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Author Topic: Help needed making microphones more sensitive  (Read 2651 times)

Cameron Peck

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2019, 12:44:10 pm »

Make sure the Main Mix level is down all the way then start by setting the channel gains to somewhere between 10:00 and 12:00. Make sure the channel peak lights do not light up when speaking loudly into the microphone.
Next, turn up the channel levels and main mix level as needed.
Thank you, this is very helpful.


How do you connect to the hotel sound system?
When you rented the hotel mics, did they plug in directly to the same place you plan to plug in the output of your mixer?
Yes, we only changed the mic, everything else was left the same.
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Cameron Peck

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2019, 12:51:44 pm »

Corey has just asked probably the most important question on this.

Knowing exactly where you're interfacing with the hotel system is going to be crucial to getting more detailed help from this forum. If it's just jack in a wall plate, you'll  need to find out where that jack connects on the other end.  Knowing whether your mixer output goes into another mixer input down the line (and whether it is a line level input or a microphone input) or an amp input, and whether or not there are upstream gain controls that may not be at the correct level for whatever you're sending determines the correct solution to your problem.
Luckily, I have a good relationship with the event coordinators, so I can make arrangements to "peek behind the curtain".  On a side note, the hotel we just use had 2 XLR connections (one directly above the other).  Is there an industry standard that might explain the difference between them?
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Cameron Peck

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2019, 12:53:10 pm »

So this sounds a lot like the "I'm an IT manager so they told me to fix the sound" thing I run into a lot these days.

Good news - Shure has some education content about the basics that might be very helpful in understanding the situation better.
https://www.shure.com/en-US/videos/events/webinars/shure-webinar-audio-basics-for-it-professionals

That was helpful.  Thank you for pointing it out to me.
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Cameron Peck

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2019, 12:57:52 pm »

I have a question and a suggestion for you.

The question is how are you using the SM-57's, as the President does, dual mics - one person speaking or are you using them as two separate sources?  I actually do not know if that is how the Presidents audio crew is utilizing the 2 mics, one mic may be there for redundancy. I believe though you will get better results with 1 mic, if you are trying to use two mics on one person, one mic would need to switched out of phase and a lot more tweaking would be needed than a single mic.
Good question.  One mic is on the podium for the presenter and the other one is in a mic stand on the floor for questions and or comments from the audience.


Everyone else is correct in stating you must know what you are connecting to in the hotel. You may want to consider purchasing a set of powered speakers. This way you always know what you are plugging your mixer into and it will give you a chance to set it up at home and gain some experience learning how things all work, maybe volunteer your services for an event where the sound is not crucial, like a family party or something like that.

Good Luck

That is a good idea, but we cannot do that for several reasons.  House speakers are our only option other than renting powered speakers from the hotel.
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drew gandy

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2019, 05:18:18 pm »

I'll join the fun!  [It's not often that we get beginners here so early and untainted.  A little bit of bad audio knowledge can go a looong way!]

I fully understand your issue with the cost of hotel AV.  Keep in mind that AV is a revenue stream for the hotel and they may very well be taking 50% off the top of the bill that the in-house AV company is charging.  Like a fledgling band in LA, hotel AV is a pay to play game.   You may be able to convince the hotel to give you a break on their take of the AV bill. 

When you plug your mixer into the hotel installed sound system, a tell tale sign that it is a "microphone level" input is that you will immediately hear a hiss even when your mixer output level is turned all the way down.  And once you try to turn your output level up, all kinds of chaos will ensue.  An inline pad connected between your mixer and the hotel XLR jack might make it usable.  What this does is to turn the output signal from your mixer down a bit which lowers the noise and makes your controls on your mixer far more usable. 
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/351406-REG/Whirlwind_IMPAD20_IMPAD20_In_Line_XLR.html

Just for fun:
A)  Make sure all your cables just barely reach to wherever they are going and only reach when you run them across the middle of the floor "as the crow flies". 

B)  When you're buying economy equipment, watch out for "High Grade Low Noise Microphone Cable", especially if you ever buy condenser microphones.  (see image below) My example is of a microphone cable that is entirely missing one of the conductors.  Short of opening the connector up like I did, you wouldn't be any the wiser except that you get no signal or noisy signal when you use it.

