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Topic: Wireless Mics...
Message: Posted by: John C (Aug 11, 2002 11:07AM)
I have had every wireless lavelier (lapel) mic from Radio Shack to a Samsung and I've tried all the Shure mics in a music store. I could never get a great booming sound from any of them. Finally I gave up and got a wireless handheld mic that works ok. But I am still mystified as to why I can't get the great sound from the lapel mic.

I use a Peavy SOLO amp. It's kind of wimpy, but at home here I have a crown amp that I plug into to test and I can't get any good loud sound from that either.

Yesterday I was in Ft. Lauderdale, and in the hotel's outside area there was a magician. He had a great sound system that included a wireless lapel mic. He had one speaker on a stand.

The volume he got was like he was using a handheld mic and speaking directly into it. It was great.

Does anyone know what the trick is to getting that kind of sound from a wireless lapel mic? I mean, to get it to sound like you're talking directly into a handheld mic, or, directly into the lapel mic for that matter?

Thanks for any advice.


PS: A little later today I am going to call the magician I saw (got his card of course) and ask him to let me in on the secret!
Message: Posted by: JBmagic (Aug 11, 2002 04:21PM)
I know a guy who uses this system


It costs 4 grand but the sound is unbeatable!
It's crystal clear and picks up zero feedback. It filters all local noise without diminishing the speakers audio. It kicks... but it's expensive.
Message: Posted by: John C (Aug 11, 2002 08:29PM)
Quite expensive... you are correct. This guy I saw the other day had one speaker on a stand and a Lavalier mic on his lapel. That was it. It produced a great sound. I called him today but he was away. I'll talk to him tomorrow and see what kind of equipment it was.


Message: Posted by: RayBanks (Aug 12, 2002 03:29PM)
It sounds like you may have an impedance mismatch.

Check the specs for both your microphone and your amp for impedance. A good microphone should have an impedance of 50 ohms. For maximum efficiency the input of your amp should also be 50 ohms.

What kind of connector does your mike have? If it has a three prong connector it is probably 50 ohms.

I don't know if that's your problem but if it is, it is not too hard to remedy.

Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Aug 13, 2002 12:58AM)
What type of mixer and equalization are you running the mic through? That may hold most of the answer.

That aside, my personal recommendation of choice, coming from my experience as a sound designer/engineer for musicals and such, is to use a Sennheiser Evolution transmitter (either the 100, 300, or 500 will do, depending on your budget and what frills you need/want) paired with either a Sennheiser MKE-2 or a Countryman B3 element (the B6 will do nicely, too, but you probably don't need one that small, and you'll get slightly better sound out of the larger diaphragm on the B3). DPA also makes a good one that a lot of engineers I know swear by, but I can't recall the model offhand.

Don't expect to get the same sound as you would from a handheld, though, it's not possible. With a good system setup, and especially with a good engineer doing a live mix, you can come close, but with such a difference in diaphragm size, you'll never get the same low-end.

--Andy (mentalist/sound engineer)
Message: Posted by: John C (Aug 14, 2002 03:36PM)
Sounds good, though, maybe too good for me. I am a firm believer in "you get what you pay for" and I have spent my share of $$ in magic.

This guy I saw last week had one speaker, a yamaha, and an amp. I called him yesterday, he said he uses nothing special, although he didn't know what kind of amp he had. He said that he bought the shure lapel mic used for 75$. I know that he had a pretty booming sound. Matter of fact I am going to go and see him again next week to make sure I wasn't hallucinating (horrible spelling, I know). Then I'll be able to see exactly what he uses.

Thanks I'll let everyone know what I find out!

John Cesta
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Aug 15, 2002 05:57PM)
You'd be surprised how inexpensive the Senn. Evo. 100's are; they're a real bargain for the quality you get, and Sennheisers are used on alot of big shows nowadays. The fancier elements I mentioned will cost a bit more, but even with the standard element it's not bad, and if you can get one of the others, it's well worth it. You can always get the stock element to start and upgrade to another later on.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Aug 27, 2002 07:49PM)
Check out:
Miniature Microphone Boom (black) for use with 4066 Miniature Microphone Headband. by typing in "DPA Mic" in a search engine. Ken Scott used this one at a the Kidabra Conference convention with the Show Teck syatem and it was great.

