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I know this might not be news to some, but it was new to me and I though it was pretty sweet:

Lectrosonics Super-Miniature Transmitters (SMV/SMQV) are typical awesome products - 50mW, 100mW, and 250mW selectable power output, digital hybrid wireless, and are completely waterproof when you put the silicon boot over the mic jack input.

The rep explained to me that when these are in sleep mode, all the wireless is off, but the preamp is still on, so you can turn them on by playing a series of tones in to the mic on your talent. That way you can hand over a mic in sleep mode to wardrobe, it can be hidden away where you can't reach it, and you activate it right before you start shooting without having to grope anybody. You can buy a little remote control that fires a tone for on/off, lock/unlock, and volume setting. But you don't need to buy it, you can just grab the wave files from the website and play them from an mp3 player. Or, there is an iPhone app coming soon.

Price is going down...I'm going to start saving up for a set.

Other cool product they were showing was the Quadra Wireless Monitor. It lets you transmit up to 4 discrete channels at 48k/24bit that can be mixed by the end user, so you could drop the boom and a lav or two, and a talkback mic and everybody with a receiver can listen to what they'd like. Also great for mixing monitors for musicians - just get an even mix of vocals, guitars, drums, and keyboards and each musician can dial in what they'd like.

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3 Answers 3

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The SM series are great. I have 9 SMa's as well as a remote. It'd be cool to have SMV/SMQV's for the detachable antenna, but the SMa's run great and are easy to conceal. I just spent the last few weeks mixing a low budget show in which one of the female cast wore very tight low rise (and short) jeans with a short tight shirt similar to a tank top; that exposed her stomach and lower back. This wardrobe was used on a number of scenes since the pictures time line takes place over just a couple of days. I thought it would be impossible to wire her, but we were able to secure the SM into a small section of fabric at the top of the shirt behind the shirt's label and run the wire into her bra line to get the best full sound out of my Sanken COS-11's. The SM fit so perfectly that even when you lifted her long dark hair, you could barely tell she had a transmitter hidden in her shirt. Then you add the remote functionality to keep that Lithium lasting up to 6 + hours. It was a great show for the SMa.

The heat can be an issue, but I usually find a way to keep the transmitter from being place directly on the actors skin. The usual straps and covers do the job well. A friend of mine made some very thin cloth pouches that he uses for deterring heat when placing the SM's close to the skin on very tight wardrobes. We all have a method for the madness.

If you can afford them, get them. They are great. The only other unit that interests me are the new Impact Resistant Nylon Polymer TRX900LT units made by Zaxcom, but I can't spend no more money...

Good Luck, And have fun making sound for movies

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Gotta love those SMQV transmitters. My partner bought them when they first came out and the on/off function is awesome.

Only gripes I have with them are: 1. how insanely hot the pack can get (another recordist I know had his rechargeables melt inside the battery compartment); 2. and the dirty looks I get from other members of the crew when I hold my mobile (to play the tone) in front of the talent's chest :P.

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