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Floor Mics

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Jeepfrk97, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. Jeepfrk97

    Jeepfrk97 Member

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    Hey im just wondering if people like to use floor mics rather than shotguns or teasers?
     
  2. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

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    If you're referring to 'plate'/PZM/PCC mics, they have their uses. It depends on the set and the stage in question - you need a flat area around the mic that isn't going to be stepped on too much - floor mics pick up way more traffic noise than other kinds.

    One cool trick the venue audio tech came up with at CETA was mounting miniature cardioids onto the set. This is almost impossible with any thrust set or arena stage, but if you're on a proscenium it should be easy to hide miniature cardioids much closer to the action.
     
  3. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Its my main source of amplification, unfortunately.

    No money for wireless lavs, terrible gain-before feedback, so shotguns are out of the question. We hang 4 mics as well, but the floormics get the best pickup.

    My only problem is that you gotta be on your feet with them. When I run shows with floormics (all of them...) I need to be at the board constantly; following actors across the stage and knowing when to kill the mics for a loud noise. Its a pain in the arse to mix, but I think it gets a good amount of gain if used properly...
     
  4. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

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    I don't think I've ever had a show involving mics where I had a chance to relax ;) certainly not CETA... 18 lavs, 8 stage mics.... FUN
     
  5. Jeepfrk97

    Jeepfrk97 Member

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    well for the musical were using 5 pzm's we also have 9 wireless lavs. maybe some shot guns we have 4 of em i donno if well need them
     
  6. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    We use little cm-700 on these cute little stands that we screw into the stage floor.
     
  7. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Basically, we use 3 Crown PCC-160's on the very front of the stage, evenly spread. We back them up with 4 CM-30 hanging mic's, which move around. For the most part, one is foward stage left, foward stage right, rear stage left, rear stage right.

    The CM-30's get rather poor gain-before-feedback, they love to suck in high freqencies, so not only do they feedback easily, but I need to keep them rather strictly EQ'ed to keep em in line.

    Hence, the PCC-160's are my best friend. Its a pain, yes, that you have to be mindful of crashes and falls and taps. But I just have to be careful, and if its a musical, ill put gaff tape on the bottom to mute a little of the rattling. So really, I have little choice but to rely on the floormics. Shotguns would be WAAY too sensitive for our system.

    We do rent lavs AS often as possible, provided that the director has money, and wants to use em.
     
  8. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    Are sister school GBN (of Hazing Fame last May) Swear by their Crown 160's as well. I was just talking to GBN's resident TD/Set/Lighting/Sound Designer about them.
     
  9. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Yea, my favorite thing is to take some gaff tape, and stick it in little bubbles to the bottom. Ill Stick the edge of the tape, pull it up to make a little loop (or Flap) in the tape, and then stick the other edge on, forming a small air pocket. Being that our stage is fairly decrepid, it gets rid of the floorboards rattling...

    More importantly tho, they are fairly sensitive mics. I like how the responce is somewhat channeled towards the front. In some ways, they are like little shotgun mics, being that they work best when someone is facing them.
    [​IMG]
    The rightmost mic (Not the nearest one) pics the person (circle) up the best.
    (Pardon the PAINT drawing... my main computer is feeling sick...)
     
  10. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

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    PCC = Phase Coherent Cardioid

    Cardioid meaning exactly that it picks up better from 'on-axis', or in front than from behind or to the sides.
     
  11. Pocado

    Pocado Member

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    Yea, at my school we have two floor mics that I'm always yelling at the actors not to touch, but they pick up great. The one bad thing is they pick up EVERYTHING. We also have two hanging PZM's, if that's their name. I have a question about shotgun mics...we have two huge a** shot guns and we can't find anyplace to hook set them up so they are perfect for the stage. So, how are they suppose to be used? We tried hanging them from the catwalk but we got major feedback from them picking up the speakers...and we also hooked them up at the base of the pit facing up...that didn't work too well either. Any advice?

    Pocado
     
  12. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    The best use for shot gun mics is on a boom or a sound tech in the wings or in the house aiming the mic at the performers.
     
  13. anticowboyism

    anticowboyism Member

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    We use the crown 160's alot for plays. We have a Varicurve preset for them that scoops a little low mid resonance. If you follow the actors around and boost the mic they are closest to, you can get pretty good results. It's kind of a pain, but sometimes necissary. A good tip is to outline the onstage side of the mics with bright spike tape so the actors don't step on them.