I think it cost about $400.00.
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Aug 27, 2002 08:50PM)
Yup, the DPA 406_ series is what I was referring to--thanks, Dennis! There are two to check out, the 4060, which is a lavalier, and the 4066 Dennis mentioned, which is a boom with a detachable headband (the boom is sometimes used in other sound applications without the band that are of no concern to our needs :o)

BTW, if you're looking for a headset (which, if it works with your show/character, I highly recommend for better sound), also check out the Countryman Isomax headset and earset. The headset has an integral headset (it's not an attachment like the DPA) and a telescoping boom, and comes in multiple colors including flesh tone (the DPA comes in flesh and black, too, BTW). It has a larger element on the end than the DPA, but it's not as large as a rock singer's would be.

The earset uses a tiny element (same as either the B3 or B6 lavalier, not sure which) that just clips to the ear, rather than going around the back of the head. It's the smallest, and in fleshtone is nearly invisible from a distance. It also has the convenient feature that the cable can detach from the earpiece, making it easier to thread the cable under your costume and to take the mic off after a show before "meeting and greeting" without having to unthread the cable and take off the transmitter.

Message: Posted by: Magic74Josh (Sep 3, 2002 10:16PM)
I have a SHURE UHF Series headset microphone, that is wireless. I also have a hand held, and lapel, all from the same series but working on different frequency's so that they do not end up conflicting with one another. Out of the 3-4 years I have been using them, I never got a nice sound from a lapel mic, it is so far away from where sound comes out, how could it. However, from the Headset I get a crystal clear sound, a sound typicak only of handheld mics, but without the hassle. I have also found that a headset is much easier when doing quick costume changes. It's just like a headband (ONLY MUCH MORE COMFY!)
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Sep 5, 2002 01:10AM)
You can get a great sound out of a lavalier mic on the lapel, although it's far from the most ideal location (the best for them is mounted centered on the forehead with elastic and/or medical adhesive, second best is mounted over the ear/on a pair of glasses). You just need a good quality mic, a good quality tx/rx setup, and a good engineer mixing it.

Yes, on a good headset you'll get stronger sound (not necessarily better) more easily, but don't write off a lav, as if used properly they can be great. Otherwise theatrical engineers like I am wouldn't use them all the time in big musicals and get such good results.
Message: Posted by: zigmont (Sep 5, 2002 07:50AM)

You can adjust the "gain" either (both) inside the mic/lav-body pack or the receiver as well has a gain on the rear.

Each location I go to I adjust both gains.

You need to go thru a board to a 400 watt amp to get a good sound. You need to set the hi-mid-low EQ on the board.

This should clear up the problem.
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Sep 5, 2002 09:52PM)
Zigmont, you're right that the gain could be causing those problems, and thank you for bringing it up, as I hadn't thought to point that out in my rush to reply :o) I just want to clarify some other inaccurate/less than ideal advice you gave here.

[quote]You can adjust the "gain" either (both) inside the mic/lav-body pack or the receiver as well has a gain on the rear.

Each location I go to I adjust both gains.[/quote]

The gain on a mic transmitter should be set once and left as is to provide optimal sound for that element and receiver pair, as should the one on the receiver.

The only gain that should be adjusted in the venue is the gain on the input channel of the mixer (sometimes labeled as "trim"), which should be aligned so that the signal stays around the Unity mark on the channel. Doing otherwise will either cause either noise or distortion, both of which will negatively affect the sound quality.

[quote]You need to go thru a board to a 400 watt amp to get a good sound. [/quote]

Not quite. The wattage needs vary greatly depending on the size of the audience and the venue, what speakers you're using, how many speakers you're using hooked up to how many amps, etc. There is NO way to just throw out a number such as 400 W as being a "magic number" that will always work, and anybody who tells you otherwise is misinformed. In some venues, 150 watts will do the job, in others, you need many more than 400. There's no one answer, and it takes a knowlegeable professional to make an adequate decision on what will work best in a given situation.
Message: Posted by: zigmont (Sep 6, 2002 06:03AM)
My 400 watt magic number is min requirement that I found to get good results as you can always turn it down. Yes you could use more.

You really don't want to use all the wattage you have. You won't want to use 125 watts in a 150 watt amp.

You don't want to dail up (# 9) on the level, you want to be somewhere mid level (#5).

