Archtop_Eddy
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Re: Microphones

I agree with ST that the best way to test mics/L1 is to take along the ToneMatch.  In the above example when I swapped out the Neumann KMS-105 for the Sennheiser e935, I was using a ToneMatch set to the Neumann.  The issues with feedback was not the fault of the L1, Neumann mic or ToneMatch. It was due to the limited stage space. The L1 was set directly next to me within 1 foot of my guitar and within three feet of my vocal mic.  To add to the issue, the table of "customers" in front of me were VERY loud and we had to play at above normal volume to accommodate. It was the perfect storm for feedback issues.  At this point, the best bet was to change mics to the e935.

Pangui
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Re: Microphones

To st and archtop eddy at the guitar the singer(daughter) did demo some mics through the l1 with a tonematch when we ask for the 105 , 965, shure well that's when we were told us NO at B&H photo you can demo them under supervision from a guy under pressure to sell you one, most of the replies suggest that owning a few type of mics is the way to go because as some members of the forum had stated a mic that works well in a particular venue may not work as well on another venue not because of the mic but because of the set up.

Oldghm
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Re: Microphones

Seeing as how this has become as much conversation as suggestions for the OP, let me talk a minute.

Over the years I have been fortunate to be around for sound checks of several national acts performing in local small venues. There are nearly as many methods of doing so as there are acts. Recently I watched a young man step on stage, walk to the mic and begin to wail like a sick animal. It took a minute for me to figure out he was giving the sound man a chance to set levels.

Many, perhaps most, show up and use whatever is on stage, but, some acts will have a special mic for the front person. Some might have a set of mics for the backup singers, but the one thing I have seen repeatedly is an act showing up with a sackful of SM 58's.

One duo in particular had 4 or 5 58's in a bag. Each was marked for identification. They choose one and tried it on the system. They knew in their mind what to expect from a particular one and depending on what they heard or felt they could go in one direction or another with the other mics to get the sound they wanted to hear. I couldn't hear any difference.

A friend of mine used to change one 58 for another in the middle of his show. He said that moisture from his breath changed the sound. Maybe, I don't know. 

To me there is a feel. It's not so much what I hear, it is how much effort does it take for me to sing. When the feeling is right, the sound coming out of the speaker is the same as what it feels like I am doing, that's what I want. Sometimes that sound might be thin or more mid rangy, and sometimes it might be warm with a well rounded bottom end, but if it feels right I am OK. When I open my mouth to utter something I want that utterance to come out of the speaker in all the glory I can muster at that moment. The voice is not the same every night or every show. We have to be able to tune into what we are capable of delivering right now, not what we did last Saturday.

I have been singing to audiences for more than 60 years, Over the last 14 years or so I have evolved as a singer. I don't have the range I used to have but I think I am a better singer now, because of the Bose L1's. It is much easier to dial in clarity and full warm sound in combination, than it ever was for me with previous equipment. I think the industry has changed in this same time period and everyone has upped their game to where Eq-ing is not as difficult or not needed as much to get good sound as it was 15 years ago.

Mics have changed too. Today's SM 58 is not the same mic that I bought in 1973. It is still a workhorse, extremely durable, dependable, and sounds good, but it too has evolved.

As I mentioned in my previous post here, working with the L1 series, in front of the speaker, feedback resistance is a high priority. That is why I choose super or hyper cardioid mics.

I don't think brand, price point, looks, or any other feature is as important as being able to set up and play without the inconvenience of feedback. As Archtop Eddy alluded to in previous posting, sometimes we are in situations where one choice won't work as well as another, but our sound doesn't have to change that much when we choose the mic that will work in that place at that time, assuming we have a choice. Given the choice of one expensive, or two lesser but slightly different mics, I probably would choose two.

ST earlier alluded to a mic demo that I set up at a conference, what seems like an eternity ago. We had 7 or eight different mics in L1 Classics, each one set to the same trim and volume level with eq flat and preset chosen for the mic in question. The mics ranged from the KMS 105 down to a Nady, or something similar, I had picked up at a pawn shop for a couple of dollars. There was an SM 58, something from Peavey, Sony, Sennheiser and another or two.

