Micing tap dance ?

JSFox

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Sep 23, 2006
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The Tundra
A school I'm helping out does 2 or 3 events each year that include tap dance routines, usually with the jazz/blues band or orchestra. They've complained that in the past the tappers get drowned out by the band. The floor is made up of 3' x 3' masonite like material over plywood over cement. Trying to figure out the best way to mic the taps without getting too much of the band.

PZM's taped to the floor?

A couple of shotguns, one from each side?

??

Thanks,
 

soundlight

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Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
We've actually had to do this twice this year. PCC-160's from the front, overhead hanging choir-style mics pointed straight down if needed (with pattern that will restrict orchestra pickup), and PCC-160's from the back of the dance part of the floor if feasible.
 

Van

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Portland, Or.
I've always had real good luck with 2-4 PZMs on the apron. When you say taped I hope you mean gaffing the PZM directly to the floor. I had to trouble shoot for a guy once, he couldn't figure out why the sound was so muted. I found he had used foam double stick tape on the underside of the mic to mount them to 1x1 pieces of masonite. The tape acted like a little shock absorber for sound.
 

Schniapereli

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Nov 19, 2006
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Provo, Utah, United States
I just finished worked on our school musical "Crazy for You" (which is a tap show, if you anyone may not have heard of it...I hadn't) (That is also why I haven't posted for a while.)

We used 2 of the Crown PCC 160's, and they worked very nicely. It was mentioned here before that someone talked to a tech for 42nd street, who told them that they actually implant mics in their shoes.
I talked to another sound guy, and heard that they just use the MKE-2, and ran the cord up their fishnet stockings. They only miked one shoe of most of the cast, but the leads had both shoes miked. (I'm not exactly sure how you are supposed to spell mic-ed without it looking like mice-ed...)
 

mbenonis

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Finally, a use for PCC's!
 

CURLS

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Oct 19, 2004
I've had great luck with 91's right across the front of the stage and yes i have used them directionally pointed towards there feet tilted up on a plexiglass material which worked wonderfully. Also if you have a shotgun or two pointing one on little mic stand on the sides of the stage pointing across the stage work for good isolation.

Yea yet another use for pcc's among so many others.
 

avkid

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Feb 17, 2004
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Lakewood, NJ
Every year we host the showcase performance for a dance school that has multiple world champion tap dancers.(bragging done:) ) My limited inventory forces me to use my five AT857QMa's on the apron bent down to face the deck.
 

Thomas

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Nov 2, 2005
Location
Durban, South Africa
I've used lapel mics taped with micropore to the dancer's foot- from what I hear the show TAP DOGS uses fullon SM58s though... that's an easy way to go, if there aren't too many dancers...
 

drawstuf99

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Joined
Feb 5, 2006
They did 42nd Street here for a summer stock show and my friend who worked the show they had mics on like, 4-5 dancers' shoes for the tap numbers (which had about 20+ people. Thats all I know unfortunately.
 

JSFox

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Sep 23, 2006
Location
The Tundra
Thanks everyone. The PZM approach was producing too muffled of a sound so we ended up using a couple of Shure KSM109's facing away from the band towards the house (and thus the tappers). Worked fairly well.
 

zuixro

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Aug 30, 2008
Location
Spartanburg, SC
[Bumping a 3 year old thread]

I'm working on a dance recital now. The teacher has asked us to mic the tap numbers for the camera. We have some PCC-170's, SM58's, and SM81's. I'm debating about how to do it (especially considering we only have two channels left on the board. If they had waited a month, this wouldn't be a problem. We would have a shiny new M7 (I hope), and we could giver her all the mics she wants)

I put out one of the PCC-170's during rehearsal yesterday, and it sounds really good... when they're close to the mic. When they get about to the center of the stage it starts to fade out. They're also picking up a lot from the stage monitors. I'm gonna reposition the monitors tomorrow and see if that helps. We have no compressors or gates or anything to process the signal (not even a graphic EQ).

I'm gonna spread out two of the 170's across the edge of the stage, which will help even out the pickup, but I still don't know what to do when the dancers head upstage. We may end up renting a console for this (sad, I know). If we do, I'll try hanging some 81's from a batten overhead (no one mentioned that. Think it will work?). We also, apparently, have some two PZM's (of unknown model), but they have some unknown problem. I'll probably play around with them too. Would they pick up further on stage than the 170's?


rant:

Another problem we're having is that we've completely run out of outputs on the console, and the teacher wants a feed to the camera. It looks like we're going to have to run it out of the "2 track out" (RCA connectors), but that's PFL so we have exactly zero control over what it sounds like. (there's not even a volume control on it)

We're even using the monitor outs. Those are also PFL so again, the only control we have is through the gain knob. This also means that we have to turn the gain down on the tap mics instead of just muting them. (it's a cheap SoundCrap board)
 

MisterTim

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Mar 22, 2010
Location
Columbus, OH
I'm gonna spread out two of the 170's across the edge of the stage, which will help even out the pickup, but I still don't know what to do when the dancers head upstage.
I can pick up tapping 25' upstage easily with PCC-160s. Now the PCC-170, on the other hand, is still a boundary mic but intended for a completely different purpose, namely lecterns and board rooms. There's really nothing you can do to fix the problem. Also, watch out for phasing issues if you have a spaced pair of mics trying to pick up tapping far upstage.

We also, apparently, have some two PZM's (of unknown model), but they have some unknown problem. I'll probably play around with them too. Would they pick up further on stage than the 170's?
Won't hurt anything to try them.


Another problem we're having is that we've completely run out of outputs on the console, and the teacher wants a feed to the camera. It looks like we're going to have to run it out of the "2 track out" (RCA connectors), but that's PFL so we have exactly zero control over what it sounds like. (there's not even a volume control on it)
Henry Engineering | Patch Box II - Analog Stereo | PATCHBOX II
 

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