Miscellaneous Rumbles

Wireless Systems… what do you see?

1

Specifically, how many guitarists do you see using wireless (including yourself) who actually move more than about 8 feet max. from their pedal boards?

2

I use one, for me it’s more about not worrying about managing a cord.

As a lefty the input for a pedal board is on the right, and the butt of the guitar is on the left. Makes for a constant hassle on stage.

Just one more thing righties don’t have to deal with, but besides that I love having the ability to step off stage while I play.

3

For me, if it ain’t a curly cord I don’t wanna know about it.

4

I use one called a Xvive U2 or something like that. But it's just for Timid Folk Music -- I am the only one not singing @ a mike, so I can walk out front and see how it sounds thru PA. So just a practical reason for using it.

5

I also use a Xvive. I use it in the living room where I do most of my playing these days. It helps keep cables off of the living room floor, reducing the threat of tripping. I can also wonder around the house, look out of all the windows and keep playing. It’s fun. I used it once or twice at an acoustic gig and it was brilliant. I could go stand in the back of the room and see how we sounded.

6

Bango uses one so that he can run out into the crowd and hand out bananas. Nobody expects it so there's a collective "gasp" when he steps offstage. Never really pay attention to how many other chimps use them.

7

Are there any units that don't make your signal sound like sh#t? I mean all the nuances and warmth seems to get lost with these thingies (at least in my limited experience). Guitar straight to amp is somewhat ok but guitar to pedalboard - Pedalboard to amp has never worked well for me.

8

Are there any units that don't make your signal sound like sh#t? I mean all the nuances and warmth seems to get lost with these thingies (at least in my limited experience). Guitar straight to amp is somewhat ok but guitar to pedalboard - Pedalboard to amp has never worked well for me.

– BirdsNBats

Nope. As a sound tech I've used and heard every wireless under the sun. Every one of them will effect your tone. Now whether it's really noticeable or not varies, but all of them will do something.

I get why people use them, but be mindful of a few things. If you are working a gig that involves any wireless microphones in addition to your setup, either know how to change your frequency, or always have a backup cable. I work a show once a year that involves 12-15 wireless mics for a theatrical/musical type show, and the first year I did the gig 3 of the pit band were using wireless rigs, to stand a foot in front of their amps. Every time they turned them on I lost 4 of the stage mics. It pretty much ruined the show for a few of the cast members who were new to theatre, and the band were all pissed at me when I asked them to use a cable.

Also, always have a backup cable. Batteries die, buildings have interference, any number of things can go wrong.

9

I'm more of the Keef influence...straight into the amp. Get a good tone and go with it. I think he only used a pedal on one or two songs.

10

I've used a Line6 Relay G30 for several years for the same reason as Hipbone. To keep from getting tangled in a cable.

It seems a lot of touring groups use wireless. Those Rig Rundowns frequently feature some wireless device.

Don't some shows or venues have a dedicated "wi-fi administrator" to manage all the frequencies to prevent conflicts?

12

Nope. As a sound tech I've used and heard every wireless under the sun. Every one of them will effect your tone. Now whether it's really noticeable or not varies, but all of them will do something.

I get why people use them, but be mindful of a few things. If you are working a gig that involves any wireless microphones in addition to your setup, either know how to change your frequency, or always have a backup cable. I work a show once a year that involves 12-15 wireless mics for a theatrical/musical type show, and the first year I did the gig 3 of the pit band were using wireless rigs, to stand a foot in front of their amps. Every time they turned them on I lost 4 of the stage mics. It pretty much ruined the show for a few of the cast members who were new to theatre, and the band were all pissed at me when I asked them to use a cable.

Also, always have a backup cable. Batteries die, buildings have interference, any number of things can go wrong.

– Ripley1046

We had racks full of wirelii in use at one time. You have to know how to set and reset the frequencies in a hurry or you'd be in a world of trouble. We'd buy caseloads of batteries for each performance. Old Sennheiser belt packs used 3 AAAs, and two hours was pushing them. Add in wireless ICOM along with performer mikes and instrument wireless, and you have a RF nightmare. Then, cops, firemen, taxis, and other outside sources also add to the issue. We had problems due to a construction company who was using a theatrical channel (specified by the FCC) illegally, and were using really foul language over the air, another no-no, especially during a church conference.

We had "Cats" play at our theater twice. I had to go to the pharmacy and get a gross of nonlubricated condoms for them. The belt packs had to be wrapped in a condom, then twist-tied shut. The performers sweat so much in their furry suits that the belt packs would short out. Hence, condoms. Wrap that rascal!

I feel that there's a slight, almost imperceptible, change in the sound quality. Maybe it's me, but there seems to be an "airiness" added to the signal. Not good nor bad, just a softening of the signal seems apparent. There is also a very short time difference due to all of the added circuitry in the transmitter and receiver. Using wireless adds a level or two more complexity, and more chances for something to go wrong. There still has to be wires involved, to hook up to the belt pack, and from the receiver to the board or amp. I trust wire.

13

For the record, I sometimes use on for the sole purpose of walking out in front during soundcheck to hear my guitar in the mix, because I've learned that I need to do this. We'll leave it at that because an entirely new thread could be started on that subject alone...

