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Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

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Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby jcmathews » Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:56 pm

Hi - apologies in advance for what may be a very elementary question in a professional level forum. I'm not a sound engineer, just a guitar player in a band trying to solve a problem.

Our lead vocalist uses a Sennheiser EW 100 945 wireless system, processed through a Voicelive 3 Extreme. It sounds great, but if the mic is not very close to her mouth it cuts out, as if it is set to shut off if the input isn't hot enough. Is that because it's a supercardoid mic, or could it be some kind of sensitivity setting in the mic receiver or the Voicelive? As it is, she's not able to move the mic around to control her voice volume.

We lost our sound guy a few weeks back, and this is a new mic for our vocalist, so we're just trying to sort it out -- mostly stumbling around in the dark. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
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Re: Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby MOF » Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:24 pm

I think you have a ‘gate’ function enabled, there might be one in the Voicelive 3 Extreme or less likely the radio mic’ system. Experiment with the latter to see if the audio meter on the receiver is going to zero when the audio no longer sounds. If it doesn’t then the fault isn’t there.
I did wonder about the mic’s squelch control but that only mutes when there’s poor reception, and the compansion system is the only other possibility, experiment with settings there.
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Re: Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:35 pm

There are several possibilities, as MOF has outlined.

I'd start by arranging to listen purely to the output of the radio mic receiver, to make sure you're getting a solid healthy signal from that. And then if that's good you can work through the voice live to sort out the processing in that.

One thing about the radio mic -- if the radio signal strength falls below a set threshold the receiver will mute (it's called Squelch and there's a setting for high medium and low levels).

There are lots of reasons why the RF signal level can fall, but the usual ones are excessive distance between the mic and the receiver, lots of metal work around and between the two, the receiver being too close to sources of interference (digital mixers, laptops etc), or the aerials not being erected correctly and clear of other equipment.

It's also worthwhile making sure that you've optimised the audio signal strength from the transmitter by setting the mic sensitivity correctly.
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Re: Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby Wonks » Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:26 pm

There is a noise gate within the vocal tone block in the TC. You may need to turn this off or if you still want it, set a threshold manually. I believe the default is 'adaptive', but it may be that it still just thinks the singer' s input is too quiet so it shuts down. P170+171 of the English PDF manual.
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Re: Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby jcmathews » Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:35 pm

Wonks wrote:There is a noise gate within the vocal tone block in the TC. You may need to turn this off or if you still want it, set a threshold manually. I believe the default is 'adaptive', but it may be that it still just thinks the singer' s input is too quiet so it shuts down. P170+171 of the English PDF manual.

Is the noise gate a global setting or ir it specific to a particular preset? I don't have the unit here with me, but I'll be able to try it later today.
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Re: Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:52 pm

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Re: Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby Wonks » Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:44 pm

It's a global setting.
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Re: Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby Wonks » Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:45 pm

I don't have a unit at all, but its easy to find the manual on the Helicon website.
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Re: Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby jcmathews » Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:12 pm

Found the gate setting in the manual, thanks!
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Re: Mic cuts out when not very close to singer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Dec 13, 2020 4:13 pm

Obviothrough he cutting out problem could well be a gate in the voice processor. But it shouldn't be cutting out the wanted audio, and if it is that suggests too low an input signal level which, in turn, suggests a gain structure problem.

So rather than simply turning the gate mode off and carrying on, it really would be worthwhile working through the complete signal path to optimise the radio mic's RF signal strength, the audio level from the transmitter, the audio level out of the receiver, and the audio level going into and through the voice processor...

Getting the gain structuring right will give the most reliable system with the best technical and audible performance. If the gain structure isn't optimised you risk unwanted noise or overloads, as well as unpredictable unreliability.
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