# Parabolic Microphone construction

#### Tanker571

##### Member
Hi, all. I'm new to this site, but I have a question that a lot of you will be able to sympathize with. I am the technical director for my high school's drama club. I want to build some parabolic microphones to improve sound quality for my shows without spending a lot of money on a seheiser or something. Does anyone know how to get information regarding this question? Thanks. I'm sure that many of us would like to be able to construct mics on the cheap!

#### DMXtools

##### Active Member
I seriously doubt that a parabolic would improve sound quality. The frequency response is generally really "peaky" - hard to equalize for good sound quality. The directionality also varies widely with frequency. The parabolic reflector concept is useful for light or UHF-to-microwave radio signals. Because sound can bend around corners and doesn't always travel in a straight line, a parabolic reflector is less useful in concentrating sound.

John

#### dvsDave

##### Benevolent Dictator
Senior Team
CB Mods
Fight Leukemia
Proximity also plays a big role in using parabolic mikes. No, you aren't going to get even decent quality from a parabolic setup, but it may have it's uses for some sort of special sound effects.
That said, why don't we figure out how to construct one and let's see what we can learn!

#### orby55

##### Member
SM: "Ok Sound Guys That's Your Cue..."

#### Tanker571

##### Member
Thank you for the help! The man who runs the technical programs at my High School had found a design for a parabolic mike setup that he seemed to think would work for what I need to improve sound quality for my club. Unfortunately, he didn't write down the website; so, he couldn't tell me where to look, and he could not help me re-discover the site! I would like to build some directional microphones to cover areas on my club's stage. These could be hung (possibly) from our catwalk. I don't need to buy or build the most advanced system (it would mean probably too much \$); so, what sort of microphone would be best to get directional sound? Currently, my club uses primarily body and floor mics. We do have a few awful choral mics, but they contribute very little to the overall sound. For most shows we do not have enough body mics for all the major characters; so, we end up switching mics francticallly during scene changes. I believe that a directional mic setup from our catwalk could help with this problem. Thanks again!

#### Tanker571

##### Member
Well, thank you for looking on google. I still have to ask you which sort of microphone would be appropriate for the sound problem I described. I'm glad to have a description of a parabolic microphone, but I don't want to waste time building a mike that won't help solve my club's sound problems.

#### ecglstec

##### Member
For a few hundred dollars you can pick up a few used Crown PCC floor mics off of ebay. They don't have the best sound quality and it's not going ot sound like you have wirless lavs, but people will be able to hear.

Typically when I'm micing a stage for a large performance, one I can't have lavs for everyone I will put out three PCC floor mics and three overhead boundry mics. The overheads are for US pick up and the floor mics DS. Don't turn them all on at once, but have them so you can bump each one where someone speaks.

This set up will be much better than any Parabolic Mic Setup.