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Author Topic: Condenser mics for live group vocals  (Read 8015 times)

Andrew Henderson

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2015, 06:03:20 pm »


In general, I have found that a decent condenser mic with the same polar pattern as an equivalently decent dynamic mic will pick up more details from a distance.  I think this can be simplified to "a decent condenser mic will pick up more details than a decent dynamic mic". 

This appears to be especially true at lower SPL.... and thus the reason that most choir microphones are usually condensers.

From here (just as an example):  https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEQQFjABahUKEwjGuPqYz_nGAhUMNT4KHfm_C0g&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shure.eu%2Fproducts%2Fmicrophones%2Fchoir-orchestra&ei=vUC1VYbmKozq-AH5_67ABA&usg=AFQjCNEHpok-Ncn5fl1DwvC50yTHtP_wUg&bvm=bv.98717601,d.dmo
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2015, 06:16:23 pm »

Condensers are more sensitive.  That is why they are so commonly used for micing up choirs ... and not so commonly used for micing guitar cabs.

I would hang something like one of these:  https://www.ccisolutions.com/StoreFront/category/choir-overhead-microphones and give it a try.  Keep in mind that the cardiod pattern will pick up a much wider area than the hyper or super will.

Sadly, I don't have much experience with the different options for these hanging microphones (not even sure which ones my church uses).  Hopefully someone else can chime in.

If you don't mind having a stand on stage, it is entirely possible to set a single SM58 at a reasonable distance from 2 singers and pick them both up.  Keep in mind that this may cause feedback issues (as might the condenser) that you don't have with the lavs since the gain will have to be higher in order to get the lower SPL picked up.

Actually, I have had quite a time with some lavs I have worked with causing feedback issues (weddings btw) where hand held mics were much better.

Dick, it isn't an urban myth that Condenser microphones are by design more suited to picking up lower SPL, but thanks for your evisceration.  I haven't had my weekly beating this week and was feeling neglected.  An SM58 isn't the solution to every vocal micing situation.  Frankly, I think they are seldom the right choice in the current competitive environment that they are in .... and really only survive at all due to the venerable past they have enjoyed.  They are tough, are better sounding than most $20 microphones, and everyone has used one so they are familiar.

Tim, I agree with most of what you said.  By "distant sources" what is generally meant is that the SPL is lower.  Condenser design is more capable of being made more sensitive than a dynamic microphone can be made (at the same cost point of course).  This is why overhead choir microphones are almost entirely condensers (I haven't looked for a dynamic one, but I am postulating that one may, in fact, exist among the ocean of condensers out there doing the same thing).
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2015, 06:43:40 pm »

This is not a situation where the kids "come up to the mic" as they are singers in a musical and really function as backup singers to the lead.  I'm not worried about the presence being same as the mic'd actors, but it would help for some reinforcement.  I'm also not looking for a magic solution, just options.

The only mics we have now are SM58's, whose cariod pattern doesn't pick up much more than the center most kid and only if they are close enough to the mic.  I imagine that there are other mics with different pickup patterns, etc... that would work more effectively to pickup a group singing together through maybe 2 mics.

With 16 lavs available on "human mic stands", you might consider adding one or more of the mic'd up kids to the smaller groups and double up your lav use.  If you want to get fancy and these are real clip-on lavs and not earsets, it's quite easy for one of the stage moms to reposition the lav to the collar at the back of the neck for use as a group pick-up.  The "mic stand" can kneel in front of a group of 3 or 4 kids and pick up pretty well.  No hasle to set the "stand" anywhere you want and you can even have the group migrate around the stage and have the mic available to them.  Again, if you want to get fancy and have the channels, you can split the feed of any such mics into two separate channels for processing and grouping according to the function...individual or group.

No need to buy more stuff.  Double use what you have.
Been there, done that.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 06:45:46 pm by dick rees »
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jesseweiss

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2015, 06:49:09 pm »

With 16 lavs available on "human mic stands", you might consider adding one or more of the mic'd up kids to the smaller groups and double up your lav use.  If you want to get fancy and these are real clip-on lavs and not earsets, it's quite easy for one of the stage moms to reposition the lav to the collar at the back of the neck for use as a group pick-up.  The "mic stand" can kneel in front of a group of 3 or 4 kids and pick up pretty well.  No hasle to set the "stand" anywhere you want and you can even have the group migrate around the stage and have the mic available to them.  Again, if you want to get fancy and have the channels, you can split the feed of any such mics into two separate channels for processing and grouping according to the function...individual or group.