Also, Angus Young used a wireless when recording Back in Black because he liked what it did to the signal.

14

I A/B’d my Xvive with a cable in Logic Pro. I recorded one pass with the cable, left all settings the same and did another pass with the wireless then did a bunch of rudimentary edits; some on the beat, some off it, random stuff. You absolutely could not tell the difference.

I’d be happy to recreate this and post it here if anyone’s interested.

Re delay, the Xvive has a lag time of, I believe, 6ms (that’s processing time, so it remains a constant however far you are from your amp). As sound travels at approximately 1000ft per second once you’re more than 6ft from the sound source you’re already experiencing a longer delay waiting for the sound to get to your ears than the wireless is responsible for.

15

When my band was going to appear on national TV (The Gong Show, no less!) the producers recommended we get wireless systems to be able to move around the big stage. We got XVives. On the rehearsal day, mine didn't work because of interference, but the other two guys (guitar and bass) had no problems. That night I bought a Line6 G10. On the day of filming, there were dozens and dozens more staff with wireless devices, and the other guys' XVives failed. The G10 was fine.

My sense is that the tone with a wireless is more "brittle" without the capacitance of a cable to dial it back a bit, but the difference is generally lost in the mix in a live setting.

In general, it's an additional failure point in the rig. That being said, it's really nice not getting shocked by poorly grounded microphones.

16

Once upon a time my daughter got married in her small backyard, and wanted me to play the wedding march while walking her down the sidewalk. I bought an Audio Technica DR1000 and wore the Country Club. Not being entirely stupid, I also prepared a backing track with a resonator, an acoustic, and Dano baritone to play along to.

It sounded like this: Wedding March.

The wireless worked fine. I never used it again, and sold it a couple of years ago.

But now that I spend 8-10 hours a day attached to both headphones and a guitar, I ought to get one of those XVives and some sort of wireless headphone solution too, so I can stop getting tangled in the cords and rolling over them with the office chair. Just for daily comfort and convenience. If I ever actually record (a goal that recedes like a mirage), I'll plug back in and get serious about sound quality. I wouldn't want to degrade the signal after protecting it so carefully through 8 pedalboards.

17

The Line 6 G30 has a cable simulator to emulate that capacitance. You even have a choice of cable length.

I have a nearly new (used precisely once) G30 for sale if anyone’s interested. I only replaced it as the Xvive has a nicer form factor.

18

Nope. As a sound tech I've used and heard every wireless under the sun. Every one of them will effect your tone. Now whether it's really noticeable or not varies, but all of them will do something.

I get why people use them, but be mindful of a few things. If you are working a gig that involves any wireless microphones in addition to your setup, either know how to change your frequency, or always have a backup cable. I work a show once a year that involves 12-15 wireless mics for a theatrical/musical type show, and the first year I did the gig 3 of the pit band were using wireless rigs, to stand a foot in front of their amps. Every time they turned them on I lost 4 of the stage mics. It pretty much ruined the show for a few of the cast members who were new to theatre, and the band were all pissed at me when I asked them to use a cable.

Also, always have a backup cable. Batteries die, buildings have interference, any number of things can go wrong.

– Ripley1046

This. The last show we did this ape intended to run wireless, and it tested good all the way up right until we were firing up when we got onstage and it conked out (batteries). Had spares but it was faster to hard wire it and get the show on the road! Be prepared!

19

For the record, I sometimes use on for the sole purpose of walking out in front during soundcheck to hear my guitar in the mix, because I've learned that I need to do this. We'll leave it at that because an entirely new thread could be started on that subject alone...

Also, Angus Young used a wireless when recording Back in Black because he liked what it did to the signal.

– stratman

Total aside, I bought one of those Storm pedals that reproduces the Back in Black tone. It's interesting, another tone shaper for sure.

20

I’ve been using an old Shure T4 for 20 years. Started using it so I could walk the bar and it also keeps me from getting shocked with bad grounds. No noticeable delay. I keep the receiver gain rolled back a bit to mellow out the tone.

21

I use Verizon, but I don't like them.

22

When my band was going to appear on national TV (The Gong Show, no less!) the producers recommended we get wireless systems to be able to move around the big stage. We got XVives. On the rehearsal day, mine didn't work because of interference, but the other two guys (guitar and bass) had no problems. That night I bought a Line6 G10. On the day of filming, there were dozens and dozens more staff with wireless devices, and the other guys' XVives failed. The G10 was fine.

My sense is that the tone with a wireless is more "brittle" without the capacitance of a cable to dial it back a bit, but the difference is generally lost in the mix in a live setting.

In general, it's an additional failure point in the rig. That being said, it's really nice not getting shocked by poorly grounded microphones.

– Mel Waldorf

Is there video of said Gong Show appearance? Continually engaged and interested in your various endeavors. :D

23

Yes, there is! It's a bit hard to find because they spelled our name wrong. PS, the audio drop outs are from the shows engineers, the G10 worked flawlessly.

24

Fun stuff Mel! I was wondering if it was the original Gong Show from the 70’s? You would have been only a lad!

25

Yes, there is! It's a bit hard to find because they spelled our name wrong. PS, the audio drop outs are from the shows engineers, the G10 worked flawlessly.

– Mel Waldorf

Excellent! What is the lead guitar?


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