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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => SR Forum Archives => LAB Lounge FUD Forum Archive => Topic started by: Chony Milecki on February 22, 2010, 07:01:31 pm

Title: Micing a President
Post by: Chony Milecki on February 22, 2010, 07:01:31 pm
I'm curious about the two mics they put whenever the president speaks.

Firstly, why two?

Secondly, how do they manage to put the mics so far from the President's mouth and not get feedback. Does the president not use monitors? Maybe I don't know what I'm doing, but I always struggle with feedback when the mics are more than a foot from a speaker's mouth...

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Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Dan Brown on February 22, 2010, 07:07:28 pm
Chony Milecki wrote on Mon, 22 February 2010 18:01

I'm curious about the two mics they put whenever the president speaks.

Firstly, why two?

Secondly, how do they manage to put the mics so far from the President's mouth and not get feedback. Does the president not use monitors? Maybe I don't know what I'm doing, but I always struggle with feedback when the mics are more than a foot from a speaker's mouth...

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Chony,

2 mics because one is the main and the other is a backup

Distance, well the current President Obama speakers fairly loudly and it works ok.  As far as I have seen wedges are normally used.  Somehow it works but you do need to EQ

They provide the mics so it is what you use

db
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Tim A Perry on February 22, 2010, 07:24:08 pm
Lets say that you had a choice instead of following the orders of the Whitehouse communication department.

What would you do?

The pressure to perform is high. The secrete service is literally standing by your shoulder. 10 or more TV crews plus press and radio are taking feeds. If its local, every local politician and bigwig for miles is there. It is probably the biggest opportunity to publicly screw up you will ever have.

Among other things, you can EQ one mic for the preceding speakers and have one preset for the main event.  
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Andy Peters on February 22, 2010, 09:53:30 pm
Tim A Perry wrote on Mon, 22 February 2010 17:24

Lets say that you had a choice instead of following the orders of the Whitehouse communication department.


You don't have a choice.

-a
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Derek Shawver on February 23, 2010, 06:52:36 am
If I'm not mistaken, he uses two SM57's.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Mark Strong on February 23, 2010, 07:29:24 am
i wonder, does he have his own sound guy?
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: michael robertson on February 23, 2010, 07:57:32 am
As far as I know he does not have a FOH man. I know the guys that provided reinforcement when the former pres. came to Cat for a visit and they provided everything except for the mic.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Charlie Zureki on February 23, 2010, 08:26:05 am
  Hello,

 These same questions get asked at least once per year.... forum search?....

 And...

You have NO choice in the Lecturn Mics, and if you offered an "opinion", you'd likely be escorted out...the hard way.

You do not touch the Lecturn. It belongs to the White House

The Press Briefing room has an in-house Audio guy

There is some US Navy sound Guys at all gigs to provide "support"

For large outdoor Gigs, many Companies have provided the Sound System over the years/per Event

The Lecturn Mics are semi-custom, and belong the White House.

 Hammer
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Bob Burke on February 23, 2010, 08:48:41 am
Monitors - sometimes three.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e222/DunnellonOnline/Demigod.jpg



Mics - not always a 57.


http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e222/DunnellonOnline/87A.gif
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Randy Pence on February 23, 2010, 09:09:20 am
How about international speaking engagements or when not at the official podium?  I handled a head of state last year (G20 nation) and while the expected security presence was there,  he used our wireless handheld, as he was in a seated interview.  He did not have his own audio personnel, but a member of the embassy present to assist me did have a background in audio and we got to talk a lil shop about the 01v I was using.

As far as feedback goes, there was plllllenty of time to ring thigns out, as the security spent multiple amounts of time making sure nothing else could occur.  This was in a ballroom using an overhead system.  Priority was simply making sure nothing could feedback, but the bigger issue was with q&a mics for the audience.  I did some generous compressing of the main guest's mic to smooth out anything out.  If necessary, we could have split the input for pa and press, but it wasn't.  If I needed anything, the embassy guy was there for any communication.

