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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Hand held v. clip/headset microphones (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

The Great Smartini
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I recently read and re-read ken weber's excellent book maximum entertainment....therein he advocates the use of hand held microphones because of the sound control that it provides a performer...he acknowledges that this does require some careful blocking but that it's the way to go...any thoughts out there?...i'm particularly interested in anyone who chooses a hand held over a clip on/headset...thanks!
Jim Snack
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There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of microphone. Yes, hand held units give you greater sound control, but then you must hold them or use some sort of holder and work out the blocking issues.

Clip on lavelier style microphones are inconspicious and free up your hands, but unless you are willing to invest a bit more, the quality may suffer. I use a Lectrophonics lavelier style microphone with no problem.

A headset microphone will free up you hands and you can get better quality than most lavelier style microphones. I just don't like wearing the headset, although Countryman has some really nice units that are very lightweight and pretty much invisible.

Regardless which you decide on, buy the best quality you can afford and put in a new battery each time you use it.

Jim
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Tony S
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I've never really liked working with hand held mics. I prefer to have my hands free. I do use a hand held microphone in a stand for audience volunteers to speak into. I've also tried both clip ons and headsets. Right now I prefer the headset variety. All have their pros and cons. Check out the magic roadie site for excellent information regarding the different types of microphones available.
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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Dear Great (or is it Mr Smartinin),
Check out http://www.magicroadie.com/pickamic.html . Free info.

To quote myself;
This guide, like all the others at MagicRoadie.com, will not include advice on brands or models to purchase or rent, and won’t make much mention of the underlying scientific principles that are at play, although it will mention more science than the other articles. It’s more like an “applications” guide, with proven advice on how to evaluate your needs, select an appropriate product, and put it to good use. That’s right, I said proven advice, based on solid fact … not hearsay.

Cheers from Toronto!
Dan McLean Jr
Jim Snack
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Thanks Don for posting that link.

I didn't realize there was a difference between the headset and the earset type. Oh yes, and I learned the correct spelling for lavaliér! The article clearly spells out the advantages and disadvantages for each type of microphone.

I think that even with a hands free microphone, every performer should also block their show with a microphone on a stand...just in case....

Jim
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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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You're welcome, Jim, and thank YOU! By the way, the article also includes a section with comments from mentalist Michael Sibbernsen, with a bunch of well-earned thoughts that I'd never considered!
Dan McLean Jr
jlevey
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Jim's tip on always starting each show with a fresh battery is a great piece of advice. Thanks for the reminder Jim.

As "Tony S" points out in his post above, a hand held mic has the advantage of being able to pick up the comments/reaction of the volunteer. For mindreading acts, the hand held or mic-on-stand system is therefore ideal and might almost be considered by some to be a necessity.

A mic (or mics) on a stand, strategically placed in the crowd (in the isles, amongst the audience) has also been recommended. This arrangement would be very helpful in capturing the interactive banter that might occur between volunteers that are asked to stand up to respond to the on-stage mentalist's or magician's questions, but are not invited to come up onto the stage.

For a stage show that requires volunteers to come up on stage, I wonder if both a mic on a stand and a head set mic can be used in operation simultaneously. Or, might this create a risky situation, where the loud and shrill sound of a "feedback loop" suddenly bursts from the speaker system, due to interference between the two systems?

Any advice in this regard would be much appreciated.

Many thanks.

Jonathan
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The Great Smartini
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So many things to consider!!...thanks to all who posted on this topic and as well helped me with my choice of portable sound systems...went with the passport pd150 by fender...right now I'm leaning towards a hand held mike in a stand
glodmagic
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The Passport comes with a decent mic believe it or not. It is similar to a SM58

If you go with the wireless internal receiver for the Passport you can order the Executive system that includes BOTH a Headset and a LAV. They sell a handheld wireless to match your frequency so you can have it all. You can not use both the wireless handheld and a bodypack on the Same frequency at the Same time.

You mentioned Library and School events in another thread. I like to use a wireless headset and also connect the wired Handheld that comes with the Passport. I use the handheld to hold under each volunteer so they can be heard.
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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
For a stage show that requires volunteers to come up on stage, I wonder if both a mic on a stand and a head set mic can be used in operation simultaneously.

Jonathan,
As glodmagic has so clearly stated, You can not use both the wireless handheld and a bodypack on the same frequency at the same time. To expand on that a bit, you can use both at the same time if they're on different & compatible frequencies. That means you need a second wireless receiver. You'll also need one mixer channel for each receiver.

Quote:
might this create a risky situation, where the loud and shrill sound of a "feedback loop" suddenly bursts from the speaker system, due to interference between the two systems?

No. There is no corelation between wireless frequencies & feedback. Adding a second mic of any kind (wired or wireless) does increase the likelihood off feedback, but that increase will likely not ever be realized if the mic being added is a handheld.

For an explaination of what does increase the likelihood of feedback, and solid strategies for reducing its likelihood, check out http://www.magicroadie.com/speakerplacement.html and http://www.magicroadie.com/pickamic.html .
Cheers from Toronto!
Dan McLean Jr
jlevey
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Thanks for the great explanation and web link Dan.

Jonathan
Jonathan
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www.maxmagician.com
www.mindreadershow.com
www.monsieurmagic.com
Colin Uk
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Hi

If you are looking to use 2 radio mics at the same time check out the JTS
wireless systems.

The US-8002d allows to radio mics to be used with one receiver.

You can have separate outputs for each Mic or one output for both.

This is the prefect bit of kit for versatility and at a good price £350 for hand held mic, belt pack mic, receiver and carrying case.

Regards

Colin
Alan Munro
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I stopped using lavaliere mikes and wireless mikes because of many problems with them - dropped signals and feedback. I've been using a wired handheld for years, and I couldn't be happier. The sound is always clear and the feedback is under control. It pays to use a hyper-cardoid mike, like a Sennheiser e845s. It works great with a Gimcrack holder.
bloodyjack
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Please headset and ear mics just make you look like a throw back from the eighties but then again there are enough bad eighty,s fashion victim suits in magic too so maybe that works for some people.
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John C
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Quote:
On 2005-08-10 00:55, The Great Smartini wrote:
So many things to consider!!...thanks to all who posted on this topic and as well helped me with my choice of portable sound systems...went with the passport pd150 by fender...right now I'm leaning towards a hand held mike in a stand


There are a lot of things to consider Great. But there is really only one that counts - your show. What are your requirements vs what a book tells you is best.

Me, I like the handheld mic but I can't use it. One reason I don't use a stand. Second it doesn't pump enough sound when it is hanging around my neck. Third, it is to heavy and clumsy hanging around my neck. Fourth I use my hands way to much to carry a mike - blocking or no blocking. I would look silly putting the mike in and out of the stand. If the mike was in the stand and a funny thought came to mind I wouldn't be able to use it - no one would hear me ... that's another reason.

My next show in August a friend of mine in the audio/visual biz is loaning me a Countryman E6. He laughed when I described my situation cause he hears this stuff all the time. If you want clear sound and you don't want to carry a mic one of those thin little headsets is the way to go.

J
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Captain Jack
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Lot's of valid points here. However, I agree most with the "what are your requirements" concept. My assistant and I both use seperate Audio-Technica Dual channel UHF wireless headset systems.

We require the headset. We have had problems knocking the Lavalier off of our costumes, and a microphone stand - just wouldn't work! (We do a lot of sword weilding, including coreographed sword fighting, and flintlock shooting in our shows)...Pyrate!
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The Great Smartini
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Aaarrrggghhh!!!...thanks me mateys!
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