Microphones What Mic are they using?

MNicolai

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I found this slightly entertaining at a jazz choir concert tonight. Ch 15 is a Sennheiser e835. Ch 16 is a sm58. This is what it took to get the two to sound similar.
May want to check for a bad cable. I've seen instances where two conductors in a mic cable short against each other and cause very interesting things to happen, requiring lots more gain and unusual EQ'ing to compensate, albeit poorly, for the shorted signal.
 

FMEng

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Something is wrong. An SM58 and an e835 should sound fairly similar once the gains are trimmed. There should not be a 14 dB difference in the low mids, where they are both quite smooth. I suspect you have an SM58 which has been damaged to the point that it is ready for retirement or a vacation trip for repair.

My rule of thumb is if I have to use more than 6 dB of EQ, either I have the wrong mic placement, the wrong mic type for the particular use, or something is broken.
 
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chausman

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Something is wrong. An SM58 and an e835 should sound fairly similar once the gains are trimmed. There should not be a 14 dB difference in the low mids, where they are both quite smooth. I suspect you have an SM58 which has been damaged to the point that it is ready for retirement or a vacation trip for repair.

My rule of thumb is if I have to use more than 6 dB of EQ, either I have the wrong mic placement, the wrong mic type for the particular use, or something is broken.
As far as that specific case, it was a bad channel on that console (which is our old board and hasn't been used in several years). The e835 needed just as much help to sound normal. The 58 did need a fair amount of low end (on a different console) to get similar to the e835s. Which, since it was a middle school (!) jazz choir individually miced, they boys could use all the help they could get.
 

FMEng

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Crystal mics, aka piezoelectric microphones have a very high output impedance. Consequently, they only worked well with a high impedance vacuum tube input stage. As solid state preamps became the norm, crystal mics fell out of favor. The high impedance allows the cable to become quite microphoniic. (Whack the cable and hear a thunk out of the speaker.) It probably has very poor frequency response and an unpleasant amount of harmonic distortion. Crystal mics were mostly used for cheap, consumer tape recorders, things like intercom headsets, and possibly two-way radios. If you want to play with it, try plugging it into a guitar amp.

This is a close cousin of a piezo pickup for an acoustic guitar. I've heard some good sounding guitar pickups and some that sound as nice as fingernails on blackboard, overly bright and "buzzy." I've always figured the nasty sounding ones were piezos and on the cheap end of the price scale.
 

NikolasR

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This is probably a stretch, but if anybody has ever been to Gallow Center of the Arts in Modesto, CA do you know what kind of floor mics they use? Wasn't able to find any videos that clearly display them.
 

Quillons

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I had the opportunity to see the Newsies movie over the weekend and got to spend a good 30 seconds admiring the one guy's mics (and I think there was a song or something going on too). Can someone explain what all the hardware is? I'm assuming that he's double-mic-ed (spelling?), but what's taped under his ear?
I grabbed the still from the official trailer.
Screenshot (157).png
 

jkowtko

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Yes he's double-miced. What you see wrapped around his ear is sometimes called an "ear loop" ... just a small wire hanger that fits tightly over the ear, and the mic cable is fastened to it. Do a Google images search for "ear loop" and you will see many examples.

I don't know what the actual mic elements are though ... there are a handful of brands that have a long barrel, and unfortunately the pic isn't that clear when you zoom in.
 
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themuzicman

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I had the opportunity to see the Newsies movie over the weekend and got to spend a good 30 seconds admiring the one guy's mics (and I think there was a song or something going on too). Can someone explain what all the hardware is? I'm assuming that he's double-mic-ed (spelling?), but what's taped under his ear?
I grabbed the still from the official trailer.View attachment 15095
I'm 95% sure it's a Sennheiser MKE-1, hellermanned to a Telex AEF-2 nylon coated metal earloop. It's fairly rare (but not unheard of) for a Broadway show to be on Countryman mics. A majority of the double rigs I build are either 1x DPA 4061 and 1x Sennheiser MKE-1 or 2x MKE-1.
 

MRW Lights

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I'm 95% sure it's a Sennheiser MKE-1, hellermanned to a Telex AEF-2 nylon coated metal earloop. It's fairly rare (but not unheard of) for a Broadway show to be on Countryman mics. A majority of the double rigs I build are either 1x DPA 4061 and 1x Sennheiser MKE-1 or 2x MKE-1.
That was honestly my first guess, the b6 and Mke-1 are very similar in size, but quite diverse in sound. I guessed the countryman because of the length of the capsule housing...
 

dvsDave

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That looks like DPA's ear loops to me.
 

jkowtko

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The ear loops could be handmade, or modified purchased loops. I made some out of coat hangers.
 

themuzicman

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MRW Lights said:
That was honestly my first guess, the b6 and Mke-1 are very similar in size, but quite diverse in sound. I guessed the countryman because of the length of the capsule housing...
In the protective cap, the MKE-1 gets quite long. They could be B6's, but knowing the rental shops the audio rigs on these shows are pulled from, a B6 would be a special order as they generally only stock DPA's lineup, flavors of MKE-1 and MKE-2

That looks like DPA's ear loops to me.
The capsules are too long to be DPA's, if I get to it this week and find any around I can post a few DPA dual rigs made like this and it's pretty apparent - even in high-boost caps which are the flat ones. I can tell you on an intense dancing show like this DPA's would be the second choice to a Sennheiser. DPA's sweat out like crazy, and Sennheiser mics are a little more resilient to sweat.

The ear loops could be handmade, or modified purchased loops. I made some out of coat hangers.
These are modified purchased loops, cut down to be a little smaller than stock. People do hand-make them on big shows, but standard procedure on these shows is just to buy a few dozen pre-made earloops, cut them down to size, and hellermann the cut-off parts.

When I make custom ear-loops like this it's a definite choice over purchasing and it's usually either because I need something very slick looking and super low profile, or something just a little more boomed out and a Telex loop looks too cludgy and I'm going for seamless. I'll take the mics, wrap them in a high gauge tensile wire, drastically cut down a pre-bought ear loop until I have exactly what I want, or use a more rigid and lower gauge, less tensile wire to just barely fit over the ear. Then where the mics and the ear loop meet I wrap them both in fishing line, coat that all in epoxy until it is set and the entire unit is solid, and then paint it all one seamless color with a variety of coloring implements. The end result looks marginally nicer than what they have going on in this photo - which to me screams "I'm built to be extremely durable". Which means either this filming was slammed together quickly, or his rig dies a lot and a nicer hand-made boom would take too long to put together and just isn't worth the effort. It's not even painted, which is a big giveaway to me that its built to be durable -- if it wasn't touched a lot you'd see more effort to conceal it with skin-tone and hair-tone paints in their respective places on this thing. Broadway mics usually get a lot of paint treatment.
 
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