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Author Topic: Mic sensitivity vs gain  (Read 4914 times)

Mike Locke

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2018, 10:44:27 pm »

I find that the way the mics are mixed will go much further to have a great sounding, feedback free performance. 

Yes, cardioids can be less prone to feedback.  If their positioning is correct and they're not turned up too much.  But any variation in placement will cause a large sonic difference, something that's less of an issue with omnis. 

Having mics closer to the sound source does let you run them at a lower gain.  But hairline placement is so often done because the sound quality of the hard bone of the forehead (or cheek bone, just in front of the ear) is much better than on the fleshy part of the cheek.  I find much less EQ is required.  And there's aesthetics as well. 

And no voices in monitors, if you can at all prevent it. 

Only having mics on for actors that are speaking is the real key.  Mac mentioned line by line mixing, which means there's not a bunch of extra inputs summing into your mix.  It takes practice, but the rewards make all the difference.  You might find yourself in a middle ground with a school show: not quite line by line, but off in an actor doesn't speak for a handful of lines.  This also helps with the unpredictability of non-professional actors jumping or dropping lines. 

There are a few youtube videos showing an operator mixing line by line.  Les Mis and Legally Blond I believe  A good place to start to understand the technique.

Mike
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 10:56:46 pm by Mac Kerr »
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2018, 03:08:12 am »

You can play all the "gain games" you want, but the real end result will not change.

Gain before feedback is based on many factors, NONE of which are mic gain, or any gain settings on the console.

Let's say your system has a maximum gain of 100dB before feedback. Let's say there are 4 gain stages.  It does not matter if 1 stage has 97dB and others each have 1 dB or each one has 25dB, the end result is 100dB.

If you work through various PAG-NAG equations, you will realize that the thing that makes the biggest difference in gain before feedback is getting the mic closer to the source.

There are other factors, location of speakers, pattern of speakers, response of the system, eq of the mic and so forth.

I am amazed by the number of people I have found who don't believe this.


Steve.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2018, 07:28:05 am »

I am amazed by the number of people I have found who don't believe this.


Steve.
It is yet another audio myth.  And you can detailed explanations of how to "adjust it".

But yet the end result never changes-just the physical position of faders, which makes people "think" they are getting more gain.

Oh well--------
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Aaron Kennedy

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2018, 08:39:39 am »

Thanks again. I will say that the mics and monitors we have are what we are stuck with for now, but the feedback I was receiving was coming from house anyway. I made a few adjustments and last nights final dress rehearsal was much better.

I do program the board so my scenes only have mics on for characters onstage/speaking. Our typical show will have somewhere around 80-100 cues. I learned that very quickly after my first show many years ago. (That was a real nightmare).
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2018, 09:02:04 am »

. I made a few adjustments and last nights final dress rehearsal was much better.


Please give us some details on what "few adjustments" helped.
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Joseph D. Macry

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2018, 10:59:55 am »

I really appreciate all the advice. I've already learned quite a bit from this forum. I have no doubt that the mics are not placed in the same place each time, and you're right that they are students and learning (just as I am the teacher learning to operate a Pro board) I still don't know why a school has a Midas Pro 2 instead of something easier to use...  In any case. The mics, unfortunately are omni directional lavs placed at the hairline. The good news is that I have toned them out so the feedback issue isn't coming from the monitors. Surprisingly, most of my feedback at this point is low frequency coming from house speakers.
The educational advantage to having the Midas is that your tech theater students can learn the workflow of a modern, professional digital mixer. I maintain five PACs in a local district, the newer ones got Roland V-mixers, the older ones got Soundcraft "digi-log" mixer which emulates analog workflow and was easy swap-out with old analog board. So depending on which school a student goes to, he/she gets to learn the old or the new way of working the board.
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Joseph Macry, CTS-I
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2018, 11:43:53 am »

The educational advantage to having the Midas is that your tech theater students can learn the workflow of a modern, professional digital mixer. I maintain five PACs in a local district, the newer ones got Roland V-mixers, the older ones got Soundcraft "digi-log" mixer which emulates analog workflow and was easy swap-out with old analog board. So depending on which school a student goes to, he/she gets to learn the old or the new way of working the board.
It helps having a nice cup of tea and a bisquit when figuring out the Midas ;D
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2018, 12:02:51 pm »

It helps having a nice cup of tea and a bisquit when figuring out the Midas ;D
Bisquit = Xanax bar to deal with the frustration.

A nice cup of tea = large rum-bearing beverage to celebrate with.

8)
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Roland Clarke

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2018, 05:35:16 am »

Regarding omnis vs cardioids in lavs.... I can get my cardioid WL185 WAY louder than my Shure CVL omni lav mic before feedback and tend to use it much more over the omni for that reason.
I agree with Jeremy that your job would be made much easier if you switched to cardioids where possible.  Even with my headset mics where the mic is literally touching my mouth, I can get the cardioid much louder than the omni before feedback.

In theatre applications cardioid microphones on the talent are rare, take any west end or broadway show and the actors mics are almost exclusively omni dpa’s.  Depending on the theatres set up this can be a problem, not so much in the mainstream theatres these days as sound systems are generally of the “zoned” variety.
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Mic sensitivity vs gain
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2018, 10:11:05 am »

You can play all the "gain games" you want, but the real end result will not change.

Gain before feedback is based on many factors, NONE of which are mic gain, or any gain settings on the console.

Let's say your system has a maximum gain of 100dB before feedback. Let's say there are 4 gain stages.  It does not matter if 1 stage has 97dB and others each have 1 dB or each one has 25dB, the end result is 100dB.

If you work through various PAG-NAG equations, you will realize that the thing that makes the biggest difference in gain before feedback is getting the mic closer to the source.

There are other factors, location of speakers, pattern of speakers, response of the system, eq of the mic and so forth.
Wow!  Well said.  I can't even count the number of forum discussions I have had to argue this point with people. 

The best way to determine how well a mic responds to real life, is to put the mic in the real-life situation and compare it to how other mic's do in that same environment.

All supercardioids are NOT created equal when it comes to GBF.

It has been my experience that lav mics tend to be the worst offenders in the GBF realm.  Not really sure why and YMMV.
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