We’re gaining the freedom of motion to capture images and action without a trail of cable following behind. This is true with video as well as audio.
Wireless microphones have been used with cameras for years, as they provide a variety of benefits to the production. A concealed transmitter and mic on the talent grabs his or her words at a distance with usable level and intelligibility, in sync with the video and without the masking of extraneous noise. Sight lines and sets are cleaner. A clear wireless signal can prove more robust than long cable runs with multiple connections that create the possibility of induced hum or other signal degradation.
The latest generation of wireless mics has drawn on advances in computing, networking and digital audio processing to offer an even more reliable signal — one with a resolution that melds with high-definition visuals provided by new cameras. What are these characteristics, how do they help, and in what ways are they adapted to the needs of today’s camera operator?
The key word in all of these advances is digital. Within the past couple years, almost all manufacturers of wireless microphones have introduced one or more systems using digital transmission and processing, along with expanded frequency agility and networking capabilities. The transition from analog to digital provides a myriad of benefits.
Modern cameras convert incoming images to digital information, in which form it can remain through processing, editing and transmission through various methods to the viewer. New wireless mics can do the same with the audio signal, making the conversion to digital within the transmitter — right after the microphone capsule. Many new receivers will output the signal in the digital domain, and some cameras will accept this signal directly. So, now both video and audio are digital from the source, and can remain that way until reaching the TV set.