This question really belongs to the Hardware section but there's none about microphones.
Someone I know uses hardware from Audio Technica to provide sound for conferences: ATW-R14 as the wireless receiver hooked up to a loudspeaker, and a single ATW-T52 microphone.
I was wondering if wireless receivers can be used with other brands of microphones, or if they use some proprietary communication protocol that requires buying wireless microphones from the same vendor?
Also, am I correct in understanding that the receiver accepts up to two wireless microphones?
Thank you.Two antennas feed two completely independent RF sections on the same frequency
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Thanks, so I'll just get another microphone from AudiTechnica.
The receiver is a receiver so any microphone of any make will work with a receiver as long as it is on the correct frequency. There are different frequencies and frequency bands used for radio mics in VHF and UHF spectrum. As long as the replacement mic works in the right band for the receiver, then any mic will work. Sony for instance make modular receivers and I have seen a 10 receiver bank being used in a theatre with mics of all different types (handheld stick, body worn, etc) and makes. In the case of a body worn mic, the make of the actual mic (the bit stuck to the head or lapel of the performer) and the transmitter pack (the bit stuffed down the back of their trousers) can be different.
A receiver cannot be use with two transmitters (microphones) simultaneously because of the 'same frequency' bit. A radio mic transmitter is low power and can suffer from 'multipath reception' which will cause it to drop out of the receiver as it moves around. The receiver has two aerials and two RF front ends both receiving the same signal. As the aerials are in a different position, even by only a few inches, if the signal drops out of one receive front end it will still be being picked up by the other. This is what is known as a diversity receiver.
No, not any mike works. There are a number of proprietary techniques in use,even within the same spectrum. You have to know whether it is analog or digital, what kinds of modulation are being used, the optimal rf voltage, whether it is discreet bands or spread spectrum, etc.
If a mike, transmitter & receiver combination makes use of a particular branded "format" and another mike system also complies with that system format, then you could use them.
Yes,it is much more common for the mike itself to have a common jack type (e.g. XLR), so that mikes of different brands that have the same jack type and a similar sensitivity rating can be used together, mix & match. However, the transmitter & receiver pair are another matter.
Also, not all receivers are diversity receivers. And only one mike input per xmit/rcvr pair.
So unless someone tested the combination, it's safer to get the same brand and model.
Or unless they both officially & clearly follow the same "standard".
And even then, they don't necessarily work in practise. Common issue in VoIP for instance.