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  • 1.  Headset microphone packs

    Posted 04-20-2022 09:18
    Hello all,

    I realize i might be getting more technical answers then I know of, but We are looking for new microphone packs for our theatre group. Small catholic school, build our stage twice a year in multipurpose room ( otherwise known as second gym). We have a newer 32 channel sound board and are looking for new packs that wont break the bank but have less cutting out then our current older models. Any help appreciated!

    Bruce Udell
    Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral Players
    Gaylord, Mi


  • 2.  RE: Headset microphone packs

    Posted 04-21-2022 09:11
    Talk to this guy: Rob, from Bodymics. He knows his stuff.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 3.  RE: Headset microphone packs

    Posted 04-21-2022 09:18
    Are your transmitter/receivers (packs) bad or your headsets themselves? We just bought all new headsets and went with Acadia and they sound better than our Shure headsets and were cheaper and they come with replaceable wires which is where so much of the headache is.

    Carmen Teague
    Elementary Theatre
    Visual and Performing Arts Magnet
    Jonesboro, AR

    Carmen Teague
    Drama Teacher
    Visual and Performing Arts Magnet
    Jonesboro, AR

  • 4.  RE: Headset microphone packs

    Posted 04-21-2022 12:26
    We recently got new UHF microphones from GTD.  They have worked seamlessly with our other microphones and were easy to set up and use.  They are much more durable than others we've purchased in the past.  If you search Amazon, just search for "GTD Audio 4x800 Adjustable Channels UHF Diversity Wireless Cordless Lavalier/Lapel/Headset Microphone mic System 400fts (4 Body Packs)."  They are $329 right now, which may seem pricy, but they are totally worth it and you can easily use multiple systems.  We purchased 4 of them for a total of 16 microphones and haven't had a single issue with them.

    Amy MacCord
    Musical Theatre Teacher
    Westwood Middle School

  • 5.  RE: Headset microphone packs

    Posted 04-21-2022 19:33
    You say "have less cutting out".  This is not normal behavior.  Before you spend a bunch of money on new stuff, consider fixing what you have.  You don't tell us anything about your existing set-up, so if you there is a problem with the way your current gear is set-up, then replacing it with new gear that is not set-up correctly probably won't significantly solve any problems.
    1. How is your equipment mounted?  Piled-up?  Rack mounted in a steel box?  Rack mounted in a wooden or plastic box?  How high is that box off of the floor? (pictures are good).
    2. What EXACTLY is the make and model number of the transmitters and receivers?
    3. What frequencies are they operating at?  Have these frequencies been set as a group with a frequency coordination software like Shure's Wireless Workbench?
    4. Is there one set (pair) of antenna's that are routed through an antenna distribution network to feed all of the receivers?  Or is it all individual antennas for each receiver?  If you have common antennas, what antennas are they and what antenna distribution devices are used?
    5. Where are the antennas mounted?  Directly to the antenna connectors on the back of the receivers?  On the front of the rack panel where the receivers are mounted?  Up on the wall?  If up on the wall, then how high, how far apart, and which way are they aimed (oriented)?
    6. Have you visited and obtained a plot of where all of the local TV stations are relative to your auditorium?  If so, are the primary TV antenna towers in the general direction of your stage, or your control booth?  (you can figure this out by overlaying the antenna web map with a google maps aerial map view).  If you are pointing your directional antennas at the stage and that is ALSO the direction of the TV towers, then maybe re-locating your antennas off to the sides of the auditorium so they point to towards the stage while NOT pointing at the TV towers will improve the interference situation.
    7. What cables and connectors are being used to interconnect the antennas, the antenna distribution, and the receivers?  There are both 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm characteristic impedance cables and connectors.  If the incorrect cables and/or connectors are used, then the signals to the receivers can be compromised.
    8. If you have an antenna distribution system: Are all of the receivers getting a signal from one of each of the diversity antennas?  Poorly labelled and/or inattentive wiring can result in some receivers getting two signals from one antenna, which, of course, defeats the functionality of having a diversity antenna system.
    9. Have you checked to see if there are any other wireless mics in use in the local neighborhood (~1 mile)?  Churches, Schools, Sports Stadiums, Gymnasiums, Lecture halls, bars or nightclubs, or maybe the music department is using wireless beltpacks for electric guitars (or other instruments)?  Any and ALL of these can Radio Frequency sources can interfere with your wireless microphones if they are not ALL coordinated with your wireless mic frequencies.
      • Some versions of wireless intercom systems operate in the same frequency bands as the wireless microphones, too, so this must be included in the frequency coordination.
      • Some versions of wireless In-Ear Monitors systems operate in the same frequency bands as the wireless microphones, too, so this must be included in the frequency coordination.
      • EVERY TIME you have a guest artist in your auditorium, you need to find-out if they have any wireless guitars or their personal wireless microphones, so this must be included in the frequency coordination.
    Other sources of 'cutting out' can be:
    1. The connectors for the microphones where they enter the beltpack (open them up and see if the wiring is frayed)
    2. The wires between the connector and the headset mic or lavalier mic are severely kinked or broken? (typically needs replaced)
    3. The connectors at the beltpack and/or the mic element (each headset mic has connectors at different places) may be dirty (try spraying the pins and sockets inside the connector ends with a good electronic cleaner like Deoxit D5.
    4. The battery connections inside the transmitter may have some corrosion due to a battery leaking.  NEVER store a wireless mic with the batteries in it!  (Take some emery cloth and scrub the corrosion off the battery connection points in the transmitter, then clean it with some good electronic cleaner like Deoxit D5.
    5. Always use FRESH batteries for shows.  It's OK to utilize used batteries for rehearsals (but all bets are off if you get all the way through the rehearsal without a glitch).  Don't buy batteries in bulk.  Buy fresh ones every month or so.  Bulk purchased batteries 'run down' while in storage (particularly over the summer and winter breaks), leaving you with a battery you think is 'new' but may actually be partially discharged.
    6. What is the transmitter power setting for each transmitter?  Some transmitters have multiple power settings, and the more powerful transmitters can interfere with the less powerful transmitters.  People love to mess with switches, and they seem to believe the 'more power' is better, which is not the case with wireless mics.  If you have different makes/models of transmitters, check to see that they are all operating at the minimum power that they can (Example:  if one device has a minimum transmit power of, say, 10mW, while other devices can transmit at 5mW, 10mW, and 20mW; then set all of them to 10mW).

