Is Use of Your Wireless Gear now Illegal?

The house lights go down and your band takes the stage. It's exciting stuff — you're playing to a capacity crowd, opening up for a touring headliner at the largest concert hall in your home city. The drummer and bassist lay down a wicked groove and the crowd starts to respond immediately. You flip your amp out of standby and get ready to hit that first power chord. But out of your guitar amp comes a high pitched voice squealing, "Oh my god, Britney. That singer is so cute!" Meanwhile, you've got no tone whatsoever. "Oh my god. My wireless system has been hijacked by the audience!"

While dramatic, thankfully this isn’t what would actually happen. However, interference from new wireless devices will cause wireless signal “dropouts,” which are brief (and usually silent) gaps in signal. You might hear some noise or hiss, but you won’t hear what the interfering product is transmitting — which is probably going to be data rather than voice.

Fortunately, recent legislation by the FCC prevents this type of interference-related disaster from happening. However, if you're one of the thousands of gigging musicians in the United States using a wireless system — either for your vocals or your instruments, new changes to the law may have actually made it illegal to use your wireless equipment!

As of June 12, 2010 any wireless microphone equipment that uses frequencies between 698 MHz and 806 MHz is prohibited in the United States.

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