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Sennheiser FreePORT Vocal Set

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Thomas, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Member

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    Location:
    Durban, South Africa
    Ok boys and girls, here's my problem-

    I don't have enough HH mics for the show I'm currently running (4x SM58, need 5), and the producer wasn't too keen on hiring another SM58 HH for three months (exchange rates makes them expensive as anything), so she went out and bought a decent looking but crappy feeling Sennheiser FreePORT mic from somewhere. Features of the mic: power switch, and a 4-way switch to select the transmission frequency. The mic is pretty good with batteries though, but there's no 'low' led. The (diversity) receiver then has another 4-way switch to select the reception frequency, a peak led, a squelch rotary, and a gain rotary at the rear- which in my opinion is not 'gain', as such, but what the SM58 receiver uses as a volume control.

    The actor who now has to suffer this kak mic when everyone else gets an sm58- which has an onboard gain adjust, which I can set to each individual singer's voice in order to get maximum volume before transmission peak- very very useful, as we all know. However, the Sennheiser doesn't have one of these, and as such regardless of what I do with the receiver's "gain", I get a peaked signal whenever he raises his voice - let's not even go into singers without technique - and this obviously sounds downright terrible. Changing between XLR and Jack (there's a +6db difference) doesn't do much for me- the signal peaks at the receiver, not the desk - and the peak LED doesn't light up, no matter how hard I shout into it. I got hold of another, identical, set, and had the same result.

    So, without a mic gain, what can I do to prevent the clipped signal from pissing me off every single night for the remaining month and a half of this season?
     
  2. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Freelance Lighting Programmer/grandMA Trainer
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Ouch that's a hard one, sorry i can't help but i have to ask a question of your question. you say your using sm58's are they Shure Sm58's if they are there must be two versions a wired and wireless
    if there are you must tell me what they are like because i am about to order some wired sm58's
     
  3. herr_highbrau

    herr_highbrau Member

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    Location:
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    Wired and wireless SM58s are pretty much the same microphones, its just the way of getting the signal to the mixer changes. They're industry standard (really!), indestructable, and everyone's got them.

    With regards to the Freeport set, have you looked at the manual? (obvious, but many techs don't bother!). It might have a solution to your problem. But I'm guessing you've already done that!

    Does adjusting the reciever's gain have any effect whatsoever on the signal level?
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for responding guys- when the internet people don't know, there's no hope at all!

    Either way, HH implies 'Hand Held', which further implies wireless in this country- I guess the association doesn't hold anywhere else- sorry!

    None of my SM58’s, 4 wired and 4 wireless, have ever given me any substantial problems- and as such I'm a Shure fan, out and out. Sennheiser, on the other hand, I'm not so 'shure' of nowadays.

    In response to Herr Highbrau's question- adjusting the receiver gain naturally changes the microphone's volume- you can crank it up and actually have the peak LED activate, but even when you pull it down the mic itself still seems to clip- and after that there’s no signal left for me to work with. I've managed to convince the actor/singer in question to hold it further from his face- thus considerably reducing the clipping, but not removing it entirely. Of course, this isn't the final solution to the problem.

    I have read the manual for another mic of the same type about a year ago- nothing other than the usual mic manual business. For interest’s sake, the mic in question had the same problem, but intermittently- probably as a result of having been dropped the first time it was used. Hard. The mic I’m dealing with now is fresh out of the box, so to speak.

    Any help, internet people?
     
  5. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    Location:
    Berkeley, Ca
    You have to have the artist hold the microphone farther from their mouth. It seems that's the only controllable gain you have before the receiver.

    It's not like this is a high quality product, but there's the possibility that it's just a bad unit. Call sennheiser, because really even with this crappy product, it shouldn't be doing what you're describing.

    Here's the Sennheiser South Africa Office:
    P.O.Box 1713
    Johannesburg 2000
    (+27) 11-482-2501
    [email protected]
     
  6. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Sennheiser might offer a solution, my guess is that the mic capsule to the transmitter is overloading. Pulling the mic back from the mouth might help, but might cause you feed back problems. Personally I would suggest returning it, and getting another Shure so they all match. The other thing you might be able to do is to get or make a foam cover for the mic that MIGHT reduce the input level a bit, you might have to eq it to make up for the foam

    In general unless there is a real reason to choose another mic when you are mixing them in an attempt to get a uniform sound from performers you are far better off with all the same mics.

    Sharyn
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Member

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    Location:
    Durban, South Africa
    A little graphic EQ (Behringer Ultra-Curve Pro digital 24-bit dual dsp mainframe, model 8024- hell yeah!), a little desk gain, some stern words and a few threats with the mute button, and the problem is solved.

    Thanks people!
     

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