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headphones in to monitor what the receiver is picking up. You can use the + & - buttons on the front to adjust the volume. I’ve even used this before to turn a receiver pack into a simple presenters in ear system to talkback. UWP mics on test... by Jon Pratchett I t’s all well and good having a beautifully lit and well framed and focused shot, but if the sound is rubbish then you might as well throw the footage in the bin. Sound is as important as the quality of the video image. This is especially true when interviewing someone or recording a corporate presentation. Here the message is the key reason that the video is being produced and if you can’t hear it well then the client is not going to be asking you back again, that’s for sure. It’s in these situations that a lot of the time you will use a lavalier mic or perhaps in an ENG kind of interview a hand held radio mic. There are a number of popular systems out there, Sennheiser’s G3 systems probably being the system seen mostly out there. However I want to throw the suggestion of the new Sony UWP systems out there for your consideration. I have both G3 and UWP systems in my kit, so was very interested to get my hands on the latest version of the UWP system. Like most portable wireless systems the UWP range includes a hand held transmitter, backpack lavalier transmitter, and a plug transmitter for plugging onto the end of an non wireless mic as well of course as the camera mount receiver. What initially struck me about the new UWP range was how well made they are. The older system I have to say was a bit plasticy, and although strong you always felt as though it would not take a drop from any height without a lot of damage. Not so with the new range. It’s an all metal construction. And the packs feel very solid. The 2xAA battery holder slots in the side with a nice solid sounding CLICK! The power button is on the side and although just a simple slide switch is nicely recessed so not to accidentally be caught while in use. If you are used to the old UWP the menu system is very similar. Not as user friendly as the Sennheiser’s in my opinion, but easy enough to navigate through. It has a nice channel scanning function to help you find clear channels in your area. Although not in the menu system, as with G3, the UWP does use a pilot tone on its channels which will prevent the squelch opening up on none UWP transmitters. This is great to keep out unwanted RF interference, but you don’t seem to have the option to switch that off, so only UWP transmitters with the UWP receivers. One addition to the receiver I love about the UWP range is the monitor out socket. This is separate from the main output and is designed for pluging your Moving on to the body pack transmitter, two versions are available the UTX-B2V which comes with an omni-directional mic or the UTX-B2V which comes with a uni- directional mic. Other than that the packs are the same, and of course mice are interchangeable. The packs themselves have mic and line switchable 3.5mm screw lock mic connectors and two output power levels. 5mW for short range use and 30mW for longer range. The same solid metal construction and similar menu controls to the receiver. The UTX-H2 is their handheld mic, and has the same RF system inside as the body packs, with the same menu options. The mic head is a Uni-directional microphone capsule. The capsule itself is not designed to be removed and replace with a different type, however it is removable and looks as though should it get damaged a replacement can be ordered and fitted without having to send it off to repair. The UTX-P1 is their plug in transmitter, which as yet I have been unable to test, however I do know it does not supply phantom power so you would have to look up the range if you wish to use a plug with phantom power. I have used both the handheld and lavalier mic on many jobs now and have been very impressed. The handheld mic was used on all my interviews at NAB this year and you can have a listen to see what you think. It sounds nice a warm with good off access rejection and from carrying it around for 3 days is not over heavy. The lavalier mics work very well indeed and I prefer them to the standard mic you get with the G3 systems. In summary I would recommend to try the Sony UWP series out before you rush off an buy something else. They sound great, and are as solid as a rock, which if like me you use the kit a lot, is very high up on the importance list. 68 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 77 MAY 2013 TV-BAY077MAY13.indd 68 02/05/2013 21:19