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Using electromagnetic coil mics in live installation.

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Using electromagnetic coil mics in live installation.

Postby james_irwin » Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:29 pm

I'm using electromagnetic coil mics - like the ones sold by Jez Riley French here: https://jezrileyfrench.co.uk/coil-pick-ups.php - in a live performance for an art installation.

At the moment in my tests I'm using a Zoom H1 to preamplify the coil mic signal before sending it to a Cambridge Audio A300 amp connected to a speaker. It works fine, but I would like to replicate this across 3 or 4 different setups.

Could anyone recommend an affordable way of amplifying the signal from the coil pick up mics for live play through please? Looking into various different preamps online, I cant tell what might be suitable for these microphones.
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Re: Using electromagnetic coil mics in live installation.

Postby James Perrett » Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:01 pm

Probably almost anything with a mic or instrument input would work. I'd probably look at a cheap mixer sending the signal to one or more powered speakers.

Something like

https://www.andertons.co.uk/live-pa/pa- ... x-mic-pres

The choice of speaker would depend on the size of the listening space.
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Re: Using electromagnetic coil mics in live installation.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:18 pm

Given that this thing is more or less analogous to a guitar pickup how about some cheap guitar line booster pedals, start from around £30? If all the mics are to feed the same speakers a mixer would probably be more cost effective but you mention three or four different installations which would need a mixer for each one. On the plus side guitar pedals are simple, compact and robust. The only problem would be whether the mic/pickup can supply sufficient level, electric guitars have a typical output somewhere between a mic and a line level signal, if these pickups are closer to mic level that may not be enough.
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Re: Using electromagnetic coil mics in live installation.

Postby james_irwin » Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:17 am

Brilliant thank to for your advise on this, much appreciated. I'll check out both the options.
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Re: Using electromagnetic coil mics in live installation.

Postby ef37a » Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:00 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Given that this thing is more or less analogous to a guitar pickup how about some cheap guitar line booster pedals, start from around £30? If all the mics are to feed the same speakers a mixer would probably be more cost effective but you mention three or four different installations which would need a mixer for each one. On the plus side guitar pedals are simple, compact and robust. The only problem would be whether the mic/pickup can supply sufficient level, electric guitars have a typical output somewhere between a mic and a line level signal, if these pickups are closer to mic level that may not be enough.

Fair enough suggestion Sam but, guitar 'booster' pedals are not always totally linear. They might have some slight 'edge' built in? They can also contain frequency shaping components to 'voice' the pedal. Definitely avoid any pedals with tone controls because you cannot guarantee 12 o'clock is flat. Then, most of them run from 9 volts and that gives very limited headroom. Mind you the coil's site page is singularly unhelpful about sensitivity or impedance!

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Re: Using electromagnetic coil mics in live installation.

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:06 pm

That is true, my reading of the OPs use case was for an interactive art installation so I assumed fidelity was not high on the list of requirements. I was going to suggest cheap distortion/overdrive pedals might be a higher gain alternative with the caveat that a fair bit of tone mangling would be a side effect :D
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Re: Using electromagnetic coil mics in live installation.

Postby ef37a » Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:37 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:That is true, my reading of the OPs use case was for an interactive art installation so I assumed fidelity was not high on the list of requirements. I was going to suggest cheap distortion/overdrive pedals might be a higher gain alternative with the caveat that a fair bit of tone mangling would be a side effect :D

Yup! We don't really know what he is at.

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