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Sound Accessories

Contributed By Fred Ginsburg

production accessories
In addition to budgeting for the basic sound recording package, there is a wide selection of "add-on" items that should be given consideration while in the budgeting stage.

wireless microphones
Personally, I have always felt that these things should be called what they really are, neither "wireless mics" nor "radio mics", but "wireless cables". Because in effect, the transmitter and receiver of a wireless mic system do not replace the microphone itself, and virtually any type of microphone (with the proper adapter) can be used with the wireless system. The part that is replaced by the "radio" is the cable.

However, wireless mics is what they call them, so therefore I will. There are also a number of four-letter and other obscene words used to describe wireless mics because of their notorious unreliability on the set, but that is a different tale that I reserve for the section on wireless mics. This section is still on pre-production planning and budgeting.

Wireless microphones are relatively expensive to rent. Daily rates are approximately $40 to $60 per day, per channel. (When dealing with radio mics, the term "channel" is used literally. One system, consisting of transmitter and receiver, is assigned to each frequency.)

In addition to the daily rental fee, one must also budget for batteries. wireless mics go through Duracell 9-volt batteries like kids go through candy. Most receivers use one to three batteries, which will last one or more days. The body-pack transmitters, on the other hand, use one battery which should be changed every few hours! Since fresh batteries (not the sale ones that have sat in the warehouse all year) can cost up to $3.00 each—you’d better figure on at least another ten dollars per day per unit.

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