A Lifebelt for Ensuring Successful Multi-Channel Productions

New version of the Wireless Systems Manager

Broadcasters, sound engineers and RF engineers can now download a new version of the Wireless Systems Manager (WSM) from the Sennheiser website. The new, upgraded version of the control software for Sennheiser radio microphone and monitoring systems includes a “professional set-up” function. Its most important features: the Manager automatically calculates the interference-free frequency set for the required number of radio channels, while a ‘lifebelt’ icon keeps a number of back-up frequencies in reserve in case there are any RF problems on the day.

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“With the new ‘professional set-up’ function, the Wireless Systems Manager is an indispensable aid for sound engineers and RF engineers,” explains Sven Boetcher, Sennheiser Product Manager for professional wireless microphones. “The user simply enters the required number of channels, including back-up channels. Then the WSM scans the radio environment and makes suggestions as to where the microphone and monitoring channels can best be placed. The software saves the back-up frequencies separately.”

The system can be optimally adapted to its environment by selecting between three different safety levels when allocating frequencies: “Max. frequencies”, “Regular” and “High safety”. Of course, it is possible to hide frequency ranges manually in advance if it is known that they will be blocked during an event. Squelch can be set appropriately in accordance with the RF conditions displayed, with the right balance between a greater range (low squelch, more potential interference) and a higher number of frequencies (high squelch, reduced range).

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A lifebelt for large productions

Advance frequency planning can only go so far: at festivals and shows with many different artists, and events attracting major media interest, it is very common for another star to be included in the programme at the last minute or an OB team to start broadcasting on a microphone frequency that has not been registered with the event organiser. “This is where the lifebelt icon helps,” explains Boetcher. “Just click once and the WSM will display the back-up frequencies which can quickly be brought into action. Then a spare microphone can easily be synchronised with the reprogrammed receiver. We hope that, in this way, we can make events a bit less stressful for sound engineers.”

The new version (v3.4) of the Wireless Systems Manager is available as a free download from the Sennheiser website

Wireless Systems Manager

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The Wireless Systems Manager’s functions at a glance

· Remote control and monitoring of microphones and monitoring systems from the 2000, 3000, evolution wireless ew 300 G3 and ew 500 G3 series; display of all transmitter and receiver parameters live on a computer
· Integration of older devices (e.g., EM 3532 and evolution wireless ew 300 G2 and ew 500 G2) via the NET 1 network system
· Runs on PCs and Intel Macs from MacOS 10.4 onwards
· Pre-programming of devices; data transmission to microphone receivers and monitor transmitters via Ethernet switch
· Scanning of the radio environment via a connected receiver; display of free frequencies and frequencies in use
· Checking RF field strength of wireless microphones’ signals
· Networks can be created: up to six computers can access the wireless system, with either equal or different access rights
· NEW: once the required number of channels has been entered, the WSM suggests where the frequencies can best be placed; there is a choice of three safety levels in the interference-free calculation
· NEW: back-up frequencies can be kept in the ‘lifebelt’

About The Sennheiser Group

The Sennheiser Group, with its headquarters in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. The family-owned company, which was established in 1945, recorded sales of around €390 million in 2009. Sennheiser employs more than 2,100 people worldwide, and has manufacturing plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company is represented worldwide by subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Canada, Mexico and the USA, as well as by long-term trading partners in many other countries. Also part of the Sennheiser Group are Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin (studio microphones and monitor loudspeakers), and the joint venture Sennheiser Communications A/S (headsets for PCs, offices and call centres).

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