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Lapel Mics

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by matto889, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. matto889

    matto889 Member

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    My school is putting on the musical Joseph this year and I am the head of sound again this year. I was wondering what your opinion was on the best location to put the lapel mic. Last year we attached them to their face using band aids but with them sweating and the make up they didn't always stay on. A friend went in the behind the emerald curtain tour and said that theres are in there hair how would I do that? We are using Shure WL93-6T and we need about 18 of them. Plus we have to buy 2 more belt packs and receivers (about $1,400 each) we can't afford anything more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2008
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    I wish I had a definitive answer for you, but I don't.
    We finally gave up on cheap lav mics and went for an over the ear model.
     
  3. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Can we get a sticky thread placed on this forum for mic mounting? I know this has been covered before exhaustively, including a good primer with photos from Andy.

    Matto889, if you have budget issues then why are you spending $1400/channel on wireless? You can pick up good stuff much cheaper. The AKG WMS400/450 will run you under $400/channel, and if you consider that cheap I would suggest buying Countryman B3 lavs from FullCompass for under $200 each and sell off the AKG lavs.

    Also, for taping on skin, use Nexcare transparent medical tape, not bandaids ! Othewise look for the mic placement primer by Andy Leviss and you will learn how to mount mics without using tape :)
     
  4. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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  5. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    I would advise AGAINST this. Getting quality wireless is extremely important, as the less expensive systems will be MUCH less reliable. If you can afford it, get it. You won't regret it.

    Out of curiosity, what system did you spec that costs $1400/channel?

    Yes, I agree. THis tape works wonders. Put it on before makeup and then get it hidden.
     
  6. miriam

    miriam Active Member

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    You really would, in an amateur situation? Many times makeup happens far in advance of showtime, and I would be nervous trusting people with the mics for so long. And then rounding everyone up to do another check right before the show can be extremely frustrating.

    This is just my imagination, I never tried it this way. What has your experience been giving performers their mic so much in advance?

    And I apologize for going off on a tangent.:oops:
     
  7. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    I did this for my old high school's production of Aida. It's the only way to make sure the mics stay on their faces. The trick is to talk to the makeup people to make sure they understand how things need to work.

    In terms of mic checks, they were checked when they went out and monitored right before they went on stage. The receivers were right next to FOH so I could verify that everything was working properly.
     
  8. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    The AKG WMS80 and WMS400/450 systems are not cheap. They retail in the $800-900 range ... I'm just talking street price. I've been running 12 channels of WMS80 pretty successfully now ... got most of them for under $200 a channel (B-stock clearance on some, and used over eBay for the others). If they work, they work. And as long as you take care of them, they will keep working.

    Getting the lavs right in my opinion is one of the critical issues ... the move from AKG c417/L (the stock lav) to Countryman B3 was a very good one. Sound quality, sound pressure levels, moisture resistance, overall durability. I would probably recommend the B3s over all except the Sennheiser MKE2 or DPA 4061 -- both of which are much, much more expensive. But these three appear to be the theatrical mics of choice for semi-pro or pro theater.
     
  9. miriam

    miriam Active Member

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    What does "channel" refer to in this thread, exactly? I thought channels were part of a mixing board, and did not cost extra according to the microphone. I am missing something somewhere:think:
     
  10. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Miriam, by channel, they are referring to a transmitter/receiver pair for the wireless mics. One transmitter (handheld or bodyback) and one receiver for it equals one channel.
     
  11. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    The main difference between higher-end wireless systems and "prosumer" systems is the RF front-end of the receiver. In low-noise areas, with fewer TV stations and other RF equipment, both systems will work very well, and it is often not necessary to buy terribly expensive units. However, in a higher noise environment, such as NYC, LA, Chicagoland, etc, these lower-end systems will not get nearly the same range as the more expensive units and will be very problematic to use.

    That said, if the large consumer electronics companies get their way and start developing unlicensed devices that operate on empty TV channels, many of these lower end wireless mic systems may start to experience noise issues, both from on-channel and off-channel interference, and the interference will be very difficult to track down. More expensive systems with tight filtering will then be necessary.

    Typically, the only difference between transmitters is the amount of power - which isn't very important. Remember that one must double the power output to get a +3dB advantage. However, it's often much easier to get this same advantage through better antennas, coax cable, and splitters. There are other factors such as durability, but you have to go pretty high end to start seeing these differences ($500+ for the bodypack alone).

    I agree completely here. You're either going to spend a lot of money on very good, reliable mics, or you're going to spend a lot of money replacing your bad mics with more bad mics over and over and over again.
     
  12. mixmaster

    mixmaster Active Member

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    Miriam,

    "Channel" is a term that gets used in many situations to reference many things
    On a sound board, your right, it refers to the Gain, EQ, Aux send, routing and fader controls that effect a single input or output signal. In the world of wireless, "Channel" refers to a transmitter and receiver operating on the same frequency to get a signal from one place to another. On frequency agile transmitters, channel may also refer to the specific frequency in a group. It will be noted as Channel 1 in Group A or something like that. Typically, any piece of equipment with multiple signal paths notes those signal paths as channels

    I guess the best overall definition for channel would be a single continuous signal path through or between pieces of equipment.
     
  13. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    My school has a set of Counryman B3 lavs. I wish I got the E6, but money wasn't available. Anyway, they are extremely durable. we put the mics on pre-makeup, over the ear and afix them with surgical tape. The B3's come with pretty good makeup shields, and to show them off, there is a video of the president of Countryman dunking the mics repeatedly in a bowl of soda, and taking it out and using it. Anyway, post show we take them off and clean them down with some cleaner to get them de-gunked.

    Anyway, the placement by the ear with clear surgical tape, allows the makeup people to hide the mic better by putting foundation over the tape, and is really the best place for that type of mic. I was recently in a show (The Bishop in Jekyll and Hyde) and I had no problem with sweat or anything. I found it was really good.
     
  14. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    I don't think you want the Countryman E6 ... a local semi-pro house had big problems with the cord connectors ... they got moisture in them and start crackling and popping. They have tried all sorts of waterproofing attempts on the connector but to no avail .., so they traded them in for B3s. I've heard this from others, so I think the E6 is more for tradeshows or lecture applications where the speaker isn't as prone to sweating (or so we would think ...!)
     
  15. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Or you could just use contact cleaner once every few weeks.
     
  16. bwayhawk2002

    bwayhawk2002 Member

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    I definately have to agree with avkid on this one. I have uses surgical tape to hold my lavs up on so many shows. It's inexpensive, and it really works, even through some of the sweatiest shows.
     
  17. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    Ask, and ye shall receive.
     

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