It's a good start if your having problems.

I adjusted the mic gain on units having problems with good results in the past. Again we talking about people that are having trouble and need to fix a problem. The gain could tweak the performance.

So I just told what works for me. I rent a sound system on each show or traveling tour that we do and over 10 years and found these thing to work for me. Right now I am using a crown microtech 1200 amp (480.00 watts 4 ohms) and for larger venues I use an amp per side. So I guess you can see where I got the numbers from.

Just trying to help out.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Sep 6, 2002 01:02PM)
Zigmont is right about having more power. I also second the motion on microtechs. The system we have owned for close to 2 years includes 2 microtechs. Those can take a beating and have proved themselves around the world. They each power 1 sub and 1 main, both from Klipsch. I can rattle the fillings right out of your teeth with the bass from our 4 18" subs. With the opening video that we use to start the show, the music builds and builds then literally erupts right into the show. Do not overlook sound if you want to emotionally charge the audience.

Message: Posted by: zigmont (Sep 6, 2002 03:30PM)

Nothing but the best for you...
Crown ... Klipsch ... Subs ... very cool and heavy as h*** too!
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Sep 8, 2002 09:55PM)
Zigmont, The system was used by one of the top writers in Christian and Jazz music out of Atlanta. He's a good friend of ours and it was designed for him. It was made for an artist singing to tracks. Which is basically what magicians do. So the sound is great for us and like I said TONS of bass ... and you are soooo correct. The subs are not too terribly heavy ... but the large mains ... man are they heavy ... and as you know, the subs should be on the bottom, so up go the mains everytime. Man, I love roadies. :giggles:

Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (Oct 19, 2002 01:12PM)
I've done web searches on the DPA products and the 4066-F looks like what I want. But I can't find a price, nor can I find a place on the web to buy it (other than the DPA site, but they want my credit card info before I find out how much it is - no way). Does anyone know where to get these?


Message: Posted by: John C (Nov 12, 2002 10:20PM)

I have been looking at the following:

"Crate TX50DBE
NEW for 2002 are the TXE's, our most portable and compact battery powered system, the TXB50E Bass Bus, plus the NEW portable molded enclosures for the rest of the Taxi & Limo models. These new enclosures have enhanced bass response, and are lighter and more transportable than ever before!"

What do you think about this unit? Have you used them? Heard of them? There are a ton of very useful features.

Our local music store, MARS Music, is going bust and they are selling everything in the store. They have one of these units.

Thanks for any info you can provide.

John Cesta
Message: Posted by: Bobcape (Dec 11, 2002 02:44PM)
I recently used a Samson Airlight headset wireless mic. I loved it! It is completely self-contained within the headset; there is no belt transmitter or wires to deal with. It's UHF with tons of channels available. The sound was great and with a little adjustment, it was very comfortable to wear. Check it out.
Message: Posted by: halcon (Feb 17, 2003 10:42PM)
Hi there, I'm a Hollywood sound guy. We use wireless setup made by Lectrosonic around 1400 dollars. The transmitter and receiver are both portable and run on batteries.

The microphone we use is typically a Tram or a Sonatrim microphone. These are the mics of choice when we need a wireless mic. They will cut together very nicely with a boom mic. This setup creates a nice bottom end. The mics run around 250 dollars.

If you have any other questions, ask.

Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Feb 19, 2003 12:48PM)
To those of you acquainted with the Fender Passport 250 system—

Will the Wireless Executive mic set (docking receiver, transmitter, headset, lavelier) work with a venue's own sound system when necessary? If adapters are needed, which ones?

Much thanks,
Message: Posted by: jr_illusion (Feb 19, 2003 06:05PM)
I have the lapel mic from Radioshack too, and a 170mhz receiver. I don't get too much sound from it. I was wondering if it was the mic, or could I get more sound if I upgraded to a 900mhz receiver? Or any other advice on getting more sound out of the mic?
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Feb 21, 2003 06:58PM)
I have the Radio Shack mike that you speak of. I stopped using it years ago, because of problems with poor gain and signal jamming. Don't overlook trying to get information on signal gain and feedback rejection on any mike that you want to buy. I've gone back to using a wired handheld mike—a Sennheiser Evolution 845s. The mike is so good that I was able to stand in front of the amp, getting excellent signal gain, with plenty of volume to spare and no feedback.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Haas (Feb 24, 2003 08:55PM)

I've got the Fender Passport 250. I'm not quite sure what you're asking, so I'll describe the Passport setup, then you can ask about more details.

