Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will any wireless microphone system work with my existing system?
Any wireless microphone system can be connected to any sound
system mixing console as long as there are microphone input
connections available regardless of other types of microphones
2. What is the difference between VHF and UHFwireless microphone
Initially, most wireless microphone systems for sound and PA
use VHF frequencies. Over time, new wireless VHF applications
emerged such as CB radio's and radio and television stations.
Eventually, available VHF frequencies began to shrink causing more
interference. UHF began to be used as an alternative to VHF
because of its higher bandwidth with less chance for interference
from existing frequencies. Both VHF and UHF systems provide
excellent sound quality.
3. When I walk around with my wireless microphone the signal drops
out, or sometimes I hear wishing sound. What causes this to
All wireless microphone systems are not created equal. Wireless
microphone systems can have a coverage area of a few feet to
several hundred feet. Different wireless systems have different
designs and applications. True diversity wireless systems generally
provide greater range with fewer drop-outs. True diversity means
that the wireless receiver has two separate receivers in one receiver.
Each receiver connects to an individual antenna which provides
better overall coverage with less chance for drop-outs. It can be
difficult to determine whether a wireless system is true diversity
because several manufacturers offer non-diversity wireless systems
with a single receiver that has two mounted antenna's.
4. What kind of wireless microphone system should I purchase?
There are three things to consider when purchasing a wireless
microphone system. They are defined as what, where, and how.
What is the application of the wireless system. This determines the
quality of sound needed for the system. For example, Shure
wireless microphone systems have different model head
configurations like the SM58, BETA58 or BETA87. Each element
has its own sound characteristics. This applies to wireless lapel
microphone systems as well. Whether to go with a lapel microphone
with an omni-directional pick-up pattern or a uni-directional
microphone with a cardiod pattern. Omni-directional microphones
are more prone to feedback when in close proximity to other
instrument or speaker systems. Uni-directional lapel microphones
have a tighter pattern and provides greater signal level before
The second consideration before choosing a wireless
microphone is where the system is going to be located. True
diversity wireless systems generally offer greater range which
means the systems receiver can be located farther from the
transmitter. Single receiver wireless systems are more prone to
drop-outs and generally provide less coverage than diversity
The third thing to consider when purchasing a wireless system is
how many wireless sytems am I going to use. If you are going to be
using at least two wireless systems, you should select a frequency
agile wireless microphone system. Initally, wireless mcirophone
systems were manufactured one a single frequency for the
transmitter and the receiver. This meant that when you wanted to
add another wireless system, you had to remember the frequency of
each existing microphone system so that you pick a new
wireless system where the frequencies do not conflict.
Today, many wireless microphone systems are frequency-agile
systems which means that each system has multiple frequencies
for the transmitter and receiver and can be changed in an effort to
eliminate conflict with any other system being used.
5. I want to start a tape ministry, should I use cassette tape's
or CD's for this ministry?
For may years, houses of worship used cassette tape format as
the recording medium of choice. This was the most economical
route because of the low cost of cassette recording equipment
and duplication. However, today more and more churches
have turned to CD's for broadcast and music ministries. The main
advantage of CD's is superior sound qualiity, ease of use and
storage shelf life. Cd use for houses of worship has greatly
increased over the past (5) years because cd recording
and duplication equipment has become more affordable and the
cost of cd duplication rivals that of cassette tape. Most churches
with an active broadcast and tape ministry still use use both formats,
however cd's are becoming the medium of choice because they can
be duplicated in large quanities with any drop-of in sound quality.
For churches wishing to record using both tape and cd formats,
equipment is available to record a cassette tape and cd at the
same time with one recording unit. This will allow recording and
playback of of both formats. Though recording a cd is similar
to recording a cassette, cd recording requires more hands on
participation to ensure that approriate musical and vocal segments
can be recorded for playback on selected tracks. Cd duplicating
towers can make produce12 copies in a little over 2 minutes.
6. I want to start videotaping my services but don't know what
equipment I need, can you give me some advice?
Many churches have now added video applications to their
broadcast ministry. Proper video recording requires certain
criteria before beginning. Proper lighting is essential for good
video recording. In older church sanctuaries additional lighting
may have to be installed for proper recording. Next, its important
to determine the the type of video camera to use. The right
camera to use is determined by location, lighting and application.
If only a certain area is to be recorded, then a fixed camera with
the proper lens can be utilized. If your application requires
video recording throughout the entire sanctuary, then different
camera's which have the ability to pan, tilt and zoom in and out
will be needed. When using these type cameras it requires
equipment and personel to be able to switch camera's and
control the pan, tilt and zoom functions.
7. How can I stop the squeals that come throught the sound system
evey time a microphone is turned on?
M icrophone squeals are normally a result of several different
sound situations. Microphones located too close to a speaker
system can cause feedback which causes squeals.Other causes
could be to many open microphones. Inappropriate microphone
and speaker placement is the most common cause of squeals
in sound systems. An on-site visit can determine the specific cause.
8. I have elderly members in the church that say that the message
or the music is either too loud or too soft. What can I do to solve
This is a common problem especially with older members or
members with a hearing impairment, fortunately there are systems
available which allow members to hear the entire service using
their own individual handheld receiver and headphones. They can
adjust the volume to their comfort level. Additional receivers can
be added as needed. This system also works well when the church
service needs to be transmitted to members in different languages.
9. The sermon sounds fine but I cannot hear the singers beccause the
music for the organ and keyboard is so loud, What can be done?
This is a common problem in churches and may require several
solutions. The keyboard or piano player may not know how loud
they are playing in relationship to other instruments or singers.
Ideally, the piano or keyboardist should have an individual monitor
so that they can hear all of the musicians and vocalist and adjust
their volume accordingly. If the sound in the sanctuarty is being
controlled by a sound technician, then it might be advisable to
control your instruments such as keyboard, piano, guitars and organ
from the sound board. In order for this method to work, there must
be available connections to send the approriate signals to the
mixing console and the mixing console should have the available
inputs to receive the additional signals. It should be noted that
when miking instruments like keyboards, bass guitars, and organs,
the speaker system in the church must be able to handle the
low frequencies that these instruments can produce. Organs
can be overpowering in a church and controlling the volume can be
a challange, especially with some of the older models like the
Hammond B-3 or C-3. These organs were connected to a leslie or
another type speaker cabinet and had it's own volume control. By
placing an instrument microphone near the leslie speaker and
transmiiting the signal from that microphone to the mixing console,
a fixed level can be set at the organ and any further volume changes
can be controlled by the sound technician at the mixing console.