Did you know that Wireless Designer comes with a feature – The Walk Test Recorder - that will allow you to do a walk test all by yourself, with no help at all? It’s a very useful tool, especially for those solo engineers that don’t have a second set of hands and feet to help them with a set up in a new venue, or when their environment limits the number of people that can be in the area at a given time. It’s a way to test RF signal strength and antenna switching, as well as squelching and recording audio.
Even experienced users of Wireless Designer might not know this feature exists, because it is somewhat hidden. In order to see the Walk Test tab at the top of the screen, you have to have a receiver connected and selected from the device list on the left of the screen. You otherwise won’t see it as an option or a feature anywhere else in the system. This screencap shows you where.
- Connect the Receiver (D2, Venue or other). Once you do that, you will see “Walk Test” as a tab at the top.
- Create a new file and tell the system where to save it.
- From within Wireless Designer, choose which RF channel you are evaluating. Hit record, then walk the transmitter around.
- This will essentially allow you to “soundcheck yourself.” You will be able to, for example, ensure that you have a good signal strength from far ends of the stage. If you don’t have good sound, you can review the recording report and troubleshoot where your issues are and address that specific area, without having to have multiple people sweep the area to find them – a real bonus in our current environment.
The only other thing to keep in mind with this exercise is that the audio is not automatically routed through the USB connection from the receiver. You have to connect the audio output from the receiver or mixer to the computer’s line input or into an audio interface connected to the computer.
- Once you’ve recorded the file you can review it to look for problem areas at your location, then make adjustments to your antenna location, transmitter power, or other ways of improving reception before you have to “roll a take.”