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Soloist singers two per mic

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Anonymous067, May 6, 2009.

  1. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Can I/should I be able to get well enough micing by using 2 singers per cardioid microphone?
    I'm running short on board channels and looking for a way to not have to say "no, you can't be in the band because I don't have the board space"...so will this work ok?

    Thoughts....comments?
     
  2. rwhealey

    rwhealey Active Member

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    Work, yes (with an SM58- don't try with a Beta). Sound good? Depends on the singer.

    Does your board have stereo returns? Those could buy you a couple of extra channels if you could dig up an external preamp.
     
  3. mixmaster

    mixmaster Active Member

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    It tends to depend on the parts that the singers in question are singing, and the amount of control that you need to properly mix the show.
    If it's a rock band, yes background voices can share mics, something with a cardioid pattern, SM58 or similar. Try to match vocal types as close as possible, and make sure they know how to work together to balance themselves. Since the singers will typically be farther off the mic, be prepared for less signal, and a reduction in proximity effect. when you boost the gain a bit to pick up the farther away voices, you'll also get more wash from the stage. For background parts that's not so bad but for singers who share lead parts, it doesn't work so well. Lead parts benefit from the singer being right up close to the mic for maximum signal to noise.
    The above notwithstanding, Bands that do close harmonies like a Capella groups or even bands with strong vocal harmonies in front of less important instruments may prefer the sound of everyone standing around 1 or 2 mics. OR they may swing to the opposite extreme and need you to have very firm control of their sound, in which case 1 mic per person is necessary.
    Ultimately, it's going to come down to control. If the singers are capable of working together, controlling their own blend, they can share a mic. If not, you may get a better sound by micing them individually so YOU can control them better.
    Sometimes it's a question of priorities. I recall a working a show once that the BE had background singers sharing mics, but every drum in the kit had a mic, plus overheads, and the guitar cabs were miked in stereo:rolleyes: The band's sound was heavy on the drums and guitar though. The fact that the singers mics barely cut through the mix was no big deal to them. OTOH, I mix a band that travels to a lot of small churches, many with very limited audio capabilities. I don't even think about miking instruments until their vocals are taken care of, and I can't just can't get the sound that they want if they share mics. If I run out of channels before I get everything miked up, then maybe the drummer only gets overheads, or I take the keyboard mono, or something.
     
  4. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Can you run two mics off one channel with an XLR Y-connector? I haven't tried it myself but I've heard it mentioned before. I would imagine -- electrical issues aside -- that you will need to "match" the two singers since they will be sharing a single channel input strip, EQ, etc.
     
  5. rwhealey

    rwhealey Active Member

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    That will not work:
    Why Not Wye?

    You would need some kind of sub-mixer or combiner to make that work.
     
  6. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    I have done this before, but I think the results will depend on the genre of music.

    On another note, I have used a mic set to a Figure-8 pattern so that the singers could interact with each other more. That worked nicely. Of course, they had good mic technique and sang very well, so that help immensely.
     
  7. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Sorry, but to say that it will not work is wrong.It does and has been used on many a big gig before. Used wrong is definitely doesn't work.

    The applications where you can get away with it are things like 2 lapel mics on a pair of violins in an orchestra (they need to both be 1st or 2nd not one of each). Also seen them used for choir micing with 20 odd condensers to mic a choir (mostly for show - too much orchestra bleed to be useful for audio).

    Now don't tell me they did it because of lack of input channels. When you are taking 150, 200 or more inputs off stage, to add another few is not real issue...

    I would not be trying it on vocals, it does work best for things like the aforementioned violins where the sources themselves will be pretty close acoustically to their mate.

    In general though, if you don't know exactly what you are doing, you will cause way more harm than good using a Y combiner...
     
  8. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    I agree, wyeing does work. Back in The Day (which apparently was a Thursday, back in nineteen-sixty-something), my dad tells me that he and the tech group he was with were doing a church musical thing and had something like 40 handheld wired mikes of differing make and response wyed and mixed down to fit on two or three Shure mixers. Maybe it was only 20 -- in any case, quite a few; this was back before radio had been invented. Identical microphones were wyed together, cutting the number of inputs in half. Individual pairs' levels were set by ringing them out for the same sensitivity. These Shure mixers, two or three of them, were submixed down to one knob on the "main" Shure mixer.

    Not the best way to do it, but not bad for 1968 or whenever it was. They did it because all they had were Shure mixers, and probably there weren't that many snake pairs (had snakes been invented?) either. If you have enough snake pairs and channels, there's no reason to do it if you can avoid it.
     
  9. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    HAHAHA :grin:

    I assume you're talking about radio mics?
     
  10. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Exactly. Said partly tongue-in-cheek, but that was back when the average church had none and the rich church had one. Nothing like today.
     
  11. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Okay, we have four pairs of Behringer C-2s running off Y's, and they sound fine -- for choir, percussion section, and general orchestra section. Saves on cable and input channels on the board. Yes, it would be nice to cable and input individually so that we can set them up as stereo pairs as opposed to a mono input that looks like a stereo pair, but for now this makes it convenient to move the mic stands, and sounds fine.

    Yes, I would not try this with powered devices, but it looks like condensor mics with phantom power on is not a problem.

    -- John
     

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