous stream of ones and zeroes is simply ignored.

VHF VS UHF VS 2.4GHz

The majority of wireless lavalier microphone systems work in the 470–952 MHz UHF (Ultra High Frequency) frequency range. Some operate in the 49–216 MHZ VHF (Very High Frequency) range. VHF systems will have fewer accessible channels yet being generally cheaper. Furthermore, very long antennae are needed for VHF.

The UHF wireless lavalier microphone system, however, has a number of channels that are easily accessible for wireless microphone systems. You may get very high audio quality and support several concurrent systems in the UHF frequency.

As for the 2.4GHz, we think it is the best wireless lavaleir microphone system if you are tight on budget. These systems run on a frequency range of 83 MHz between 2.400 GHz and 2.483 GHz. The same thing as WiFi. These microphones are simple to use, lightweight, and portable. They typically have a shorter range than UHF wireless microphones. However, if you keep your camera at a reasonable distance, this shouldn't be an issue. Why bother with live audio if the subject is a tiny figure in the distance?

How to set up wireless lavalier microphone system?

A wireless system enables you to send audio signals from your stage to the sound system without the use of cords. A wireless system always has two components: the transmitter(s), which stays onstage near the performers, and the receiver(s), which captures sound from the transmitter(s) and typically stays close to the sound mixing position. The best wireless systems provide the same audio quality as wired systems, but without the hassle and limits that come with cords.

Setting up a wireless microphone may appear more difficult than plugging in a conventional microphone. The following is a general setup tutorial for the vast majority of wireless microphone systems on the market.

  • Switch on your receiver before turning on the transmitter. By pressing the "Automatic Frequency Selection" button, the majority of wireless receivers will choose a frequency for you.
  • The majority of wireless transmitters contain a button to synchronize them with the receiver you just turned on (once the receiver has chosen a frequency). When you press this button, the transmitter and the newly-configured receiver shake hands and connect. You may now use wireless audio.
  • To ensure that you are receiving a strong signal free of distortion, check the signal levels at the transmitter and the receiver. It's likely that the transmitter's volume control is set too low if everything seems too quiet despite a lot of noise. It's likely that the transmitter's level is too high if you hear a loud, distorted signal.
  • Keep your transmitter and receiver in line of sight. We've discovered that signal losses frequently result from this.
  • Consider the operational range of your system while positioning transmitters and receivers, and try to keep them as close as you can. The likelihood of interference increases with the amount of distance a signal must travel.
  • Keep your transmitter's batteries fresh. Signal strength and operational range start to deteriorate as a battery dies.