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Author Topic: Alternative to Gooseneck mics  (Read 11713 times)

Ian Stuart

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Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« on: April 27, 2011, 11:50:16 pm »

Alternative to Gooseneck mics? What do you guys think?

I think the main reason why I'm ALWAYS being asked to use them is because all the client likes how they look. But I tell you I am fucking sick to death of them, The gain-before-feedback point is unacceptably low when day after day I'm working with douche-nozzles with no microphone technique, and it's always MY fault. I need to look at another alternative before I go crazy.

What do you guys think of using a shotgun mic mounted to the lecturn? I don't yet own one and am hesitant to buy one because I fear breaking it. on 50% of these gigs, the same no-mic-technique douche bag walks straight up to the mic and taps on it to get everyones attention, will this damage a shotgun mic? For a standard super-cardioid shotgun, how much tighter would the polar pattern be to traditional gooseneck if mounted about a foot and a half away from their face?

Let me know what you guys think.
 
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Curt Sorensen

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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 12:35:23 am »

Hi,
Below 500Hz there isn't that much difference.
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Curt Sorensen
Madison, Wisconsin

Ian Stuart

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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 12:37:15 am »

Hi,
Below 500Hz there isn't that much difference.

In terms of polar pattern? frequency response? or SPL sensitivity?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 01:07:50 am »

Alternative to Gooseneck mics? What do you guys think?

I think the main reason why I'm ALWAYS being asked to use them is because all the client likes how they look. But I tell you I am fucking sick to death of them, The gain-before-feedback point is unacceptably low when day after day I'm working with douche-nozzles with no microphone technique, and it's always MY fault. I need to look at another alternative before I go crazy.

What do you guys think of using a shotgun mic mounted to the lecturn? I don't yet own one and am hesitant to buy one because I fear breaking it. on 50% of these gigs, the same no-mic-technique douche bag walks straight up to the mic and taps on it to get everyones attention, will this damage a shotgun mic? For a standard super-cardioid shotgun, how much tighter would the polar pattern be to traditional gooseneck if mounted about a foot and a half away from their face?

Let me know what you guys think.

I own 3 of these:  http://www.akg.com/site/products/powerslave,id,243,pid,243,nodeid,2,_language,EN.html

Not perfect, not cheap, but very low profile and effective if you can mount it where it needs to go.

The Countryman ISOmax podium microphones are well regarded, although you're back into a gooseneck again.

Another possibility might be boundary surface microphones if mounting permits.  Note that clueless presenters will put their notebooks on top of these microphones if left on a flat surface.

I suggest surgical implants and do away with external microphones for presenters....
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Curt Sorensen

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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 01:16:03 am »

Hi,
Generally speaking, all of those. I've used them as backups for wireless mics at a lectern for broadcast, where they were ok. The PA fee, while usable, was not warm or full-range after being equalized. But so much depends on which mic and how far away it is. If you're having trouble with a presenter's mic technique, the [eventually] tighter pattern of a shotgun may bring other issues. Shotguns can also have problems when used in poor acoustic environments due to reflections and such, which isn't intuitive if you just look at polar patterns. I've worked with shotguns for years as a recordist, so I'm familiar with what they do and don't do. It's rare that I think of using them in sound reinforcement. Try it if you can in rehearsal, but be prepared to switch. And cheap shotguns are not a good idea ever, in my opinion. I've found that notch filters do more to improve the gain-before-feedback for lectern mics. And if you're only having problems with their mic technique, gear may never be the answer. I assume you don't call them douche-nozzles to their face?
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Curt Sorensen
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Ian Stuart

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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 01:42:54 am »

Hi,
Generally speaking, all of those. I've used them as backups for wireless mics at a lectern for broadcast, where they were ok. The PA fee, while usable, was not warm or full-range after being equalized. But so much depends on which mic and how far away it is. If you're having trouble with a presenter's mic technique, the [eventually] tighter pattern of a shotgun may bring other issues. Shotguns can also have problems when used in poor acoustic environments due to reflections and such, which isn't intuitive if you just look at polar patterns. I've worked with shotguns for years as a recordist, so I'm familiar with what they do and don't do. It's rare that I think of using them in sound reinforcement. Try it if you can in rehearsal, but be prepared to switch. And cheap shotguns are not a good idea ever, in my opinion. I've found that notch filters do more to improve the gain-before-feedback for lectern mics. And if you're only having problems with their mic technique, gear may never be the answer. I assume you don't call them douche-nozzles to their face?

I have once called them douche-nozzles to their face. One of them was a board member of a well known company but we are absolutely not going there. Buy me a few drinks and I might tell you what happened.   ;)

In my usual config I have a graphic EQ doing most of the work inserted over the channel but I'm hard pressed getting enough headroom with it because there is a certain point at which i've have taken out too many frequencies on it.

I can carve the shit out of the graphic, taking out so much of everything that rings with the result being horrible phase discrepancy AND lowered overall gain, OR try to maintain some signal integrity with a lowered overall system gain and much more subtle tuning. It's a tug of war but no matter what combination i try I can't get anymore headroom. The room working together with the mic results in an unacceptable gain before feedback level.