Time was given for those attending to get up and speak or sing through the various mics. It became more a demonstration of the value of the presets than a mic demo. I don't think anyone thought all the mics sounded alike, though in a perfect world with perfect presets, they might have, but, I think most attendees came away believing that if they had to, they could do a show with a KMS 105 or a $2 pawnshop find, and the presets really do work.

So, what ever mic you choose, what ever price point you buy at, keep in mind much of the work has been done for you. Some very smart people put together a sound system that is designed to reproduce your voice nearly exactly as it is. The mic companies have done the same. Yes, like Bose has their idea of sound, each mic company has their idea of what part of the vocal range to accent and what part to smooth out, but, if you plug a mic into an L1 and choose the equivalent preset, with eq set flat, you get an excellent starting place from which you can fine tune your sound.

O.. 

Eric_sson
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Re: Microphones

Eric'sson posted:
jdbassentertainment.com posted:
.........

The Super 55 has a great sound a little more detailed than the Beta 58a... Personally I perfer my voice on the Super 55 when I sing... plus it looks cool! 

..........

I have to agree with jdbassentertainment regarding the Super 55.

After trying several good quality vocal mics like the Shure Beta 85a etc all the best sounding mics gave me problems with feedback until I discovered the EV ND765 (wireless) which became my vocal mic of choice with clear sound and good feedback rejection, the only thing I didn't like about it was the plastic case but having said that it gave me no problems and was very light to hold. I used this mic for several years until ...

After trying a Sennheiser E965 (wireless) on recommendation from a friend I changed to this as it brought out the lower range of my vocals better than the EV, Then ....

I had a Shure Super 55 Deluxe at home on my keyboard rig, mostly because it looked cool. Decided to try it at a few gigs recently and was astounded at how clear and full a sound I was getting and no problems with feedback either, even got comments from the audience about how clear my vocals were. So this is my vocal mic of choice now, still use the Senn when I need to go wireless but always happy when I go back to the Super 55, a subtle difference but one I like.

I neglected to add to my previous post that I do not use the t1 tonematch mixer so do not have the benefit of the mic presets.

Pangui
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Re: Microphones

Oldghm posted:

Seeing as how this has become as much conversation as suggestions for the OP, let me talk a minute.

Over the years I have been fortunate to be around for sound checks of several national acts performing in local small venues. There are nearly as many methods of doing so as there are acts. Recently I watched a young man step on stage, walk to the mic and begin to wail like a sick animal. It took a minute for me to figure out he was giving the sound man a chance to set levels.

Many, perhaps most, show up and use whatever is on stage, but, some acts will have a special mic for the front person. Some might have a set of mics for the backup singers, but the one thing I have seen repeatedly is an act showing up with a sackful of SM 58's.

One duo in particular had 4 or 5 58's in a bag. Each was marked for identification. They choose one and tried it on the system. They knew in their mind what to expect from a particular one and depending on what they heard or felt they could go in one direction or another with the other mics to get the sound they wanted to hear. I couldn't hear any difference.

A friend of mine used to change one 58 for another in the middle of his show. He said that moisture from his breath changed the sound. Maybe, I don't know. 

To me there is a feel. It's not so much what I hear, it is how much effort does it take for me to sing. When the feeling is right, the sound coming out of the speaker is the same as what it feels like I am doing, that's what I want. Sometimes that sound might be thin or more mid rangy, and sometimes it might be warm with a well rounded bottom end, but if it feels right I am OK. When I open my mouth to utter something I want that utterance to come out of the speaker in all the glory I can muster at that moment. The voice is not the same every night or every show. We have to be able to tune into what we are capable of delivering right now, not what we did last Saturday.

I have been singing to audiences for more than 60 years, Over the last 14 years or so I have evolved as a singer. I don't have the range I used to have but I think I am a better singer now, because of the Bose L1's. It is much easier to dial in clarity and full warm sound in combination, than it ever was for me with previous equipment. I think the industry has changed in this same time period and everyone has upped their game to where Eq-ing is not as difficult or not needed as much to get good sound as it was 15 years ago.

Mics have changed too. Today's SM 58 is not the same mic that I bought in 1973. It is still a workhorse, extremely durable, dependable, and sounds good, but it too has evolved.

As I mentioned in my previous post here, working with the L1 series, in front of the speaker, feedback resistance is a high priority. That is why I choose super or hyper cardioid mics.

