Do you know of a good solution for a speaking situation where we want to use a wireless mic for amplification but also want to record digitally? Can you both patch into a portable digital voice recorder AND send a wireless signal for amplification?
The easy way to do this is to use a separate lav microphone (like the ones mentioned in this article) and plug it directly into the portable digital recorder, and hide the portable digital recorder on the talent. Let the wireless system that's going to be plugged into the house amplification system act on its own. In other words, there will be two lav microphones on the talent (one for the house system and one going directly into the recorder). It gets a lot more complicated when you want to integrate the portable digital recorder and the wireless system. Here's why...
The best way to go if you're only putting one lavalier mic on the talent is to use two separate wireless receivers. Let me start at the beginning, so you understand the basics.
A wireless microphone system consists of three components:
1) The microphone
2) The wireless transmitter
3) The wireless receiver
When you just need to plug the signal from the microphone into one location (such as the amplification or PA system), you would connect the wireless receiver to a microphone input on the PA system.
When you want to plug the signal from the microphone into two locations (such as the PA system and a portable digital recorder), a good way to do this would be to buy an additional (and identical) wireless receiver. Therefore you are plugging one wireless receiver into the PA system, and a second wireless receiver into the mic input on the portable digital recorder.
If you go this route, it's really important to be certain that you're buying the correct wireless receiver. For example, if you have a Sennheiser EW G3 wireless lav system that operates on Frequency B, you want make sure that you're buying an a la carte Sennheiser 3G receiver that also operates on Frequency B.
It's also important to point out that with wireless systems it's perfectly fine to have one transmitter and several receivers. However, on the flip side of that, it's not okay to have several transmitters and one receiver. That won't work.
Another solution for you, Karen, is to see if there is an AUX output on the PA system. If there is, you may not need to buy a second wireless receiver. It may be possible to route the feed from the wireless receiver that's plugged into the PA system to an auxiliary output on the PA system. You may be able to connect an input on the portable digital recorder to this AUX output. However, there are many variables. You need to know if the PA has an AUX output. You need to know what kind of connector the output is. You need the appropriate cable and/or adapter to connect the AUX output to the input on the portable digital recorder. You also need to know if the level of the AUX output is compatible with the kind of input on the recorder. Is the AUX output line-level? Is it mic-level? Is the AUX output level adjustable? Is the input on the recorder adjustable?
One thing I would not advise doing is using splitter cables. When you use a splitter cable, you are changing the impedance of the signal. An improper impedance mismatch can ruin the audio quality, and you may be creating a problem as opposed to solving one.
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