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Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

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Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Pazu » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:09 pm

My new glasses keep hitting the mic in front of me when I'm playing and singing. Can't stand the distraction any more.

I've looked at lav mics and there's an endless variety. Anyone know of any gems in the form of over-ear lav mics for live performance? Thanks for any thoughts!
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby MOF » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:50 pm

Firstly where is/are your microphones so that they keep hitting your glasses, do you really need to go down the lav’ route?
If you have an over-ear lav’ mic’ it might not give very good coverage of the guitar.
You will probably need another for the guitar.
I presume you need advice for a live situation.
The best ones are made by DPA but they are expensive.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:21 pm

Head mics (as opposed to Lavs which generally attach to your lapel) remove the possibility of you using any mic technique to control dynamics. They are widely used in the theatre and DPA, as MOF says, are the Rolls Royce.... But theatre singers don't usually have any vocal foldback causing feedback and almost invariably have very powerful voices. If you are a singer guitarist playing acoustic stuff it might well work for you but you won't achieve the same levels before feedback than with a conventional vocal mic.

If you decide to give it a try then consider a cardioid pattern head mic (they are not common but do exist) as that will give you the best gain before feedback.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:27 am

Just to be clear... as has already been mentioned by previous posters...

* Do you mean a headset mic like this:

Image


* Do you use foldback/onstage monitor speakers?

* Are your glasses hitting the vocal mic when you look down at the guitar?

(And adopting 'little professor' mode... Lavalier mics were originally smaller omnidirectional dynamic mics worn like a necklace/pendant by means of a thin cord. The AKG D109 is a typical example (good mic; I've owned/used several...):

Image

This is how it was designed to be worn with the mic recessed into the clip. That gave a presence boost designed to compensate for chest cavity resonances.


And the definition of 'lavalier' is.... "A lavalier or lavaliere or lavalliere is an item of jewelry consisting of a pendant, sometimes with one stone, pendulous and centered from a necklace."
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:10 pm

I still have one of those, I use it inside a cajon or dangling in front of my guitar combo when I'm travelling light.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:24 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I still have one of those, I use it inside a cajon or dangling in front of my guitar combo when I'm travelling light.

Yup! Good little mics in their own right... I used one as an ambience mic for in-ears for some time.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Pazu » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:16 pm

MOF wrote:Firstly where is/are your microphones so that they keep hitting your glasses, do you really need to go down the lav’ route?
If you have an over-ear lav’ mic’ it might not give very good coverage of the guitar.
You will probably need another for the guitar.
I presume you need advice for a live situation.
The best ones are made by DPA but they are expensive.

Yes it's a live practice situation. So I have a torn Achilles tendon, which forces me to sit down while playing and singing. It is an uncomfortable wooden chair. The mic is an sm58 on a boom stand. There is a complicated sort of boot encapsulating my injured leg, so the playing position is a bit awkward and uncomfortable.

One guitarist is off to my right, drummer to my left, partially hiding behind acoustic panels - so I have to occasionally turn my head in order to see what I can of what these other guys are doing while I'm playing, since theoretically we are playing the same song at the same time.

My glasses are RayBan Wayfarers with progressive lenses - big, bulky, goofy glasses that can only see what you point your straight head at.

So I have to keep in mind what I'm singing, occasionally check my hand positions on the acoustic, watch these 2 guys for cues and still somehow not hit the mic or otherwise screw up & I feel like it ought not be this difficult. The last thing I need on stage is to feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed. It's only practice but I'll be in this brace for months, and there are gigs coming up. Feeling some pressure, not looking forward to rapping the mic live.

I will look into DPA mics. I see they're 650... I don't really need or want another mic but I have to figure out how to solve this problem and a fixed mic, seems like one reasonable solution. No more boom mic in my face.

So the acoustic guitar is not mic'd, it is plugged into the board. Yes, it sounds like rubbery piezo crap. I'm working on fixing the guitar tone issue with a Fishman Spectrum Aura DI, but I haven't received it yet. Hoping if I find the right patch and only just slightly feather it in, it will be enough to de-piezo the acoustic tone.