No need to buy more stuff.  Double use what you have.
Been there, done that.
We thought about doing that. I guess the concern was the "stand" being heard more but the back of the neck thing is interesting.

We could try to expand the number of lavs since we have money. To get a few more lavs would require a bigger rack since right now it's full with the receivers and antenna and power distribution for the 16 we run.

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2015, 06:57:57 pm »

Condensers are more sensitive.  That is why they are so commonly used for micing up choirs ... and not so commonly used for micing guitar cabs.

No, they can be easily made in a smaller, less obtrusive form which is more easily deployed and less visually distracting.  That's the primary reason.  As to miking guitar cabs, condensers (and ribbons) are commonly used for this purpose both in the studio and for live performance.

Both of your assertions are less than correct "blanket" statements without basis in reality.

Quote
Actually, I have had quite a time with some lavs I have worked with causing feedback issues (weddings btw) where hand held mics were much better.

None of the weddings I do will accept hand-held or stand mounted mics for the ceremony.  None.  Zero.

If anyone following this thread wishes to pursue the topic swerve into wedding mics, see this thread:


http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,155526.0.html
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 07:02:02 pm by dick rees »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2015, 07:00:39 pm »

We thought about doing that. I guess the concern was the "stand" being heard more but the back of the neck thing is interesting.

We could try to expand the number of lavs since we have money. To get a few more lavs would require a bigger rack since right now it's full with the receivers and antenna and power distribution for the 16 we run.

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Tell the "stand" not to sing...
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jesseweiss

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2015, 07:00:57 pm »

Tell the "stand" not to sing...
Lol

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2015, 07:36:21 pm »

Jesse...

Just a few of the drawbacks of using hanging mics for theater: 

1.  fixed position.  Any changes in blocking or missing marks means they won't work as intended.  Difficult to re-position.

2.  They still need to be as close as possible to the intended pick-up spot to function.  This can mean that the staging will be severely limited to a 7'-8' height.  So nothing can be in the air without whacking the mics and altering their orientation.  No stilt-walkers, no jumping in the air and waving hands/arms above heads, no tossing things through the air.  In short, severely limited theatrical stagecraft.  Directors will not be pleased.

There are more reasons, but these are the primary ones which limit hanging mics to fixed, controlled spots...s
which can be as or more easily handled with large black "studio" booms.
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2015, 08:17:21 pm »

Dick,

No, they can be easily made in a smaller, less obtrusive form which is more easily deployed and less visually distracting.  That's the primary reason.  As to miking guitar cabs, condensers (and ribbons) are commonly used for this purpose both in the studio and for live performance.
That is one reason, but not the only reason.  Not all condensers are tiny.

Quote
Both of your assertions are less than correct "blanket" statements without basis in reality.
Your opinion.

Quote
None of the weddings I do will accept hand-held or stand mounted mics for the ceremony.  None.  Zero.
I agree that no wedding is going to allow anything but lavs (or shotgun mics).  The visuals are simply unacceptable.  I worded my statement poorly.  I have never used hand helds in a wedding.  I was simply surprised at how easily lavs feed back in comparison.

If anyone following this thread wishes to pursue the topic swerve into wedding mics, see this thread:


http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,155526.0.html
[/quote]
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2015, 08:23:36 pm »

Jesse...

Just a few of the drawbacks of using hanging mics for theater: 

1.  fixed position.  Any changes in blocking or missing marks means they won't work as intended.  Difficult to re-position.

2.  They still need to be as close as possible to the intended pick-up spot to function.  This can mean that the staging will be severely limited to a 7'-8' height.  So nothing can be in the air without whacking the mics and altering their orientation.  No stilt-walkers, no jumping in the air and waving hands/arms above heads, no tossing things through the air.  In short, severely limited theatrical stagecraft.  Directors will not be pleased.

There are more reasons, but these are the primary ones which limit hanging mics to fixed, controlled spots...s
which can be as or more easily handled with large black "studio" booms.
All good points; however, if he is trying to clean up the stage and NOT have things on the stage that can be trampled by a flock of youngsters then it might indeed be better to have the mics suspended instead of on a boom.  Just like the wedding scenereo we were discussing, the visuals are very important in theater.

To the OP, in my old High School they used microphones along the front of the stage on small stands (< 1ft) pointing up at an angle.  While this does work, it also makes horrible floor noise when people walk, jump, fall, etc on the stage.  Any high gain microphone mounted to something touching the floor is going to have this problem.  It is something to think about in addition to the visuals of the situation.
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Re: Condenser mics for live group vocals
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2015, 08:23:36 pm »


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