View Full Version : Help for a Soft Voice
03-21-2002, 09:19 AM
I don't sing very loud. My sound man complains about having to crank my vocal channel all the way. A new SM-58 didn't help. Any suggestions for a better mike to use on stage? This is a fairly loud top 40 country band and stage monitor feedback can be a problem.
As an "old dog" live sound engineer I can tell you that pointing speakers at microphones (as with stage monitors) in general is a problem. If the singer doesn't belt it out the problem is exponentially worse, unless the singer can work without being able to hear himself (not likely). Even if he can the mic can pick up so much other stuff on stage that turning it up is like turning up the drum overheads. Just doesn't work.
The only option used to be very, very careful selection and setup of the stage monitor system: parametric EQ's with someone who knows how to dial them in, exact placement of speakers, and yes, the proper microphone. First, you're going to need something with a hypercardioid pattern, which is NOT what the SM-58 is. A Beta 58 will work better right away just because of its pickup pattern (assuming you put the monitors in the right spot). I believe there are other models with even tighter, more controlled patters, but alas I've been out of it long enough to not know the model numbers. I think Neumann makes a really great one, but it's not cheap.
Another solution for your hearing you should really consider is an in ear monitoring system. These systems have reached the point that I don't know why anyone would continue to use stage wedges anymore. They sound WAY better, there is NO feedback, and your ears take much, much less abuse (assuming they are set up properly). This will totally solve your problem of being able to hear yourself (I'm assuming this is an issue for you) no matter which mic you decide to use. You should still consider a hypercardioid mic, however, because your sound guy still has to get your voice up over all the other racket on stage, including your monitors.
Hope this helps.
03-22-2002, 02:38 PM
You're exactly right about the wedge problem. In fact, I started using the Shure in-ear monitors about a year ago and haven't looked back. It's actually some of the other guys' monitors that produce the feedback.
I understand that the Beta 58 has a 4db stronger output than the sm58. Is that enough to make a significant difference in the level going to the board? I've been told to stay away from condenser mikes because of ambiant sound pick-up (I'm usually in front of the drums!)
While I've got you, do you have any experience with the Shure e1 vs. the e5 earphones? I've been using the e1's and am wondering if the e5's are worth the extra $400.00.
Thanks for the advice.
The Beta 58 will be a little hotter. There are other mics that will give you even more. But before we get there I have a more fundamental concern. I can't recall having a situation in which an SM-58 couldn't be turned up enough by a working preamp in a mixer to get enough level. Enough level before feedback, or enough level compared to other things the mic picks up are one thing (neither of which is really cured by a "hotter" mic), but not being able to get enough level (as in it's turned up all the way and still not loud enough) sounds like something is broken to me.
As for the E5's, well, they do sound a lot better. If better sound quality is important to you in your application then they are well worth the extra dough.
03-27-2002, 06:20 PM
I AGREE I CANT SEE WHY A 58 WOULD NOT CUT THRU UNLESS ALL THE INSTRUMENTS ARE MIKED AND THE MAINS ARE JUST THAT INCREDIBLY LOUD!....IF THIS IS THE CASE TELL YOUR SOUNDMAN TO BRING YOUR VOCALS TO THE POINT JUST BEFORE "FEEDBACK PROBLEMS" GET THEM DIALED IN ..THEN BRING THE MUSIC UP TO SUIT THE VOCALS....A TOP 40 COUNTRY BAND SHOULDNT BE THAT LOUD ESPECIALLY IF PLAYING IN DANCE HALLS....IVE PLAYED THE ROAD FOR YEARS AND FOUND ALOT OF SOUND MEN DOING COUNTRY WERE ACTUALLY OLD ROCK AND ROLLERS...THIS MAY NOT BE THE CASE BUT ITS WORTH LOOKING INTO...TURN ALL THE KNOBS ON THE BOARD OFF AND START AT ZERO..
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