Omnidirectional or Cardioid?

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Postby Guest » 08/07/05 09:41 PM

Hi guys,
Just upgraded from a wired microphone system to a Shure SLX bodypack wireless system. Now for the biggie question; an omnidirectional, or cardioid lavalier? Any advice?
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Postby BlueEyed Videot » 08/07/05 09:58 PM

You want the most off-axis noise rejection you can get, and that means cardioid.

Omni-directional mics, because of their spherical sensitivity, will feed back more, and thus, you will not be able to turn up the gain as much as you will with a cardioid. I've seen cases where the feedback was so bad, the gain had to be backed off so much, that the mic wasn't amplifying the vocal at all!

For PA work, 99% of the time you're going to want a cardioid.
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Postby Guest » 08/07/05 10:13 PM

Richard,
Thanks so much for this information. Now... super cardioid or just regular cardioid?

Thanks,
Kevin
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/08/05 08:51 AM

I must be living in the stone age, but I'm really glad one of our readers understands it! :)
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Postby Pete Biro » 08/08/05 09:00 AM

Richard... you hook the cardiod to the frammus and link the whameter to the freeloid. It's not that hard to understand. :rolleyes:
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Postby Seth Kramer » 08/08/05 09:06 AM

Check out the microphones at Countryman (www.countryman.com), I use the E6 which is on their home page. the sound quality is fantastic with virtually no feedback ever! Although this isn't a traditional lavaliere mic, because of the fleshtone covering, it is virtually invisible from a short distance.
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Postby Bill Palmer » 08/08/05 09:30 AM

Getting the most noise rejection generally means getting a super cardioid mic.

The flesh tone mic is NOT virtually invisible at a short distance. It looks like an oddly-shaped wart. However, it is innocuous enough that people forget about it after a while.

There are also mics that can be placed in the hairline that work very well.

If you can find a sound consultant locally -- look for one who isn't deaf, by the way -- get him or her to help you.
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Postby Guest » 08/08/05 05:04 PM

I am no expert, but I thought the options for lav mics was omnidirectional, or unidirectional. In which case I have been told that Omni is better because it will pick up a voluteer's voice. Plus if you move around a lot on stage, omni also corrects for that... is this wrong? I am also in the market soon for a new lav. I think I am currently using an omni (I would have to check) and feedback has not been a problem...
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Postby Guest » 08/08/05 06:33 PM

Richard, I've just finished the testing and want to report that Pete Biro's instructions will only work if you complete his steps while stripped naked and baying at the moon, on the second Monday in August. There, that should clear things up!
:D

Thanks guys. Super cardioid it is!

I don't care if the mic picks up my volunteer just as long as the audience can hear ME. I also don't appreciate hearing a performer "rustling" through his prop case. This is the main reason I am now against an omni. Additionally, I don't like ANY of the headsets... flesh colored or not. I think they ALL make the performer look like an obnoxious telemarketer. Sorry, just my opinion.

Thanks again for the advice,
Kevin
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Postby Brian Morton » 08/08/05 06:50 PM

Kevin, when you were doing the testing and were stripped naked and baying at the moon tonight -- what direction were you facing? ;)

Seriously -- I once felt the same way you did about headset mics. I came out of many years in radio and broadcasting, and I felt that headset mics make you look like a Time-Life operator (and I said as much in a review I once wrote of a Franz Harary show that I saw in Atlantic City).

However, last fall I had the chance to use a veteran performer's headset mic (juggler Michael Rosman, who has appeared on Letterman, among other places) and his was so comfortable and so virtually invisible (his was "white-people toned" and I'm a black guy) that I was sold on it instantly.

It was, like you read above, the Countryman E6. Not the cheapest in the world, but I think it will change your mind if you ever have the chance to try one out in a real world situation.

brian :cool:
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Postby Pete Biro » 08/09/05 08:48 AM

I've kept this a secret for a long time... but, while working comedy clubs I developed a rectal microphone.

Totally invisible to the audience. Only problem, everything you say sounds like ***t :D
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Postby Guest » 08/09/05 09:23 AM

The theater where I am currently working as a musician uses hairline style mics on all the actors. They are flesh colored, and invisible to the audience after about six feet. They are connected to wirelss body packs (usually under the costumes), and REALLY work well I will try to find out who the manufacturer fis rom the soundman....

Mark Pettey
spending the summer in the pit
Naples, FL
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Postby Guest » 08/09/05 06:37 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
I've kept this a secret for a long time... but, while working comedy clubs I developed a rectal microphone.

Totally invisible to the audience. Only problem, everything you say sounds like ***t :D
Pete... I think I have seen those. They work great in conjunction with the "crack" cam. :D

TRUMPETMAN, Let me know if you learn more about those hairline mics.

Kevin
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Postby Brian Morton » 08/09/05 09:02 PM

Pete --

Rectum? You damn near killed 'em! :whack:

brian :cool:

(It had to be said.)
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Postby Guest » 08/10/05 02:25 AM

Pete;
How does your mike react to a Frequency Actuated Rectal Tremor?
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Postby Guest » 08/10/05 07:20 AM

Kevin,

Sorry I haven't replied on the hairline mics yet. Monday and Tuesday were days-off at the theater. Tonight we go back to work. I will ask the soundman at tonights show.

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
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Postby Bill Palmer » 08/10/05 12:17 PM

Originally posted by Eric Buss:
I am no expert, but I thought the options for lav mics was omnidirectional, or unidirectional. In which case I have been told that Omni is better because it will pick up a voluteer's voice. Plus if you move around a lot on stage, omni also corrects for that... is this wrong? I am also in the market soon for a new lav. I think I am currently using an omni (I would have to check) and feedback has not been a problem...
Most "unidirectional" lav mikes are actually cardioid. Omnidirectional will pick up a volunteer's voice, if they speak loudly. But there should be no difference in the way an omnidirectional picks up in any position on the stage. This is more of a function of the kind of receiver you have. A true diversity receiver corrects for the position of the transmitter on stage.


