"You have to use this antenna or that distro because these new wireless mics are... digital"
You may be confused by all the claims going around as to whether you need different antennas and antenna distribution systems to work with your digital wireless mic system. This is a question we hear all the time, and more so now that new more affordable digital wireless mics are coming on the market.
RF is part of the electromagnetic spectrum
RF Venue antennas and antenna distribution systems are compatible with analog and digital wireless mic systems. Shown here: Audio-Technica 3000 series analog, Sennheiser EW-D and Shure SLXD series digital wireless
Strictly speaking there is no such thing as “digital wireless"
1. All wireless microphone systems broadcast using a transmitter
that generates an analog RF carrier wave
2. The method of transmission is the same for analog and “digital wireless" mics
in that they add the audio signal to the carrier wave by modulating it
3. It is the specific method of this modulation that creates an “analog” or a
“digital” wireless mic in marketing terms
“Analog” wireless mics use FM modulation so the width of the transmitted wave varies according to the frequency and intensity of the signal being imposed on it. To somewhat simplify, “digital” encoding of the carrier imposes pulses onto the carrier (ones and zeros) and then decodes that on the receiving end to create audio. There are other benefits to this approach, such as digital AES encryption of a wireless mic, and narrower carrier frequencies to squeeze more channels into less RF spectrum.