Sports radio broadcast engineer Peter Grosskopf (pictured), a 13-year veteran of the industry, upgraded his personal RF microphone system to Sennheiser's Evolution Wireless 135 mic system and SR300 IFB while traveling for several seasons with Syracuse University's football team.
"I had used the 135 in various fixed installations and I figured it would work great on the road, as well," he says. "I now use it for all of my NFL and college games, NHL playoffs in Detroit, Stanley Cup playoffs in Buffalo, and for our last year for Buffalo's semifinal round against Carolina, as walk-off interview mics."
As an independent contractor, Grosskopf regularly covers indoor ice hockey games in the U.S. and Canada. "Come playoff time, there are 15 guys crowded into the hallway looking for interviews," he continues. "Instead of having my assistant fighting for patch-panel space to run headsets and microphones to do locker room interviews, I just point the antenna right down the hallway and get good bounce right into the locker room. The reporter can even walk out onto the ice after the game to interview players.
"With broadcasts, you don't get a second chance," Grosskopf adds. "Interference, static and dropouts are not acceptable. The equipment has to work, sound great and offer flexibility in the large arenas to adapt to specific frequencies."
"Unlike NFL games," he continues, "wireless frequencies at college games are uncoordinated, making Sennheiser gear essential for trouble-free broadcasts. People come in with 15-watt transmitters and fixed frequency equipment and they just turn it on at game time. You have to have gear that can see activity even when the unit isn't on. I put my Sennheiser receivers right next to my soundboard, allowing me to monitor the RF levels at all times and change frequencies on the fly. Plus, it's really easy for the reporter on the sideline to figure it out, without me needing to employ another engineer."
Lastly, Grosskopf notes that freelance engineers must bring their own dependable equipment to venues. "You always bring your own gear, and it gets abused. My Sennheiser gear is rock solid. The mics get banged-up, beaten and dropped, but they've never failed me. In addition, I have never had any issues with compliance, reception or transmission in any stadium, college or NFL, indoors or outdoors, or NHL arenas."
For more information, visit www.sennheiserusa.com.