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Author Topic: powered speakers/condenser mics  (Read 3840 times)

bob simon

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powered speakers/condenser mics
« on: July 14, 2017, 09:05:07 am »

I setup a PA with 2 Harbinger 600w powered speakers, 2 AT 2035 condenser mics, a MXL 990 condenser and a Xenyx unpowered mixer with phantom power.

I can't seem to get near the volume i want without feedback.
I can plug a cell phone into the speakers and play tunes and  get 2x the volume I get when running thru the board.

Any suggestions on how to increase volume?
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bob simon

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Re: powered speakers/condenser mics
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 09:06:54 am »

I setup a PA with 2 Harbinger 600w powered speakers, 2 AT 2035 condenser mics, a MXL 990 condenser and a Xenyx unpowered mixer with phantom power.

I can't seem to get near the volume i want without feedback.
I can plug a cell phone into the speakers and play tunes and  get 2x the volume I get when running thru the board.

Any suggestions on how to increase volume?

I am playing acoustic rock grass. fiddle, banjo, mando bass, guitar and vocals
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: powered speakers/condenser mics
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 09:07:38 am »

I am playing acoustic rock grass. fiddle, banjo, mando bass, guitar and vocals

Just a  heads up.....Please follow the rules and post your real name - I am sure the good folks here will be happy to help you once that is done.
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Steve Crump

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Re: powered speakers/condenser mics
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2017, 05:19:04 pm »

I setup a PA with 2 Harbinger 600w powered speakers, 2 AT 2035 condenser mics, a MXL 990 condenser and a Xenyx unpowered mixer with phantom power.

I can't seem to get near the volume i want without feedback.
I can plug a cell phone into the speakers and play tunes and  get 2x the volume I get when running thru the board.

Any suggestions on how to increase volume?

Mic placement in relation to speaker placement plays a big roll.
Where are the mics placed in relation to the speakers?

A good 31 band eq with some type of feedback indicator or if you have smart phone or tablet you can get an app like Octave RTA to help find the offending frequencies and make adjustments using the 31 band eq. These are just some of the economical approaches.

You can get better apps and external measure mics to work with the app to get more accurate.

Of course, I am just a novice and there are a lot more qualified people on this forum to answer your question. 
I just wanted to reply to your OP, so it will get back on the front page so maybe someone will notice and give a better answer, so I too can learn more.
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: powered speakers/condenser mics
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 05:51:49 pm »

What voltage is being supplied by the board's phantom power?  Is the power adequate for your three condenser mics? 
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: powered speakers/condenser mics
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 07:01:46 pm »

If you're a solo act:

1.  You're using too many mics.  Every added open mic reduces your headroom and brings on feedback sooner.

2.   You really need some sort of SYSTEM EQ to maximize what you can get out of your rig.

3.   If you are happier with the level of sound you can get from your cell phone perhaps you could just phone in your performance from a safe distance...
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Callan Browne

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Re: powered speakers/condenser mics
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 08:21:11 pm »



If you're a solo act:

3.   If you are happier with the level of sound you can get from your cell phone perhaps you could just phone in your performance from a safe distance...

Ha!
It would certainly help with the feedback
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Scott Bolt

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Re: powered speakers/condenser mics
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2017, 11:45:18 am »

I setup a PA with 2 Harbinger 600w powered speakers, 2 AT 2035 condenser mics, a MXL 990 condenser and a Xenyx unpowered mixer with phantom power.

I can't seem to get near the volume i want without feedback.
I can plug a cell phone into the speakers and play tunes and  get 2x the volume I get when running thru the board.

Any suggestions on how to increase volume?

Condensers often have issues live with feedback as compared to dynamic mics (which are much more popular for live use).

Poorly designed speakers like the harbinger's also tend to have more feedback issues than better speakers do.

My suggestions would be:

  • Replace the microphones with something like an EV ND767a, Sennheiser e835, Audix OM7, or SM58
  • Ensure that the speakers are at least 3 feet in front of the microphones when you setup.  Make sure the speakers are facing straight out .... don't angle them in so you can hear them on stage.
  • Don't use any compression if you are using it
  • Use reverb sparingly if you are using it
  • I am assuming that your feedback is from higher frequencies.  If so, take some of the HF off on the channel strips.  The problem with this is that you will lose vocal clarity.  The easiest solution may be to get a feedback destroyer and put it in-line with your mixer output.  Alternately, buy a decent PEQ and use it to notch out the offending frequency
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: powered speakers/condenser mics
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2017, 12:35:50 pm »

Condensers often have issues live with feedback as compared to dynamic mics...

...due primarily to inexperienced or incompetent users.

Proper statement might be, "Some mics have certain issues when compared with other mics."

What the issues might be depends on more than just the method of transduction.  Polar pattern and orientation with speakers, monitors, wall, floor and ceiling surfaces and on occasion choice of headwear (cowboy hats) all make a difference.

In the end, feedback is a SYSTEM phenomenon and a system lacking comprehensive EQ is crippled from the beginning.

Edit:

This reply is to the quoted post, not necessarily the OP.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 12:51:16 pm by dick rees »
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: powered speakers/condenser mics
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2017, 12:37:54 pm »

I know posters hate being told that their equipment is sub standard as any of us do when asking a question relating to sound and not the purchase of equipment but essentially those Harbinger speakers are the main reason for the feedback/sound quality issues and it has to be said.
IMHO Harbinger are probably the worst sounding speakers I have ever heard (even worse than the old JBL EONs) and are EXTREMELY prone to feedback.
I owned a 12" Harbinger for less than a week a few years ago. I needed a cheap wedge quickly and the local GC had one that sounded OK in the store. I used it that night and hated it - sounded very harsh and the feed back was uncontrollable. I retuned it a few days later. Perhaps at low volume, they would be OK for a small act - solo artist, speaking etc.

Add to that a mixer that has low quality pre amps in them (owned one of those for 2 minutes once also) along with inexpensive condenser mics and VOILA - recipe for feedback regardless of where the speakers or mics are positioned.
I agree with Scott that switching the mics to some inexpensive but tried and true dynamic mics would help a lot too.

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