I don't think brand, price point, looks, or any other feature is as important as being able to set up and play without the inconvenience of feedback. As Archtop Eddy alluded to in previous posting, sometimes we are in situations where one choice won't work as well as another, but our sound doesn't have to change that much when we choose the mic that will work in that place at that time, assuming we have a choice. Given the choice of one expensive, or two lesser but slightly different mics, I probably would choose two.

ST earlier alluded to a mic demo that I set up at a conference, what seems like an eternity ago. We had 7 or eight different mics in L1 Classics, each one set to the same trim and volume level with eq flat and preset chosen for the mic in question. The mics ranged from the KMS 105 down to a Nady, or something similar, I had picked up at a pawn shop for a couple of dollars. There was an SM 58, something from Peavey, Sony, Sennheiser and another or two.

Time was given for those attending to get up and speak or sing through the various mics. It became more a demonstration of the value of the presets than a mic demo. I don't think anyone thought all the mics sounded alike, though in a perfect world with perfect presets, they might have, but, I think most attendees came away believing that if they had to, they could do a show with a KMS 105 or a $2 pawnshop find, and the presets really do work.

So, what ever mic you choose, what ever price point you buy at, keep in mind much of the work has been done for you. Some very smart people put together a sound system that is designed to reproduce your voice nearly exactly as it is. The mic companies have done the same. Yes, like Bose has their idea of sound, each mic company has their idea of what part of the vocal range to accent and what part to smooth out, but, if you plug a mic into an L1 and choose the equivalent preset, with eq set flat, you get an excellent starting place from which you can fine tune your sound.

O.. 

I couldn't  agree more about the l1 sound quality how faithfully reproduces sound, I guess that's  what I expect from a microphone to complement the l1, I own a few 58s and other mics they sound pretty good when using the l1 but with limitations specially on the low notes where the singer has to eat the mic I believe that prevents the sound to fully develope , the 58 does have its place on someone's gear I think some mics work  better than others depending  on the situation .

DJ JD BASS
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Re: Microphones

I think as a collective what has been learned here is there are many choices and depending on how much control you have over the environment were  you will be using the microphone will dictate how many choices you truly have. As several have stated there are many factors... total control would be a sound treated studio... as we move further from that space the more our selections to achieve optimal results narrow. 

Oldghm
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Re: Microphones

I'm going to talk some more. This is my opinion. It has not been corroborated by Bose, and I don't expect them to. "I think" I have applied the proper logic to come to this opinion. This is a layman's way of explaining, not the voice of an engineer. I'm open to other ideas, if you have one.

When the mic presets were created by Cliff Hendricksen, his goal was natural sound. He has never told me how many subjects he used in that creation, but I believe that it was not a single voice, but many voices over the years and a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience that brought us the presets.

They (Bose engineers) knew during the development of the L1 that in order to get the maximum possible SPL without feedback, users would have to use close mic technique. So, .......... when developing the presets, lips were very close or against the mic screen. Now, with the lips against the screen, the sound would exhibit the maximum proximity effect. Proximity effect is not natural sound. What to do? Remove it. In developing the presets two high end 1/3 octave 31 band equalizers were used in series and then the results were digitized and saved to be loaded into each new L1. So Cliff methodically listened and created a preset for the specific mics on the list, with the idea that if the controls were set flat, the user would get a natural sound of his or her voice with lips close to the mic. Pretty tall order, considering that no two voices are exactly alike. Now, there is some magic involved, and I don't know magic.

There is another element to the presets. What we don't hear. With two equalizers in series there is the potential for some massive cuts in frequencies that should never be in a vocal mic anyway. So even when those frequencies hit the mic they never really get into the system with great amplitude. It is possible that someone is turning up a LOW control trying to hear something that was cut deeper in the preset than the LOW control can boost. 

Now, if I've not bored you to death, you realize that to get the natural sound, with the controls set straight up, you have to start with your lips against or very close to the mic screen. If you back off while singing you immediately lose the proximity effect and the voice gets thin. That's right, the mic hasn't changed, we still have to deal with the properties that are inherent to it's design, the L1 system is designed to utilize a very specific mic use. Lips close.

