August 10, 2021
IEM drop out is due to lack of quality signal at the IEM bodypack receiver.
For IEM systems, getting good signal to the bodypack receiver is essential. One barrier to great reception is that many belt-pack receivers don’t support diversity reception--which is to say they have only a single antenna. This makes these receivers much more likely to encounter drop-outs and multi-path fades than the dual antenna diversity systems common in microphones. The belt-pack is also in motion, and can change orientation depending on body position. Plus, the pack sits beside or behind the talent, requiring the signal to pass through or alongside the performer's body, which is nontransparent for RF energy.
3rd Party Solutions like RF Venue Exist to Solve Drop Out
Helical antennas are overwhelmingly the antenna of choice for IEM transmission because the circular motion of the RF field emitted distributes the signal through all possible polarization angles. This removes the greatest risk of dropouts, as most IEM belt packs are limited to a single whip antenna.
Using a combiner is also important for transmitting devices like IEMs. Without it, multiple IEM transmitters in a rack, each with their own whip antenna transmitting on top of each other can be a disaster for your system. These antenna farms can create noise and intermod problems that can wreak havoc not only on IEM performance but neighboring wireless microphones as well. One solution is a clean rack with an IEM combiner and helical antenna.
For more information on this subject and to learn more about the specific solutions that RF VENUE offers, please read Why In-Ear Monitors Drop Out — the inspiration for this article.