    Erich Friend
    Theatre Consultant
    Teqniqal Systems LLC

  • 6.  RE: Headset microphone packs

    Posted 04-22-2022 09:42
    First - Ken thanks for the referral

    • Be very mindful of Erich's response.
    • Please ignore the suggestion to buy GTD systems -
      • despite Amy good experience I can give you a list a mile long of folks who have had problems. 
      • There is no support, there is no phone number to call if you have problems etc. 
      • I have personal experience with these, they proved so unreliable that we dumped 20 systems (160 channels) from rental - they were our original entry level rental system and led us to designing our own system - Creative Audio CA.81
      • $329 for 4 channels is extremely cheap - not a bit expensive as implied
    • The fact that you spend thousands on a new 32 channel mixer (digital I assume) indicates that you should be spending at least $500 to $1,000 per channel to match the inherent quality of the mixer. 
      • We recommend Shure digital audio over UHF ( and MiPro or Sennheiser digital Audio over UHF as our second string). 
      • The advantage of Digital Audio over UHF is better RF reliability, cleaner audio and more available channels even in bad RF environments
      • For your use we would recommend Shure SLXD systems or Sennheiser EW-S systems
    • ABOVE ALL REMEMBER THE ADAGE - you get what you pay for.
    Feel free to reach out if I can help

    Rod Reilly
    Owner, Bodymics
    NJ and NY offices

  • 7.  RE: Headset microphone packs

    Posted 04-27-2022 13:11
    OK so I have to sick my nose into the Issue of low cost (ok so I really mean cheap) wireless microphone systems.  In particular I have a major problem with GTD Audio systems - I know that they are extremely cost effective at $329 for a set of 4, but there is no customer support.   They are unreliable despite the recommendations of others.

    Just today I had another school contact me via one of my web properties -  GTD Audio use this monika to sell on Amazon although I own the web domain and registration.  Amazon refuses to do anything about it.  On average I get 3-4 folks reaching out via this website every month - all pleading with help .... this despite a huge disclaimer on the home page that disavows any connection to  GTD or it's products.

    Buying any wireless mic system under about $350 per channel (before microphones) is a little like buying a $200 electric scooter and expecting it to get you from New Jersey to California - it simply will not do the assigned job.  Would you buy a entry level car - I used to say a Yugo - over a decent car from a major automaker.  It is notable that almost all new auditoria built for schools now include either Shure QLXD or Sennheiser EW-300 wireless systems and never any thing less. Unless it's a football field school boards are not known for spending more than they have to to achieve a desired result.

    I do understand that theatre programs are heavily underfunded for most of us, and that leads to all sorts of compromises.  A cheap sound system is better than a cheap wireless system.  Having said that I also advise spending capital on improving a sound system and the rooms acoustics before shelling out large amounts of money on wireless mics - wireless mics are relatively simply and cost effective to rent, and what you need can be varied for each production.

    Please also consider supporting local or small business rather than feeding the monolith that is AMAZON, or the big box guys like SWEETWATE, B&H, GUITAR CENTER, FULL COMPASS.  Us little guys need all the help we can get.

    Rod Reilly
    Owner, Bodymics
    NJ and NY offices