Something new that I can't figure out.

tenor_singer

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Orwell, Ohio
Hi everybody.

As you can see in my signature, my school is opening up with Music Man tomorrow and we had something weird happen last night. I have an ecclectic mixture of wireless microphones ranging from AT 1400's to our newest which came with our new building... telex FMR-500's. One of our telex mircophones came down with an issue last night that still has me baffled today.

We were going through check. The girl assigned the mic (who is also the lead) was talking but we were getting no signal. She then started tapping on the little mic head (I think the FMR-500's use the EV ELM-22 mini microphone). I usually freak out when kids do that, but I noticed that when she tapped it, it would come over the pa and show signal on our board. When she talked... nothing.

I took an alcohol wipe and cleaned the mic head to see if maybe there was some gunk keeping the weaker energy of her voice from creating enough signal versus the higher energy of her tapping. Nothing I did worked and by the end of the little microphone session I was screaming into the mic to no avail and yet the slightest tap would make a "thunk" sound in our system.

Anybody else have this happen? If so what was the problem?

Personally I am ordering a new element to be next day aired to me in hopes that I'll have the microphone for our show (even though I won't have it for our AM high school production).

Thanks!

Tenor.
 

msawyer52

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Location
Detroit
Check to see if there is makeup in the microphone element opening. That would prevent sound from entering the element and still give you the thump sound when struck. Also, did you swap mic's from another unit to eliminate the transitter?
 

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Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
Sounds like to me it either got makeup-ed or worse, hair sprayed. Hairspray will lock up a mic faster then anything. This is the reason I always keep some SM93's around.
 

tenor_singer

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Orwell, Ohio
I am thinking that as well. I tried cleaning things with rubbing alcohol (something that evaporates at room temperature) but it didn't seem to work.

Any suggestions for cleaning the head off (short of soaking it in a cleaner)?
 

wolf825

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Location
Eastcoast USA
Sounds to me like it got Hairsprayed...(make-up sealer can also do this). This would explain the 'impact response' from tapping, but not a sound-wave response. The element is not able to pick up the subtle vibrations because its been "frozen" by hairspray or make-up but it can pick up the impacts which cause the entire element to vibrate as a whole...

Unfortunately--when this happens its not cleanable..you need a new mic.

-w
 

SHARYNF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
I agree with the hair spray suggestion, this is a common error that someone new might not know, and it basically glues the element, you could try to send it back for repair, but I would agree you are looking at a replacement

This is one of the major areas to be very very careful of when using in hair mics the very well meaning people in makeup can easily cause you no end of grief

Sharyn
 

tenor_singer

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Orwell, Ohio
I figured that I'd be purchasing a new microphone. I think I should order a couple of spares too.

The ELM-22's heads aren't as shielded (for lack of a better word) as my other microphones and I can definately see how they would get clogged by a sloppy application of hairspray.

Thanks everyone.

Tenor.
 

wolf825

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Location
Eastcoast USA
I figured that I'd be purchasing a new microphone. I think I should order a couple of spares too.
The ELM-22's heads aren't as shielded (for lack of a better word) as my other microphones and I can definately see how they would get clogged by a sloppy application of hairspray.
Thanks everyone.
Tenor.

Tenor...this won't hinder your mic's at all for sound quality, but you could think "panty hose" :) A small snippet of this material wrapped over the mic element once or twice, and tied with a small loop, will help prevent some of this hairspray dangers in the future... You may want to make "caps" or "hats" out of panty-hose to use as shields for make-up application after micing--and then have them pulled off by your sound asst just prior to showtime, or you could leave them on and they will act as a sorta-homemade pop-filter...

Just a thought...
-w