Best mic for gain-before-feedback?

madkayaker

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Jan 18, 2007
I'm doing a Battle of the Bands at the local high school in a month, and the sound system that we (the high school) have is notoriously prone to feedback. What sorts of microphones do people recommend for getting the best gain before feedback? I've heard various recommendations for the Crown CM-310A and the Audix OM7, but I wanted to know if anyone had any other suggestions, as well as experience in this sort of situation.

Also, in terms of other solutions for reducing feedback, what exists besides EQs (and fancy auto-feedback-reducing-EQ's) and just moving the microphones and speakers?
 

avkid

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This is way too general a question. What kind of setup do you have currently?
mics,cabs,mixer,processing?
 

Eboy87

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Chicago, IL
To echo avkid's sentiments, what are you using this for? What are you using for monitors, and where?

To throw a few names out there, there's the stand-by of the Shure sm57 for guitar cabs and the sm58 for vocals. I've heard good things about audix's OM5, but I've never used them. If this is a quick "git 'er done" sort of deals, I'd avoid Sennheiser. Don't get me wrong, I love them to death, but they take a lot of TLC to get to sound good and not feed back, at least in my experience.
 

audioslavematt

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West Lafayette, IN
I pity your soul. I hope they pay you well. The Beta58A doesn't do too bad in terms of gain before feedback. If you're doing one wedge, put it right in front of the performer, if two, spread them out 45 degrees from the performer. Keep them as far behind the mains as you can. Run the gain up high enough that it rings. Figure out the frequency and dump it on the graphic EQs (or preferably parametrics if you have them). Do that again. I would dump as much of those frequencies as possible, because BOTB type events tend to draw every idiot band in the world and they'll insist on playing with their amps on 11 (been there done that). You'll have those wedges on the brink of ringing all night.
 

madkayaker

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Jan 18, 2007
Part of the problem is I'm not exactly sure what the setup's going to be... band's refuse to share amps/drums/keys, and the organizer won't make them. The rest of the gear will be either the school's (4 SM-58's, 2 JBL M-Pro 225's as mains, 4 nondescript JBL wedges, and amps) or borrowed (1 or 2 Yamaha 01v mixers, Countryman DIs, 2 Mackie SRM-450's for either mains or monitors, 2 audix shotguns, and 4 Audix CX-211's, as well as a Neumann KMS 104). For processing I'll have access to (in addition to the built in channel effects in the 01v, such as noise gates and compressors) 2 1/3 octave EQ's, as well as a 2-channel Sabine FBX unit with 1/3 octave EQ's. I'll probably end up using the Sabine on the main out as well as the vocal monitors, with the EQ's inserted on the drum monitors.

This is just my current thought-- as you can probably tell, I'm not actually a professional sound engineer (I actually go to the high school, but have done a large deal of sound with my father/through the school), so I don't have much of my own gear-- though I'd like to change that. I do, however, have access to some other gear, either through borrowing or renting, so any suggestions as to how to make the event sound best (and feed back least) would be welcome as well.
 

avkid

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I say make this as uncomplicated as possible, ditch the outboard processors and use the internal processing instead.
 

Eboy87

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Chicago, IL
Studio Manager will definitly come in handy here. Get it at Yamaha's site, and download the 01V editor as well.

p.s. sorry if that seems redundant and you already know that. I've jsut worked with far too many people who have no idea what the heck they're doing.
 

mbandgeek

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Apr 1, 2006
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North Carolina
The best way to battle feedback is to ring out the system before the first performance.

I am not sure it ring out the system is the correct phrase, but take an RTA and a eq and get the most out of the system.
 

Eboy87

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May 3, 2004
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Chicago, IL
Yeah, Yamaha has all the good SR products under Yamaha Commercial Audio. The link for the XP version of Studio Manager is here http://www.studioconnections.org/download/sm217w.zip
The Mac OSX version is here. (I don't know what OS you're running). http://www.studioconnections.org/download/sm218mx.zip
The 01V Editor is here, again, for XP and Mac respectively
http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/downloads/firm_soft/01v96/editor/edt213/01v96_edt213_win.zip
http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/downloads/firm_soft/01v96/editor/edt213/01v96_edt213_mac.zip
And the firmware is here (should you need it)
http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/downloads/firm_soft/01v96/01v96v2_frm.html
I got tired of doing it for each OS, but those links should work. I got these from this page, and I have those pages working in Safari
http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/downloads/firm_soft/index.html
Studio Manager is pretty cool once you get learn to get around in it. You can even set up parts of the show in advace, like channel assignments, what exf are going to be used, patching, etc., and then transfer them to the desk once you get to the venue. Let us know if you need more help
 

madkayaker

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Jan 18, 2007
Thanks so much, Eboy. With the time constraints we'll be operating under, this will go miles towards making my life easier. Again, thanks to all.
 

madkayaker

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Jan 18, 2007
One last question...will this utility only work for the O1v96, or will it work for the original 01v as well?
 

Eboy87

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May 3, 2004
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Chicago, IL
Uhh...good question. I assumed you were using the 01V96. I don't have an answer for that. You can try, but I'm sure someone will be along shortly to set the record straight.
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
TYPICALLY it is less of a mic issue, and more of a speaker placement or monitor placement. Keep the FOH speakers forward of the furthest area forward that a mic is going to be used, It is a very BAD idea in these types of setups to have the speakers aligned with the edge of the stage. Remember that if you angle the speakers inward that you are going to get some of the sound from speakers to be going on to the stage.

Make sure that the singers don't decide to drip the mic down to their side, this is typically what is done, with the mic right in front of the monitor.f

Fun fun fun

Sharyn
 

Eboy87

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May 3, 2004
Location
Chicago, IL
Make sure that the singers don't decide to drip the mic down to their side, this is typically what is done, with the mic right in front of the monitor.f
Fun fun fun
Sharyn
Oh, on that note, cupping the mic is bad. I realize trying to get screamo bands (or any high school band, with a few exceptions) to not cup the mic is like trying to teach a cat to speak Russian, but warn them that the wedges will squeal if they do.
 

Andy_Leviss

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Dec 26, 2004
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NYC
One last question...will this utility only work for the O1v96, or will it work for the original 01v as well?
Unfortunately not. The original came out long before Yamaha started supplying Studio Manager; there might be a third party manager (I know there was one, whose name I'm blanking on, for the 02R), but it might be hard to find these days, and might not be cheap.

Sorry :(

--Andy
 

tblan

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Jan 18, 2006
Consider splitting each signal before it comes into the board, send one channel to the mains and the other back through the monitors. This will give you more control over eq for the monitors vs. the mains and should help to manage feedback a bit better.
 

BenFranske

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Jan 18, 2004
Location
Edina, MN
A couple of things. First, as far as I know there is no Yamaha mixing software for the 01V; however there is third party mixing software for the 01V and the even older Promix 01 (a very early digital board from Yamaha) but I can't recall the manufacturer. Note that these older, pre-Ethernet boards require a MIDI port on the computer for control.

Secondly, while speaker placement, EQ, etc. can have a great impact on gain before feedback there IS a distinct difference between microphones. When I work in a difficult feedback environment my (dynamic) mics of choice are the Audix OM series, I have the most experience with the OM5 which is fantastic, I would expect at least as good a job from the OM7. For comparison, these are significantly better than the everpresent SM58. AudioTechnica also makes some good dynamic mics.