Thanks to all for the thoughts!!
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Pazu » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:29 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Head mics (as opposed to Lavs which generally attach to your lapel) remove the possibility of you using any mic technique to control dynamics. They are widely used in the theatre and DPA, as MOF says, are the Rolls Royce.... But theatre singers don't usually have any vocal foldback causing feedback and almost invariably have very powerful voices. If you are a singer guitarist playing acoustic stuff it might well work for you but you won't achieve the same levels before feedback than with a conventional vocal mic.

If you decide to give it a try then consider a cardioid pattern head mic (they are not common but do exist) as that will give you the best gain before feedback.

Thank you. It is a head mic that I am looking for. Head mic might be a win. I want to eliminate variables, but I yell a few times and do some OOH OOH, OOH's. I hope a head mic can pick up softly sung stuff as well as yelling.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Pazu » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:54 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Just to be clear... as has already been mentioned by previous posters...

* Do you mean a headset mic like this:

Image


* Do you use foldback/onstage monitor speakers?

* Are your glasses hitting the vocal mic when you look down at the guitar?

(And adopting 'little professor' mode... Lavalier mics were originally smaller omnidirectional dynamic mics worn like a necklace/pendant by means of a thin cord. The AKG D109 is a typical example (good mic; I've owned/used several...):

Image

This is how it was designed to be worn with the mic recessed into the clip. That gave a presence boost designed to compensate for chest cavity resonances.


And the definition of 'lavalier' is.... "A lavalier or lavaliere or lavalliere is an item of jewelry consisting of a pendant, sometimes with one stone, pendulous and centered from a necklace."

Thank you, and answering your questions, I do mean a headset mic as in your image.

I don't know what foldback is but yes at the moment we're using 2 active monitor speakers as monitoring for all three people in the band. The drummer is not amplified but I am trying to get him to amplify. He's playing brushes but like at stick volume already which is sort of cross-purpose, limiting the dynamic range of the brushes.

My glasses are hitting the mic at odd times, like when I'm looking up again from looking at the fretboard, when I look somewhere else after having looked at what the drummer just did. I'm not a motionless, standing stone sort of performer, wish I was but, until the leg injury heals, could be 6 months+, I have to figure out how to move forward with this. I can't even carry my guitar, I'm on crutches - yet the show must go on.

Thanks for clarifying the meaning of lav mic.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:42 pm

So from what you’ve said, yes, you need a headset microphone, but you also need one with a cardioid, i.e. directional, pick up pattern. Most headset microphones are Omni directional but this would probably lead to feedback issues given you’re using monitors.

The one I use is the AKG C520 https://www.thomann.de/gb/akg_c_520.htm. It actually sounds great, something similar to a good stage vocal microphone. DPA also have good directional headset microphones, but they are more expensive. These microphones are generally designed to be run off radio systems, but you can usually get a converter to run them off a standard phantom-powered XLR input.

Regarding their ability to accommodate a wide dynamic range, you obviously can’t ‘work’ the microphone, so you need to train your voice to give the microphone what you want it to hear.

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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Pazu » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:11 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:So from what you’ve said, yes, you need a headset microphone, but you also need one with a cardioid, i.e. directional, pick up pattern. Most headset microphones are Omni directional but this would probably lead to feedback issues given you’re using monitors.

The one I use is the AKG C520 https://www.thomann.de/gb/akg_c_520.htm. It actually sounds great, something similar to a good stage vocal microphone. DPA also have good directional headset microphones, but they are more expensive. These microphones are generally designed to be run off radio systems, but you can usually get a converter to run them off a standard phantom-powered XLR input.

Regarding their ability to accommodate a wide dynamic range, you obviously can’t ‘work’ the microphone, so you need to train your voice to give the microphone what you want it to hear.

Bob
Great looking mic, thanks Bob! A good starting point at a reasonable price, I like it. Learning curve, I can handle it. It is an original music band, we can adapt. I'll need to have a kill switch or somehow otherwise mute it so I don't get caught mouthing off when amplified.

In using the C520, do you find certain electronics or fx helpful, like a limiter or compressor in terms of say attempting to accommodate louder vocals vs. softer in the same part? Do you use an in ear monitor as well?
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby MOF » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:40 am

My glasses are hitting the mic at odd times, like when I'm looking up again from looking at the fretboard, when I look somewhere else after having looked at what the drummer just did.
Is the mic’ pointing down at your mouth? If so I’d use a boom mic stand to position it almost level or lower (but above the guitar) looking back up at your mouth.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:47 am

Pazu wrote: I'll need to have a kill switch or somehow otherwise mute it so I don't get caught mouthing off when amplified.