The wireless set includes two wireless mikes (a headset mike, looks like what they wear in the drive-thru, and a lapel mike) and the receiver. The receiver unit is a small box that installs inside the Passport unit. On the back of the Passport is a door that you can stow the cables and one of the standard mikes inside. There's a spot where the reciever unit screws in.

Once you've attached it, you're done. The receiver lives inside the center console. It takes up a bit of room, so you can only squeeze one of the two corded mikes into the compartment, but so far I haven't ever had to pull the corded mike out and use it.

The center console of the Passport has outputs that go to the two speakers; I suppose you could connect from there into the house system, if that's what you're thinking of. Then you'd be using the center console without the speakers, as a big wireless base station. There is a setting you can pick that allows the Passport to function as a monitor setup, incase a band wants to hear themselves.

The Passport 250 fills big spaces so effortlessly, and covers a wide range so well that both voice and pre-recorded music sound good. And it's easy to set up.

Hope that's helpful. Ask if you need more info.

Message: Posted by: LanceRich (Feb 26, 2003 03:39AM)
All this talk about Sennheiser - and I'm wondering if anyone has any firsthand knowledge or experience with the SKM 3000 or 5000. I know that they are both exceptional mics, particularly the 5000's paired with a Neumann capsule (it won vocal mic of the year last year I believe.) But, I was looking for some input on them.

Andy, I know you were talking about the Evolution series, so I thought maybe you had some input on this mic. I'd love to hear it.
Message: Posted by: MAGICBYTIM (Mar 3, 2003 02:39PM)
I have just this past year invested in a sound system. I have been doing magic for 13 years and have always had to borrow sound systems when I had a big show. This past year I bought a SHURE UHF headset mic and two jbl eon 10 g2 speakers. These speakers are powered so I can plug in the mic and minidisc player into one speaker and piggy back the other speaker and have great sound without a mix-board.

I think the sound from my mic is great. I have had several people come up to me after shows and tell me that the addition of a sound system has greatly improved my shows. I put off buying a sound system because I was not sure it would increase the quality of my show enough to justify the cost but I was wrong and my shure mic has done me well.
Message: Posted by: Backroomboy (Apr 24, 2003 08:11AM)
A proper sound system can make or break your act ... it all depends on your needs.

Handhelds sound better than Lavaliers because you can "eat" the handheld ... giving you more gain before feedback.

To get more gain from a Lavalier, mount it as close to the mouth as you can.

And learn about equalization and reverb ... this will help you maintain a consistent sound from venue to venue.
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Jun 15, 2003 06:35PM)
Being a "live audio" professional (magic hobbyist), I certainly concur with everything Andy Leviss said earlier in this thread, as well as what backroomboy just said. Speaking in the most general of terms, the equipment you use is not as critical as the HOW you use it. Using equipment of a better quality will improve your sound, but not until you learn how to properly use it.

It is EXACTLY like buying an expensive stage prop, and going on stage with it before you're ready to perform the illusion. It doesn't matter how good the prop is if you don't know how to perform it with mastery. Same thing goes for your PA. A first-rate mic, wireless & speaker system will not perform well until you have a very good handle on the basics. The basics include mic placement, speaker placement relative to the mic, and speaker placement relative to the audience.

The next step is equalization, but NOT until the other three concepts are fully-grasped & applied. As with magic, the greater your grasp and application of the basics, the greater the effect!

Cheers from Toronto!
Magic Rodie
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Jun 16, 2003 08:50PM)
I have the Fender Passport 250 with the executive system. This is a custom system especially for the Fender Passport. You can not use it with other AMPs. Although you could do as Jeff suggests and use the line out feature to connect the P250 into another sound system.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jun 18, 2003 10:28PM)
On 2003-04-24 09:11, Backroomboy wrote:
Handhelds sound better than Lavaliers because you can "eat" the handheld ... giving you more gain before feedback.
A good handheld can also provide much better off-axis feedback rejection, at a much lower price than a lavalier. I use my handheld with a gimcrac holder. It rejects feedback so much better than any lavaliere ever did. I can even stand right in front of the speaker without feedback!