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Singing and Microphones....Teaching it...

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by bfoschizzle, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. bfoschizzle

    bfoschizzle Member

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    I am trying to teach some of the musician in my church how to properly use a microphone. I want to do it in the nicest of ways because there are 4 of them and only one of me. How can I teach them all the basics of sound and mic placement as it pertains to them (no unexplainable techie terms).

    The whole "I can only help you if you help me by .....(example-pointing the mic at your face for starters)" just isnt working. I just need some solid rules and an easy way to say them so that they will understand.

    we just use standard 58's for vocals
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  2. audioslavematt

    audioslavematt Active Member

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    You could switch them over to some OM-7s (any hypercardioid handheld will work). The hypercardioid pattern would force them to actually stay on the mic, or not be able to hear themselves. After they get it, you could switch them back to 58s, or keep the OM-7s if you like them better.
     
  3. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    I was going to suggest a Beta58 or something with a tight pattern also, but only after you have given them instruction and they refuse to follow it.
     
  4. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    The loudest sound at the mic wins. The loudest sound can be you, the monitors, the drums, or even the sound from the room.

    If you are not the loudest sound at the mic, no one will hear you.

    In order for you to be the loudest sound at the mic, you must be nose to nose with the mic. 4": might work. 6": not likely. 8": forget it.

    NEVER back off because you feel that you are too loud.

    NEVER back off because you cannot hear yourself (yes, I've had this happen - I could not get it through to the knucklehead that he never would hear himself if he backed off).
     
  5. nelakluwos

    nelakluwos Member

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    Explain the inverse square law...half the distance to the mic and you gain about 6 dB of SPL. So say they are 2 feet away if they get the mic within 3" you just gained 18 dB of SPL. +18 dB is a lot and if you can help them understan that, you're in good shape.
     
  6. 6ftstudios

    6ftstudios Member

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    It has been a great help to me to be both a performer and technician. I've earned a lot of respect from the performers I work with because I'm able to approach them on their level. A technician is just as important as a performer, but you must remember that you're there to support the performer. Always keep a servants attitude.

    As you're working with perfomers it is important to remember that creatives have totally different personalities. Many are very sensitive and crumble under criticism and flourish under praise. When you're teaching a creative don't put yourself above them - don't talk down to them; they'll immediately go on the defensive. Also, DEMONSTRATE! Often when I'm teaching microphone technique I will have them listen to how it sounds when I use bad technique and good technique. Often when they hear the difference they get the point.

    NOTE: I do disagree with Timmy - there are time appropriate to "pull back" off the microphone. I do tell beginners not to, but seasoned singers can use it effectively. ALSO....It may be PART OF THE SOUND they are looking for. Allow your artists room to be creative!
     
    bfoschizzle likes this.
  7. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    If the mic is one of those rare few that has no proximity effect, so its sound remains the same regardless of distance, this can work OK. A singer backs off when s/he is loud, which is usually also when her/his tone is thin. Backing off of most mics makes the tone thin. So you have thin + thin, which is not something I care for or like dealing with as a mixperson. If s/he stays on the mic, the tone is much more consistent (thus much more appealing), and I can deal with the level change. (If singers knew anything about sound, there would not be so many of them holding the mic by the ball.)
     
  8. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Finding some audio and video clips of performers using mics both properly and improperly may be useful. And not just technically good technique, but also where the mic is used to enhance the performance. Seeing real examples of good technique is often much more effective than just telling them about it.
     
  9. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    I've been teaching the "thumb" method. Hold the mike at the top in your hand, and strech out your thumb. Place your thumb on your chin. That puts the mike about 1-3" from your mouth, which to me is perfect for a cardioid. However getting them to actually do this habitually is a chore.

    I've also considered an "animal conditioning" tactic ... record a sound effect of terrible feedback, tell the actor that if they sing too far from the mike they will get feedback, then play the feedback FX nice and loud whenever you think they're not holding the mike properly. I think most actors are scared of getting too loud on the PA (but that's what you're there for, right?) ... so if you can get them to be scared of being too soft on the PA you may have won the battle. Aside from a few good laughs in the sound booth you will hopefully end up with great sounding vocalists ... :)
     

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