In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 52


WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

InSOUND
Microphones in Action
By Kevin Hilton

Broadcast television is a multi-faceted area, with a wide range of operational requirements for different types of programmes and events, so an equally broad selection of microphones is needed to cover all bases.
Even though a large proportion of in-vision TV presentation these days relies on discreet, miniaturised radio microphones, usually attached in the general lapel/neckline area, the image of a reporter or presenter standing in front of a camera with a handheld stick mic still sustains for viewers of a certain age. the simple but highly effective innovation of designing a reporter’s mic with a long handle. The M58, a dynamic, omni-directional model, has become standard in TV and radio reporting. Dynamic microphones are relatively cheap to produce and very robust. The omni-directional pick-up pattern means the user does not have to keep moving the mic backwards and forwards; if two people are close enough together the mic only needs to be stationary in the middle to catch everything. The M58 is also available as the MCE 58, which is an omni-directional condenser mic, meaning it needs an external power supply. Sennheiser’s MD42 and MD46 are not quite as elongated as the M58 but they use a similar principle, as do Audio-Technica’s BP4001 and BP4002. Both A-T mics are dynamic; the latter is omni-directional, while its companion has a cardioid (heartshaped) polar pattern, meaning it needs to be pointed more at the person speaking. Both mics have been engineered to reduce handling noise. greater resilience is a priority, the Countryman miniature mic is often employed. The Countryman B3 lavalier is being used for the resurrected Celebrity Big Brother on Channel Five. In this case the contestants might wear the mics in the shower so the Countryman’s ability to cope with water is an advantage. The B3 is attached to an elastic lanyard and works with the Sennheiser 5212 wireless transmitter system. Sennheiser’s 3000 and 5000 radio systems are the company’s most popular for broadcasting. The company’s smallest body pack, the SK5212, is favoured, while capsules tend to be either Sennheiser’s own or the Neumann KK104s or 105s. Beyer’s offering for the TV

Handheld
Handhelds, both wireless and cabled, continue to be used, particularly in situations where there is a lot of background noise and the presenter/reporter needs to be as close to the mic as possible for the best quality and intelligibility. The Sennheiser SKM5200 handheld radio mic, usually fitted with Neumann KK104 or KK105 capsules and in combination with the 3000 or 5000 Series transmitter/ receiver systems, is often used for televised live entertainment events, such as the BRIT Awards and the Big Brother eviction shows, so presenters can be heard above the noise of the crowd or audience. TV reporters sometimes have to get stuck into a scrum of other journalists to get comments from someone. Humans can stretch their arms only so far and even then the subject still might be offmic. In the late 1980s the German manufacturer Beyerdynamic made

and ULX radio systems. British company Audio Limited recently added a true diversity receiver to its En2 range. The DX2 can run on either battery or auxiliary power and is ready for channels 38, 39 and 40. The company has also produced, the En2 DX, which it describes as “the world’s smallest true diversity receiver”. Wireless mic usage has increased dramatically in the past 20 years, in broadcasting as much as in live music. The technology has improved considerably, with the introduction of digital processing for better quality, easier tuning and greater security, while licensing has become better organised.

52

Wireless Increase
For general TV applications the trend has been for mics that are as unobtrusive as possible, while still getting a good sound. The big revolution has been wireless technology and although stick mics are still used for some types of programmes – such as talk shows – lavalier or lapel mics have become the workhorse of TV presentation. The BBC’s choice for light entertainment production is the Sony ECM-77 lavalier, usually working with a Sennheiser wireless system. For more demanding situations, where

The BP896 is Audio-Technica’s smallest-ever lavalier

Audio-Technica’s BP4001 reporter mic

presentation market includes the MCE 5 and MCE 10 lavaliers working with the Opus 600 or 900 receiver and transmission systems. The MCE 55 lapel mic is used widely because of its small size, which makes it suitable for invision work. Audio-Technica has also made in-roads into TV with its “subminature” mics, the BP892, BP893 and BP896, which it calls is its smallest ever lavalier unit. The company says broadcasters are looking for smaller microphones to deliver a “balance of discreetness and quality”. Other wireless systems used by broadcasters include Shure, which produces a wide range of lavalier capsules (both wired and wireless), including the WL93 and WL184, which can work with the PGX, SLW

Just as the market has come to rely heavily on radio mics, so the status quo is set to change across Europe, with a major reorganisation of frequency allocation. In the UK the switch-over to digital television will be completed next year and after the 2012 London Olympics, auctions will be in full swing to sell off the analogue frequency spectrum. The major change will be the loss of channel 69, the country-wide frequency allocated for PMSE (programme makers and special events) work. Licensing and broadcast regulation body Ofcom has designated channel 38 as a replacement but large sections
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - October/November 2011

In Broadcast - October/November 2011
Contents
3Ality Digital Acquire Element Technica
RTL Choses Quantel
Studios In Production
MAM Questions Answered
Changing Faces of Post Production
Microphones In Action
New Developments in Audio for Television
Routers and Switchers
Loudness Measuring in Workflows
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - In Broadcast - October/November 2011
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 2
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Contents
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 3Ality Digital Acquire Element Technica
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 5
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 6
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 7
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 8
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 9
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 10
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 11
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 12
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 13
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 14
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 15
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 16
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 17
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 18
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 19
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - RTL Choses Quantel
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 21
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 22
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 23
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Studios In Production
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 25
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 26
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 27
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 28
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 29
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 30
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 31
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 32
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 33
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 34
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 35
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 36
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 37
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 38
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 39
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 40
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 41
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 42
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 43
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 44
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 45
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 46
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 47
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - MAM Questions Answered
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 49
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Changing Faces of Post Production
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 51
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Microphones In Action
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 53
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 54
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 55
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 56
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 57
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 58
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 59
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 60
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 61
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 62
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 63
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - New Developments in Audio for Television
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 65
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 66
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 67
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 68
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 69
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 70
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 71
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Routers and Switchers
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 73
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 74
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 75
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 76
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 77
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 78
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 79
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 80
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Loudness Measuring in Workflows
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 82
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 83
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 84
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 85
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 86
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 87
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In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 89
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 90
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