By Gary Gossett, C.A.S.
Production Sound Mixer
In April 2013 I purchased a CP Antenna from Kaltman Creations of Atlanta, GA. Their claim was that their antenna incorporated 'Circular Polarization' technology that was guaranteed to reduce drop-outs and those little "swishing" artifacts that we all hate so much. GUARANTEED? I had to give it a try.
My new antenna arrived the day before the annual 'Parade of Sound Carts' that is held in Burbank, CA, each spring. At the seminar, I proudly showed off my sound mixing cart along with my new CP antenna, but couldn't speak to whether the antenna worked or not because I had just opened the package 24 hours earlier. Now, seven months later, I can honestly say that the CP antenna has made my work with wireless devices much, much easier.
I've been a production sound mixer in Los Angeles for a little over 32 years now and have had the opportunity to work with most types of wireless systems, good and bad. I my world wireless technology is mandatory and wireless frequencies are at a premium which makes my job very challenging. I don't have the luxury for sound department delays and defiantly don't have time to be futzing with wireless problems all day. My wireless system has to work in ALL conditions... period!
The wireless microphone setup I prefer is the wideband LectroSonics Venue system with Lectro SMa transmitters. Before buying my CP antenna, I employed two shark-fins (1) APL500 and (1) APL650 with the onboard amplifier for long cable runs. On "good" wireless days the shark-fin antennas would be mounted on my antenna boom and hoisted high into the air with no problems, but on "bad" wireless days (where I experienced drop-outs, etc.) I would put the powered shark-fin deep into the set with a long 50ohm cable run and then power the APL650 antenna amp from my Venue. If my department was given ample time to run the additional cable and mount the shark-fin this system worked pretty well but, as Murphy's Law would have it, the "bad" wireless day always showed up at the very last minute or while I was actually rolling sound. Not good.
Enter the CP antenna from Kaltman Creations. After integrating my new CP antenna into my system, I began to notice something different right away. The swishy artifacts never seemed to appear and the antenna strength indicator (although a bit low) never had any drop-outs. My question was... how could this new CP antenna fix these two dreaded problems on such short notice? I had no idea.
For five straight months I used the CP antenna in all kinds of conditions right along side a shark-fin with great success. One day I had a small accident where the CP antenna spud mount broke while unloading my equipment. I had no choice, but to go back to the older setup with the two shark-fin antennas. Immediately I noticed a difference. The dreaded noise artifacts and drop-outs started to re-appear. It wasn't until I fixed the CP spud mount (five jobs later) that I could go back to the CP and shark-fin setup. Now there were no dreaded noise artifacts or drop-outs. None! Nada!
I will admit that I have NO real scientific measurements to base my story on... only anecdotal comments based on practical use, but Kaltman Creations guaranteed it to work and it did. I'll be ordering a second CP soon. Good-bye shark-fin.
Gary Gossett is a production sound mixer and member of the Cinema Audio Society, Gossett has worked with some of the most creative directors and outstanding (both movie and television) production companies in the Hollywood film industry. He has logged in thousands of hours on the set with over 3,700 national commercial spots, 800 music videos plus, countless live shows, independent films and videotape productions.
[caption id="attachment_51194" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Gary Gossett with his sound cart"][/caption]