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Microphone Month

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mic's or speakers? Or other?


I need some advice on sound equipment. My small church southern gospel quartet, www.northstarquartet.com currently has a Mackie CFX 16 soundboard and we are using Audio Technica mics - (3) 700 series and (1) 200 series. Our speakers are JBL EON series. We have (3) EON10 G2 - one of which we use as a monitor - and 1 EONSUB G2 base speaker. Some time when we are singing we get crackling type feedback that I have always assumed was the mics although I am not sure. We would like to eliminate that for sure. We know that we sound better when we use a better sound system - like our Church's sound system. However, we can't afford to buy all of that at once, so we buy a little bit along. I am to the point where I think I am going to have to spend considerable more money to make it any better, so I was thinking I would work on better mics since ours our definitely lower grade. Do you think that this is the appropriate step? Or should I work on Speakers? I thought our speakers were good ones, they were $400 each or so when we bought them. I was thinking of replacing all four mics with the Audio Technica 3000 series mics. What advice does anyone have for me? Would this better our sound considerably? I have been pricing these mics and I have found them as low as $399 for an indidvidual mic on ebay but thought I would check with Sweetwater before I actually bought them. I have not price a package of 4 mics. Do you think I could do better than this by considering something else?
July 12, 2010 @08:35pm

First, let me offer that the reason why you haven't had any response yet is because this question doesn't fit well into this particular forum (remix/electronic music). Not a problem though, I think I can help. With regard to the "crackling" you are hearing, I don't think it is necessarily the equipment at all. It may just be that the signal is clipping because it is being driven to distortion. Gospel singers are known for their impressive dynamic range. I would reccomend adding some compression into your signal path. Something like a Samson SCom4 would be an affordable solution. It offers four XLR input channels, which is perfect for a quartet.
Before you do anything, however, I would try to go through and troubleshoot the crackling sound you are hearing. That way, you don't have to spend money on equipment you don't need. Try reducing the gain on your mixer and see if that removes the problem. If not, see if you can isolate what is causing the problem (it could be wiring, mics, mixer, or speakers). You can do this by testing each on a different sound system and narrowing it down. If reducing the gain removed the clipping, then it's what I suspected all along. I would invest in a compressor, and maybe then you can look into upgrading your mics. Hope this helps!
:) Matt
July 29, 2010 @03:43am
Tomm Williams

You state "crackling type feedback" are you talking about true feedback or a crackling (shorting) sound through the speakers? If you are experiencing feedback, try different speaker and monitor locations. If you are experiencing crackling noises, I would check first for a bad mic cable. If that isn't it, check every cable.
In regards to upgrading, If I was in your position, I would probably lean towards new mics first. You are absolutely correct in believing that the mics and speakers will make an improvement. However, shop carefully and don't be afraid to buy used gear.
August 11, 2010 @12:30am