My school is looking buy microphones. Mainly being used for our Annual Musical. I have been looking around, found a couple of good ones. But I am wondering what your suggestions are. Anything would be greatly appricated. Thank you
I'm going to assume that you need wireless lavalier (body) mics. If this is incorrect, please say so.
I don't know what your budget is, but you'll probably need to spend a couple grand if you want decent mics for the musical (depending on the number of people that need to be mic'ed). At our school, we use Shure LX series with WL183 (omni) capsules. The LX wireless part works well (with the occasional hiss, crackle, or pop), but other than that I've had no major problems with them. However, I highly recommend avoiding the omnidirectional WL183 capsules if at all possible. With the way our house is set up, it's very easy to get them to feed back (not good during a show). During our last show I had to constantly ride the faders to get the most GBF out of them at any given time, and had many fights with the talent over their volume (more accurately, the lack thereof). Granted, the mics were on their shirts and not close to their mouth like they should have been.
The moral of the story? Try to get capsules small enough that they can be placed nice and close the the talents' mouths. Though I've never used them myself, I've heard good things about Countryman capsules. As far as the actual transmitter, Shure is good and reasonable priced, but be sure to go for one of the UHF ones - in the event you get interference, you can change the frequency of the transmitter.
Please let us know what you decide on - I want to know!
At our school, we have Crown PCC-130 floor mics. They work fairly well, though I have had little success using them for sound reinforcement on or near the lip of the stage. I have, however, used them on the lectern and on a table with pretty good success. As far as hanging mics, we've used Shure SM-81's suspended above the stage, but I would personally never use them for sound reinforcement - the sound is very airy and because of the height involved, I would get very little gain before feedback. Perhaps someone else has had better luck using floor and/or hanging mics for sound reinforcement?
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.
That's good advice. I designed the Crown PCC-160, and yes, it should lie flat on the stage floor.
No matter what type of mics you use, you need to ride their faders, turning down mics that are not in use at any given time. This reduces the number of open mics, which increases clarity and gain-before-feedback. Ideally only one or two floor mics would be turned up at a time.