Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Microphones, To Sing Or Not To Sing?

Microphones, To Sing Or Not To Sing?

Using the right mic for the right application is the key to success or the element of failure to a live show. Determining what’s the right mic for the right application is vital. Vocalists and instruments use different types of mics to get the best sound quality for live shows. It is a good idea to do your research when planning what to pack in your live rig.

Typically for live vocals, the standard mic to always have on hand is the Shure Beta 58. It is a dynamic mic with a high output and a durable steel mesh grill making it ideal for live vocals. For high volume vocalists that are going to be pushing the limits of the mic, investing in a higher end dynamic mic is highly recommended. The Electro Voice N/D967 is perfect for vocalists that love to hit those power notes because of it’s super cardioid pick up pattern with the highest gain before feedback to prevent peaking.

When selecting instrument mics, one of the best choices is one that is known as the workhorse of the industry, Shure SM57. This mic has been an industry standard for many decades, and for good reason; dynamic, durable, and versatile, the SM57 can be used for many different applications. Typically it is best used to mic the snare and high hat on a drum kit, and for the mids and highs of the guitar amp. This dynamic cardioid mic can be spotted on practically any stage around the world, and will always be one of the basic requirements of any live set up. In a pinch, it can also be used to mic the bass amp, although a better choice for that would be the AudixD6. This mic is made for extended low frequencies, with lower impedance than standard ones, which leads to less chances of interference.

Investing in a mic kit for drums is the most economical and practical way to go, as it will give you the basic requirements for the majority of the drum kit. Sennheiser’s E-600 drum kit is an excellent choice for most standard kits, it includes four tom mics, kick drum mic and two condenser mics for the overheads, allowing for full range capture of the drums. In addition to the mics in the drum pack, it’s a good idea to also include an additional mic for the bass tom. Using the Audix D-6, and placing it under the bass tom will allow for the full bottom range of the tom, giving the kit a richer and wider sound, along with two SM57’s, as mentioned earlier for the high hat and snare.  Proper placement of these mics is also essential for the best drum sounds, and ensures they stay out of the drummer’s way.

As always, when searching for the best quality and fit for your budget, do your research. Utilizing sites such as Gearslutz and Harmony Central will give you ratings and professional opinions from those in the know.

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