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Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

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Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby blinddrew » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:18 pm

A friend of mine has asked me for a bit of advice, so because I know nothing I'm asking you...

My friend is a singer/guitarist but frequently plays small gigs where she'll be joined by other musicians (also generally singer/string pluckers of some kind). She runs these things on her tod so is wanting to keep things simple, portable and minimal.
She went off to a music store a while ago and heard a Bose S1 amongst other things. The Bose appealed a lot because of its sound and size.
She's wondering if she could couple this with a single microphone to just provide a bit of reinforcement for whoever's on 'stage'. If it's more than one person (no more than three I'm told), they can huddle round the mic and move in and out according to their parts.

So my question really is whether she'd be better off with an omni (would probably need to be a dynamic because of the lack of phantom power on the Bose), which would give a good good capture of what's on stage but risks picking up audience noise as well (especially on smaller gigs where there might not be much of a gap between the stage and the audience)?
Or a cardiod, where the off-axis players and instruments will be slightly quieter (not necessarily a bad thing if you arrange your 'featured' player to the middle) and potentially the off-axis frequency response might start getting interesting (particularly if mandolins or fiddles are involved).

The final factor to consider would be the aesthetics, it's a performance after all. She's seen the ear-trumpet mics (but also seen the cost!) and likes the idea of something like that, but if that's not practical within a more sensible price (up to about £200) then something small and discrete might be preferred.

My gut feel is that a cardiod with a nice off-axis response might be the way forward but I'm open to any suggestions.

Thanks
Drew

P.S. I will of course claim any wisdom expressed on this topic as my own. ;)
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:39 pm

I'd always be wary of omnis live on stage just because of feedback and you'd probably have to have the S1 volume down pretty low in order to prevent it, even with the S1 in front of he mic.

Have you considered a C1000? :D
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:48 pm

It's one of those cases where you and your friends probably have several different dynamics between you, so why not simply set up the system and try them out?

Distant miking means no proximity effect, which is good with regards low-end feedback, but may leave the reinforced sound feeling somewhat thin if you use vocal mics that rely on proximity to add the low end. An old AKG D202 or D224E should work well in this context. Otherwise I'd have a look round for dynamics with fairly flat bass responses. But you might as well try out what you've got.
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby blinddrew » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:29 pm

Cheers Wonks, sadly this particular friend is a couple of counties away - otherwise I'd have done just that!
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:40 pm

You've got the same gear(ish), so what's stopping you?
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby blinddrew » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:23 pm

Not having a bose s1 or anything similar that takes a normal dynamic mic...
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:39 pm

It seems to me that a simple mixer and a handful of mic's would provide a more suitable solution.
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby wdsteele » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:01 pm

I find the Bose is best with a sensitive mic ; my SM57 is just okay , all joking aside,
the AKG 1000 or Rode M3 might be a better choice .
The EV ND 96 gets good results but is supercardiod and the Beyer M88 is good with nice off axis response.
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:12 pm

Yup, my S1 seems to have a slightly strange gain structure, can't quite put my finger on what it is but the lack of gain controls (it only had channel volumes) may be at the heart of it.

I would go for a cardioid too but, as Drew says, the S1 doesn't have spook juice or I would suggest a LDC, partly for the look of the thing. Most large format dynamics seem to be pretty low output though.

Apart from the price all the Ear Trumpet mics seem to be capacitors ruling them out for use with the S1 Pro unless a Phantom PSU or a mixer is added.
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:21 pm

A phantom PSU and a capacitor is probably the best solution given the more distant mic placement.

I've heard one of my favourite acoustic bands, Alden, Patterson and Dashwood, use a single capacitor mic on stage for one number, and it worked pretty well (I think that was an Ear Trumpet mic, or one that looked very like it), although a bit middley compared to the standard micing arrangement. But they were actively grouped around it standing up, rather than just using it for a bit reinforcement. But then again, it was a 400 seat venue, so too large for purely acoustic projection.
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:32 pm

Wonks wrote:
Have you considered a C1000? :D

I ended up using my old C1000s as a drum overhead last week (not to FOH, just for in Ear monitoring). I may have found its true calling :bouncy:
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Wonks » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:36 pm

Music Wolf wrote:
Wonks wrote:
Have you considered a C1000? :D

I ended up using my old C1000s as a drum overhead last week (not to FOH, just for in Ear monitoring). I may have found its true calling :bouncy:

Plus you can also use it to keep the drummer in check by threatening to drop it on his head.
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:36 pm

Bluegrass bands do it all the time, Phil, the bass player out of https://www.hatfulofrain.co.uk used to be active on here, can't remember his forum name, and they used an Ear Trumpet mic live (a Louise IIRC). If you're around Phil?
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Rob Kirkwood » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:11 pm

blinddrew wrote:Cheers Wonks, sadly this particular friend is a couple of counties away - otherwise I'd have done just that!
Couple of counties which way Drew? I'm in Nottingham, have Bose S1 and go out weekly with it as singer/guitarist - be happy to help if I can in any way?

Personally I use Sennheiser e835 - which is also just about OK with the gain available on S1. When I play with drummer (acoustic kit) I need the mic channel maxed out to compete - guitar channel by comparison rarely needs to be above halfway no matter which guitar I've taken with me.

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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby blinddrew » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:41 pm

Thanks for all the comments folks (and the offer Rob, my friend is in Derbyshire so not a long way from you).
Will digest and sleep on it.
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby ef37a » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:02 am

Just a thought on "A small mixer and a gaggle of mics"?

The more mics you have open in a PA setup the less gain you get before ring.
Been a long time since I read it up but...Each mic decreases GBRing by 3dB for the same gain?

Slightly OT. I was in town yesterday and a busker was a good foot and a half off a dynamic but the Cube at his feet was putting out a very good, very clean level.

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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby blinddrew » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:59 am

Yeah, the small mixer and mics would work for me (especially as i have both) but it's not going to work for my friend really. The extra complexity is one thing (It's stands and cables) and the need for a power supply is the other.
The latter point also scuppers the LDC option - unless you can get battery powered spook juice units? :think:

::: heads off to the google :::
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby Wonks » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:14 am

You can.
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby CS70 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:26 pm

The Shure 55H (the "Elvis mic") is definitely a looker, unless your friend is a EDM act (but mandolins would seem odd).

As of the effectiveness as reinforcement, not really sure. People would have to move uncomfortably near and you probably couldn't gain it up so much. I had a go many years ago with a mic on stage to pick up a nylon string guitar and it was more pain than joy. But this was with a loud band, drums at all. If the ensemble isn't so loud, it may be worth giving it a shot.
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Re: Opinions / advice on a single mic live set up

Postby blinddrew » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:58 pm

I'd wondered about that. I'm currently thinking battery powered spook juice on a short xlr and an ldc. I'll have another chat with her and see if she can get her hands on anything to test out some options.
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