hanging mics

Mattech

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May 2, 2003
If you are having trouble picking up sound on hanging mics you may be interested to know that they pick up sound in a cone. The narrow end of the cone is at the tip of the mic and the pick up area widens as you get futher away. So if you cant pick some one up on stage try bringing the hanging mic out some and you may be able to find more sound. Or you could just tell the actors to project more.
 

TechDirector

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Mattech said:
If you are having trouble picking up sound on hanging mics you may be interested to know that they pick up sound in a cone. The narrow end of the cone is at the tip of the mic and the pick up area widens as you get futher away. So if you cant pick some one up on stage try bringing the hanging mic out some and you may be able to find more sound. Or you could just tell the actors to project more.
thats a very interesting thought. and i bet it works to.my hanging mic's are uni directional. So i just assumed that the closer to the stage they are, the louder they are. jeez i've been wondering why they arn't as loud anymore.
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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I would say that when dealing with any mic read as much as you can about them, but there are several types of hanging mics there are also several pcik up patterns involved with hanging mics. You always want to read the pick up patterns. I have seen hanging choir mics that for optimal performance only want to be about 2' above the choir.
As for my other problems with that statement, hanging mics yuck!
They haven't started really pushing wireless lavs in HS yet?
But still with wireless lavs one of my constant notes to actors directors and musical directors is they need to project more.
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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In the old days stars like Carol Channing could project over an entire orchestra without any form of electrical amplification. Nowadays its hard finding actors that can project to the third row.
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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The problem these days is a lot of teachers discourage that kind of projecting in fear of damaging the vocal cords. I have know many an actor type on "vocal rest" from pushing too hard. Now I am not out to destroy anyones voice, but I do need them to project to at least the fourth row for me to do any effective micing. Of course I am talking about show mics. Where the actor is wearing the mic somewhere on their head.
 

MagliteL13

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Naperville, IL
Jo-JotheSoundDog said:
In the old days stars like Carol Channing could project over an entire orchestra without any form of electrical amplification. Nowadays its hard finding actors that can project to the third row.
That's what I was taught. But really, do you want an entire show filled with Carol Channings? :) I don't even want to imagine that.

Jeremy Lyon
Technician at The McAnich Arts Center
 

Inaki

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Oct 31, 2003
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Sycamore, IL
Well, besides the fact that teachers "protect" their students' vocal cords, most singers nowadays rely too mucho the fact tha theyhave a mike on.
 

wemeck

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Mar 3, 2003
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Chicago, IL, USA
I hate the site of hanging mics in productions though. I just did Oklahoma and during a big dance number at the house you had all these hanging mics, Black mics with Black xlr cable in front of a bright seen with a blue cyc with clouds. Tacky! Unfortunately necessary for the show, but still tacky.
 

wolf825

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wemeck said:
I hate the site of hanging mics in productions though. I just did Oklahoma and during a big dance number at the house you had all these hanging mics, Black mics with Black xlr cable in front of a bright seen with a blue cyc with clouds. Tacky! Unfortunately necessary for the show, but still tacky.

I'm a big fan of long-throw shotguns...they can be placed on the apron or behind key set pieces and do fairly well for pick up of the hopefully projecting actors<g>.


-wolf
 

dvsDave

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What kind of shotgun mics do you use, wolf?
 

wolf825

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MagliteL13

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I've had pretty good luck with the AT 40 series. A bit cheaper, the AT815? (I think that's it) also works pretty well. The 815's are what we used for Trinity Irish Dance a few weeks ago. Add a reflector and they have excellent pickup.

Jeremy Lyon
Technician at The McAnich Arts Center
 

peters

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Nov 13, 2003
Re: hanging mics vs. boundary mics

I'm a bit out of my element here being more of a video guy than audio. I need to get better sound out of a boardroom used for training. I'ts about 50'x30' and accomodates about 20-25 trainees.

The only reason it seems to me to use hanging mics is to get them out of the way. Otherwise, according to what i read, tabletop boundary mics win the quality question.

anybody?
peter
 

wemeck

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wolf825 said:
I'm a big fan of long-throw shotguns...they can be placed on the apron or behind key set pieces and do fairly well for pick up of the hopefully projecting actors<g>.


-wolf

We have some shotgun mics that the TV department gave us about ten years ago somewhere. I thought to use shotgun mics effectively you needed to have someone aiming them like a spot light? Is this accurate?
 

Image of the Mind Studios

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Has anyone had the opportunity to place zone mics around the perimeter of the proscenium as a solution to providing sound support to the stage? I'm considering this as part of an overall microphone layout, but I never actually had the opportunity to test this out. I'm also planning on applying two shotgun mics to the game plan and I'm crossing my fingers that I can place the speakers in a way that does not interfere with those mics. I think that speaker placement to the sides and not over the procenium may work, but I'm not sure. It's a guess, but I'm hoping the shotguns will cut thru the speaker dispersement. Has anyone tried this? I'd like to hear your thoughts. AG
 

6ftstudios

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Michigan
A common misconception is that shotgun mics can "reach" farther - when in reality this is not true. Using a shotgun mic for sound is like using a papertowel tube over a camera lense; it doesn't reach farther, but "spots" a certain area of sound and rejects sound coming from the sides and back.

To answer michael's question you don't have to have someone aiming the mic constantly, but it will affect your audio the same way someone stepping out of a spot would affect you lighting.

AG - remember, the more open mics you have in a room the less gain-before-feedback you will have. It doesn't mean you can't use all the mics you want, but you're going to want to have a few EQ's in your house rack. I prefer 31 band eq's cause they give you a much higher detail control, but a 15 band would work as well. The best way to limit the number of eq's you'll need is to run a number of channels through sub-groups, but make sure all those channels are the same type of mic.

hope this helps
 

jkowtko

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Redwood City, CA
The suggestion to me from the local audio supply store was that you should try to keep the mics within 10 feet of the sound source ... this includes shotguns. As was mentioned above, cardioid vs omni doesn't let you pick up sound from further away -- it just limits the direction from which the mike will hear.

What that probably means is what you see in most theaters is 3-5 shotguns or boundary mikes mounted on the lip of the stage, plus some hanging mikes upstage, plus probably some hidden area mikes in the side legs or on the backs of set pieces.

(Fyi, parabolic mikes, on the other hand, will pick up from far away, but I've never heard of them being used in a theater application.)