Case Study in Frustration! I Can’t Find a Clear Audio Channel with Over 1680 Frequencies to Choose From

audio frequencyIt was cold outside. I couldn’t shoot video outside my home. That was a bummer. I really wanted to shoot video and I had great topics to choose from. The problem was the weather.

I was relegated to finding a place in my house that was quiet. Bad move. Everyone in my house was home. I mean everyone. That’s a total of eight people and our cat (who is almost always quiet).

Everywhere I went, there was some space that was occupied. Except…

My basement.

I will tell you that I have a fully furnished basement. Ping pong table. Couch. TV. Crafts room. I have shot many videos down in my basement.

The problem was that I just didn’t want to shoot video downstairs today. “What the heck,” I thought. Let me try it anyway.

I grabbed all of my video gear and began setting up my shot. I turned on all my equipment and first attacked the camera settings. Then I put on a shirt, tie and suit jacket and then attached my wireless microphone.

Did a few test shots and everything looked good.

I pressed “Record” and shot my first video. Then I went to play it back and was horrified.

I had lots of audio interference, known as ‘audio hits’. That’s bad. This video was totally unusable. “Ok,” I thought. I’ll change frequency and try again.

My wireless microphone has 1,680 different frequencies to choose from. I have the ability to scan all available frequencies and it will give me the best available clear frequencies. I then sync’d the transmitter frequency with the receiver and was good to go. Or so I thought…

I quickly re-shot the same video and played it back. Again, there was static indicating more audio interference. That’s also bad. Now I’m getting frustrated. I never had this before.

I change frequencies again. Test audio…

Bad frequency. Changed again.

Tested audio…really bad frequency AGAIN!

I rescanned the available frequencies and came up with a new list of clear channels. Tried it again.

Re-shot the video and played it back and lo and behold…

CRAP!

The same exact problem. Now I was really getting angry. Frustrated. This was a wireless microphone set in excess of $625 dollars. It has worked flawlessly from day one without any similar problem.

Then I realized something so basic I could have kicked myself.

Before starting any video shoot, I highly recommend just standing where you’re going to shoot and close your eyes for a full minute. Not to meditate, but to listen.

Listen to the sounds around you.

When I did that, I began to realize where there might be audio interference.

My clothes drying was working away drying clothes in the basement. Our mini-fridge condenser was on and I could hear it down the hall. Our wireless home phones were active and the phone was ringing every so often. I forgot to turn off my cell phone as well.

This is so basic, but I had gotten spoiled that I hadn’t listened to what was around me before starting my shoot.

I unplugged the fridge. Disconnected the wireless phone. Turned off my cell phone and shut the dryer off. Then I rescanned available frequencies and finally had a clear channel, shot 5 videos in quick succession that all had nice clear audio. I packed up my gear and enjoyed the rest of the evening with my family.

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During the videotaping, you would stop and correct us when we needed correcting. During the videotaping, you let us go along on topics that you felt were interesting that may not be direct to the point but would capture our audience. When we were shy a topic, you threw one out at us. When we needed to be given direction, you gave us that direction. I can only say to anybody who’s considering Gerry Oginski for this process, that there should be no one else that you should consider.

Andrew Siegel
Siegel & Coonerty, LLP