Feedback is caused by the microphone picking up the sound coming from the speaker and running it back through the amplifier. There are electronic circuits that will eliminate this to some degree or another, but I still haven't found one that is 100% perfect.

Feedback will not be a problem with an omnidirectional mike if the microphone is not located in the area where the speakers are sending out sound waves. That is, if the speakers are in front of you, aiming towards the audience, rather than behind you. If you have monitor speakers on stage, aimed toward you, then they should be turned off or turned down to a low enough volume that they are not picked up by the microphone.

When I worked comedy clubs with my wireless units, I found that I could hear the speakers well enough without using the monitors, that I could tell what was going on with my music and with my speaking. So, I would instruct the sound man to turn off the monitors when I went onstage, because the mikes I had were omnidirectional.
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Postby Guest » 08/10/05 07:25 PM

What is the problem with the Mind and Magic Forum...It does not seem to come up.....opie
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Postby Guest » 08/10/05 09:13 PM

Originally posted by Opie R.:
What is the problem with the Mind and Magic Forum...It does not seem to come up.....opie
This thread is still too young to be hijacked!
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Postby Guest » 08/11/05 07:17 AM

Splurge. Get one of the upper-end Samson units. They're AMAZING. From a 4,000 seat theater to an outdoor gig in the rain, your sound will be crisp and clear. EVRYONE will hear everything you say from a shout to a whisper.

And make sure your speakers are at roughly your height while onstage, and spread as far to the sides as is practical. You want as much point-of-presence as you can get.

Banzai
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Postby Guest » 08/11/05 09:03 AM

OK, talked with the soundman at the theater, and he sez the actors are using the Countryman B6 mics. At any given time in the current show, we have as many as ten of these active onstage. They sound real clean from the audience, though as Mr. Palmer pointed out earlier, they can look sort of warty when you are less than 6-8 feet from the person wearing them. From out in the house of a 350 seat theater, however, they are literally not visable. They are not cheap, but they are well made, and seem to last. Hope this helps your quest.....
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Postby Guest » 08/11/05 01:46 PM

Like Seth (and maybe because of him!) I use the Countryman E6 at tradeshows. Countryman has mikes that have an earpiece and are taped down so the "mike" is next to your mouth. They also have the hairline type referred to in this thread. Once you have the countryman, you still need a microphone transmitter and receiver (assuming you are going wireless) so you'll have to choose from the many, many available. I use Audio-Technica and like what they have, but that is just one of many. Since I am an ignoramous when it comes to sound systems (and much else sadly), I'd be interested in hearing what other systems people have had success with (like Samson for example). Finally, Countryman has both omni and uni-directional mikes. I chose Omni and have had no problems because I'm up there alone, there are no other mikes that might cause feedback (and I'm far enough away from my speakers). I'd also be interested in what the Theatre in the thread uses, though keep in mind they don't have the issue of carting all this hardware around the country.

Good topic.
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Postby Guest » 08/13/05 09:33 PM

Guys,
I just performed my first show today using the Shure SLX body pack and a Shure WL184 Supercardioid microphone. It worked PERFECTLY. No feedback at all, and thanks to the SLX system, it produced a crisp, rich sound. The soundman at our local shop assured me that I would be happy with the SLX and he was certainly right. He explained that the SLX actually compresses the audio signal and then converts it into digital. Well, sure... O.K. My eyes were glazing over during his talk, but I must say that I am extremely happy with my new setup. Glad I went with the Supercardioid mic too.

Just thought some of you might like to know how it worked.

Kevin
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Postby Guest » 09/16/05 05:19 AM

I have been using the Countryman E6 for a year and really love it. A note on the wire that runs down your back and connects to your body pack transmitter: You can order a 2mm or a 1mm thick wire. I originally ordered the 2mm wire because the ad copy said it was more durable. Indeed it was very strong, but it was so heavy and stiff that it kept pulling the mic off my ear. I tried adjusting it for several shows, but he problem persisted. I swapped out the 2mm wire for the 1mm wire and now have no problem. One trick I figured out to keep even the 1mm wire from pulling the mic off my ear is this: 1. Put the mic on your ear and let the wire hang down your back. 2. Pull up the wire so you get about three inches of slack wire resting next to your left shirt collar. 3. Gaff tape the wire to your shirt close to your left shoulder blade. END This little trick has prevented the mic from dislodging from my ear.
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Postby Guest » 11/29/07 03:04 PM

When I bought my E6 directional a few years ago, I was one of the first to custom order it from Countryman with the directional hypercardioid setup. After I told a lot of people about it, they were interested, and since then, they've begun to offer them that way.

This is great for when you're working a club or in front of a bank of speakers and you don't want to have to worry about feedback or lengthy, touchy sound settings.

Still, as Bill said, you'll do better have any 'monitors' turned off.

And, remember, don't make the mistake that many performers make. Don't assume that just because you can't hear yourself loudly doesn't mean that the audience doesn't. I think that's a mistake that many of us make when we're setting up our own sound systems by ourselves. Don't fall in love with hearing yourself really loud onstage. You've heard your act before.
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Postby Guest » 11/29/07 03:05 PM

Originally posted by Slicer:
3. Gaff tape the wire to your shirt close to your left shoulder blade. END This little trick has prevented the mic from dislodging from my ear.
Didn't you receive the little clip that clips the wire to the back of your collar? Mine came with the mic, and it works great!
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