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Mics for choirs

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Mics for choirs

Postby annabeth » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:28 am

Hi All

Please can you advise? I want a couple of condensers for live performances for my choir.

For the most part we’re on proper stages with fabulous technitions but we also just rock up at locations where we don’t have any acsess to electricity and for this we have a couple of QTX busker amps.
They came with some cheap nasty wireless mics and inputs for two wired mics.
I’d like to have a couple of condensers using the wired inputs for overhead.

The issue is they have to be self powering.

I’ve found AKG c1000s which appear they would do the job but they have some really mixed reviews - I thought you guys here would be the best to ask if they would be ok or whether there’s something else I could use?

Obviously I’m not looking for perfection (the amp was only £150) just a practical solution.

Many thanks for any help or advise you can offer :)
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Wonks » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:27 pm

The Rode M3 is a very similar looking mic to the C1000 and was obviously influenced by it. But it's a better performer than the C1000 and slightly cheaper.

SOS review here: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rode-m3

You are rather limited in choice with decent battery powered condensers, but i feel the Rodes would be the best choice in this instance. Whilst there are better, more expensive mics out there that given a decent PA will give better results; with those busker amps, any slight loss of detail and slightly noisier performance over better mics will be hidden by the limitations of the portable PA itself.

One other option if you do already have access to some better condenser mics, is to use a battery powered phantom power supply box. You can get ones that supply a couple of mics from around £26.
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby annabeth » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:51 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such a knowledgable reply - this place is brilliant :)

Yes the busker unit is limited so a better boost of the vocals is all I am after - Ill invest in the Rodes - Thanks again!
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:01 pm

annabeth wrote:The issue is they have to be self powering.

No, actually they don't, because you can eassily power any standard phantom-powered capacitor (condenser) mics from a battery-powered phantom supply, many of which are readily available from the usual audio equipment suppliers.

Edit: oops... Wonks has already suggested that! :blush:

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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby annabeth » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:58 pm

Yes really useful information- I’ve been in a few sound shops and no one has suggested this so I had no idea they existed!

I’d be reluctant to take anything too expensive out into open public spaces, so feel the Rodes offer the more practical solution.

I’ve already ordered them :)
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:29 pm

Have you experimented to see if you can get sufficient level from the rig? The big problem with choirs is that it is hard to get sufficient gain before feedback for a couple of relatively distant overhead mics for them to make much difference. The techs at your serviced gigs will probably use more and closer mics and have a FOH rig that is set up to minimise the risk of feedback.
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Ramirez » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:52 pm

I’ll second the M3 being good sounding, versatile mics that offer exceptional value for money. I do have to concur with the SOS review however - they are “unusually long”.
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:07 pm

Ramirez wrote:I’ll second the M3 being good sounding, versatile mics that offer exceptional value for money. I do have to concur with the SOS review however - they are “unusually long”.

+1... I have two. Bought for their 'don't need phantom' versatility, like most Rode mics they do punch above their weight.

... and for anyone else needing the capacitor sound but lacking phantom power, also consider the Audio-Technica MB4K and AT8033. Both excellent mics, but costing more than the M3 from Rode. (And to complete the picture, there's Rode's excellent NT3 which will also run from battery power.)
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby annabeth » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:11 pm

you make a good point Sam - the pro’s often have over heads, some hanging and some at the front and they are always trying to get the levels right to avoid feedback.

The busker set up is so much simpler and seemingly more flexible - I’ve used various solo mics with it as well as the cheap nasty things (they pick up everything with a deliciously awful thin tinny sound) and not had any trouble with feedback ....yet!

I guess I’ll just have to have a go with the Rodes and see how we get on.
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Humble Bee » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:06 pm

Line Audio makes a few different microphones that can be interesting as well. They are generally thought of as very good "bang for the buck"...

http://www.lineaudio.se/index.html

Edit: Sorry they are not battery powered. Just feel free to ignore my post. :?
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Ramirez » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:33 pm

Humble Bee wrote:Line Audio makes a few different microphones that can be interesting as well. They are generally thought of as very good "bang for the buck"...

http://www.lineaudio.se/index.html

Edit: Sorry they are not battery powered. Just feel free to ignore my post. :?

Yes. I have a couple of the OM1 omnis, great as they are, they wouldn’t suitable at all in this scenario. Their other mic, the CM3 is, I believe, a hypocardioid, so again perhaps wouldn’t be suitable for the OP’s needs.
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby The Elf » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:43 pm

I bought a Superlux S502 a short while ago and it's actually very good for what it is. I can highly recommend it for the money.

