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Teach me sound please...

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by zac850, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I am mainly a lighting guy, and SM, and help out with whatever else. However, since people basicly put me incharge of everything, i would really love to learn about sound.

    My school has some 8 circut sound board, 2 of those circuts are used by the CD player. We've got some of the "normal" mic's (I don't really know the different kinds of mic's). The sound experience I have is working lights and sound at the same time for the last show, of which there was 1 mic for the radeo, and a bunch of different sound cues (which I used my laptop running iTunes, and used a converter to hook it up through a head phone jack into the RCA and into the board. Oh, also last year I sorta ran sound for one of the student productions... but that didn't work to well...

    Anyway, I realy would like to learn what each mic is called, the differences between them, what there all used for, and any other helpful hints.

    Thanks
    Zac
     
  2. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Ok, but were gonna need juuust a LItttttle bit more information about those mics....

    If there is a model, a brand, anything. Write it down. And how many of these 'mics' are there?
    Its often hard to just 'Teach' sound to someone without knowing their setup first...
     
  3. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    www.prosoundweb.com might be too much for you now but you will start to pick up on stuf soon you will be saying 'man if that was a line array we would not have so much spill" I would think about going to shures web site from what I rember it will list its mics the type and what it is used for.
     
  4. BenFranske

    BenFranske Member

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    Probably "silver balls" aka Shure Unispehere I's. As much I hate the things they go forever and every school has piles of them.
     
  5. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not really looking to learn sound for my school as much as I am looking to get a basic idea of how to tech sound. I've got 2 great techies who will work sound for me, and they know what there doing. What I want to learn is the more broad things. This is this kind of mic, and it is used for this...
    Tommorrow I will write down the make/model of the mic's. Also, our "stage" set-up is in the gym, concreat walls and everything, so the sound quality is HORIBLE with everything bouncing around...
    We did get around $60,000 of villores (sp?, the big curtins...) from Radio City when they got new ones, so those will be going up over part of the space in about 2 weeks.
    Any more info that would be helpful? I basicly want to be able to communicate with a sound tech, tell them what im thinking, and understand what there saying.

    Also, how do you EQ more then one mic? I've only EQ'ed 1 mic at a time, and that was for spoken words...

    Thanks
    -Zac
     
  6. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    LMFAO, the christmas ornaments of doom! Yea, those are EVERYWHERE where I work! Uuugg.

    From what I recall, isn't that an unbalanced mic? IE, I remember it only having a 2 pinned connector to a 1/4 cable...
     
  7. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    LMFAO, the christmas ornaments of doom! Yea, those are EVERYWHERE where I work! Uuugg.
    From what I recall, isn't that an unbalanced mic? IE, I remember it only having a 2 pinned connector to a 1/4 cable...

    Zac - Essentially, you are trying to make it sound as good as possible... (No DUH...) But I mean, with the EQ, you will want to cut out any nasty noises, and boost what sounds good for a little clarity. If I hear a nasty shrill on a vocalist, I like to pin it down with a parametric EQ and notch it out Juuuust a little bit, so their voice isn't so annoying.

    What I always like to do, with more than 1 mic, is to try and emphasize the right parts of each sound to make the two mics sound different... Lemme give you an example...

    If I have one vocal mic, and one saxophone solo mic, I will give the solo a little boost up in the mid-highs for clarity, and I will boost the saxes mids / mid-lows. It kinda makes the sax and vocals become clear, not mushed together.

    Also, if you dont have the most accurate mics (IE, mics that sound tinny or bassy, mics with an uneven responce) its nice to compensate that with the EQ.

    -But dont listen to me :p Its just my personal style. the best resource I have read yet, is this one: http://harada-sound.com/sound/handbook/
    (Compliments of Wemeck here: http://www.controlbooth.com/postt520.html
     
  8. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, what about micing a stage for a musical? What would you do about that?

    Also, do you EQ one mic at a time, or turn them all on and EQ them, or what???

    Thanks
    Zac
     
  9. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

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    I believe the Unisphere II is balanced, with an XLR socket. The I very well may be unbalanced.

    There is also a school of thought that says boosting any part of the spectrum more than a teeny-tiny bit in a reinforcement or PA situation is a bad thing - every EQ boost is a loss in gain before feedback. Personally I'll EQ to make it sound good, but it just happens that rarely do I find myself boosting with the exception of brass - for some reason adding a little 12k or higher just makes it pop more :D
     
  10. BenFranske

    BenFranske Member

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    I've only seen balanced Unispheres, I's and II's
     
  11. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

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    Maybe someone modded all theirs a long time back?
     
  12. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Thats actually what I was thinking, but I was trying to put it into too large of a generilization ;)

    And I could have been mistaken, the place I work at is essentially a warehouse for audio equipment, and ive seen so much of it that I probably mixed it up with something else...

    Whatever it was, it was all silver looking like the unisphere, but the cable that plugged into the mic had two pins, one next to the other. That cable terminated in a mono 1/4" plug... Im going back there in a few hours, so maybe ill check if it wasn't thrown away :p
     
  13. BenFranske

    BenFranske Member

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    There were some Unisphere era ripoffs that were unbalaced, I don't think that Shure Bros. ever made any though, I'd be interested to see a pic if they turn out to be Shure's though. :)
     
  14. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Drat. They were gone.... ;)
     
  15. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

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    T3A size (think SM91, some lavalier jacks...) or XLR size?
     
  16. DMXtools

    DMXtools Active Member

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    Actually, some really old Shure Unispheres has an oddball pin connector with a screw-on collar - before XLR became pretty much industry standard. Also Shure manufactured them in both a HI-Z unbalanced and a LOW-Z balanced configuration... It's basically just different taps on a transformer inside the mic.
    On some of their mics (the SM58 and a few others) you can actually change the impedance.

    I had a really really old HI-Z Unisphere (back in the 1960's) that had an Amphenol "button" connector (total crap), so I know the Unisphere series has gone through at least three different connectors over the years.

    John
     
  17. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    That was the one I saw;) Inside the screw on collar there are two very cylindrical pins. Alas, it has been chucked by now....

    But they have their share of old mics anyway. Their entire inventory is based on Audio Technica and Lectrosonic microphones, so that stuff gets quite old. In addition, I just found some old Telex and Vega wireless systems that they dont use anymore.
    They still use much of the fixed frequency Lectrosonic systems...
     
  18. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hiya Zac,
    About mic'ing a stage for a musical--what is your inventory to choose from? PCC, PZM, Shotguns, Lavs, Instrument mic's, all of the above? As for EQ--the base idea is that each mic, on a lavalier system for example, should be EQ'd for the persons voice and tonal qualities...if you have folks changing mics thru a show--it makes your job a bit tougher but not impossible. For EQ of area mic's like shotguns, your goal should be to get as much good usable gain before feedback that is clear and intelligible. I don't usually suggest boosting any EQ frequency's unless you really have to. For general EQ of a room when tuning a system--it depends on the room, speaker placement and how "live" or "reverberant" or boomy it sounds given the program material. If you have a band on stage--you wouldn't neccessarily need to mic the band so much as just get the actors mic's over the band noise. If you can give some more detailed info on your situation--we may be able to help more directly to your question...

    wolf
     
  19. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    Hey all-----

    I asked our sound vendor Dave Levit (yet another person that went to SIUC) ofAccutrack Recording and Sound, Inc.
    www.Accutrackrecording.com

    I showed him this sound information page at:
    http://harada-sound.com/sound/handbook/
    His response is below:
    Thought I would share the wealth.
     

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