Actors and Lipstick

delnor

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Mar 3, 2003
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USA
If you are running sound. Tell whoever is on stage to leave you lipstick. (meaning keep the mic as close to thier mouth as possible) You should do this for several reasons, first off to the audience people who hold the mic real low look stupid. Second, with the mic close to their mouths you will get a better sound, with less background pickup. And the best reason, with thier mouths closer it will allow you to lower the mics gain and pick up more volume with a lower chance of feedback. Keep that in mind next time u have a mic you cannot control on stage. Half the battle with sound is teaching the people on stage how to use the mics. As much as I would like to say the sound tech controls the sound on stage, the actors MUST do thier part to make a sucessfull sound. :)
 

TechDirector

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Feb 20, 2003
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delnor said:
If you are running sound. Tell whoever is on stage to leave you lipstick. (meaning keep the mic as close to thier mouth as possible) You should do this for several reasons, first off to the audience people who hold the mic real low look stupid. Second, with the mic close to their mouths you will get a better sound, with less background pickup. And the best reason, with thier mouths closer it will allow you to lower the mics gain and pick up more volume with a lower chance of feedback. Keep that in mind next time u have a mic you cannot control on stage. Half the battle with sound is teaching the people on stage how to use the mics. As much as I would like to say the sound tech controls the sound on stage, the actors MUST do thier part to make a sucessfull sound. :)
I agree. Maybe 70% of the time, if there is a singer singing, they will hold it as far away as possible because they don't think they sound good enough. But some know and understand that they should put the mic really close.
 

delnor

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Mar 3, 2003
Location
USA
Some of them also hear their voice coming through monitors louder then normal because there are instrumentalists behind them that need to hear their singing. So they move the mic farther from their mouths to quiet the monitors. They just need to understand that they don’t control the volume you do.
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
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South Florida USA
mic lipstick

I would just like to bring up a little note here. If you ever work with any old time singers, the good ones will know proper mic control. This is a skill that I think started off as a great idea but over the years people still do it with less and less success. The basic concept is that as a singer gets louder they pull away from the mic. This was very popular in the days of Frank Sinatra. It kind of acted as a do fer compressor.
 

delnor

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USA
Yeah, like I said its a training thing. People who have had a lot of stage time can do that with sucess. I was refering to highschool venues, a lot of HS singers will see that and think its the correct thing to do but don't realize how to control it.
 

MagliteL13

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Sep 3, 2003
Location
Naperville, IL
For the most part I agree as well, but there are certain mics where you don't want it as close as possible. Recording is another story as well. I think it all boils down to the sound you're trying to achieve. No matter how far away the mic is (within reason) you can still create a great sound with a little experimentation at the board. Closer (for the most part) just makes your job easier. My opinion.

Jeremy Lyon
Asst. Audio Engineer at The McAnich Arts Center
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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TheatreTechie said:
For the most part I agree as well, but there are certain mics where you don't want it as close as possible. Recording is another story as well. I think it all boils down to the sound you're trying to achieve. No matter how far away the mic is (within reason) you can still create a great sound with a little experimentation at the board. Closer (for the most part) just makes your job easier. My opinion
Jeremy Lyon
Yes there are mics that this doesn't hold true for, but I thought it was pretty obvious we were talking about hand held vocal mics. Yes recording is another story, because you really don't want your vocalist touching the mic in any way shape or form when recording.

I think it all boils down to the sound you're trying to achieve

It seems like most sound engineers should go for the cleanest mic pick up as possible. It is far easier to make a clean signal sound bad than to make a bad signal sound good. And one of the easiest ways to get a clean signal is to get the mic as close to the mouth as possible. If you are using a handheld vocal great, the cardioid pick up pattern allows it to not pick up much else from stage. As for body mics, if you can get them right next to the mouth do it. Sure it looks funny, but when you are strapping an omnidirectional mic at someone's hairline you are picking up a lot more than that actor's voice.

On top of that every mic has a pick up pattern. You really want your sound source in that pick up pattern. If you start leaving that target area the frequency respnse of that mic starts changing a little here and a little there. Sure you can fix this at the board, by goosing this frequency a little here and this frequency a little there.

No matter how far away the mic is (within reason) you can still create a great sound with a little experimentation at the board. Closer (for the most part) just makes your job easier. My opinion

Sorry if I disagree, but part of the job is knowing proper mic placement and instructing the performers when they are doing it wrong. A lot of sound guys find it easier to fix it at the board then try to interact with the performer. And personally I would rather spend the 3 minutes walking to the stage and fixing the problem at the source than tweeking for an entire show, because it just isn't perfect.
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Boy somehow I really screwed up that last post. So the first paragraph should be a quote the second paragraph is me. And from then on everything that is in quote boxes is me. Man is early.
 

dvsDave

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Jo-JotheSoundDog said:
Boy somehow I really screwed up that last post. So the first paragraph should be a quote the second paragraph is me.
I went ahead and fixed it for you... hope you don't mind.
 

tinears3938

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Dec 18, 2003
Location
Baton Rouge La
Yall are absolutly corret I tell the singers if you dont eat the mike you anit gonna be heard . when their momma or a friends say I cant hear LIL Joey tell them they need to learn how to use mikes 8)
 

The_Terg

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Dec 3, 2003
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Yonkers, NY, USA
Personally, I wouldn't necessarily say that. Atleast with our setup, if most I told that to most of the people on stage, they would clip our SM-58's to shreds. I like to think that optimal distance with our mics is about a hand's width away from their mouth. You will get TONS of gain to play with at that distance, and it leaves room to spare in case they have the sudden decision to scream into the damn thing...
 

tinears3938

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Dec 18, 2003
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Baton Rouge La
I dont think a human voice can clip a sm58 it can clip the mixers input amp & channel eqs. Do you run compressors? that will take care of screamers. The sm series is made for live prefomances you can put them in front of a marshall stack set on 11 they wont last to many months but they wont clip
Jeff
 

anticowboyism

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Mar 24, 2004
I don't think getting the mic as close to the mouth as possible is the best approach either. It increases the proximity effect for one. Also when you are trying to get the most gain possible (ie. a rock concert) you will increase the feedback if the mic is too close. Especially when the mouth is open wide, the cavity reflects the pickup pattern and it starts to ring. Try this yourself. Crank the gain really high, right before feedback, then open your mouth wide and try to put the mic in your mouth. It will feedback. The best sound and gain I find about 3-4 fingers width away, depending how big their hand is.
 

Pocado

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Feb 16, 2004
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Colorado
anticowboyism said:
The best sound and gain I find about 3-4 fingers width away, depending how big their hand is.
I guess that really depends what the point of micing is. Depending on press conference stuff, to singing it depends.
 

halojen

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Mar 29, 2004
Location
new zealand
The_Terg said:
Personally, I wouldn't necessarily say that. Atleast with our setup, if most I told that to most of the people on stage, they would clip our SM-58's to shreds...
not trying to hurt anyone here, but, as has been pointed out:
you must be kidding. since when could you clip a 58 out?
screaming into it through a megaphone probably couldnt do damage to it.
are you not aware of the quote: your not a real tech till youve used a 58 as a hammer and used a hammer to fix a 58.

( :
mmmmmmmmm SM58...

btw. try trying to politely teach your head master how to use a mic and stand. can be very frustrating...