Not quite like handling the U.S. president, I am sure, but probably  just a matter of scale.  However, the U.S president does speak without the presidential podium, so what then?  What would happen if he came through "my" ballroom (given that it is literally next door to the US embassy here, not the most remote possibility)?
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: E. Lee Dickinson on February 23, 2010, 10:05:29 am
At least 2 of those are teleprompters.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Jens Bacher on February 23, 2010, 10:27:29 am
At the COP15 Obama only came with a recording guy who took feeds from my o1v96 and the backup mic. (He likes getting one feed as an analogue split)
Used the house lectern and teleprompter and our Sennheiser MZH 3040/ME34. No monitors.

BTW: The old east-block guys still think they need to shout to be heard, pad your inputs  Laughing
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Tim Weaver on February 23, 2010, 10:27:39 am
Two of those are prompters, and generally the presidents mic is not (or just barely) in the monitors. That wedge is for the question mics handed out to the audience/press core.

The mics are SM57's with A2WS windscreens. For a chuckle try and google up a price on the Shure A25M dual mount. You can buy it, but it ain't easy.


Having 2 mics is purely for backup reasons. And you do not have a choice in the matter of picking the mics, nor placing them.


And honestly a president is a good speaker. You really don't have to work that hard to get the level up. It's much harder, for instance, to get rock-loud vocals in a monitor than it is to run sound for a VIP.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Milt Hathaway on February 23, 2010, 10:59:26 am
Tim Weaver wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 09:27


And honestly a president is a good speaker. You really don't have to work that hard to get the level up.


Not always. The previous one had lousy mic technique and poor projection when in less-than-formal settings.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Tim Weaver on February 23, 2010, 01:17:32 pm
His Dad was good. Did conferences with 41 many times. Never a problem with him or Barbara.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Milt Hathaway on February 23, 2010, 01:23:02 pm
Tim Weaver wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 12:17

His Dad was good. Did conferences with 41 many times. Never a problem with him or Barbara.


Very true. Even Laura is quite good.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Rick Stansby on February 23, 2010, 01:46:45 pm
Bob Burke wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 05:48



Mics - not always a 57.


http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e222/DunnellonOnline/87A.gif


I think they had trouble tracking down a wireless SM57  Laughing
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Charlie Zureki on February 23, 2010, 06:26:09 pm
Bob Burke wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 07:48

Monitors - sometimes three.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e222/DunnellonOnline/Demigod.jpg



Mics - not always a 57.


http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e222/DunnellonOnline/87A.gif


 Yeah...well, that's a hand-held from a photo Op or past Campaign date ....I was referring to the "Presidential" Lectern.

Hammer
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Tony Williams on February 23, 2010, 07:36:50 pm
The White House Communications Department is the President's sound people. They supply the lectern and mics. Here is the up close of pic with yours truly and the lectern for 43.
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I found out that each president has lecterns custom made for his height.

Also the White House carries around small more portable podiums
http://b5.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/01045/53/88/1045078835_l.jpg

The seal is carried around separately of the podium and is only put on the lectern the day of the speech if there are setup days. My experiences are from fund raising speeches on the Crawford Ranch. These were very low key events with no press.

My info may be a little dated now, but every speech is recorded with two feeds. Each having a Sound Devices mixer feeding a HHB MiniDisc recorder (at least thats what it was the years of #43).
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Bob Burke on February 24, 2010, 08:56:42 am
Yeah, that hand-held is from a campaign speech. It looks like an 87A to me (but I could be wrong).
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Mike Christy on February 24, 2010, 09:46:02 am
That's a scary resemblance Tony LOL

And the 2 raised rectangular plastic thingies are for?
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Andrew Loftus on February 24, 2010, 11:37:21 am
Tony Williams wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 18:36


--The White House Communications Department is the President's sound people.