Spurn C1000s as you would spurn a rabid dog...
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:15 am

Ramirez wrote:
Humble Bee wrote:Line Audio makes a few different microphones that can be interesting as well. They are generally thought of as very good "bang for the buck"...

http://www.lineaudio.se/index.html

Edit: Sorry they are not battery powered. Just feel free to ignore my post. :?

Yes. I have a couple of the OM1 omnis, great as they are, they wouldn’t suitable at all in this scenario. Their other mic, the CM3 is, I believe, a hypocardioid, so again perhaps wouldn’t be suitable for the OP’s needs.

Quite so :thumbup:

The other thing about the Line Audio mics is that they have no presence boost which makes them ideal for accurate recording. But some for whom the presence boost of so many SDCs has become the norm find them lifeless and unexciting
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby annabeth » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:51 pm

I’m pretty sure the Rodes come with with a presence booster and some other gadget ...

I have no idea how or why I would want to use them - please could you shed any light on this?
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:05 pm

annabeth wrote:I’m pretty sure the Rodes come with with a presence booster and some other gadget ...

I have no idea how or why I would want to use them - please could you shed any light on this?

Nope; that'd be the AKG C1000.

The Rodes have a switchable bass roll-off switch on the barrel of the mic - part of the on/off switch - and a pad switch next to the battery compartment. That's used if the sound is too loud for the mic and you want to lessen its sensitivity a bit.

In your case I'd leave the pad at 0 and switch on the bass roll-off. It will help keep the sound clean and remove low frequency mush which doesn't do anything for choir sound anyway.

'Presence-boost' is a slight increase in sensitivity between say 2KHz and 6 KHz. It's become something of a norm in cheaper capacitor mics and gives the sound a 'crisp' and 'articulate' feature, However, over-done it makes the sound seem harsh, spitty and edgy. Rode's NT1A mic is generally regarded as having too-much presence boost although if it's all you've known you think that's what mics should sound like. Then when you hear a mic that doesn't have that boost you think it's somewhat dull and lifeless.

You'll be fine with the M3s... :)
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Ramirez » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:07 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Presence-boost' is a slight increase in sensitivity between say 2KHz and 6 KHz. It's become something of a norm in cheaper capacitor mics and gives the sound a 'crisp' and 'articulate' feature, However, over-done it makes the sound seem harsh, spitty and edgy. Rode's NT1A mic is generally regarded as having too-much presence boost although if it's all you've known you think that's what mics should sound like. Then when you hear a mic that doesn't have that boost you think it's somewhat dull and lifeless.

You'll be fine with the M3s... :)

The M3 doesn't 'suffer' too bad in this regard. A couple of weeks ago I compared them to a couple of SE1a that I was about to (and promptly did...) sell - the SEs were considerably brighter sounding, and not in a particularly nice way either. The M3, while still having a bit of a lift, were much closer to the rather flat response of my Beyerdynamic MC834.

I'll be hanging on to my M3s as my cheap extra utility mics.
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:49 pm

For reasons I won't bore anyone with I won't consider any of the offerings from the SE stable.

But in the past I've owned (briefly) and auditioned various of their SDCs. Didn't like any of 'em. All too 'over-presenced' for my taste.

But 'one man's...' etc etc :D
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby forumuser840717 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:41 pm

Just a thought but bearing in mind the comment

"I’d be reluctant to take anything too expensive out into open public spaces"

if any of those open public spaces are outdoors, you will probably need to budget for a couple of decently large and/or fluffy wind/pop shields or you might end up with the choir being inaudible under the wind noise.
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Re: Mics for choirs

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:30 am

Mike Stranks wrote:For reasons I won't bore anyone with I won't consider any of the offerings from the SE stable.

But in the past I've owned (briefly) and auditioned various of their SDCs. Didn't like any of 'em. All too 'over-presenced' for my taste.

But 'one man's...' etc etc :D

Agreed, I have five SE-H1s, basically a live vocal mic with a slightly modified SE2A capsule. I like them a lot, they cost me little more than SM58 money (£100 each), they are, to my (distinctly dodgy these days) ears lovely on tuneful (i.e. not rock) and close miked live vocals, especially female voices. Bear in mind this is through a reasonable PA system not studio monitors. I do have a SE2200 too but would not comment on it as I have done little recording since I acquired it.
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