In this article, we will discuss how to connect a wireless microphone to an amplifier.
It must be noted that we will be talking about handheld microphones. Amplifiers are usually used for wired microphones that use XLR cables.
Wireless microphones usually work with a transmitter and a receiver.
Can I connect a microphone to amplifier?
Yes, you can. Now a wireless handheld microphone will have a built-in transmitter and be connected to a receiver to amplify sound.
For other microphones, you will need an XLR cable.
Your XLR cable will be connected to the bottom of the microphone an then connected to the preamp.
Do you need an amplifier for a microphone?
You will probably need a pre Amp for a microphone.
The Electrical signal created by a microphone is very quiet, too quiet for recording. This signal is called mic level.
For recording purposes, the mic level signal is sent through a mic pre-amp
The pre-amp amplifies the mic level signal to line level which is a more robust and bigger signal that is fit for recording.
Most recorders and interfaces have recorders built in so you do not have to buy a pre-amp if you do not wish to.
What do you need for a wireless microphone system?
In order to operate a wireless microphone system you will need a microphone, a transmitter and a receiver.
With a wireless microphone, the electrical signal produced by the microphone connects to the transmitter and the transmitter converts the signal into radio waves.
As you will see below for purposes of this discussion we will be talking about wireless hand held microphones.
The transmitter is usually inside the microphone.
So the order of events will be that the microphone send a signal to the transmitter , which converts the signal into a radio wave and then the , then the transmitter send the signal to a receiver, which will change the radio waves to an electrical signal which then can be sent to a sound system and the sound is then amplified.
Can a wireless mic work with any receiver?
The short answer to this question is no.
Usually wireless microphone systems are sold in packages. So it is likely that a receiver or transmitter made by one manufacturer will not be the the same or compatible to that of another manufacturer.
This could even be the case for different products manufactured by the same manufacturer.
A transmitter and receiver broadcast on different frequencies, therefore a transmitter and a receiver operating on different frequencies will not work with one another.
Keep in mind that you can only use one wireless microphone transmitter with one receiver.
A wireless receiver can only demodulate the signal from one active mic-transmitter at a time.
But you may use one transmitter or the other, as long as only one transmitter is powered up at any time.
How do you connect a wireless microphone?
The intention of this section will be to provide a 101 on wireless microphones.
There are different types of wireless microphones. Some cost less than 100 dollars and some cost more than a few thousand dollars.
Of Corse which type of wireless system that you use will depend on your use case.
One of the mire important considerations is whether or not you will be using the microphone as part of a trade.
Ie does the microphone make you money? This is because if you are making money from the microphone, the audience will expect a certain level of professionalism.
It is important to make sure that your microphone will not cut out during a performance or have cross frequencies come through.
One of the worst things that could happen is to hear another person talking from another wireless system which has nothing to do with the content that you are trying to promote.
What distinguishes a hand held microphone from other microphones is a built in transmitter.
When you open a hand-held microphone (ie remove the windscreen) you will notice that the part that pics up your voice at the top.
Something else that must be mentioned when speaking specifically of wireless microphones is the receiver.
What the receiver does is that it receives the audio signal coming from the handheld microphone and converts that into a format that can be played over a loudspeaker or a PA system.
There are very different types of receivers from single to dual, but I will not go into too much detail on that.
Non-diversity uses a single antenna. Sometimes the antenna will be built inside the receiver and you will not see it.
Diversity uses 2 antennas. Here you have 2 components which are designed to receive RF frequencies and transmit them to the receiver so that they can be turned into audio.
This is the best type of wireless microphone system out there. Here you have 2 antennas, very much like normal diversity however the antennas work independently of each other.
This is quite useful as if you have 2 antennas doing the same function, then if one cannot pick up signal then it is likely that the other one will not be able to pick up signal as well.
2 antennas working independently of each other , means that if one is not working as intended then the second one can do the job and your system can be more reliable.
The common types of wireless microphone systems are VHF which stands for very high frequency, UHF which stands for ultra-high frequency and there are also digital systems.
I personally recommend the UHF wireless microphone system
This is because UHF has a much higher frequency band than VHF.
UHF operates at a frequency range of between 450 and 952 megahertz, which is a 502 MHz range.
VHF frequency range is between 89 and 216 MHz which is a frequency range of 127 MHz
This means that you can really rely on a UHF system to a greater extent than VHF.
As a professional you want something that has a grate frequency range, so I would definitely go for UHF
I would advise that you do not get a microphone with a fixed frequency range.
This is because in the event that you experience frequency interference then you will not be able to change the frequency.
In fact, a single channel microphone system is like listening to a radio station and then suddenly the station changes to another station with another language, and you cannot change that frequency back.