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High Pitched Singing + Wireless Mics = Not good

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Edrick, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Alright so we're doing Cinderella the Musical and our 8 leads who all sing have clipon shure lav mics (wireless), now we've tried adjusting the EQ on the board and moving the mics to diffrernt locations on them (limited cause of costumes), how ever we get feedback quite often and a rattling. Any sugestions?
     
  2. audioslavematt

    audioslavematt Active Member

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    What sort of feedback?
     
  3. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    High Pitched squealing, which we really shouldn't have since the place has been designed correctly for the balance. is there anything that will cause this asside from feebback through the mics. IE- Items the person may be wearing ect..
     
  4. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    Not really. The two most critical things with using wireless microphone are the location of the microphone capsule and the volume of the performer. Ideally, the mic should be located on the hairline around the center of the forehead. Second to that, try to locate it just above the ear. There are a number of ways to mount the mics; a google search should turn up plenty of possibilities. If you're mounting it on the chest, try your hardest to get it moved somewhere else. Finally, if the actors are not singing loud enough, work with them and the musical director to see about getting them to sing and talk louder - don't push too hard (everyone has a limit), but work with them a bit.
     
  5. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    They're actually singing too high, and that's without them trying project.
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Sounds like you are trying to clip the mics onto the costumes.

    A Simple strategy for mic placement:
    1) Go to the drugstore and buy some medical tape. I prefer the clear plastic type but any will do.
    2) The belt pack goes on the beltline mid back. Have someone sew together some sort of pouch with an elastic and velcro waistband to secure the belt packs. This may sound weird but... some people sweat a lot. To protect the belt pack it is very comon to purchase unlubricated condoms and slide the belt pack inside the condom and then place the whole thing in the home made pouch.
    3) Run the line up the back under the costume.
    4) Hang the mic over the ear of the actor so that it hangs down about an inch onto their cheek. Position the mic so that it's aiming the right way and place a small piece of tape above the mic cable on the cheek.
    5) Run the mic cable over the ear and around the back of the head. If possible use a bobby pin to pin it in the hair so it can't be seen.
    6) Have the actor turn head side to side to establish how much slack you need. Tape the cable to the neck.
    7) Have the actor report to makeup for a very delicate touch up to cover as much of the TAPE on the cheek as possible... careful not to touch the mic with makeup.

    EDIT... how high do you have the input gain both on the baord and on the mic itself?
     
  7. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    You may just have them covered with something too closely the way they're currently mounted.

    We do over the ear mounting and forget about trying to hide them. It's much more important to have them sounding good than it is to hide the mike. I'd rather hear an actor with a small black line on their cheek than see a pretty face and not know what it's saying. Obviously if you have the time and resource to do hairline mounting, great -- unfortunately at our theater we don't.

    As far as noise, what we found was in some telephone scenes when the actor accidentally cupped their hand or a dummy phone receiver over the condensor head ... SSSHHHRRRIIIEEKKK!!!! So just keep those things clear and open from obstruction.

    Otherwise, I agree with all the other mounting advice above (although I've never had to use the condoms -- our bags get soaked a bit, but never any problems for me).

    For tape, NexCare clear medical tape comes in 3/4" dispensor roles ... you can tear the tape down the middle to get thin strips to hold the mike over the temple in "bluetooth" position.
     
  8. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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  9. dvlasak

    dvlasak Active Member

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    I work in a high school (in other words I get paid to worry about the sound for productions). When I started at this high school, they were just clipping the mics to the actors as you are now. I had to really work to get the director and actors to realize that I knew what I was doing by placing the mic at the hair line or at the ear. When I did get the mics moved, the difference in the quality of the sound was AMAZING!! So amazing that nearly everyone commented on how much better the sound was by just doing a simple move of the mic capsule. Moving the capsule will take care of the costume noise that gets picked up as well as the feedback from having the channel gain too high. With the mic at the hair line or ear, you will be able to lower the gain on each channel.

    Another thing to look at is to check if the wireless are actually set up correctly. Do you have older style wireless with like a "squelch control"? Do you have the gain on the wireless receivers set too high? Are the actors getting in front of the speakers somehow? Where are the monitors placed? Could the monitors be causing feedback?

    If you continue to have issues, please let us know so we can suggest additional things. Make sure that you tell us what things you have tried that did not work, that will help us give you suggestions. Also, when you solve the problem, let us know what you did that solved your problem.

