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Author Topic: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles  (Read 6242 times)

Aaron McQueen

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Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« on: September 30, 2009, 03:42:06 pm »

I'm having a problem with a lavaliere microphone for our Pastor.  I know the first response is to get a headset like the Countryman E6.  I've been down this road and in every other circumstance it's what I go to.  However our Pastor wears glasses and a hearing aid.  Combined with the headset mic it's just too much on his ear and it bothers him throughout the sermon.

We went back to his Lavaliere he had before this which is a Shure WL184 (supercardioid).  This mic doesn't sound great to me and because of it's tight pattern, movement is problematic, and there is quite a few plosives even with a pretty high HPF.

So I picked up a Countryman B6 (omni) thinking it would be better.  And it is sound wise, but I'm struggling with feedback.  I just can't seem to get the gain I need without feedback.  It get's worse when he stands in front of the lectern or any boundary.  I'm constantly riding the fader.  I consider myself to be halfway decent at pulling out the offending frequencies, but pretty quickly I'm pulling out too much.  The board is a LS9, which usually provides enough eq on the channel.  I guess I could insert one of the 31-band eqs if needed.  If someone less experienced is running sound it gets out of hand quickly, and I have make a run to the booth to help out.

What's my next step? Any help is appreciated.
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Dick Rees

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Re: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 04:14:38 pm »

Aaron,

You could try one of the single channel "Solo" FBX units from Sabine in line on his mic.  In analog world I use the insertable model.  This will add 5 parametric filters and leave you a 6th
"rover" which will stand by.  That combined with the onboard parametric and shelving filters should give you a bit more control.
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John Fiorello

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Re: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 06:58:39 pm »

2 questions:

What freq. is it feeding back at?

And what cap do you have on it?


I only ask because if it's feeding back somewhere above 5k, the 0dB cap might help...?




JF
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Tom Young

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Re: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 09:58:56 pm »

What is the FOH loudspeaker system design ?

What is the physical relationship of the FOH ldspkrs to the position(s) he stands in ?

How "linear" is the FOH system (has it been optimized properly) ?

Finally: I pray the feedback is from FOH and NOT because you have him in monitors (for himself to hear).
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Gil Parente

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Re: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 12:55:22 am »

Without knowing more details, as Tom mentioned, your idea of the 1/3 octave EQ patched on the channel is not the worst I've heard.
That is what I would start with.
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Brian Ehlers

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Re: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 07:28:22 pm »

Good suggestions, all.  And as Tom suggested, if your speakers are spraying the lectern with direct sound, you're fighting a losing battle.

Here's something else to consider and try:
One of the nice things about omni lavs is that you don't have to mount them on the orator's chest (tie, shirt, lapel).  Try mounting it on his shoulder by clipping it to the collar.  Just make sure his chin doesn't rub against it when he turns his head.  Broadway shows get creative and mount lavs in hairpieces or hats, though that's probably not an option for you.   Razz

There's two reasons I'm suggesting higher placement.  First, the closer you get the mic to the source (his mouth), the more you can turn down the gain, and thus reduce feedback.  Second, you mentioned that the feedback is worse when he's standing at the lectern.  This is common, and it's caused by sound from your loudspeakers reflecting off the lectern.  The further you get the mic from the lectern, the less reflected sound it will pick up.

Finally, don't be shy with your board's EQ.  Most lavs can use BIG cuts at about 600 - 800 Hz and of course down in the low frequencies.  Play with this;  you might find it not only sounds more natural but also eliminates the feedback.

I share your dislike for directional lavaliers.  I used them for years but finally got sick of the handling noise, plosives, and the proximity effect every time the orator looks down.
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Aaron McQueen

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Re: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 08:58:48 pm »

John Fiorello wrote on Wed, 30 September 2009 18:58

2 questions:

What freq. is it feeding back at?

And what cap do you have on it?


I only ask because if it's feeding back somewhere above 5k, the 0dB cap might help...?




JF


There is not a single offending frequency.  I've used all of the available channel eq on the LS9 trying to grab as many frequencies as possible.

I have the 0dB cap on.  It's plenty crisp.  The problem doesn't seem to be that high.
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Aaron McQueen

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Re: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 09:08:46 pm »

Tom Young wrote on Wed, 30 September 2009 21:58

What is the FOH loudspeaker system design ?

What is the physical relationship of the FOH ldspkrs to the position(s) he stands in ?

How "linear" is the FOH system (has it been optimized properly) ?

Finally: I pray the feedback is from FOH and NOT because you have him in monitors (for himself to hear).


The FOH system is a bi-amped JBL 3 speaker cluster flown center front of stage.   There is very little sound in the area the pastor usually stands and moves around in.

The linearity of system is something to look at and it has not been optimized in several years (at least 10).

Definitely no monitors.
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Aaron McQueen

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Re: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2009, 09:13:27 pm »

Gil Parente wrote on Thu, 01 October 2009 00:55

Without knowing more details, as Tom mentioned, your idea of the 1/3 octave EQ patched on the channel is not the worst I've heard.
That is what I would start with.


I think I can try this on the LS9 without additional equipment.
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Dick Rees

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Re: Lavaliere Microphone Troubles
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2009, 09:22:08 pm »

Aaron McQueen wrote on Thu, 01 October 2009 21:08

Tom Young wrote on Wed, 30 September 2009 21:58

What is the FOH loudspeaker system design ?

What is the physical relationship of the FOH ldspkrs to the position(s) he stands in ?

How "linear" is the FOH system (has it been optimized properly) ?

Finally: I pray the feedback is from FOH and NOT because you have him in monitors (for himself to hear).


The FOH system is a bi-amped JBL 3 speaker cluster flown center front of stage.   There is very little sound in the area the pastor usually stands and moves around in.

The linearity of system is something to look at and it has not been optimized in several years (at least 10).

Definitely no monitors.




There will be an inaudible or barely audible lobe underneath a center cluster arrangement, most often in the low mid range anywhere from 100 to 400.  This can be very problematic.

Despite the EQ available on your console, this sounds to me like an overall system/deployment issue which needs to be dealt with before working on the individual channel.  If I were there I'd very carefully "ring out" the room using a number of parametric filters applied as needed over the entire spectrum.  This is most often done these days (it seems) in the system or amplifier DSP.

Beyond that, I still would go with an automatic parametric device (more commonly known as FBX) of your choice on the input to the LS9 IF you find that the system-wide calibration does not allow you to deal with the problem with the on-board channel EQ.  It's even odds, I'd bet.

As I said before, I carry the Sabine Solo FBX units with me for troubleshooting problems such as this.  In some cases the units stay in place permanently.  
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