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Line 6 2.4 Wireless systems and WDMX lighting rigs

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Geri O, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I thought I'd bring up something I ran into last week during what is probably my last pro audio gig for this company (staying in the shop being an operations manager and making more time to play bass...:bassist:

    We completed a 7-day rodeo here where there was a nationally-known country band or artist every night. Three of these groups had guitar and bass players using the Line 6 or the new Shure 2.4gHz wireless systems. In each case, there would be one or more players having problems with their RF systems working properly. With the first artist, we made the rounds making sure that all nearly routers not critical to running the show during the performance was disabled, but we still had issues. This player was really nice about it, just opting to use a cable for the evening.

    After soundcheck, I was talking with some of their crew (lighting guy, FOH guy, guitar tech) about various things and the lighting guy mentioned how cool he thought our WDMX (wireless DMX, the lighting fixtures' control signal) was. The FOH guy, guitar tech, and I all at once said, "OH CRAP!", thinking the same thing. This particular system sends DMX control to the intelligent (a loosely-used term, if you ask me...:D) lighting fixtures via WIFI, on both 2.4 and 5gHz bands, for signal integrity. As I understand it (and I stay away from lighting at all costs), the system first scans the area for open wifi frequencies and selects the least-used frequency in both bands. On the second night that we ran into the issue with that player, we powered down the WDMX system and his issues cleared up. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances, we were unable to do without the WDMX system and the fellow was able to borrow a spare UHF unit to get through the evening. The third fellow was able to make his unit work without too much trouble. he had the new Shure GLX unit.

    Occasionally, we have a digital console on the stage and run it from an iPad out front (small, low-scale events, I could stare at an iPad for only so long with these old eyes) and we've had to co-ordinate wifi frequencies with players using 2.4 wireless systems. In those cases, it's usually not a big deal.

    I'm just putting this out there as something to be aware of if you are having trouble making a 2.4 wireless unit work. Check with the lighting people if you can't find the culprits causing problems for your 2.4 system. It's highly unlikely anyone will run into this issue in clubs and small shows and events, but just like we did, more and more lighting vendors are finding the WDMX systems VERY convenient and time- and cost-effective to use and on large shows and events, this could become more of an issue down the road. I believe it can be worked around with some effort. And at our church, there are several 2.4 and 5gHz systems in use in both of the worship centers, making the 2.4 wireless systems really difficult to use.

    I imagine that there are more ways to work around this issue that I'm not aware of.

    My personal wireless rig for my bass will be a Lectrosonics digital hybrid rig in the low 500s range. I cannot hear a difference in the RF and the cable. At all. But I have 2K invested in it, so it should...:eyebrow:

    Thoughts, ideas? Grief, pain, suffering?