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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Breathing on the mic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

impossible man
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I have my choice of two microphones, a lavalier, that is a little hot and requires extra care against feedback, and a headset "Madonna mic" that has a smaller pickup pattern, allowing higher volumes. I like the headset mic for the higher volume without feedback, but it picks up my every breath. Do I have it too close? If so, the pickup is only equal to the lavalier (I have moved it away to see what I'd get). Or, is there some other secret I don't know about using the headset mic?
Dean Gilbert
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Stevethomas
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Does it have a popscreen/windscreen on the element? It should, and you need to watch your placement. Figure out whether it's your mouth or nose doing the "winding", and move the mic to correct that. I used to use a "Madonna-like" mic, and just upgraded to a Countryman with no problems. Guess it's the 21 years I spent working on-air in the radio industry.

Steve
impossible man
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Yup, it has a windscreen. I am starting to think that I just have the thing too close, but I do like it to boom. Of course, since it has limited pickup, I may still be able to just turn up my PA.
Dean Gilbert
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ScottRSullivan
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Proper placement is a big part of good mic usage technique. You should try not to be talking "into" the mic, but rather "past" it.

For example, when I'm using a larger mic to record voiceovers, it's actually a few inches above the mouth, off to the side, but aimed directly at the mouth. If you imagine you are a fire breathing dragon (bear with me), your mic should not get burned.

Your headset mic should actually be about an inch or so away from your skin (depending on the mic) and closer to your cheek than your mouth. Think of an imaginary spot between your eye tooth and first molar, but outside your cheek. This would be half an inch to a full inch away from the corner of your mouth.

There are many more on the forum (Dan and Kevin are two great sources) who know more than I on sound reinforcement. I deal mostly with recording audio as opposed to reinforcement. While I specialize more on the video aspect, I try and keep abreast as much as possible on audio recording. After all, audio makes up 75% of video quality. Audo is very important.

Scott
impossible man
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Thanks Scott and Steve.

I think the problem definitely is the placement. I've been looking for a really "hot" spot, yet the lavalier mic had a lot less pickup and everyone heard me just fine.

I'll start adopting these suggestions and practice placing the mic.

Thanks.
Dean Gilbert
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Regan
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Dean,

Placement is very important, and Scott and Steve have already given you some good advice. However, a headset mic is going to pick up more breathing than a lavalier mic. That's one reason I like it better. I am a singer and I want a mic that will pick up all the nuances of my voice. If you pull it too far away you might degrade the sound quality.

If it is troublesome and you cannot resolve the problem by placement, you might try working with your PA system's EQ. I don't know what type of mixer/sound system you use but the EQ might help. Also if you have a compressor in the system you should be able to help minimize the breathiness.

Regan
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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Hi, Dean!
What brand & model is the headset mic?
Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
impossible man
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The headset mic is just a cheapie I bought at Radio Shack as a backup. It's not one of those beautiful, tiny, over-ear things.
Dean Gilbert
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SoCalPro
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Impossible man,
Better quality Mic's will have less feedback and audio problems. I have never been a fan of Radio Shack.

Also, I favor the headset mic. because the mic. is always right near your mouth, no matter how you turn. I have friends who prefer the lapel mic. It's all a matter of preference.
muzicman
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I like the fire breathing dragon reference...that was awesome!

"Your mic should not get burnt"

Excellent example!!
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2007-02-12 22:50, impossible man wrote:
The headset mic is just a cheapie I bought at Radio Shack as a backup. It's not one of those beautiful, tiny, over-ear things.

Dean,
There are very few headsets that can be placed right in front of the mouth. For every other headset mic, place the mic mic about 1/2" in front of your mouth, along the line between your lips. You will hear an exaggerated breathing sound through your PA. By "exaggerated", I mean that it sounds kinda like you're rubbing a piece of paper against the mic. This breath sound may be coming from your mouth or from your nose.

Now, slowly pull the mic along the line between your lips, in the direction of the mic's boom arm, maintaining 1/2" from your face. Every 1/4" or so, listen for the mouth and/or nose breathing sound. When the breathing sound is gone, you have found the position that will give you a useable balance between the loudest voice volume and the least breath sound.

Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind.
- When testing for the breathing sound, breath more-heavily than usual, because that's what you'll do in a show. A laugh, a sigh, and a "huff & puff" can also cause the problem.
- An omni-directional mic is much less-likely to pick up breath sounds than is a uni-directional (cardioid) mic.
- The exact placement along the "line between the lips" really only applies to a uni-directional (cardioid) mic. Being pretty close will suffice for an omni.
- Use of your mic's provided foam windsock will help.
Cheers from Toronto!
Dan McLean Jr
impossible man
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Thanks, Dan.

Never thought about the extra force of breath during the show, but I did notice noise more during the show than the warm-up.

Dean
Dean Gilbert
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