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Thread: Do you carry your own Microphone?

  1. #1
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    Default Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Just curious how many of you BYOMicrophone when you play out- if you have a dedicated microphone for your mandolin, what is it? Do you just use whatever the sound guy has?

    I mostly play in church settings, and am thinking about starting to carry my own mic because I've been burned the last few times I played out.

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    I usually do my own sound, so I do carry microphones, and would be likely to bring one -- though I have no trouble using the "sound guy's" mics if they're "standards" like Shure SM-57's and -58's.

    Recently I've been using MXR condenser mics pretty consistently. I don't generally do high-volume gigs, so I can quite often work with vocals and instruments through a single mic.

    Of course, the use of condenser mics is contingent upon your mixer having proper phantom power, or your bringing a phantom power unit if the board lacks it.

    For my seniors' residences gigs, I use a Fender Amp Can as the amplifier, and a couple cheap Samson dynamic mics with line transformers. one for voice, one for instrument. Works OK when higher volume and sound quality's not particularly needed, but just a little volume boost to reach audiences in small rooms, where many listeners have some level of hearing impairment.

    If you find a mic that works particularly well with your instrument, you'd be well-advised to bring it along, although you also need a properly adjusted mixer and good-quality amp to make the set-up work -- and the latter two may be out of your hands.
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    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    I agree with Allen, lots of reasonable stuff in his post, I would only add that if in doubt, I keep a RØDE M3 with me, it can run on phantom power or a 9V battery

    http://www.rode.com/microphones/m3
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    In my recent experience, I decided to use a microphone (rather than a pick-up) for quite a small gig and started off the night with a Shure 58. After a bit I decided I wasn't happy and switched over to a Shure 57 which I found caught the sound much better.

    This is pretty much what most people say is best - use a 58 for vocals and a 57 for instrument, but I had forgotten that the difference could be so noticeable.

    So if you find that the sound guy is only offering you a 58, then it is perhaps wise to carry a 57 with you.
    Having said that, sound people often have their own preferences too, and it is usually a good idea to see what they want to do first.

    But in general, it's worth trying to understand more about sound so you have a clear idea about what you need and can quickly tell that to the sound person. If it's your own band members who are doing the sound then you should take time to practise sound in the same way as you would practise the actual music.
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Yep. Sony ECM77.
    Preferred use is as a lavallier which I just use as is to pick up rear of mandolin or fiddle plus vocals.
    I also have two others on Rean mini xlr connectors which are mounted behind the bridge of the mandolin and fiddle when I’m in noisier situations. These give a close mic higher output for less gain & higher output before feedback. I also have a hood for the capsules if there is any feedback problem, but that alters the sound so needs tweaking to get it flat.
    The mini xlr plugs into my belt pack which also takes my return audio to the earpiece. At the stage-box end I plug in the phanthom power supply/converter.
    If doing that I use an AKG c1000 cardoid for vocals.
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    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    A lot of our musicians carry their own instrument or vocal mics. Because I have a lot of nice mics myself, it doesn't matter much, but I can see why the desire to use your own exists. The key is in the consistency, not necessarily the quality. Let me explain: the most important factor in sound quality in a live situation is the crowd itself. Noisy? Quiet and attentive? Next comes the physical dimensions of the venue, meaning small with reflective surfaces or larger and more natural sounding. Then, on to the main speakers and their placement, the system, the sound guy, then the mics.

    I'll use singers as an example here, just because the effect is more dramatic. The microphones come last for a very important reason: if you're not consistent in their use and you're not understanding of proper mic technique, it's irrelevant. Some very seasoned pro singers get amazingly beautiful results out of good old SM58's. Some younger singers bring Neumann's or Ear Trumpets or whatever they think is cool and sound horrible. They don't sound check how they perform in an actual performance. They mumble through the sound check then sing loudly during the performance. They sing soft passages a foot away from the mic, making themselves barely audible, then get right on top when they're screaming out, causing all sorts of clipping.

    You don't need a great, label-conscious microphone, you need a good, reliable one that you practice on and use consistently. Do you want a clip-on? Many like them, and then again, some really phenomenal performers don;t use them, they'd prefer a nice small diaphragm condenser at waist level they cam move around and use to volume-control effect. But you need to play in reasonably quiet places for that.

    Any way you look at it, it makes sense to have your own, but not if you don't practice with it.

