Mic with wide pattern
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Thread: Mic with wide pattern

  1. #1

    Mic with wide pattern

    Here's the situation.

    We have 4 mics in our talk studio. The main mic for the host and the secondary mic for the co-host are RE 27s. Mics 3 and 4 are headsets that sound terrible. Plus when there is a full studio of guests and the guests use the second RE 27 (or when clients cut spots) they can NEVER work the mic properly. Consequently, it sounds like crap.

    Can someone suggest a good wider pattern mic that the guests won't have to be right on top of? Ambient noise isn't a terrible issue, it's a pretty quiet studio.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens View Post
    Here's the situation.
    We have 4 mics in our talk studio. The main mic for the host and the secondary mic for the co-host are RE 27s. Mics 3 and 4 are headsets that sound terrible. Plus when there is a full studio of guests and the guests use the second RE 27 (or when clients cut spots) they can NEVER work the mic properly. Consequently, it sounds like crap.
    Can someone suggest a good wider pattern mic that the guests won't have to be right on top of? Ambient noise isn't a terrible issue, it's a pretty quiet studio.
    There are several things at work here; Apparent sensitivity and polar pattern.

    -An RE27 is fine for distance work (unless damaged). The problem is over-zealous gating and downward expansion in the processing chain. This is typical of chains over the last 35 years. It began with the hiss & noise reduction mania after the loudness wars subsided in the late 1970's and continues, rather needlessly even today with nearly silent digital sources. Cheap, non floating-isolated studio construction was facilitated (and excused) by this feature, so it became SOP.

    -If your mic's have an outboard processor (such as Symetrix) for the 'crowd" mic, try shutting off the gating, and -slightly- boosting the input gain so as to keep the lower signal from the mic above the gating in the main processor.

    One trick is to use a mic just to pick-up ambient sound thus keeping the gate open and the the AGC actively pulling up gain. Tred carefully here are this can be annoying over and extended period.

    As for pattern, if you want an ohmni the venerable EV 635A is cheap, sensitive and has the right curve. There are ton of very sensitive condensers I've used in theater work (you could hear actors breathing at 15+ ft) but if your processing is fighting you..it will usually win.

    The 27's you already have are fine once the gain structure and processing are sorted out.

    The headset mic's are another matter, they are noise cancelling.close talking and rolled-off by design.

    LCG

  3. #3
    Thanks! I'll run that by the engineer since it's way over my head. I just get paid to talk.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    There is a whole "army" of old-school broadcasters of yesteryear out here doing voice work of various kinds. We do a lot of experimenting and exchanging of results with each other because we operate at different economic levels, and we need mics that will work in our self-built studios. The even larger market for mics are the musicians who are all wanting to self record... whether in their garage, or in an economical self built studio. So the market for affordable mics has blossomed in the last 10 to 20 years. You will find a lot of reasonable, durable, wide cardiod pattern condensor mics that sound great.... and unlike some of the high dollar mics of the past... are expendable if mistreated. The Audio-technica AT-2020 comes in at about $100. You could probably crowd three people around one of those things quite well. But if you visit Guitar Center and other music stores you will see interesting choices available. Go to the folks who put out catalogs (Sweetwater, Full Compass, B and H and others) and you will be amazed at home many good serviceable mics with great sound are available... maybe at prices less than the cost of your headset mics.

    It could be that your technical folks have avoided these mics for fear they will "walk off". If you walk away from the radio station with a high dollar mic, it could be hard to explain how you have something like that in your possession so the temptation to do so is limited. But if you put an AT2020 in the studio, It seems like every 3rd person in America owns a mic of that caliber so you have no explaining to do if you walk out of the studio with one. Thus, there may be a reluctance to use such a product.

    Now, if you want to talk about some $350 to $500 mics that would work very well in your studio.... let the conversation begin. :-)
    Life is too short to waste time dancing with ugly posts

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Goat Rodeo Cowboy View Post
    There is a whole "army" of old-school broadcasters of yesteryear out here doing voice work of various kinds.
    GRC, I don't expect that things will change in most cases given the fact that many engineers prefer to keep their practice in the realm of "black art' -especially today in an effort to keep their job. Unless "the boss" say to make a change, nothing will.

    Your comment reminds me of a lunch I had with a group of people in 1993 which included Bill Mazer who sat next to me. When the talk shifted to radio the first comment he made was "the mic's at my station [WEVD] are terrible. If I move a few inches back I'm off the air, no one can hear me. Can't they get better mic's".

    That facility had been rebuilt in 1988 at the time of the Great Switcheroo when The Forward sold their FM and bought 1050 whose programs went to 660 and so-on. There was nothing wrong with the mic's, all were RE20 series.

    I tuned him in the next morn and it sounded like he was in a barrel -big mid-bass boost and way over-gated. I guess the owners were happy so it stayed that way right till the sale to ESPN.

    FWIW: Mazer was at NBC in the 1960's where it was all 77's and BK5's and people worked 8"-10" from the mic. Only top-40 guys on AM worked close-in.

    LCG

  6. #6

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    Ever see photos of some of the old BBC World Service studios? They often used a bi-directional microphone (Coles, usually), that was suspended over the desk, with talent (commentator and a guest) facing each other. The engineer (back in those days) had a way to position the mike remotely, to get a good balance.
    Many people seem to rely on very directional mikes nowadays, but those old tricks.....omni-directional and bi-directional ("Figure-8") pattern mikes,.... can make a big difference. You'd still need a good suspension mount, for putting the mikes in the correct position.
    I'd suggest renting something like an AKG 414, and experiment with it....they have multiple patterns that are switchable.
    "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent the Company positions, strategies or opinions."

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