--Also the White House carries around small more portable podiums


--The seal is carried around separately of the podium and is only put on the lectern the day of the speech if there are setup days.

--My info may be a little dated now, but every speech is recorded with two feeds. Each having a Sound Devices mixer feeding a HHB MiniDisc recorder (at least thats what it was the years of #43).


note: I've only had experience on 2 "in office" Vice Pres shows and a bunch of campaign gigs.  While the campaign gigs do have some rules, they are much more flexible than when its for someone in office.

The White House Communications Agency does send trained personnel out.  They handle the podium, mics, prompters and ensure you--the audio provider--are set for the room, press feeds and the many feeds to the White House staff.

White House Com guys told me that the small portable lecterns are for EMERGENCY speeches (note: this was for the Vice Pres, not the Big Guy).  An emergency speech such as: something horrible happened to The President and the VP's motorcade has to pull over so the VP can address the nation even if its on the side of the road.

IIRC the seal doesn't get put on until JUST before the official gets to the venue.  The picture of me at the podium doesn't have the seal--DANG IT!

For a public event, on top of the press feeds, The White House gets program feed to a phone line and 4 separate feeds directly from the house console to two or three HBB recorders.

Generally, these shows have a lot of hurry up and wait...followed by lots more waiting.  But they'll keep ya on your toes by doing podium mic checks ever 30 minutes or so!  Laughing
And my experience with the WH Com guys has been nothin' but pleasurable.  Great bunch to work with!
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Milt Hathaway on February 24, 2010, 11:47:17 am
Andrew Loftus wrote on Wed, 24 February 2010 10:37

Generally, these shows have a lot of hurry up and wait...followed by lots more waiting.  But they'll keep ya on your toes by doing podium mic checks ever 30 minutes or so!  Laughing
And my experience with the WH Com guys has been nothin' but pleasurable.  Great bunch to work with!


Yup, and don't set any of your plans in stone because they will all be changed. I understand why, and it's not so bad when you are prepared for it, but the first time can be a nightmare. Work schedules, equipment placement, input and/or output requirements will all change.

Campaign stops for an incumbent President are the worst, because you've got Secret Service, national party staff, local campaign staff, White House Communications, etc. all telling you what to do, and ultimately only what the Secret Service (and sometimes WHC) says really matters.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Jamin Lynch on February 24, 2010, 01:20:15 pm
I was lucky enough to provide PA for a whirlwind stop for Ronald Reagan back when he was running for his second term. After going through mountans of paper work, background checks, bomb sniffing dogs, and a search of my gear, airforce one landed at the airport with a couple of secret service guys who brought out the same podeim every other president has used for ever. 2 SM57's with windscreens. After I hooked it up to the PA, Reagan came out and spoke for about 15 minutes and was off again.

One mic was for a back up. It wasn't too hard getting it loud enough for all to hear. The big problem was the 30 mph wind. The windscreens worked OK, but a big croosswind created some issues.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: brian maddox on September 28, 2010, 08:04:48 pm
i cut my teeth in audio working for RCI sound systems out of D.C.  back in the day, the system install division of RCI used to manufacture the audio gear used by WHCA, which mostly consisted of shure 267s and various splitters and custom panels for feeds and such, so RCI was a preferred vendor in the D.C area.  so yeah, i did a few POTUS gigs.

the deal with WHCA is redundancy.  it's all about fail safe.  we used to have a preset package of gear that went out on all POTUS gigs that consisted of all the multi-pair they wanted for various press feeds, etc. as well as press mults [WHCA may still use RCI press mults.  they did for at least a decade or two], offstage announce mics [also a pair of redundant 57s], offstage powered monitors, etc.

aside from the fact that 57s sound like 57s, the gigs were usually pretty straightforward.  i did a lot of clinton events and if it was late in the day he'd get hoarse, but would still be pretty loud.

