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Old 02-05-2019, 04:15 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Default Vocal microphones for uncoached / uncoachable singers

I would like advice on microphones suitable for singers and speakers (occasional users) who are not familiar with using mics. Especially those who are uncomfortable with being close to dynamic mikes or drift out of range.

I'm a rookie who owns a few mikes and combo amps.

Our community centre is introducing group music activities and lessons as it expands into its large new building.

The rooms have ceiling speakers with a minimal interface panels for microphones and computers.

They need to buy microphones etc that are simple but versatile for singers and for speakers. There is no sound person and employees will need to work from basic written checklists. Experienced musicians will probably bring their own gear.

Typical activities that need microphones:
- song-along leaders and instructors heard over 20-50 singers
- individual and group singers in front of a medium audience
- individual and group singers during seniors luncheons
- singers and acoustic instruments (guitars, ukuleles, etc) in front of a medium audience
- instructors and lecturers for medium and large audience
- questions from the floor at large presentations.

Microphone rookie user challenges:
- don't know how to address a mic, and no one to tell them
- not centred, not close enough, head movement
- heads drift away while reading music and lecture notes
- unable to remember instructions during performance
- uncomfortable having mic close to face
- occasional clumsy handling handing during setup and retrieval

I brought my gear to a start-up ukulele sing-along and and the acoustics were good. Song leaders and lead singers drifted off the mic pickup spot.

Many thanks.


.

Last edited by casualmusic; 02-05-2019 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:03 PM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is offline
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AKG D5. Great for speech. Rugged mic. Decent for micing instruments. Can get a good tone for vocals. Excellent feedback rejection.

95/100 people will tell you the Shure SM58, which personally I find a bit muddy in the lower mid range.

My top 5 around $100 would be
1) AKG D5
2) Sennheiser e835 with on/off switch (if needed)
3) Blue Encore 100
4) EV ND76
5) Heil PR20 utility
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:39 PM
robj61 robj61 is offline
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I’d add the Lewitt MTP 550 DM to that list.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:09 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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For drifting singers, a compressor would be the piece of equipment that fixes that problem more the any microphone would would. You set it so that it sounds best at the quieter range of the singer and then when he/she jumps on the mic it will limit the signal and be more balanced...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...BI%3A514&smp=Y

read the third review on the link I posted which sounds like your situation
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:44 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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I would recommend a Shure Beta 58. No not because it sounds the best. It sounds good though and is a good place to start because it is an industry standard. The real thing that matters though is that they will survive dropping and abuse, and because you can buy cheap Chinese knockoff replacement grills on eBay for about $2 each! If you are using this with a bunch of singers this means you can change out the grill once or twice a year and it will never get too gross. For other mics, you will have to use grills from the company and they will be over $20:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F163171303085
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:58 AM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkingston View Post
I would recommend a Shure Beta 58. No not because it sounds the best. It sounds good though and is a good place to start because it is an industry standard. The real thing that matters though is that they will survive dropping and abuse, and because you can buy cheap Chinese knockoff replacement grills on eBay for about $2 each! If you are using this with a bunch of singers this means you can change out the grill once or twice a year and it will never get too gross. For other mics, you will have to use grills from the company and they will be over $20:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F163171303085
Yep that's a good standard mic
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:33 AM
Nama Ensou Nama Ensou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casualmusic View Post
I would like advice on microphones suitable for singers and speakers (occasional users) who are not familiar with using mics.
First off you're going to want to be aware that you'll get a good number of suggestions for a person's favorite mics, which is not often a good thing. If I were to suggest my own favorite stage mics they would be models absolutely not best suited to your needs because they would be mics with tight pickup patterns and primarily you're going to be wanting cardioid mics, not super-cardioid or hyper-cardioid, which is what most higher level pro mics are going to be.

YamahaGuy has some good suggestions for you, but the first one on the list is a mic with a tight pickup pattern - not what you want.

I quoted his post so you could see which of these mics fit the normal cardioid range and since he has recommended them too, I'm sure you could probably buy any of them with a good deal of confidence.

I'm supposing that you want at least three mics, and if so, the ubiquitous Sennheiser 835 is almost always available in 3-packs for a great price. This mic is probably one of the absolute best choices you could get, particularly if you buy the switched version so that mics can be turned off when being held by said inexperienced users.

