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Author Topic: Lavaliere Mics in live sound  (Read 2162 times)

David Shriver

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Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« on: November 14, 2012, 12:14:13 pm »

Hello everyone,

As part of a recent audio upgrade to our installed system we added 4x MKE-2 Gold wireless mics on a Sennheier 2000 series system.  I'm having real issues with getting decent gain and good sound from the lavs though.  I've used the MEK-2 numerous times in theatrical productions where they are hidden in hairlines or costumes, and I've used them many times for audio recording for video.  However, I have limited experience with lavs in this corporate meeting setting.  I'm struggling to get a good sound from them.

In a recent corporate meeting I had 4 speakers using the lavs.  Before the meeting began I listened to all the mics on the PFL and had a good sound from them in the headphones.  So I brought them up in the house though the wash from the PA got into them and the sound went to hell.  So a few tweaks on the PEQ got rid of the mud and the intelligibility was ok but the quality was poor and I had very little gain. 

In these corporate meetings using headsets is usually not an acceptable alternative.  I'm fairly confident with my lav placement.  I did a double loop in the cable to decouple the cable/mic and I had them all placed fairly high on the tie (between the tie clip and knot). 

Can any of you share any tips or offer advice to get a better sound in these corporate situations?

Thanks

-David
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dick rees

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Re: Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 12:43:54 pm »

Hello everyone,

As part of a recent audio upgrade to our installed system we added 4x MKE-2 Gold wireless mics on a Sennheier 2000 series system.  I'm having real issues with getting decent gain and good sound from the lavs though.  I've used the MEK-2 numerous times in theatrical productions where they are hidden in hairlines or costumes, and I've used them many times for audio recording for video.  However, I have limited experience with lavs in this corporate meeting setting.  I'm struggling to get a good sound from them.

In a recent corporate meeting I had 4 speakers using the lavs.  Before the meeting began I listened to all the mics on the PFL and had a good sound from them in the headphones.  So I brought them up in the house though the wash from the PA got into them and the sound went to hell.  So a few tweaks on the PEQ got rid of the mud and the intelligibility was ok but the quality was poor and I had very little gain. 

In these corporate meetings using headsets is usually not an acceptable alternative.  I'm fairly confident with my lav placement.  I did a double loop in the cable to decouple the cable/mic and I had them all placed fairly high on the tie (between the tie clip and knot). 

Can any of you share any tips or offer advice to get a better sound in these corporate situations?

Thanks

-David

http://www.shure.com/americas/products/mixers-dsp/scm410-4-channel-automatic-mixer

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TonyWilliams

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Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 01:29:20 pm »

In corporate work, Shure WL185 lapel mics seem to be king. In my experience, they take substantially less work to get acceptable GBF and quality audio. There are better mics that also are smaller in size, but the WL195 works for what I do. Hope that helps.


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Patrick Moore

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Re: Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 05:25:16 pm »

I've spent a lot of time with WL185's on SLX wireless units in small ballrooms.  They are tough to wrangle, prone to feedback when you gain them up for intelligibility.  Even though it may be hard to get good live intelligibility on them, they are in fact nice microphones and sound great when you are working in a controlled environment (no PA system, headphones on a video shoot for instance.)

Try this-- assign all your LAVS to a buss, and insert a graphic eq on that bus.  Place a lav pack on the podium on stage, and turn it up in the PA.  Notch that EQ out as you would for rock n' roll monitors.  They tend to ring around 500hz and equivalent harmonics (1,2,4,8k typically)

This will allow you to actually do some "artistic" EQ on those mics without having to battle feedback with your channel strip.  And you'll find that they actually are pretty good sounding mics.

Mac Kerr

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Re: Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 05:59:58 pm »

I've spent a lot of time with WL185's on SLX wireless units in small ballrooms.  They are tough to wrangle, prone to feedback when you gain them up for intelligibility.  Even though it may be hard to get good live intelligibility on them, they are in fact nice microphones and sound great when you are working in a controlled environment (no PA system, headphones on a video shoot for instance.)