i would usually run one mic in the pa eq'd for feedback, and the other straight to record and control them both with a single VCA, although i usually didn't tell WHCA that.  they  didn't like 'change'.  Smile

most of the other stuff has been mentioned.  yes, the lectern is armor plated.  yes, they would have extra armor plates beside the lectern in 'exposed situations'.  and yes, it is cool to stand behind the 'goose' and do sound checks.  although WHCA usually insisted on their guy doing it most of the time.

now if you want to digress, i can talk to you about the stuff i found doing gigs in the White House...

nah, never mind...

have a grade A day...

brian maddox
www.fcfchurch.com [yeah, i work at a church now...]
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Michael J Brown on September 28, 2010, 08:21:27 pm
Mike Christy wrote on Wed, 24 February 2010 08:46

That's a scary resemblance Tony LOL

And the 2 raised rectangular plastic thingies are for?


http://www.telepromptermirrors.com/speechteleprompter.htm


Bob Burke wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 07:48

Monitors - sometimes three.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e222/DunnellonOnline/Demigod.jpg




Nope... at least 2 are teleprompters... the casing hides the LCD screen thats displaying the speech on the semi-reflective glass/acrylic.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Brian Larson on September 28, 2010, 08:24:56 pm
I remember seeing Obama with Sennheiser wireless on the campaign and thinking that was really revolutionary. Most other presidents had used Shure systems.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Bill Kessinger on September 28, 2010, 08:57:03 pm
Obama has been to my venue twice in the past few years.  Once as President elect and once as President. Both events were a live broadcast. The rules of engagement were quite different each time.  Before his inauguration,  no White House communication staff were involved.  I provided two 57s on a stereo bar, and 1 monitor wedge.  Minus all the press and security, it was just another talking head event.

As President, the security was about the same, however the White House Com guys provided podium, mics, instant replay for introductions, and backup battery powered PA system.  I was given two basic instructions.  1.  Flat EQ on the mic that is being sent to the press.  2.  All sends to be post fade, so the mute kills everything.  

I ended up using 1 mic with eq for the house, and 1 mic flat for the press.  

Bill  
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Kristian Johnsen on September 28, 2010, 09:17:26 pm
Brian Larson wrote on Wed, 29 September 2010 02:24

I remember seeing Obama with Sennheiser wireless on the campaign and thinking that was really revolutionary. Most other presidents had used Shure systems.


Shure you don't mean "Evolutionary"?  Laughing
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Kristian Johnsen on September 28, 2010, 09:18:50 pm
Michael J Brown wrote on Wed, 29 September 2010 02:21

Mike Christy wrote on Wed, 24 February 2010 08:46

That's a scary resemblance Tony LOL

And the 2 raised rectangular plastic thingies are for?


http://www.telepromptermirrors.com/speechteleprompter.htm


Bob Burke wrote on Tue, 23 February 2010 07:48

Monitors - sometimes three.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e222/DunnellonOnline/Demigod.jpg




Nope... at least 2 are teleprompters... the casing hides the LCD screen thats displaying the speech on the semi-reflective glass/acrylic.


I'm thinking there is no monitor.  Looks to me the speaker is facing the camera.  Ivan B commented a while back on the White House using a single floor speaker to adress a whole room.
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Robert "Void" Caprio on September 28, 2010, 10:14:35 pm
I was on the crew for an event with W. He was speaking on Veteran's Day at the re-introduction of the USS Intrepid docked in NYC. We set up a stage with the aforementioned lectern and the two 57s. No monitors but they did have those interesting battery powered front fills... in case the 8 per side VDosc went down...  Rolling Eyes


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Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Bennett Prescott on September 29, 2010, 07:52:55 pm
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Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Milt Hathaway on September 29, 2010, 10:05:46 pm
Well, that's redundant.  Very Happy
Title: Re: Micing a President
Post by: Jared Chrysostom on September 29, 2010, 11:29:05 pm
Milt Hathaway wrote on Wed, 29 September 2010 22:05

Well, that's redundant.  Very Happy


From the Office Of Redundancy Office...  Laughing