Mics to avoid that have been suggested here would include the AKG D5 and Shure Beta 58. Both are super-cardioid designs, and while generally preferred by professional singers, not at all ideal for inexperienced singers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YamahaGuy View Post
2) Sennheiser e835 with on/off switch (if needed)
3) Blue Encore 100
4) EV ND76
5) Heil PR20 utility
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:33 AM
Marty C Marty C is offline
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Whatever you use. You might also try adding something like a TC Helicon Mic Mechanic. It has a built in compressor and includes the ability to add a little delay and reverb. This seems to help the confidence of new singers which encourages them to step up closer to the mic. It also has a little pitch correction which also helps build their confidence.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:39 AM
Nama Ensou Nama Ensou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty C View Post
Whatever you use. You might also try adding something like a TC Helicon Mic Mechanic. It has a built in compressor and includes the ability to add a little delay and reverb. This seems to help the confidence of new singers which encourages them to step up closer to the mic. It also has a little pitch correction which also helps build their confidence.
Great suggestion which is also incredibly easy to use.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:22 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty C View Post
Whatever you use. You might also try adding something like a TC Helicon Mic Mechanic. It has a built in compressor and includes the ability to add a little delay and reverb. This seems to help the confidence of new singers which encourages them to step up closer to the mic. It also has a little pitch correction which also helps build their confidence.
I just purchased one and I really like what it does. It has a variety of settings that can enhance your vocals without going overboard. You can go overboard with it if you wish and sometimes and for some song material, that works. I recommend it as well.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:25 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Hi all

Thanks for the list of mics.

On the weekend I'll read the specs and visit local stores to check availability and replaceability.


Any recommendations on which have the widest sweet spot?

These occasional users won't likely learn good technique.

They are shy about getting closer than 6-10" from the mic.

Some of them begin by talking through the mic, and then turn their heads a bit to read songbooks and sing *past* the mic.


Is it good possible to get hotter mics to make up for being 12" away instead of 4"? Or pre-amp the mics to get an adequate signal to the PA?


Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:35 PM
casualmusic casualmusic is offline
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Audio compressors:

Thanks for the great tips on the ART Tube Pro and Helicon Mic Mechanic.

I'll check them out for my own gear. Are there any that have two or four audio channels in one box?

And then figure out how they could be used in a Community Centre environment. Maybe riveted to shelf of a sound equipment cart?

Many thanks.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:09 AM
Nama Ensou Nama Ensou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casualmusic View Post
They are shy about getting closer than 6-10" from the mic.
This is one of the main reasons I said to completely avoid any mic with a very tight pickup pattern (super-cardioid, hyper-cardioid) and go with a general cardioid pattern.

It would be hard for you to go wrong with a 3-pack of the Sennheiser 835. Not my mic of choice, but as a very picky user when it comes to vocal mics, I sang a couple months back for a few hours on someone elses system and had to use one; not bad at all.

Once again, the reason none of my favorite mics would be good for your purposes is because of the tight pickup pattern of all of them. Great choices for anyone with good mic technique, but too expensive and not at all appropriate for your needs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by casualmusic View Post
...Helicon Mic Mechanic.

I'll check them out for my own gear. Are there any that have two or four audio channels in one box?
I have the Mic Mechanic mounted to my JBL Eon One as a permanent install but you could easily put it anywhere near your house mixer and just run it in the effects loop, assigning it to the vocal mic channels and get by with just one.

Review: TC Helicon Mic Mechanic

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Old 02-08-2019, 08:01 AM
Peter Z Peter Z is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robj61 View Post
I’d add the Lewitt MTP 550 DM to that list.
If I had to buy a mic for around 100,- USD it would definately be that one.
I even think about buying one despite the fact that I have more than 50 mics in all classes here - mostly unused now.
GREAT mic!

One more thing: I'd stay away from compressors if you work with unexperienced users!
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:56 PM
C-ville Brent C-ville Brent is offline
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I've been using a Sure SM58A (Beta) for about 15 years (and still using it). I'm the only one who's used it and have taken care of it. For new mic users, I'd check out MF and other sites. They have several mics from different manufacturers in the $45 to $60 range that seem to have good reviews (I put some credence in customer reviews if there are more than a few for a product). That may be a place to start. I've used the Fender mics that came with my Passport, an EV CO9, and an Audio Technica M4000S. The more expensive mics generally sound better, but with me singing, it may only be a marginal improvement. With many perhaps new users, a less expensive mic may by the way to get going. Good luck!
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