Jack Norflus transmits audio wirelessly with a Zaxcom QRX100.
Most of my work these days is made up of vérité-style documentaries, news magazine shows and some reality TV. When I’m shooting anything other than a sit-down interview, I always send audio to my camera wirelessly. This way, I’m not tethered to the camera and it’s easier for me to follow the action with a boom. Also, from a safety perspective there’s no cable for anyone to trip over.
I was recently in the market for a new wireless audio system and researched and demoed several systems. In the process, I found that many came up short in either performance or in features.
‘IF YOU CAN MAKE IT IN NEW YORK…’
Most of my work takes place in New York City and this can be a very challenging and harsh RF environment. A very important factor in my search for a wireless system was solid RF performance. After a lot of investigation, I opted for the new Zaxcom QRX100. Zaxcom is an industry leader and their wireless systems have proven themselves over and over.
The design and layout of the QRX is very well thought out. When I first picked up the unit, I discovered that it was extremely light in weight, and this is a welcome plus, as a lot of extra weight on the camera is something you don’t want. Also, the top of the unit is sealed so it’s less vulnerable to damage in dusty or rainy environments. In addition, there’s an LED indicator array on the side of the unit. At first I thought that this was frivolous, but I later found them invaluable in allowing me to visually confirm that the RF signal is getting to the unit and that it’s being modulated.
FILLING IN THE HOLES
The QRX has very low power consumption, so the camera operator no longer complains that my wireless unit is draining his camera battery. There’s also a dropout compensator, so if there should happen to be a hit or dropout, the QRX is designed to take a bit of the audio from before the hit and a bit from after and then use these to cover it up.
The unit’s frequency scan feature is also very handy. When I get to a new location, I can start the scanning and the QRX gives me a visual map of the frequency range, the location of any other RF, and how strong it is. Then it recommends the best frequency to use.
I’m currently using the QRX100 as a two-channel receiver, but the QRX can receive up to four channels of audio from two separate stereo transmitters, as well as supply AES to the camera. While I currently don’t need these features right now, it’s nice to know that they’re available if I should need them.
I’ve been using the QRX100 for some time now and have found that the RF performance and range to be outstanding and the sound quality nothing less than amazing. And the LED indicators and dropout compensator all give me great peace of mind. The performance and features of the Zaxcom QRX100 have made this my favorite piece of gear.
Jack Norflus is a New York-based freelance sound mixer who has been recording audio for more than 20 years, and has been involved in documentary, film, and television projects. He may be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Zaxcom at 973-835-5000 or visitwww.zaxcom.com.
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