Like voices, Not all mics are created equal. So, ............... if you don't like the sound of the preset for a SM 58, try the preset for an N/D 767, or something else. It will still have the qualities of a natural vocal but with a slightly different twist because of the differences in the mics.

Mics that have more proximity effect, will also cause a greater difference in sound with less movement in and out of the mic. If that makes sense, then you will understand that if a mic is known for having a lot of proximity effect, it could be harder to stay in the sweet spot, unless the sweet spot is with lips touching and you stay there.

When I first came to the L1 I found it very difficult to change old habits. With conventional equipment I was used to "working" the mic. My normal sound was found 3 to 4 inches away and I could move in for more bottom and out for louder passages. I had been doing that for many years, change was not easy. It is a normal way of singing and we see it done all the time with live performances on big stages. Performers work the mic.

With the L1 If we start twisting knobs with the mic 3 or 4 inches away from the lips, by the time we get the sound we want we have added back in the low end to get a natural sound and raised the volume level, then, when we move in close the proximity effect takes hold and the volume of the low end response goes up and we get feedback and wonder why.

So what to do?

I have come to some happy medium. I have learned to stay within 2 inches of the mic. I keep my T1 on the mic stand. Over the course of an evening I might make some minor changes in eq, or overall level, but for the most part I control volume and eq with that 2 inches of space. There is perhaps 10 db or a little more of volume available there just for the asking without changing any controls, just move in. I have learned to appreciate the clean, clear vocal sound without the boomy bass of a radio DJ or night talk show announcer, so I start with a sound that allows me to move in without boosting the bass too much.

Because we work in front of the speaker we should consider that we work on a loud stage, even if we aren't really that loud. In researching mics read a lot, and put those that are recommended for loud stages on your list.

I think that proximity effect is a bigger issue with the L1 than with conventional PA systems. With that in mind we either have to learn how to deal with it or look for mics that have been designed to reduce it, probably both because mics that are designed for high volume stages have some proximity effect, not all have as much as an SM 58, but it's still there.

O..

 

 

Archtop_Eddy
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Re: Microphones

Lots and lots of good stuff about mics and ToneMatch here. Thanks O. and others for providing the info.  With the Sennheiser e935, any thought about which ToneMatch preset to use?  Maybe the Sennheiser e855 or MD431-II, but not sure.  Any thoughts anyone?

DJ JD BASS
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Re: Microphones

One this I would like to bring up about proximity effect on mics that I have noticed is that some mics have a more muddy non musical sound. That SM58 is such a mic... to me the sound that comes from it in the lower frequencies when you get right up on it is down right nasty. That being said the Beta 58a has a much more useable sound in the low frequencies in the same situation. The KSM9 sounds even better and more smooth in the lows up close... my point being at least with Shure it seems the more you pay the more the proximity effect doesn’t matter and sonic mud turns the golden rich deep tones that sound good!

Oldghm
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Re: Microphones

Hi JD,

I think, and you can correct me if I am wrong, that your use of L1 systems is usually a little different than I am speaking of. In your case the systems are usually out front to one side or the other. That allows a bit more freedom with mic placement and use.

For a musician doing his own sound and working in front of an L1 there are more limitations to use, and him / her still getting feedback free volume.

I would agree that the SM 58 has a stronger, or more, proximity effect than many other mics, but, I hate to say anything bad about it because it is probably the most used mic in the world and that can't be all bad.

With the L1 in use with ToneMatch presets and behind the performer, anyone who uses close mic technique will almost always have eq adjusted to remove most of the bass caused by the proximity effect. It is not only possible, but likely, that if the eq is set while lips are close to the mic, the SM 58 is just as musical as any other, but, when the performer backs off just a little bit they lose all the low end that the proximity effect was providing. This actually manifests itself in loss of both low end and volume. Now the vocal is thin and quiet and lost in the mix. 

What L1 users need to be aware of is the distance that one can put between them and a mic, is related to the proximity effect of the mic in question. The more proximity effect the mic has, the narrower the "working" space between lips and screen become for a satisfactory experience.

Personally I use about two inches with either the OM 5 or the N/D 767a. The sweet spot is about 1 inch. I can move closer for more lows and volume and back off just a little for loud passages. If I, or someone making an announcement, as sometimes happens, stays 4 inches off the mic it completely loses volume and character.

O..