Try this-- assign all your LAVS to a buss, and insert a graphic eq on that bus.  Place a lav pack on the podium on stage, and turn it up in the PA.  Notch that EQ out as you would for rock n' roll monitors.  They tend to ring around 500hz and equivalent harmonics (1,2,4,8k typically)

This will allow you to actually do some "artistic" EQ on those mics without having to battle feedback with your channel strip.  And you'll find that they actually are pretty good sounding mics.

I use 184s and 185s because I get such good gain before feedback that I don't need to do much eq anymore. I can eq for sound quality now, not for GBF. Execs standing right in front of the PA are fine. Not so much with omnis like MKE-2.

Mac
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 06:41:48 pm »

David,

What type of PA system are you using?  If it's in-house (distributed system, in-ceiling speakers, etc.), you're going to have a very hard time getting the GBF you want while maintaining any level of sound quality.  If you're using SOS (speakers on sticks) or something similar, you will typically have much better results, as long as the system is deployed properly.

Also, mic placement is critical to ensure best GBF…and make sure the talent knows NOT to move it once you put it on them.

I use the WL18* from Shure all the time and they get the job done in most cases.  Headset mics are my preference, but people seem to be more comfortable with lavs…even if they are big and flop around on loose clothing.

I can't say that I have personal experience with the MKE2-Gold elements, but any directional element should be at least usable to a point.  The relationship between the talent speaking, the mic picking them up, and the loudspeaker system you are using to reinforce the event must strike a fine balance…and sometimes that's not achievable on all counts.
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Edward Gonzalez

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Re: Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 07:41:30 pm »

Hello everyone,

As part of a recent audio upgrade to our installed system we added 4x MKE-2 Gold wireless mics on a Sennheier 2000 series system.  I'm having real issues with getting decent gain and good sound from the lavs though.  I've used the MEK-2 numerous times in theatrical productions where they are hidden in hairlines or costumes, and I've used them many times for audio recording for video.  However, I have limited experience with lavs in this corporate meeting setting.  I'm struggling to get a good sound from them.

In a recent corporate meeting I had 4 speakers using the lavs.  Before the meeting began I listened to all the mics on the PFL and had a good sound from them in the headphones.  So I brought them up in the house though the wash from the PA got into them and the sound went to hell.  So a few tweaks on the PEQ got rid of the mud and the intelligibility was ok but the quality was poor and I had very little gain. 

In these corporate meetings using headsets is usually not an acceptable alternative.  I'm fairly confident with my lav placement.  I did a double loop in the cable to decouple the cable/mic and I had them all placed fairly high on the tie (between the tie clip and knot). 

Can any of you share any tips or offer advice to get a better sound in these corporate situations?

Thanks

-David

David
Omni Lavs are not your friend in this application. If you wanted to stay with Sennheier I would use a MKE-104 they are a little bright but EQ will fix it. The best lav mic out there is the DPA-4080 very little EQ to get them loud. If you are doing large panels of people on stage the Dan Dugan auto mixer is incredible.
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brian maddox

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Re: Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 12:28:49 am »

I use 184s and 185s because I get such good gain before feedback that I don't need to do much eq anymore. I can eq for sound quality now, not for GBF. Execs standing right in front of the PA are fine. Not so much with omnis like MKE-2.

Mac

+1

i spent years chasing my tail with MKE2s before i came across the WL184.  they pretty much solved all my problems.  Yes, you still have to put the PA up right and you do need to know how to EQ things, but boy do they make it all much easier to do...
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Mikey Brown

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Re: Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 12:33:15 am »

I use 184s and 185s because I get such good gain before feedback that I don't need to do much eq anymore. I can eq for sound quality now, not for GBF. Execs standing right in front of the PA are fine. Not so much with omnis like MKE-2.

Mac
I usually use B-6's, but for the throw and go, I have theWL-185's for the corpies. Second the lavs to mix, parametric on the group. Then channel eq for the changes for different talent. I try not to go to crazy with the filters, HPF and just enough cut and sweep to make them natural.
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Gus Housen

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Re: Lavaliere Mics in live sound
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 03:25:07 pm »

I switched out my Sennheiser capsules to AT831's and really never looked back. The big plus is you can occationally find them dirt cheap on ebay, typically new. which is fine if you dont mind dark brown
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