Audio - Advice for Guides These are amazing devices and can add hugely to the enjoyment of the tour.  There is very little to using them. These tips are based on our experience on the Positively Birmingham walking Tour over the last few months. In the actual presentations you do have to think about how to use the system to really get the best out of it. Key things include: Ensure everyone is connected - good instructions at the start are key. H&S issues of your ‘tourists’ wearing ear buds. Some conversation on the move is definitely enjoyed by the ‘tourists’. Silence is good as well so people can interact with each other on the tour. We can hear everything the guide says! How it works Transmitter: Simple to use. Turn on and then < > alters the transmit power - 3 is good with a hidden lavalier and 2 if you have the original microphone. Lavalier: For hidden mics we tape on and secure at base of the neck around the dress line. Conceal the wire and run to a pocket. Do not have any other items in same pocket. This keeps microphone out of the way and also minimises wind noise. Starting: Turn on a minute or two before you start. Start transmitting by putting the microphone jack in. Do this once you have asked everyone to turn on/jack up. Spend a second or two ensuring everyone is ‘fired up’. How far: These units are very powerful - they work for up to 150 in an open area. When they reach the end of the line the receiver gets a signal that starts to break up. Instructions for Tourists Hand the devices out as you book people on or all at once if people come very early. We turn the devices on communally with instructions as follows: 1. Push 3.5mm jack fully into the socket. 2. Turn on the button on the side above the socket by sliding up. 3. Screen: Right hand side is channel - everyone should be on 0* 4. Left number is volume - < > adjusts - 6 should be about right Hearing Aids: In our limited experience hearing aids out in both ears seems to work really well. Health and Safety: Think about your surroundings as well! Watch it when you cross roads. During the Tour Do ensure everyone can hear you: Good way is to move off and then ask a question like - can you all hear me? Put your hands up! Have you lost anyone at the back Jonathan/Raj/Michael/Dawn. Herding the tour: Woks well to be able to explain which way to go - especially in busy places. Silent periods: The tourists want some time to interact with each other so build in periods of silence. ‘Tourists’ can find this off-putting so if you go for a silent period explain you are doing that and suggest they talk to each other! Local questions: When people walking with you ask a question answer it to the whole tour - repeating the question first! Stopping to talk: You can start to talk a bit sooner - but it is still important to get your group together. When you have a straggler or two this is hugely helpful though as you do not have to wait for them. Broadcasting for the whole tour: It is not practical to turn the device off and on during the tour. Remember you are broadcasting all of the time. Coughing/sneezing - try and do away from the microphone. At the end remember until you turn it off everything you say is heard by everyone still with a receiver. If you want to MUTE then pull the jack out - but not recommended to do as a routine way of working. Photographers: They can move a decent way from the group and hear every word. They love it. Collecting Receivers Back NEVER accept earbuds back - the ones we supply are theirs forever - people will note if we take any back and the TripAdvisor review will be horrible! We try and fill all the spaces and count them all back. Sometimes people put them in their pocket towards tour end - perhaps they have had enough. If we lose one - not a huge loss so while we work to get them all back we will lose one occasionally. Problems Run out of steam - Transmitter: If the transmitter runs out of battery receivers start getting a mix of signal and noise. Many people will complain - just move to the spare. transmitter Run out of Steam - Receiver: Here just one person will complain - simply give them a spare. Wet weather: These devices are best kept dry - in the rain no problem for people to wear inside their coats. Mobile Phone: This system is interfered with if you phone rings. Lagging behind: Tourists do not appreciate they are miles behind the group as the receiver gives the allusion we are all together! Have Some Fun If you have a rear gunner do talk to them occasionally and get a hand signal response! Interact with the ‘tourists’ as you see fit. February 2018
Audio units meet at the Bull with our guide Raj.
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