    The best use for shotguns IMO is for production crew audio, not for feeding into the house. We have 2 Sennheisers mounted on our balcony rail aimed at the stage that provide very consistant sound for the crew backstage.
     
  14. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    somebody buy me floor mics, then i will tell you how i like them
     
  15. mixsa

    mixsa Member

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    one technique that i saw once that seemed to work quite well was shotguns mounted on stands in the orchestra pit a little above the stage level - this picked up the speaking without picking up stage floor noise
     
  16. mixsa

    mixsa Member

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    one technique that i saw once that seemed to work quite well was shotguns mounted on stands in the orchestra pit a little above the stage level - this picked up the speaking without picking up stage floor noise

    havent had a chance to play with pzm - it would be fun to see how well they work sometime
     
  17. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    BTW, with just about any show you can't leave the console. I hope you people are doing that. The current production I'm working on has 14-15 lavs (4-5 w/intense rotating schedule...very intense), 3 floor pccs, 2 grid stage hang, 1 wing hang, and some channels will be compressed and ran through an effects processor. You defintely can't leave the console for more than 2 seconds. I hope that you people are mixing your lavs constantly, you're not just setting levels and mute/unmute when needed. A mix should be dynamics along with the actors voice. Mixing is like playing an insturment, pretty much all musical techniques are involved in it. I primarly play guitar (playing for years), I took piano lessons for years, and have currently been hobbying the drums. Mixing w/enough channels can be just as tough as playing these insturments. A good mix isn't a good sound check, set and forget. Anyway, I've gotten great results with the PCC160s and AT853Rx, they pick up just enough of chorus and ambient vocals. The downstage ones pick up pitt and tap dancing quite well, its nice to run these throw the monitors to ensure the musical cues. BTW, I agree with you in not buying wireless. You know my modo for lavs, If you can't afford nice wireless and lots of it, just don't buy it. Its horrible watching a show listening to cheap noisy wireless w/all the crackling and buzzing or only hearing a small portion of the cast with lavs. Inconsistant volume levels are a killer. Sorry, I went a little off topic, but I had to vent some of these things out.



    The following is crossposted from "Mics" in the Audio Questions forum,
    http://controlbooth.com/postt1131.html&sid=75aabeea7a6e481d9a7d176b00024d90

    Audio Technica AT853 are great hanging mics, they're also amazing drum overheads. They have a nice thin cable built in too. They can be used on stands as well. They have really nice rigging accessories. Get the Pro45 if you can't afford the AT853s. BTW, sm81s should never be hung, they are meant for close to near range applacations.

    Crown PCC160s, you have to play around with them a lot to get good GBF. I once you used 8 of these in a musical: 5 downstage and 3 upstage hidden in the set. Make sure the downstage ones are placed evenly apart from each other. When working with DS boundry mics, always have a center point. So you should work in odd numbers. In theory you'd get more converage with more boundry mics and no center point, but you actually won't considering the center stage is always used and everyone sings into that location. This may sound stupid but I've seen this a quite a few times and its pethetic. Look under the mic and make sure the arrow pointing to your source, I've seen people prop up this mics on and angle vertically lol.
     
  18. MikeJM

    MikeJM Member

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    Another microphone I have seen used as a boundary mic is the Shure Beta91. It is actually meant to be used for kick drums. You might have more trouble isolating them and preventing feedback than you would with a Crown PCC for example. The Beta91 is flat, where the Crown PCC has a directional side. With the use of a bounce screen, the Beta91 can be very successful. I have made these bounce screens by going to a store such as Michael's Crafts and buying those clear, plastic picture holders (not frames) and spray painting them black. The boune screen works very well, and is not a distraction at all to the audience, it actually makes things look more neat, and clean cut on stage. The bounce screen deflects excess noise from the pit orchestra and audience and makes the Beta91 much easier to work with. Well that was my first post, i hope it was helpful.
    -Mike[/url]
     
  19. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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  20. MikeJM

    MikeJM Member

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    For the production of Fiddler on the Roof this summer (same production as Jeff) we also are using foam material that I attatched to the bottom of each boundary microphone (the PCC160s), these shock absorbers performed their duty well and allowed them to be of more use to us. As Jeff stated earlier, the bounce screens that I bought are plastic picture frame holders that run about $3 a piece. I spray painted them black, and put them in front of each Crown PCC160 on the edge of the stage. Due to the polar pattern of the mic, they werent of much help, but they did improve the look on stage, they did help block out some of the excess noise from the orchestra pit. If we ever plan to use the SHURE Beta91's as boundary mics, we could always use those bounce screens.
     

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