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Topic: Microphone help - omnidirectional to unidirectional
Message: Posted by: Tony S (Jun 4, 2014 05:59AM)
I'm hoping someone with a little more technical experience than I have can help me.

I have an older countryman omnidirectional headset microphone....I think the model was G6. It is probably about 10 or 12 years old, and it works fine. It is similar in design to the current H6 headset.

Is there anything I can do to make this a unidirectional microphone?

I'm thinking maybe I could use something to block the parts of the microphone that are pointed away from my mouth. For example I could either enclose it in a partial tube or even use some of my daughter's clear nail polish to cover up part of the screen.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Jun 4, 2014 07:53AM)
You cannot effectively "convert" a mic from omni-directional to directional. If you were to apply a physical barrier to your capsule you would most likely only slightly color the tone of the mic, but not affect its pickup pattern.

Several years ago I was at the NAMM show in LA and visited the Countryman booth. One thing worth noting about their directioal mic is that it was [i]extremely[/i] directional. If it got even slightly off-axis from its souce the sound got very poor.

For most vocal purposes of a speaking performer, a directional mic is not needed. They are most effective for minimizing cross-talk from other sounds on stage for providing an accurate mix. If you're not mixing your mic with other sourced sounds onstage, you probably don't need or want one.
Message: Posted by: Tony S (Jun 4, 2014 07:59AM)
Thanks, Frank. My problem is that for most venues I'm performing in my speakers are a bit too close and I get feedback as I move around the stage. To prevent that I have to turn the gain down so low that it hardly picks up my voice and I can't be heard over the music. Either that, or I have to turn the music very low. It's quite a balancing act!
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Jun 4, 2014 04:28PM)
Yes, sound reinforcement is an art unto itself... it requires years of study, practive, technique refinement...just like magic!

Your best bet is probably going to be to adjust your system setup, most notably your speaker placement. A simple trick that I've used for years (depending upon the venue) is to counterintuitively angle the speakers towards the walls rather than the crowd. this results in a reflected soundscape that is less "in-your-face" which I actually prefer. It's also a lot harder to get feedback.

It could be well worth your time and money to hire an audio consultant to come on a few gigs with you to help you tweak your system to get the most out of it. I would NOT recommend someone whose exerience is limited to bar bands as their needs are very different from yours. If you can find an audio engineer who has had experience with reinforcement in theatrical settings, and/or with event lecturers you'll be on the right track.
Message: Posted by: gothike (Jun 4, 2014 05:43PM)
What Frank said.

Also, the Countryman E6 has capsules that you put on the mic that change the pickup pattern. Not sure if your model has the feature. Call Countryman.

Then your wireless transmitter should have a db setting, loudness setting.
Message: Posted by: Tony S (Jun 4, 2014 07:17PM)
Thank you both for the advice. The first thing I'll do is try positioning the speakers the way you suggested, Frank. If that doesn't work I'll check into the audio consultant. Depending on how much that costs it might be more cost effective for me to just get a new unidirectional microphone. But I will call countryman first before I invest in the new mic.

Thanks, again, for the help!