    Dennis
     
  10. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'll try the over the ear / hair line suggestion. If i remember correctly without looking at the Mic they're the shure slx 1. The standard we have them on is Mic, which works for the guys and girls that don't sign as high. But for the high girls we set them to 0, and on the board when on Mic they're on -10 / -15, and once you get lower than that you cant hear them. For the ones set to 0 we have to actually use the gain up on the board and have the board closer to -5 / 0.

    I just talked to the drama director about the over the ear thing and she said we're going to probably run into problems with the costume as they have their hair up and in dresses. But I think we can work it out.
     
  11. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator

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    Just a clarification - by "high" do you mean they are singing loudly?

    If they are singing loudly, this is a good thing as you will have much better gain-before-feedback. However, make sure you set the bodypack's level such that the receiver does not clip at any time.
     
  12. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    High as in high pitched notes. Not loud as in yelling or projecting.
     
  13. Thefoxygranpa

    Thefoxygranpa Active Member

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    So I take it running it to the center of the forehead right below the hairline isn't an option either?
     
  14. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    We're going to try it at the next rehersal on monday, I didn't have time to do it today as I was running around with the building manager trying to find the breaker for the emergency / work lights in our catwalk / spot well which is always on and there's no way to shut it off with a switch. But there is seperate lights that we use. So it's weird, but after going through about 10+ Electrical Closets throughout the school we never found the breaker.

    Then our lighting system decided to act up, randomly last night at an event all the lights just went to full yet no one hit anything. Then today the house lights kept going to full randomly. Our Leviton System has a Module Failure that we didn't know about, but that's only the breaker system. The dimmer rack shows everything as ok, we even rebooted the entire system.

    Nothing like standing in an electrical closet with fans going at full speed and throwing a 600 AMP + another 300 AMP Breaker as everything goes dead quiet and then throwing it back on as everything spins up.
     
  15. Thefoxygranpa

    Thefoxygranpa Active Member

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    We had a similar problem happening in our high school theatre as well. The house lights would be randomly dimming from 50% to full. I called the guy who we buy our lights from, he came in and cleaned out some of our dimmers, and viola! Fixed.
     
  16. dvlasak

    dvlasak Active Member

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    RicKblu said <I just talked to the drama director about the over the ear thing and she said we're going to probably run into problems with the costume as they have their hair up and in dresses. But I think we can work it out.>

    I think this is just a little fear of doing something new and different. Don't be afraid to show her this website and this thread in particular. Many of us here have faced challenges with costumes, hair styles, hats, etc. and we have been able to make it work and place the mics at the hairline or the ear. It WILL sound better! It can be done at the High School level, many of us here do it!!

    Keep fighting the good fight! You will never go back to clipping the mics onto costumes again!!

    Dennis
     
  17. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    The "rattling" is likely clipping of the transmitter. I find that most are set to work well and quietly with speech, but clip with singing. (Clipping can aggravate feedback, as it adds harmonics across the spectrum.)

    If you still have feedback troubles, you need a good parametric EQ.
     
  18. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    One random note.

    Once directed a High School production of Wizard of Oz. The tin man's costume was made of a metallic lame' fabric. Every time the poor guy moved his microphone went nuts. He was a walking Faraday Cage. I Finally, just gave up and told him to project and counted on the boundry mics and other actor's mics to pick him up.
     
  19. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    (i don't care if that's how the professionals do it we're not doing it in a highschool theater)

    apparently a few of the cast members were whining about it and that's what one of them said, and being that our drama director is horrified about trying anything outside of what she does we're not doing it.

    It pisses me off when people like this won't do anything outside of what they're used to, you go freaking mic your selfs then and run the board. don't come whining to the tech crew when you get feedback and rattling.
     
  20. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    One of the things that we did when I was in high school was take some of the thin black elastic cord and use it to make "halos" for actors wearing mics. We would sit the mic element in a loop in the cord and then the actor could wear the halo in their hair and position the mic at their hairline. The dressers would take care of hiding and pinning the mic cable. It worked well for us, and no one ever complained. One of the other advantages to this system was the ease it allowed when mics had to be passed to different actors during a show.

    In college, for the most part we used the over the ear placement. You can buy gadgets that hold the mic in place or you can get a thin gauge wire and bend it to fit each individual actor.

    As for changing the way things are done, just do it. Maybe not on the current show, although if the quality f the show is suffering you may have to. But there is no reason that in high school you shouldn't start doing things the right way, or at least a better way than what you are doing.
     

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