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Author Topic: Best practice vs what monitor engineers want re: Helical IEM Tx & LPDA RF Rx  (Read 412 times)

Mike Kahrs

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I do RF operation (and coordination) for corporate events, as well as the occasional one-off (non-tour) rock concert at venues such as the Forum.  On most corporate events I have the time and the "permission" (meaning I'm provided long runs of low loss coax as well as the proper clamps, and the labor) to place my Rx and Tx antennas where they should be, as I see it anyway.  I do my best to follow best practices whenever possible, to make up for when I can't.

On one-off rock concerts at multi-purpose venues such as the Forum, or the Honda Center, there is a narrow alley where the monitor desk and all the racks (amps, IEM, RF, comms, track rack, etc. can go, as the stage is made as big as possible.  Even worse if there are two desks.  Now, if I get my IEM helical "out front" of my two Rx antennas the helical is likely to be onstage of the monitor engineer which causes contention sometimes, even if the monitor guy can hear his IEM pack cleanly.

Sometimes I can place my two RF Rx antennas far upstage and far downstage, and place my helical in a dead audience seat behind the monitor guy between my two Rx antennas and all is cool.  Providing, of course that the PA company sent me enough coax to get the helical where I described.  Often though, I get 10'-15' pieces of coax and I don't have enough length.

My question is, when do I relax (give up) my quest for best practices?  I don't do it blindly, but I do try to always keep it in mind.  I have never personally screwed myself by blowing my Tx antenna into the back of my Rx antennas, but as they say, it works until it doesn't.

Thoughts?  Thanks,

Mike Kahrs
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Michael Lawrence

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An audio engineer once told me, "Live sound is the art of compromise."

Of course, he wasn't a very good engineer.
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Tim McCulloch

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An audio engineer once told me, "Live sound is the art of compromise."

Of course, he wasn't a very good engineer.

Yeah, he couldn't keep the damn train on the tracks.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Steve Bunting

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I like to put the helical in front of mons and use an A1031 or similar for just the cue pack, and sometimes tech mixes. I've never had other engineers complain about this set-up either.

I do RF operation (and coordination) for corporate events, as well as the occasional one-off (non-tour) rock concert at venues such as the Forum.  On most corporate events I have the time and the "permission" (meaning I'm provided long runs of low loss coax as well as the proper clamps, and the labor) to place my Rx and Tx antennas where they should be, as I see it anyway.  I do my best to follow best practices whenever possible, to make up for when I can't.

On one-off rock concerts at multi-purpose venues such as the Forum, or the Honda Center, there is a narrow alley where the monitor desk and all the racks (amps, IEM, RF, comms, track rack, etc. can go, as the stage is made as big as possible.  Even worse if there are two desks.  Now, if I get my IEM helical "out front" of my two Rx antennas the helical is likely to be onstage of the monitor engineer which causes contention sometimes, even if the monitor guy can hear his IEM pack cleanly.

Sometimes I can place my two RF Rx antennas far upstage and far downstage, and place my helical in a dead audience seat behind the monitor guy between my two Rx antennas and all is cool.  Providing, of course that the PA company sent me enough coax to get the helical where I described.  Often though, I get 10'-15' pieces of coax and I don't have enough length.

My question is, when do I relax (give up) my quest for best practices?  I don't do it blindly, but I do try to always keep it in mind.  I have never personally screwed myself by blowing my Tx antenna into the back of my Rx antennas, but as they say, it works until it doesn't.

Thoughts?  Thanks,

Mike Kahrs

Ike Zimbel

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I like to put the helical in front of mons and use an A1031 or similar for just the cue pack, and sometimes tech mixes. I've never had other engineers complain about this set-up either.
+1 to this. Sometimes you have to get into the rack to access the one unit that the Cue mix is on, but it's often worth it. I always ask the supplier to send at least a few whip antennas with the rig for this and other similar circumstances (like back line rigs with high gain paddle antennas that really just need a pair of whips).
I agree with the other comments about compromise, which also ties into your question about best practices and when to give them up. To wit: My slogan is, "If you're going to make a compromise, make sure it's the best one". IOW, never give up on best practices, but if you have to compromise, make sure it's the least harmful option.
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~Ike Zimbel~
Wireless frequency coordination specialist.
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Radio Active Designs
~416-720-0887~
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Brad Harris

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+1 to this. Sometimes you have to get into the rack to access the one unit that the Cue mix is on, but it's often worth it. I always ask the supplier to send at least a few whip antennas with the rig for this and other similar circumstances (like back line rigs with high gain paddle antennas that really just need a pair of whips).
I agree with the other comments about compromise, which also ties into your question about best practices and when to give them up. To wit: My slogan is, "If you're going to make a compromise, make sure it's the best one". IOW, never give up on best practices, but if you have to compromise, make sure it's the least harmful option.

Don't forget to add PSU to the list as well (ex Sennheiser IEM being powered via the ACx unit)

BRad
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