C)  Don't forget to use the brightest orange extension cords you can find.   

 ;D






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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2019, 05:59:55 pm »

I'll join the fun!  [It's not often that we get beginners here so early and untainted.  A little bit of bad audio knowledge can go a looong way!]

I fully understand your issue with the cost of hotel AV.  Keep in mind that AV is a revenue stream for the hotel and they may very well be taking 50% off the top of the bill that the in-house AV company is charging.  Like a fledgling band in LA, hotel AV is a pay to play game.   You may be able to convince the hotel to give you a break on their take of the AV bill. 

When you plug your mixer into the hotel installed sound system, a tell tale sign that it is a "microphone level" input is that you will immediately hear a hiss even when your mixer output level is turned all the way down.  And once you try to turn your output level up, all kinds of chaos will ensue.  An inline pad connected between your mixer and the hotel XLR jack might make it usable.  What this does is to turn the output signal from your mixer down a bit which lowers the noise and makes your controls on your mixer far more usable. 
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/351406-REG/Whirlwind_IMPAD20_IMPAD20_In_Line_XLR.html

Just for fun:
A)  Make sure all your cables just barely reach to wherever they are going and only reach when you run them across the middle of the floor "as the crow flies". 

B)  When you're buying economy equipment, watch out for "High Grade Low Noise Microphone Cable", especially if you ever buy condenser microphones.  (see image below) My example is of a microphone cable that is entirely missing one of the conductors.  Short of opening the connector up like I did, you wouldn't be any the wiser except that you get no signal or noisy signal when you use it.

C)  Don't forget to use the brightest orange extension cords you can find.   

 ;D

I hope you know he is kidding
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
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www.ghostav.rocks

frank kayser

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2019, 06:14:28 pm »

<snip>
The answers here are excellent, but  nothing delivers professional results like an appropriately paid audio professional.

Sent from my mobile phone using Tapatalk


Huh.  If I raise my rates, my results will be more professional. Who'da thunk? ;D  (at least the resulting  invoice will look more professional!)
Also, does it follow that a poor quality audio professional barely scraping by (appropriate pay) will provide similar professional results?  ::)


Sorry.  Just having fun.  I'm sure everyone knew exactly what you were communicating. 


Please return to the normal, helpful discussion.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2019, 08:05:07 pm »

I'm not knocking your spirit and willingness to jump into this and want to learn but corporate meeting gigs even your smaller ones are not what I would consider the place to figure out how to do audio for the first time.

You said you do three events a year, hire in a legit AV company, help them were you can, pick up some experience and maybe even do some freelance work for them if it opportunity comes up.

Patrick Tracy

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2019, 12:55:16 am »

Our organization holds meetings in hotel banquet rooms 3 times per year and I got tired of paying their outrageous prices to rent audio equipment.

Where are you located? Perhaps someone on the forum would be willing to spend a compensated hour or two to get you going.

Cameron Peck

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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2019, 10:06:49 am »

Everyone has been very helpful to me and I appreciate it very much.  Especially, Corey Scogin.



When you plug your mixer into the hotel installed sound system, a tell tale sign that it is a "microphone level" input is that you will immediately hear a hiss even when your mixer output level is turned all the way down.  And once you try to turn your output level up, all kinds of chaos will ensue.  An inline pad connected between your mixer and the hotel XLR jack might make it usable.  What this does is to turn the output signal from your mixer down a bit which lowers the noise and makes your controls on your mixer far more usable. 
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/351406-REG/Whirlwind_IMPAD20_IMPAD20_In_Line_XLR.html
That got me thinking and I went back and looked at an email that I received before one of the events.  It said, "Our ballroom has XLR inputs for a mic level signal."  At the time, I didn't realize that mic level and line level were different, so the info that I was given was not as useful then as it will be when we go back there in December.

Seeing that it was a mic level input and I was using a mic without a mic preamp, shouldn't it have worked better?  I was still going through the MX400.  Either way, it sounds like I will need to use a pad (in addition to the mixer) the next time we are at that hotel.

On a side note, at the hotel we use most of the time, I don't believe they have an audio pro.  It is always the servers that are working with the audio.
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Re: Help needed making microphones more sensitive
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2019, 10:06:49 am »


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