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Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

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Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby MarkOne » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:52 am

So we bumped into the end of the Radio 2 Kylie Hyde Park gig at the weekend on the TV, and of course, me being a sound geek got to looking at the gear, and it got me thinking...

The stage was a full IEM zone (no foldback wedges) so the band, backing singers and Kylie all had IEMs. But of course so did the dancers so they could hear what they were dancing to.

Then the House Gospel Choir joined her on stage and they all had IEMs and radio mics.

So this had me wondering - how many channels are actually available for simultaneous IEMs and mics here in the UK.

I also noticed Kylie had a (rather blingy gold plated) Sennheiser, and the backing singers were Sennheiser too, but I was pretty sure that the HGC had some Shures too, which I thought was a big no-no in terms of channel planning.

So I thought that minds greater than mine would know... What is the max number of simultaneous radio mics and IEMs possible on a show like this?
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Wonks » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:22 am

Quite a lot less than before all the frequencies changed.
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Luke W » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:49 am

Wonks wrote:Quite a lot less than before all the frequencies changed.

Definitely this!

I don't have any numbers, but events of this size will require far more channels than will fit into the current UHF bandwidth that's allocated to radio mics/IEM systems. You can apply for site specific temporary licenses, but how many channels are available depends on nearby users/broadcasting etc.
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Brian M Rose » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:05 am

I seem to remember when I worked at Gearhouse Broadcast that they would have up to 40 channels for Shiny Floor shows. That meant that everyone (including the studio cat) was individually miced.
I would have thought that a big stadium show would involve a relatively limited number for Tx with far more Rx. And if there a cameras on radio links, it becomes even more of a nightmare...
I remember being involved on Supermarket Suite and discovering only too late that the remote control on one of the five radio cameras was on the same frequencies as the studio talkback. Oh they were fun days! But as had already been stated; Frequency Plans are essential. I don't know if the Radio Authority still as the right to confiscate any equipment (up to and including an OB Truck) if it is transmitting illegally.
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:54 am

I love that the cat was 'miced' :bouncy:
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:57 am

FWIW wouldn't a high profile act like Kylie have been using Mipro digital?

edit to delete "Lectrosonics' as it is not true digital.
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Brian M Rose » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:02 pm

I love that the cat was 'miced' :bouncy:

Well, you know what I mean... :oops:
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Wonks » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:36 pm

Probably with a spare tom mic.
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:41 pm

I wasn't going to 'milk' this one by asking where the squeaking noise was coming from but what the hell......

I'll fetch me coat......
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:44 pm

Well, for the 2012 Olympics it ran to 1000s - though a lot of planning & clearing of frequencies in the local area was involved.

https://www.apwpt.org/downloads/ofcom-o ... anning.pdf

High end modern digital systems can run to 100s of channels on relatively easy to licence frequencies. As a rule of thumb, they can fit about double the number in compared to analogue.

BGT apparently uses 100 - 150 regularly.
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:57 pm

Ref back to my earlier post WRT digital IEMs, do they use the standard licenced/licence free UHF (or VHF) frequencies)
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:29 pm

Only guessing, but as relatively few channels could be made to fit in the unlicensed space, which is not always free of other people, I doubt the manufactures would bother making them - I don't recall seeing one.
If you're spending many £1000s on the equipment, a licence is not the expensive part.

Plenty of analogue systems in the "free" band though.
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:48 am

Digital wireless mics use 2.4GHz, I had assumed that Mipro used a 'digital' band too but they use UHF in the 470-544 MHz range (which falls within the interleaved licence spectrum in the UK). I also had thought that only analogue transmission was allowed in these frequency bands?
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby MarkPAman » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:03 pm

Some use 2.4 GHz, but many don't.

Sennheiser's D9000 series for example has switching bandwidth which covers the range from 470 – 798 MHz .

This link shows what bandwidth is available:
https://www.soundhire.co.uk/help-and-support/wireless-information/211-uk-2014-radiowireless-mic-frequency-chart
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Re: Big stadium shows - how many IEM and radio mic channels are possible?

Postby CS70 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:50 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Digital wireless mics use 2.4GHz, I had assumed that Mipro used a 'digital' band too but they use UHF in the 470-544 MHz range (which falls within the interleaved licence spectrum in the UK). I also had thought that only analogue transmission was allowed in these frequency bands?

There is no other transmission than analogue? :D :D

Ok, ok I shut up! :beamup:
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