Are your current wireless microphones illegal?

There is a lot of confusion right now about wireless microphones and the frequencies that they use.  For those living in Central Kansas this article will clear up some of the confusion about your wireless systems and if they are legal or illegal.

Why can’t I keep using my 600mhz wireless microphone system?

On April 13, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held an incentive auction, allowing mobile service providers to acquire licenses for the use of the 600MHz band. The major telecom companies taking advantage of this auction were AT&T, Comcast, Dish, and T-Mobile.

The FCC ruled that everyone using a 600mhz wireless system would have until 2020 to change to a lower band of frequencies.  However, if a telecommunication company, in your area, starts to use the frequencies in the 600mhz spectrum the requirement to cease using wireless microphones may be sooner.

If you live in central Kansas, all of southwestern Kansas, and large parts of northeast Kansas your wireless microphones could interfere with T-Mobile’s use of the 600mhz frequencies, and could possible be fined for causing interference with their wireless license.

Are your wireless mic’s or wireless in-ear monitors legal of illegal?

Simply check the wireless transmitter (the microphone) or the receiver to see what frequency spectrum it operates in.  If it operates in  a band of frequencies higher that 608MHZ than it is time to change to a new system.  If it operates in a band of frequencies between 470mhz and 608mhz than you are compliant with the new rules.

Solid Rock Audio Video is here to help

Wireless systems are expensive but we are here to help.  We will give you 10% off any wireless microphone or in-ear monitor system.  We are authorized resellers of Shure, Sennheiser, Audio Technica, and Audix.  We can help you find the right system for the right price.  We know that this is a hassle but we will do everything we can to make your change to a FCC compliant wireless systems as easy as possible.

4 INEXPENSIVE WAYS YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR SOUND SYSTEM

Does your sound system lack clarity, punch, or volume but you can’t afford to spend the thousands or 10’s of thousands on a new system?  Here are 4 ways you can drastically improve the quality of your system if you are on a tight budget.                                                                                                                                             .

1.   Digital Signal Processor

A digital signal processor or DSP is a must-have piece of gear for any pro audio system.   The DSP provides processing and flexibility between your mixer and amplifier.  It also offers protection to both your amplifier and speakers and allows them to operate at their optimum level.

  • What the DSP does:
    • EQ – Parametric and digital graphic EQ’s for tuning speakers to the room
    • Crossover – Sends low frequencies to the subwoofers and high frequencies to the main speakers
    • Compression/limiters – Protects the system from a clipping (distortion)
    • Feedback suppression – Helps identify and eliminate feedback
    • Delay – Add delay to match the backline or add delay to speakers that are place further back in the room

If you don’t have any DSP on your current system, adding one might only cost between $500 to $2000, but will sound like you just installed a whole new sound system.

2.  Tuning the room

If you have a DSP or even just a graphic EQ your sound system can be “tuned” to the room.  The process of “tuning” the system, is for optimum matching of the speakers  to acoustical characteristics of the space. If the system is not properly tuned, the full potential the sound system will not be realized.

Most likely this process should be done by a  professional.  A good professional has the highly trained ears and the sophisticated frequency analyzing software to measure the acoustical characteristics of the speakers and the room they are in.   For only a few hundred dollars this can bring your system to life.

3.  Improve the input source

Buying and installing a pro audio system is expensive.  In wanting to save money some people opt to buy cheap microphones and direct boxes.  This is a huge mistake.  It doesn’t matter if you spent a $100k on a sound system, if you are using a $25 radio shack mic that sound system is probably going to sound like an AM radio.

The same rule is true for direct box’s.  You might say “a DI box just changes a 1/4 inch plug to an XLR plug what’s the big deal.”  It is a big deal.  A DI box does a lot of things.

    • Converts a high impedance signal to a low impedance signal.
    • Turns a unbalanced signal to a balanced signal
    • Reduces a strong instrument or line level signal to a mic level signal suitable for connection to the mic input of a mixing console
    • Isolates electronic equipment on stage from the mixing console, which can help eliminate interference and noise caused by  ground loops.
    • Blocks phantom power sent from the mixer so it cannot interact with the device connected to the DI’s input.

To do all this the DI box has to have a transformer in it, and not all transformers are the same.  Get a good quality DI box to preserve the tonal quality of the signal going into it.

Not sure what microphones and direct boxes you need? Contact a professional.  You don’t want to waste your money on an inferior product.

4.  Training

Your sound system is a tool, and a tool is only as good as the person using it.   If you, your staff, or volunteers don’t know how to set up proper gain structure, how to use the equalizer on the mixer, or don’t know what phantom power does then it’s time to get some training.  You might have to bring someone in who is more knowledgeable  to spend a day training, or you might have to send your volunteers off to a training seminar.   But good training is worth every penny.

So before you think you have to have a new sound system try one or all of these ideas to save big and sound awesome.

 

3 reasons why your church should start live streaming.

There are many reasons to start live steaming your church.  Almost all the reasons can be categorized into these 3 reasons.

1.  Outreach

Why do retail stores put their items in the front windows.  To show people what they sell and draw them in.  When you stream your services it allows people who are seeking God to “window shop” your church.  Seekers want to know if they will fit in at your church or not.  When you live stream it shows that your not singing Gregorian chants or handling live rattle snakes.  It shows who you are.  A group of normal people who are broken and have received forgiveness.

2.  Staying connected

Very few of us can make it to Church 52 weeks a year.  Whether it’s sickness, business, vacation, job schedule, weather, location, and the list goes on, its hard to make it to every week.  Streaming allows people to stay connected to the body of Christ even if they can’t be there in person.  Imagine a single mother who’s child gets sick and she has to miss Church.  This woman desperately needs connections with other believers.  But now she has missed Church and probably won’t go to small group this week either cause she can’t contribute anything to the discussion about the sermon.  She has just missed two of the most meaningful times to connect with people.  However, the church that live streams allows her to worship, give, and learn at the same time as her fellow  brothers and sisters in Christ.

3.  Special events

This is the most practical reason to stream.  When a Church live streams it allows Grandparents who live on the other side of the country or the world see little Sally play an Angel in the children’s Easter play , or little Joey play a sheep in the Christmas pageant.  It also allows friends and relatives see someone get baptized or a child get dedicated to the Church.

Equipment

We’re able to get equipment from nearly any company you can name. A few popular items:

  • Behringer X32 Digital Mixer
  • Midas M32 Digital Mixer
  • Sure SM58 microphone
  • Bose S1 Pro Multi-position PA System with battery
  • QSC K12.2 12″ Powered Speaker
  • Ashley Protea Digital Signal Processor