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  #1  
Old 02-25-2020, 02:24 PM
GmanJeff GmanJeff is offline
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Default Headset Mic Users?

For solo and duo acoustic performances I use a Neumann KMS 105 condenser mic on a boom stand with a PA consisting of one or two EV ZxA1 powered speakers on stands with no floor monitor. I'd like to be able to look around more while singing, and maybe even be able to use my WiC guitar wireless system to let me move from behind the mic stand altogether, which would take my mouth away from ideal positioning relative to the mic.

I'm considering a DPA 4288 directional condenser headset mic for more freedom of movement, initially with a wired XLR connection while I gain experience with it and possibly with a wireless system in the future.

I'd like to be able to also use it with a band, but am unsure if feedback would be a problem on a louder stage, even though the mic would have a cardioid pattern and be close to my mouth.

Does anyone here use a headset mic for acoustic performances? If so, what do you see as the functional pros and cons?
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:40 PM
necrome necrome is offline
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I use a headset mic for all my paid performances / recordings and they don't sound different from having a handheld put on a stand. The main difference between the two is you've got to watch your dynamics a bit more since you can't distance yourself from the headset mic capsule. Instead of pulling away, you may have to sing to the side when you're belting out the high notes
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:14 PM
GmanJeff GmanJeff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by necrome View Post
I use a headset mic for all my paid performances / recordings and they don't sound different from having a handheld put on a stand. The main difference between the two is you've got to watch your dynamics a bit more since you can't distance yourself from the headset mic capsule. Instead of pulling away, you may have to sing to the side when you're belting out the high notes
May I ask which headset mic you use, and why you chose it?
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:40 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by necrome View Post
Instead of pulling away, you may have to sing to the side when you're belting out the high notes
How do you sing to the side when the mic moves with you?
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:45 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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That mic makes my SM58 seem like quite a bargain!
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:44 PM
B. Adams B. Adams is offline
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I don't love headsets for performing music, but I have several for theatre and corporate stuff. I primarily use DPA 4266, which are the omni version of what you're looking at. The industry standard for this purpose is the Crown CM311, and has been for a long time. It doesn't sound quite as good as DPA (nothing does), but there's a reason everyone is still using them after all these years.

In general, cardioid headsets tend to have more irregular frequency response and pick up more breath noise. Omni headsets tend to be more even and natural sounding. Obviously sometimes you need a tight pattern on stage, but you'll sound better if you can get away with an omni. If your stage volume isn't ridiculous, an omni might work fine.

I have single and double ear attachments for all of my DPA headsets, and you'd be surprised how stable the single ear version is on your head.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:58 PM
necrome necrome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GmanJeff View Post
May I ask which headset mic you use, and why you chose it?
Mine's the Shure WH20XLR (essentially an SM58 capsule on a headset), chose it cause it was inexpensive and sounded pretty nice on some Youtube videos. It needs a lot of gain and EQ to sound good, definitely not comparable out-of-the-box to a higher priced condenser.

I sing to the side during the high and loud nodes by opening my mouth more on the side without the mic capsule: somewhat like this emote

Last edited by necrome; 02-25-2020 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:41 PM
paulin paulin is offline
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For all performances I use a headset mic. I enjoy the freedom and having nothing between me and the audience which enables eye contact, gesturing, smiling, etc. Mic technique is different but doable. As others have noted your mouth can be turned to one side and I've learned to “swallow” my voice and also minimize breath noises. It just takes practice.

I have used a Crown CM-311A headset mic for the last 12 or 15 years and find it best for me. Sometimes I use a wireless adapter as this mic has an XLR connector on the battery/control pack. I tried many others including expensive Shure and Countryman headsets and found them too prone to feedback and plosives including cartioid polar patterns.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:24 AM
TheSaint TheSaint is offline
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Like the OP, I use a Neumann KMS 105 as my main stage mic.

But a headset mic is particularly useful for band rehearsals or private practice at home. I use the Shure WH20XLR and found it to be excellent for the price.

As mentioned earlier, there is a whole new mic technique to be learnt when using a headset. Especially when you need to cough..!!

As to feedback, we're all aware of how to avoid it when we have static mics, amps and PA. But when the mic becomes mobile, another variable comes into play.

If you're using a headset to move around the stage to engage more with your audience, you'll have to be very careful with your positioning.

They will only forgive you once..!
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Old 02-27-2020, 02:48 PM
GmanJeff GmanJeff is offline
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Thanks to all who have responded so far.

For the benefit of others who may be thinking of trying a headset mic, I found this comparison video, admittedly focused on drummers rather than singer/guitarists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwCea9SIbNg
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:44 PM
Marshall Marshall is offline
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have an Audio Technica unit I've had for 15 years. I don't use it often. Most places I play have their own mics and sound systems. But there's one gig where I have to bring everything. And my setup needs to be light to carry in. So I pulled out the old Audio Technica mic and tried it. Worked very nicely. You have to turn it off when you go to sneeze or cough. But the fidelity of the mic as great. It was a $150 mic back then. I see now they have similar models available for $119 and $139. It's not wireless. There's a little belt-clip battery unit that you plug an XLR cable into.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:46 PM
dcopper dcopper is offline
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One of the best for the money is the Countryman Isomax headset. It is directional, very resistant to feedback and has excellent vocal clarity. It is also more rigid and a bit more obvious because of the color, but I like it better than all my other headsets. I also have a Countryman H6 which is really nice but even though directional it still has feedback issues.
I think the Shure headset mics are also excellent. I can't tell the difference between my Shure mic and an SM58 in terms of vocal quality. The Isomax is just lighter and I prefer its tone.
The DPA you are looking at is probably one of the best headset mics around. It is very pricey though, but it will not disappoint you.
Using one requires a different technique and you will need to practice with it. There is a great amount of freedom in ridding yourself of mic stands and booms.
There is also a bit of intimacy with the audience that is an added factor. You will have to work with the eq some and be aware of monitors and mains being out of the feedback range. Well worth it if you can get it to work for you.
Good luck!
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