To add insult to injury, some of these clients request impractical speaker placement changes
which makes everything a whole lot worse.

If I encourage the clients to use more suitable mics, I'll end up with further shying away from the mic which is always my fault. I can't really see any other solution to this bitch of a problem.

By the way, the room sucks but I can't change this.

/endrant
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Jim Wilkens

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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 02:26:22 am »

Ian, I use gooseneck mics on almost a daily basis in all kinds of really shitty venues - atriums made of glass and marble, ballrooms with parallel walls, tents with AC units running outside, auctions with 500 drunks talking loudly though the auction. I rarely ever have problems with gain before feedback. I have found that the overall system design, using good quality speakers are the most important factors. EQ helps and can get you a few more dB. Parametrics work better than graphics.EQ your system to be flat before you ring out the mics. Some general things I have found help with speaker placement - further away from the mics is better, this seems to be more important that having the speakers downstage of the edge of the stage.  I often have to put the speakers upstage and while not ideal I can usually make it work. Further away seems to be the key. Not a strict rule but if the distance to the furthest seat that a speaker is covering is less than about 4x the distance from the speaker to the mic then you should have a good day. Also try to keep the speakers away from room boundaries. Use the highest Q speaker system you can.  For corporate, line arrays can be great because of the pattern control they offer compared with small 2 way trap boxes.

I usually use Earthworks and Countryman mics but I have used the Shures too. They all work. I don't think shotguns would help much and would create more problems than they solve.

I agree they can be douche nozzles. Sorry I can't help you there.

Jim W.

I have once called them douche-nozzles to their face. One of them was a board member of a well known company but we are absolutely not going there. Buy me a few drinks and I might tell you what happened.   ;)

In my usual config I have a graphic EQ doing most of the work inserted over the channel but I'm hard pressed getting enough headroom with it because there is a certain point at which i've have taken out too many frequencies on it.

I can carve the shit out of the graphic, taking out so much of everything that rings with the result being horrible phase discrepancy AND lowered overall gain, OR try to maintain some signal integrity with a lowered overall system gain and much more subtle tuning. It's a tug of war but no matter what combination i try I can't get anymore headroom. The room working together with the mic results in an unacceptable gain before feedback level.

To add insult to injury, some of these clients request impractical speaker placement changes
which makes everything a whole lot worse.

If I encourage the clients to use more suitable mics, I'll end up with further shying away from the mic which is always my fault. I can't really see any other solution to this bitch of a problem.

By the way, the room sucks but I can't change this.

/endrant
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 03:08:20 am »

I'm going to sneak out of Lounge Land and say that I agree with Jim Wilkens' post.  I think you're using the wrong EQ type for your desired goal, no matter what the application.  Could you describe the type of system you're using (installed overhead speakers, SOS, etc.)?  I typically have to deal with overhead speakers and goosenecks and can get usable results with the supplied *shudders* dual 15-band GEQ.  Oh, what I wouldn't do for a PEQ!  It would be nice if I knew if the speakers were zoned so I could turn off the ones not over the audience.

Also, I've used a mic element array from Audio-Technica before, with success.  It's pickup gets "beamy" from 200Hz down (read: use a HPF...not that you wouldn't have one around that freq. range anyway).  The directionality might be nice, but knowing how talking head gigs go, most speakers will turn their heads from side to side and, thus, negate the benefit of the tighter pattern for more GBF.  Get 'em on a headset mic by any means necessary!

Just a thought.

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Jordan Wolf
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 08:17:40 am »

  Hello,

   I don't think his problem is as much an EQ problem as it is with proximity (lack of) of the Mic.

   These "speakers" are not close enough, or speaking loud enough into the Mic.

   I'd recommend a head worn Mic also.  I've used a Shotgun Mic (on it's own stand, not on the Lecturn, too much noise transmission) as a back-up.

   By the way....you don't do any kind of level check/rehearsal with these talking heads?  That seems to be a big trend with Ad Agencies & Marketing Depts., in the last few years, they don't want to spend a few extra dollars, or claim that it inconvieniences the Client. (screw that, it "inconvieniences" ME when they're talking head does a lousy job of giving me a clean/clear signal) because I get the blame for their lack of skills.

  With a rehearsal, I can gauge their "projecting" abilities and make preparations if needed. I can spend a minute to EQ their weird voice. I will NEVER again do a Corpy gig without a rehearsal.
                                           
      (they're afraid of their own voice, aren't they?  :-[ )

   Good Luck,
   Hammer
 
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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 09:40:46 am »



I can carve the shit out of the graphic, taking out so much of everything that rings with the result being horrible phase discrepancy AND lowered overall gain,


http://www.sabine.com/newsite/solo2.html

In combination with the channel strip EQ this (with a good mic such as an AKG CK80 capsule on a GN30) works quite well. Better yet, double this setup and run one of the mics 3-5dB lower in level than the other when the mics are conincidental.  If they won't get close enough, go ahead and shoot..........
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Re: Alternative to Gooseneck mics
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 09:40:46 am »


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