Wireless Mic Interference: Types, Causes and How to Fix Them

The days are gone when you find intertwining cables coiled around hazardously. And there’s no need to worry about someone tripping over bare wires on the floor during production. Life is good once you’re working with a wireless microphone system. If you are a DJ or sound mixer, then you know how less-stressful Wireless microphones can make your life.  The thing is, although they are easy to use, wireless systems can present quite some challenges of their own. They are prone to wireless mic interference and other RF problems. And when this happens, it can mean disaster during live productions and, or public presentations.  But don’t get your feathers all ruffled up just yet. There’re handy solutions available.

Below are some of the most common problems associated with wireless microphone systems and how you can quickly resolve them.

Multi-path Interference

Wireless microphone and modern sound mixer

As radio waves are discharged, they indiscriminately ricochet off surfaces around. This is direct because it causes disparity when these radio waves hit the receiver’s antenna. As these conflicting signals come together and collide in your wireless system, they trigger signal interruptions in your wireless microphone system. 

To prevent this type of interference issue, you need to take preemptive steps. Before you begin an audio presentation or broadcast of any kind, you might want to accurately monitor the RF signal level to be sure everything is in order. Moving back and forth across the work area while holding a live wireless microphone in hand is one of the most certain ways to gauge the signal strength of the RF unit. 

Furthermore, this will afford you a better assessment of your performance range and space. Based on the feed you get from your microphone system during this test run, you may discover that you need to either change your receiver’s location or your antennas.  

Noise Floor and Interference

Let’s get one point clear; noise remains an integral element in audio communication. You can’t rule it out or get rid of it. There are always radio waves flying around, even if you live in the wide-open desert. What you must be wary of, however, is the noise ratio prevalent around your external wireless receiver relative to the audio signal.

The interference source often creates an imbalance in the noise ratio getting into your microphone receivers. To maintain a safe distance between your receivers and the interference source, the signal strength of your wireless microphone system has to be top-notch. The most crucial point to take from here is that the wireless receivers have to be placed not too far from your wireless plan. 

Wireless microphones atop sound mixer

Intermodulation Distortion and Frequency Coordination

Intermodulation Distortion (IMD or Intermod for short) is when two or more signals pass through a non-linear device. In essence, two or more microphones have their frequencies interfering with each other. 

To resolve intermodulation distortion and frequency coordination problems, you need to limit your production to no more than 16 analog microphones at once. It will allow for a more significant number of wireless systems than a standard analog system. However, if you have to use more than this number of microphones at a time, then you’re better off using digital microphone systems.

Non-Wireless Interference

The presence of other active electrical or electronic modules nearby is what generates non-wireless interference issues for your system. To get rid of this type of problem, you should upgrade your equipment. Alternatively, you can replace the problematic device altogether. Go for wireless receivers and mixers that are rugged enough to handle the particular situation you’re dealing with. 

Radio receiver and microphone

Squelch Interference

Squelch interference can be annoying. However, instead of losing your cool, disable your transmitter whenever the interference signal tries to spoil your groove. Alternatively, you can turn the squelch control on your wireless receiver to a clockwise angle. This setting will enable you to determine what the problem is. If the signal fades altogether with no interference after that, it means the interference to your wireless systems was negligible in the first place.

Direct Interference

It happens when another radio signal is present at a particular frequency as your wireless microphone. Your best bet of checkmating this type of inevitable nuisance is to tune your device to a frequency operating slightly below that of the other radio signal you are getting. After you’ve done this, any attendant interference would indicate that you’re dealing with a direct interference problem. However, if you are checking for direct interference, you need to turn your system transmitter altogether.

Musician holding a microphone

Ultimately, it would help if you understood that some things are entirely out of your hands, like the source of the interference you’re getting. Therefore the most you can do is turn off as many interference sources as possible. 

Conclusion:

All in all, wireless microphone operation can be pretty pesky during live performers and, or recording sessions. However, you can control the interference problems with your wireless microphone without any hiccups. You only need to get the right equipment or work with a competent technical team to set things up for you. Besides, we can help you with cable assemblies for your wireless microphone projects. 

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