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Wireless Multichannel Audio Systems (WMAS)
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2023
Wireless Multichannel Audio Systems (WMAS)

A technology revolution for large wireless set-ups

April 14, 2023 - At the NAB show, Joe Ciaudelli, Sennheiser's Director of Spectrum & Innovation, will speak about the exciting WMAS technology. Four sessions will be held on Tuesday, April 18th in demo room N114LMR at 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4 p.m.

Wireless Multichannel Audio Systems will revolutionize large wireless microphone and monitoring configurations. Compared to today's conventional link-based approach, where each audio channel transmits on a dedicated, unique narrowband radio frequency (RF) carrier, WMAS multiplexes audio channels onto a single wideband RF carrier. This allows more audio channels to be packed within a small block of RF spectrum, such as a vacant TV channel.

It also allows more spectrum reuse because the required separation distance is shorter between a WMAS and another user operating on the same RF channel. This is particularly beneficial for multi-studio production facilities, mega-sporting events such as the Olympics, theme parks, school campuses, or densely packed theater districts such as Broadway, the West End or Las Vegas.

The engineer can fine tune the required fidelity, operating range, and latency of each audio channel individually. For example, providing the lead singer higher levels of these characteristics compared to a backstage communications channel. WMAS also offers dynamic spectrum resource allocation where the engineer assigns the majority of the spectral resources to the set of microphones and in-ear monitors that are currently on stage or on-camera until that performance is complete, and then seamlessly switch to the next set of mics that is ready to go live.