I'd highly recommend this from Orchid electronics: http://orchid-electronics.co.uk/Mic_Mute_lite.htm

Pazu wrote:In using the C520, do you find certain electronics or fx helpful, like a limiter or compressor in terms of say attempting to accommodate louder vocals vs. softer in the same part?

I personally don't, but if you did it's probably best to manage that from the mixing desk. Reverb maybe a good thing again, generated from the mixing desk. If you did want to run guitar-type (stomp box) effects on your vocal channel, you could use one of these: https://www.radialeng.com/product/voco-loco

Pazu wrote:Do you use an in ear monitor as well?

No, in fact I only use monitoring if I really, really have to.....

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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:58 am

Just picking up on an earlier post - first! Foldback is just another name for floor/in-ear monitors.

I'm in agreement with what Bob's saying about headsets and mic technique, switches and effects.

And be aware that in-ear monitors are not a quick-fix. They can take a while to get used to - some people never do - and you have to be aware that if the in-ear mix is not just right they'll encourage you to sing quieter than you should.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Pazu » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:26 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Just picking up on an earlier post - first! Foldback is just another name for floor/in-ear monitors.

I'm in agreement with what Bob's saying about headsets and mic technique, switches and effects.

And be aware that in-ear monitors are not a quick-fix. They can take a while to get used to - some people never do - and you have to be aware that if the in-ear mix is not just right they'll encourage you to sing quieter than you should.

Thanks, yes floor monitoring, but it needs improvement. Thanks also for the warning re: in-ear mix challenges.

I might as well try a head mic, and ear monitoring for a few weeks just to see if I can work with it. I guess I can return them if they don't work out.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Pazu » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:48 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:
Pazu wrote: I'll need to have a kill switch or somehow otherwise mute it so I don't get caught mouthing off when amplified.

I'd highly recommend this from Orchid electronics: http://orchid-electronics.co.uk/Mic_Mute_lite.htm

Pazu wrote:In using the C520, do you find certain electronics or fx helpful, like a limiter or compressor in terms of say attempting to accommodate louder vocals vs. softer in the same part?

I personally don't, but if you did it's probably best to manage that from the mixing desk. Reverb maybe a good thing again, generated from the mixing desk. If you did want to run guitar-type (stomp box) effects on your vocal channel, you could use one of these: https://www.radialeng.com/product/voco-loco

Pazu wrote:Do you use an in ear monitor as well?

No, in fact I only use monitoring if I really, really have to.....

Bob

Thanks I appreciate it! For myself I need to control both the guitar effects and the vocal effects live from my playing position. So really I have 4 signals in to the board, vox stereo & guitar stereo, though mono guitar and mono voice signal are also fine. There are 2 others in the band, so monitoring is critical.

So the band is acoustic guitar singer/songwriter backed up by drummer with small kit & brushes, along with a space-scape guitarist. All amplified but the drummer. So there are challenges.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Pazu » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:29 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:So from what you’ve said, yes, you need a headset microphone, but you also need one with a cardioid, i.e. directional, pick up pattern. Most headset microphones are Omni directional but this would probably lead to feedback issues given you’re using monitors.

The one I use is the AKG C520 https://www.thomann.de/gb/akg_c_520.htm. It actually sounds great, something similar to a good stage vocal microphone. DPA also have good directional headset microphones, but they are more expensive. These microphones are generally designed to be run off radio systems, but you can usually get a converter to run them off a standard phantom-powered XLR input.

Regarding their ability to accommodate a wide dynamic range, you obviously can’t ‘work’ the microphone, so you need to train your voice to give the microphone what you want it to hear.

Bob

Thanks again for having suggested the akg 520 Bob, I've been able to test it and, it is going to be fine. Now that I've adjusted the mic away from my head more, and out of the firing line of my nose exhales, it has a nice predictable output! I hadn't thought of phantom power, but the Mic Mechanic provides it. Happy with it! Haven't played out yet but, should be fine.
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Re: Lav mic recommendation for guitar/sing?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:32 am

That's good to hear.

You can use it with its supplied pop-sock to attenuate breath intrusion from the nose or mouth.

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