By Marcel van Limbeek, ME for Tori Amos
Organised by SoundGirl.Org member Malle Kaas and hosted by Britannia Row Productions, this event featured Tuomo George-Tolonen from Shure Brothers. Tuomo discussed Shure’s Wireless Workbench 6 and control software. Workbench 6 is essentially a software programme that deals with all on stage and show radio frequency (RF) transmissions. The workshop was quite an eye-opening presentation for me, not just in terms of the Wireless Workbench software itself, but also as far as general use of RF components is concerned.
I’m embarrassed to admit that up till now my work strategy, as far as RF is concerned, has been to switch the gear on and hope for the best. During the powerful and entertaining presentation, Tuomo made me realise that from now on I will have to change my tune and approach the whole RF thing with a lot more professionalism and attention to detail. I think WWB6 is going to be a great tool to help me out with this.
The software is very comprehensive. WWB6 can control ALL RF related units, and provides one place where you can control and keep track of all your radio microphones, IEM transmitters, receivers, scanners and even the battery level. What makes WWB6 even more impressive is the ability to handle other manufacturers equipment, like e.g. Sennheiser.
The software allows you to coordinate the frequencies of all RF equipment that will be used for a show production on your laptop. It has an extensive onboard database of all TV channels for the different worldwide locations. This allows for accurate offline pre-show planning. Included is a backup frequency management system with as many different frequencies you want to use as back up’s.
Frequency planning on it’s own is of course not enough. The software communicates with the scanner providing a detailed graphical analysis of the RF spectrum on the show day itself. The scan data plus the TV frequencies are fed into compatibility algorithms to create a list of clear frequencies for all the RF equipment that is being used for the production, including back-up frequencies. (This could provide some changes for a pre-show file)
Finally WWB6 also monitors and controls the performance of all RF related units during the show. The software can act as a remote system that allows you to adjust things like frequency and output gain from your laptop. Each channel strip shows RF metering, audio level metering, audio gain setting and battery life.
In the future, I know I will have to be better prepared when dealing with RF. The WWB6 software seems very easy to use, and that is why I’m looking forward to learning even more about it. I found out that Tuomo is doing regular comprehensive RF courses at the Shure UK head office. I’m definitely planning on attending one of these.
All in all this SoundGirls.Org event was excellent and I’m very much looking forward to the next one.
Next dates for Wireless Mastered are July 1st in Dublin and soon to be announced for Glasgow and London. Next full WWB6 workshop is Sept. 3rd details TBA.