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    Registered User Chunky But Funky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    I always carry my own mics, for previously mentioned reason of consistency not necessarily quality. If there is phantom power available, I always use an Audio Technica Pro37. Although I almost always still carry a small acoustic pedalboard with my DTAR Solstice, which can power / EQ the Pro37. If phantom is unavailable, I will use an EV ND468 or Shure SM57. For vocals I always carry either EV ND 767's or 967's.

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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Yes..... AKG C 1000 a pair of them. These mics will work on phantom power but they are also battery backup so a 9v battery is part of my gear. The only additional concern for this mic is the barrel size so I carry specific mic clamps for them. You never know what is going to be there for you to use. Sometimes it's great .... but not most times. Your music has to be heard to be appreciated and making sure that is the case is part of the gig. R/
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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    I usually provide my own compact PA system at gigs, because our gigs are usually small-scale (weddings, corporate events, etc.).

    Occasionally I've played at events and festivals using a house PA, and I bring the same set of DPA 4099 clip-on mini condenser mics I use with my own PA system. I have a few old SM-57's in the bottom of my gear bag for emergencies, but I've never had to use 'em.

    The clip-on mics have a little more gain before feedback than external mics due to proximity, and any competent sound engineer should be able to handle these mics. I think I've only had one or two occasions when the sound guy was puzzled at first, and had to figure out where the phantom power switch was on the mixer, because they never used anything but dynamic mics.

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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    I bring my own mics, I have a Shure Beta 57 and a Beta 58. One for instrument and one for vocals. we usually use our own board unless the venue has their own sound guy, advanced board, etc.
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    I normally plug in but always carry at least two mics for vocals

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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    I typically only play in church, either with our youth praise band or with the praise band that typically plays at our earlier service. With the youth band I'm blessed to have a sound tech who does sound for his son's band, which plays mostly screamo/very heavy metal. (Kairos is their name, and they're getting a bit of a following in the greater Charlotte area, opening for larger acts at some cool venues. Great group of guys, extremely talented, and they've made a conscious effort to have "clean" lyrics despite their hard driving sound, so your young ones can listen without concern for them dropping F bombs ) We use his board and mics, and he's great at adjusting settings to get us sounding our best. With the other band, we're a little more limited by the sanctuary's inputs and have to get creative at times. I carry a SM-57, SM-58, an a Rode NT1 in my bag, but rarely have to use them. Good to have, though, if we have extra people playing, or both bands are playing in different locations (which can suck up the church's mics pretty quickly).
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandowood View Post
    Just curious how many of you BYOMicrophone when you play out- if you have a dedicated microphone for your mandolin, what is it? Do you just use whatever the sound guy has?

    I mostly play in church settings, and am thinking about starting to carry my own mic because I've been burned the last few times I played out.
    Sound is vital - you didn't put all that time in learning to play to just chance it all to the vagaries of existent room dynamics. Unless you're absolutely confident in the available gear at the venue, better pack along your own support gear.
    Last edited by catmandu2; Nov-22-2017 at 2:18pm.

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    My 4-person band is a Gospel band, so we do a lot of big and small churches... And some amusement park venues. And some local TV shows. And some Sunday morning shows at festivals.

    Optimum sound for us is 6 mics, one for me on banjo or mandolin or Dobro (I don't sing) and one for our fiddler/vocalist (who uses the same single mic for both), and two for our rhythm guitarist/vocalist and two for our bass player/vocalist.

    We practice without mics or monitors and balance ourselves extremely carefully so if we do our own sound we know we can set it once for the venue and leave it that way. We prefer to perform without monitors, so neither of our two sound systems include them...

    We actually have two complete sound systems, one is AC powered and heavy, including both dynamic (both radio and cable) and condenser mics, and the other is battery powered and light, including only dynamic cable mics.

    Our large AC powered sound system gets used for the odd programs that we do, such as for street fairs, market nights, school gymnasium or outdoor functions and etc., and we charge extra for using it. This is a heavy (LBP) system so we check first about needing to bring it. But we will if necessary.

    In contrast, our battery powered system is light and simple, and really not powerful enough to cover more than a small venue, but, the dynamic mics/stands/cables are good and sufficient for major programs if needed.

    Most festivals have hired a sound crew, so for those we usually don't mention that we have brought equipment along "just in case", unless something comes up that indicates that it might be helpful. But we do usually bring along our battery powered system because it's easy and light, mostly for the mics.

