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Author Topic: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?  (Read 8799 times)

g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2016, 10:59:44 am »

Do you have ANY wireless bodypack systems at this point?  If you do, this is an excellent mic at a throwaway price:
http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-Pro-PMEMS10-Omni-Directional-Microphone-System/dp/B003D2YRLA

If you can hit up the parents for sponsorship and donation, this is an excellent wireless system to go with the above mic:
http://www.amazon.com/Shure-PGXD14-Digital-Wireless-System/dp/B004K9RT8I

John R.

A work-around for limited wireless is to use one or more people as "human mic stands" by fitting them with a good lapel mic placed on their sleeve at the shoulder or on their collar BEHIND their head, then positioning them as needed in the scenes.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2016, 12:10:06 pm »

Nothing really wrong with a real mic stand with an SM58 in most cases.

Usually these sorts of shows have each kid (or couple of kids) giving their one line, then stepping back into the chorus. I've never seen anybody object to them stepping up to a mic.
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lindsay Dean

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2016, 01:49:07 pm »

         The mains on either side behind the stage front line is an issue .
combined with any mic in front of shy children trying to get optimum gain will be...........not fun.
 If they could be encouraged to use their "outside voices" with no monitor volume, most would do well .
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Rich Wirz

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2016, 05:20:31 pm »

I don't post much here, but being that I've been employed with staging and reinforcement of elementary, middle school and high school productions for 20 years I thought I'd add my thoughts to the already excellent ones already shared.  My question would be just exactly what type of children's shows are being done here?  Are they plays, mini-musicals, skits, just music shows?  Each one could have it's own little trick to obtaining better sound - there is not a blanket solution that would cover everything.  Who are the directors of these performances, and what are their expectations?  If they are putting on a 4th grade mini musical and expect it to sound like Les Mis on Broadway that would be your first major obstacle.  Do they have a good handle on the limitations of the space and the kids and choose appropriate works to accommodate both?  The toughest challenges I have ever had were working with directors who thought technical solutions would fix everything and make silk purses out of sow's ears so to speak.  If they don't grasp picking shows and staging them so that it adds to the solution then the outcome will most always be less than desired.  Granted, to most parents if their kid makes it through the show without puking onstage it will be just wonderful - but to those of us responsible for putting out a quality production it can be a frustrating thing. 
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Brian Jojade

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2016, 06:59:23 pm »

You need to remember one of the golden rules of mics and sound. The loudest sound at the mic wins. Period.  So, if you are trying to amplify the sound of a quiet individual with a distant mic in a small room, it's going to present a whole lot of problems that won't be solved within a reasonable budget.

As others have stated, your resources would be better spent on teaching the kids how to properly project on stage.  Yeah, it's not the fun part, but it's the important part.  Technology isn't always the solution to the problem.
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Darryl Dueck

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2016, 06:53:44 pm »

Dick is absolutely correct here.  The kids need to come to the show prepared.  The adults need to understand that kids can't always pull off what is needed.  Fact of the matter is you can't beat physics.  2x0=0 no matter what mic you use.

One thing I've seen done successfully with church children's choirs is to use broken mics or mics from those 3 for $30 packs to teach kids how to hold and sing into a microphone.  It must be part of their rehearsal process for their entire time rehearsing (months, not just when they show up at the theater) and the instructor must correct poor usage the same way he or she would correct vocal issues.

We all know mic technique is something which must be learned.  The adults leading these kids need to learn that too.  If they can't then you may as well try pulling a rabbit out of your ass.  You'll have just as much success.
Exactly.  We put our children's choir in "show" mode as much as possible.  Everything on how to hit your mark, where mics are how to hold a mic and move, where not to stand. 

The last two practises are a few tweeks but we spend time on entry and exits,  pointing out bumps and trip hazards. 

Some days they kids are tired and don't project well others I don't need choir mics. 

Having a couple of crazy leaders will help take the butterflies away .  Would you feel embarrassed or shy doing this in front of crazy  Joe.  Then the audience is just a bunch of crazy Joes
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Lyle Williams

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2016, 04:19:49 pm »

You won't get a whole lot of gain before feedback, but having a mic covering the stage will help significantly.

I have normally used SDCs on short stands for this.  I currently have Rode NT4s for this kind of thing.  But any old mic would do really.  Wireless vocal handhelds (ew100-935s) on stands have been used if they need to be moved a lot.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2016, 06:01:55 pm »

You won't get a whole lot of gain before feedback, but having a mic covering the stage will help significantly.

Just how do you think it helps in live theater?
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Doug.Jane

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2016, 08:26:55 pm »

You won't get a whole lot of gain before feedback, but having a mic covering the stage will help significantly.

You get that horrible ambient on-the edge of feedback sound that all amateur productions should have!
Seriously, all the pros who have given their opinions are right on the money, probably from years of bad experiences! Fix it at source!
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Lyle Williams

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Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2016, 01:55:39 pm »

You get that horrible ambient on-the edge of feedback sound that all amateur productions should have!
Seriously, all the pros who have given their opinions are right on the money, probably from years of bad experiences! Fix it at source!

Look, that's right in the money.  But honestly all these performances both:

1. Suck
2. Are the best thing the parents have heard in their lives.

Have a bit of perspective on what these shows are (and aren't).  Yes, make the performers better, but on the day you have what you have. 

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: What microphones to use for children in plays and singing performances?
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2016, 01:55:39 pm »


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