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Old 05-11-2013, 10:33 AM   #41
Phil Starr
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Yes, I'm a fan of these mics too, lovely clean sound with just a bit of top end lift to help cut through. Always liked Sennies. It's good to all use the same mic's tooif you get the chance as the critical feedback frequencies are the same for all of them making it easier to kill the howl.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:53 PM   #42
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I have a preference for the Beta 58 and Sennheisser e945. These mics seem have the best combination of sound and feedback recjection for the price, as well as being good multi-purpose mics.I wouldnt say one is better than the other, it simply depends on your voice.

I have a Beta 57, which is great for vocals, but I simply prefer the sound of the others. My Beta57 has been issued to cajun drum duties.

Any reason you guys didn't look at the Beta58?
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #43
Phil Starr
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Essentially the E935 and the E945 are the same mic in a different mounting so that the 935 has a cardioid pickup pattern and the 945 is the supercardioid so the 935 is more forgiving but the 045 will give you better feedback rejection if used well.

the Shures are again basically the same mic, both super cardioids but the Beta58 has a tailored response to cut the bass and give a boost to mids which will brighten the vocal sound. The 57 will be warmer sounding, Which you choose depends upon your voice really and the 57 reputedly flatters female voices more than the 58.

The only way to choose between these is to try them really, though the Sennhesers are cheaper. All good mics really.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:25 PM   #44
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^^^ in Australia the Sennheissers are more expensive. Weird.

I've found one thing about the Beta 57 is that it tends to cut straight through the mix if there are other vocalists using other types of mics. Obviously you should try to keep all vocal mics the same, but it's something that might need to be taken into account if you have more than one singer in a band, and they aren't all armed with a Beta 57 - whoever has the Beta 57 will dominate all. I find it an issue when mixing harmonies.

I try to avoid general sweeping statements like "x mic is better for girls". That said Ive found that the e945 is better for girls and the Beta 58 better for boys . Thats just based on my own preference though. One day I'd like to have a full set of both to accomodate for different situations
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:40 AM   #45
Phil Starr
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A full set of boys or girls?
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:30 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Starr
A full set of boys or girls?


Whoever the lead is I guess.

While Im here Id like to give a big shoutout to the DBX DB12 and DB10 direct boxes. They are ridiculously good. Previous to them I used Berhinger and Art DIs, and whilst they did the job, they kinda sucked the tone out of my acoustics. The DB12 is quite simply brilliant, especially for the price.

So basically if you play an acoustic guitar live, you owe it to yourself to get one of these DIs and take it to gigs.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:39 AM   #47
Phil Starr
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Just thought I'd do an update on the mic front now we've tried the new condenser mic. Remember, the reputation of these is that they sound lovely but are fragile and prone to feedback.

They sound lovely, they really do. Not in a slap you round the face, listen to me way but a subtle filling in of detail. It just gives you more of the work the singer is putting into their vocals, subtleties of tone come out. Our singer at least shows more confidence in her vocals due to the improved sound and is trying things she only ever did before when singing acoustically. It's all so natural sounding. If you have pride in your vocals you are going to want one of these.

Feedback isn't a problem, I didn't try getting my level meter out but we A to B's with an SM58 we use for backing vocals and the KSM9 gave us at least 3dB extra gain before feedback. In my acoustically nasty front room that meant that from not quite being able to lift the vocals over the band we could afford to run as loud as we liked with a bit of headroom to spare. Shure at least have cracked this problem. The pickup pattern is pretty tight, you have to really address the mic straight on and the pickup falls pretty quickly as you move away from the mic so you have to have decent mic technique. Our non-techie singer soon worked this out though, this mic is a great teacher. If you couldn't adapt this particular mic has a switch to make it into a cardioid.

Fragility will have to be assessed over time but I've since talked to a friend who uses the Shure Beta 87 which he has dropped 'more times than enough' with no problems so far.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:00 AM   #48
Phil Starr
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I've updated the setting up and soundchecking section for anyone following this.

If any one has any questions or comments it's be good to hear from you.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:31 AM   #49
Phil Starr
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Personal vocal monitors.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with these. I've just tried out two The Mackie SRM150 and the Behringer clone, the B205D. Basically what you get is a little box with a 150W class D amp built into a box with a three channel mixer and a dedicated 5" speaker. The idea is that you put it on your mic stand and use this to monitor your own vocals, or if you are performing in a small space you can use it as a mini PA.