    Local TV studios usually have their own sound people, or at least camera people who also know something about sound. That said, most TV studios that we've played for tend to be more interested in video than in sound, so while we won't typically bring sound equipment, if the studio has a history of sound problems (and we do check around to find this out), we won't hesitate to bring mics and/or make suggestions. This kind of local TV programming tends to have a large audience and it often gets repeated many times, so we have a special interest in their sound being good.

    The amusement park venue that we usually play for has their own equipment and they're very reliable about setting it up and monitoring it. It's a rural apple-orchard/establishment in the foot hills, so it's not impossible for them to have a power outage, and/or to have to move us inside out of the rain or snow. So I bring along our battery powered sound system and our dynamic mics, just in case. It's payed off once or twice, but 99% of the time we use their sound system and their expertise. They do an excellent job.

    For big churches (> ~500 seats, etc.), they usually have their own sound (and video) crew and equipment and rather than confuse them with our equipment, or insult them with our sound expertise, I leave our equipment home. It's their circus and their monkeys; if the sound doesn't come out right, they know it's their problem.

    For small churches, most of them have speakers and mixers and a few mics/stands/cables, but they may not have enough to cover our band. I tend to bring our battery operated system to these churches, not expecting to use the speakers/mixer, but expecting to use at least some of our mics/stands/cables. The only problem with this is that it's easy to get our sound equipment confused with theirs, so we mark our equipment clearly so we won't accidentally take home something belonging to the church, or we won't accidentally leave something belonging to us.
    -- Don

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    Registered User Hallmark498's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Yes, AT4040 and Sure KSM 27

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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    +1 on the audio technica pro 37, I used it interchangeably on mando and guitar with a clear, natural sound. Very small condenser and no battery backup but I haven't encountered a PA without phantom power in decades. Condensers have a wider, more natural frequency response and deeper pickup range thanks to being preamped. Be 6" away from them is no problem. An SM58 is vocal mic and heavily curved for the frequency range of the human voice, fine for the lower half of the mando range. The old SM57 is the workhorse dynamic mic of the rock stage, put 'em in front of drums or a loud amp, no problem, indestructible. Sensitivity is not in their vocabulary. If you need a dynamic mic not requiring phantom power, spend the extra to get the newer beta 57.

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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    I carry my own, just in case. Only two places do I never worry about the sound systems: the Hollonvillle Opry and the Williamson Music Barn.

    Both of these venues are located south of Atlanta in rural Georgia, only a few miles apart. They carry on a Southern tradition of music for everyone on Friday and Saturday night. Groups wait weeks to play at both. No one gets paid and there's no admission charge. Both have excellent sound systems and acoustics and the audience has theatre seating.

    Each venue holds a couple of hundred people and it's always SRO. What makes these places fun to play is the fact that the audience really, really enjoys the music and they let you know. There are usually 3 acts and the show doesn't kick off until after the opening prayer then it 3+ hours of fun. None of the musicians bring their own equipment. They're happy to use the house stuff.

    Donations are accepted but not required and food is available, again, only donations. The Hollonville venue is an old converted seed barn and has been "in business" for over 25 years.
    David Hopkins

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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Yes, my own KSM 141 for mandolin. I'll use whatever vocal mic.
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    It might be helpful to know how you "got burned"?

    But I guess it doesn't matter, to the question, there is wisdom in always having what you need in a mic just in case the house hasn't provided what's suitable. Still, you could get burned by a sound guy even with your own mic.
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Most of the time I use a Schertler on the mandolin. When I use a mic, I've got on SM57 that is way better than any of them I've tried--very condenser-like in every way. I always take my own vocal mic--you don't know who's been spitting on the venue's mics.
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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    I'm not sure about installing pickups in a couple of vintage instruments I recently acquired, so I just started bringing along a mic, cable and mini-boom arm to clamp to any stand when I play out with either vintage box and need to plug in. I got a pretty good deal on a used Audix i5 and a used MXL 603S. Still considering a good quality clip-on.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    In the beginning of my career I carried my own mics but after achieving the level of fame and fortune that I have I no longer have to carry them myself.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Just put it in the rider, Mike...
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    Just put it in the rider, Mike...
    Along with the brown M&M's. Got it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Do you carry your own Microphone?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    In the beginning of my career I carried my own mics but after achieving the level of fame and fortune that I have I no longer have to carry them myself.
    Me, too. 'Cause I'm pushing the cart with the speakers.
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