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Old Wednesday, February 16th, 2011, 02:06 PM
katanna's Avatar
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Need a podium microphone, suggestions?

Hey guys,

For those that don't know me: audio is not my strong suit! So I thought I would ask the experts (that's you!) what they would do in my case.

We have a large open sanctuary (photos below) and sometimes need a podium microphone (most recent example is at a funeral when a bunch of different people got up to speak). In the past we have just used a wireless or wired microphone on a stand, but a) it doesn't look good, b) doesn't pick up very well (very hollow as the microphone is a ways from their mouth), and c) we have problems with feedback through the choir monitors. (We try to find a balance between sounding good and letting the choir hear but aren't always successful.)

So we are looking for a good podium microphone that people of different heights can use but won't have feedback. I want to look at podium mounted solutions AND freestanding solutions. What would you do in our situation? Thanks in advance!

Photos:

Front of stage, wide:


Front of stage, close up:


Side angle, wide:


Side angle, close up:


From behind with choir monitors circled:


Matthew
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Old Wednesday, February 16th, 2011, 06:36 PM
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I'm a fan of the ClockAudio podium mics. I have a couple that I use pretty regularly for those types of things.

The Shure MX series of podium mics seem to be pretty well favored. Used those several times and have always had good results.

They both should have options to mount on a mic stand.

Also, with speaking mics why are they in the choir monitors (or any monitors for that matter)? I generally refuse to put speaking mics, podium mics, or choir mics in the monitors.

Actually, with the placement of those choir mics I'm surprised they are usable at all...especially for live mics.
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Old Wednesday, February 16th, 2011, 07:10 PM
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They are in the choir monitors because if they aren't people in the choir can't hear (or more accurately they can only hear what is bouncing around the room). When we don't have someone in the choir monitor we get an earfull!

Matthew
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Old Wednesday, February 16th, 2011, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katanna View Post
They are in the choir monitors because if they aren't people in the choir can't hear (or more accurately they can only hear what is bouncing around the room). When we don't have someone in the choir monitor we get an earfull!

Matthew
Oh yes, I forget about this... I don't work with choirs as often as I used to (thank goodness! )

I understand the need but I would have thought there was a better solution. Even floor wedges or sidefills seem like they would be a better solution.

Mic pickup pattern and placement could be crucial to help with feedback.

Based on the pictures I would suggest a super or hyper cardioid in order to put the choir monitors in the null. Keep in mind, this is going off pictures, but I'm assuming the choir monitors would be about 120 degrees off axis each side.
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Old Thursday, February 17th, 2011, 07:13 AM
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This Audio Technica U857AU might be a good option. This Sennheiser might work well too. They both have a tight pickup pattern.
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Old Thursday, February 17th, 2011, 11:27 AM
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Are those microphones silent while moving them? I used to edit city council meetings and 90% of the councils had gooseneck mics that would screech whenever someone re-positioned them (which was often).

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Old Thursday, February 17th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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You're probably going to have to make some tradeoffs. A tight pattern will help with gain before feedback and I immediately had the same thought that Les suggested with a hyper or super cardioid pattern with the null aimed at the monitors. However, the tighter pattern also means being less forgiving to people being off axis of the microphone or moving around, including dealing with proximity effect where the low frequency response will change as people move closer to the mic.

I can understand the choir wanting to hear the pastor, etc., but you may have to consider their not getting this mic. I don't know if you have a dedicated mix for the choir via an aux send or how you systems works but you may have to work with it a bit. If you have an available input you could split this microphone to two inputs so that you could possibly route and EQ it differently for the house and choir.

I do suggest making sure that the mic you get is RF resistant as podium and gooseneck mics are often the microphones most likely to be subjected to noise from cell phones, PDAs, etc. as people tend to lay these down right next to the mic.

I've used ClockAudio, the Shure MX series and the A-T Uni-Point mics, especially the 'short shotgun' version noted (although usually the AT857QU version with an XLR termination), with good results. I've also had good results with the Audio-Technica ES915ML/SML. Whether you want to have the microphone attached to the podium or to be able to easily remove it would effect which specific versions of the mics that you may want.
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Old Thursday, February 17th, 2011, 05:54 PM
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However, the tighter pattern also means being less forgiving to people being off axis of the microphone or moving around, including dealing with proximity effect where the low frequency response will change as people move closer to the mic.
Good point Brad. The off-axis issue can be troublesome and a good thing. Bad if the person you are trying to pick up is off-axis but good if there is an unwanted noise off-axis you are trying to reject.

As far as handling noise; in my experience there is always some handling noise, but I've never had excessive noise with any of the units I've mentioned. I would suspect that most quality mics handling noise would be fairly low.
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Old Thursday, February 17th, 2011, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les View Post
As far as handling noise; in my experience there is always some handling noise, but I've never had excessive noise with any of the units I've mentioned. I would suspect that most quality mics handling noise would be fairly low.
Something I saw at another venue to reduce handling noise were signs taped to the podiums that read "don't touch the mic". Worked fine for the one event I did there; maybe it would help here too.
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Old Friday, February 18th, 2011, 07:11 PM
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Ok you guys know I am a loyalist EV guy but I gotta throw some love to Audix and AKG for pulpit mics. HOWEVER AKG has discontinued a bunch of their pulpit mics and have made me furious. I had a funeral home chain (weird idea huh?) order 6 and we waited 3 months for them. They never came. The funeral home owner had used several AKG pulpit mics but once I gave him the Audix pulpit mics he never looked back. I have had excellent luck with Audix and it's made in the USA. Very low handling noise and terrific pickup.

As far as a specific item I would recommend the Audix Micropod 18".
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Old Monday, February 21st, 2011, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions guys, it is helping a bunch.

One last thought: What about a wireless podium microphone? We currently have Sennheiser wireless units but it may be easier (less permanent) to get another wireless solution for this. Any suggestions, or would this be a bad idea?

Matthew
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Old Monday, February 21st, 2011, 01:57 PM
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I'll second Les: use floor wedges and/or side fills for choir monitors. Yours are WAY too far away from the choir.
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