The first thing to say is that these things sound pretty poor, think very loud transistor radio. The second thing however is that they work. They don't need to sound good, they just need to let you know how your voice sounds over the band. You don't need bass because there really isn't any in your voice and you don't need lots of presence because this would only give you feedback problems, as a vocalist all you really need is middle and enough of it to hear yourself over the racket the band are making.

Setting up is simple, you have two choices, unscrew the boom from your mic stand and screw in the supplied adaptor. Put the amp on this then screw on the second adaptor and the boom goes on top of the amp. It's a bit wobbly but it works. If you have space on stage and you want something a bit more stable just use a second mic stand and the amp can sit anywhere around you. Now plug your mic in the front and take a lead from the back to the PA and you are away. One thing, don't put them too close if they are less than 1m away they are too much and you won't hear the rest of the band properly and if they are closer to the mic than your ears you will get feedback.

There's a second input for your guitar or another mic' and a third for an ipod or similar. three tone controls and a master volume. The balanced output is switchable between mic level and line. This output is post (after) mix and tone controls but pre the master volume so set up the volume with the master half way on the monitor then set the PA to that and only adjust the master once you start the performance so it doesn't upset the PA mix. The tones are useless, there isn't any bass or treble to adjust and you'd want a flat response to avoid feedback anyway.

These won't completely replace floor wedges either. You can't hear them if you don't have a monitor of your own, the drummer is going to hear nothing of the vocals in most cases. Ultimately though this isn't the point, the monitors sit at about an arms length away from you and you can turn them up as loud as you like without it getting into the sonic field of the rest of the band. You can effectively have your own vocal as loud as you would practically want and without too many problems of howlround. With someone as useless a singer as me it gave a huge confidence boost with pitching, for our proper vocalist the ability to really nuance her vocals and to stop trying to strain over the band. they are going to transform you performance.

Mackie V's Behringer.

there is very little difference in construction between these two apart from the controls being mirror image. The Behringer feels slightly more solid if anything but I may have imagined the difference it is so slight. The sound is broadly similar too, loud transistor radio as I said. the Mackie claims 120dB which I seriously doubt, the Behringer only claims 113dB but the difference between them isn't that great and the Behringer is closest to the mark. However at anything less than 2m from the mic they both feedback long before maximum volume is reached so the limit is theoretical, they both go louder than you need. The sound of guitar through these isn't great either, again if you needed a guitar monitor they'd do a decent practical job in a noisy band or if you were busking they'd be OK but not really as a PA despite the claims

The main conclusion is that the concept is absolutely spot on and they both do a great job for vocalists, if you play in a loud band they are really going to get your voice back to you in a way no other monitor can, without the feedback problems some floor monitors give and you control your own volume. They are not quite hi fi but eminently practical. Reader, I bought one.

http://www.gak.co.uk/en/mackie-srm-150/4216
http://www.studiospares.com/stage-m...180?VBMST=b205d

Last edited by Phil Starr : 04-29-2014 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:59 AM   #50
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I actually prefer personal monitors to wedges or IEMs. We send the monitor mix only to them which just has vocals and maybe a little guitar. When blended carefully with the sound wrapping around from the mains they sound fabulous with plenty of bass and lots of detail.

Benefits:
1. small and lightweight.
2. simple setup.
3. plenty of detailed sound for vocal cues.
4. can get away from them if you choose unlike IEMs or most floor wedges.
5. allows you to stay connected with the room and the audience unlike IEMs.

Disadvantages:
I don't like the way they look onstage.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:31 AM   #51
Phil Starr
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I'd pretty much agree with you except in a loud band we don't get quite enough of the singer going back to the rhythm section. I'm thinking of combining them with side fills. However when I'm singing, thankfully a rare event, you are spot on about the benefits.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:36 AM   #52
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In our band everyone has a personal monitor so they can dial in as much or as little vocal mix as they want. Side fills work too but at louder stage volumes. House sound techs don't like side fill.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:23 AM   #53
Phil Starr
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Yeah it's interesting. I started as a sound engineer for about 15 years, then much later started playing bass and playing in a gigging band, just recently I've been doing some backing vocals and each change changes your perspective. As a sound engineer I hate the idea of side fills, It just invites bleed through into the vocal mics, a really messy approach to on-stage sound.

As a gigging musician we often get called on to work in very confined stage areas and don't have much/any space for conventional wedges. there's always space just behind the PA speakers. I'm desperate to hear what the audience hear and we don't have a sound engineer. I mix from the back of the stage. With the move to hyper and super-cardioid mics there isn't the same problem with sound from the side that you get with the cardioids I grew up with so it's something I think I'll try, might need a wedge for the drummer though.
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