[LAU] Live mic and monitoring (was rant.)

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Sat Dec 29 20:55:44 UTC 2012

On Sat, December 29, 2012 11:54 am, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 09:48:34AM -0500, Thomas Vecchione wrote:
>> A directional mic can give quite a bit more than just a few dB of added
>> headroom before feedback.  Take a look at the frequency response charts
>> of
>> the 'standard', the SM58, which pretty much has 10dB down across the
>> board.
> True if you consider only the direct sound, which may be valid
> in the case of monitors close to the mic. OTOH, if the feedback
> is mainly due to indirect sound which will come from all directions
> then a cardioid provides just 4.8 dB advantage. Which of course
> could make a difference.

Ok, I should lay out what we have and some of the idiosyncrasies of the
people involved.

Small room, 100 to 150 people (I think). Small stage (8x30). Generally,
three vocals, guitar (acoustic direct), piano (electric, through local amp
as well as direct) and bass (amp only). Drums sometimes. two wedges for

 - lead vocal (also da boss), Male, uses stand. sets the eq on the PA for
bass and highend up and midrange down (U shaped yuck) no worry about feed
back prevention. Not sure what the mic is, but it seems to be the best
one there... but then the whole PA is set to his voice as he likes it.
 - vocal two, female, handheld, sm58. even though the PA is set with
boosted high still sounds "boxy" like singing in a smaller room than the
hall. But this is really only noticeable when she does lead stuff.
 - vocal three, female, classic trained.. hardly needs a mic at all but
has the Dixon I mentioned before... may as well be using a carbon pile
telephone handset.. lucky she doesn't need much reinforcement.
 - piano and guitar get the midrange sucked right out of them
 - Bass (thats me) no PA, (not by choice, but what's practical) Amp eq not

It sounds from what has been said, that an omni mic would help vocal two
if it didn't give us Feed back problems. (we don't have any right now BTW,
so we are not running on the edge or anything) The lead vocal likes the
added proximity effect... no changing that, but it would be nice to give
him his own eq. For vocal three, anything has to sound better. She gets
less of the monitor anyway and has curtains behind... I would like to have
an omni to try there as well.

When I was in broadcast(80 to 85), the ENG guys had sennheiser shotguns.
They used them both camera mounted or hand held... the talking head could
hold the mic very low almost out of the picture. The TV station I worked
for was somewhat more low budget than some and there was less rough
handling than others have experienced. The main repair item was headphones
and VCRs (U-matic, Sony BVUs and the panasonic equivalent). The Cameras
just seem to need setup and the motor zoom is the main thing that broke on
those. Some of the guys went manual zoom.

Len Ovens

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