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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question:

Talking about live sound here:

I am using the Samson wireless mic. The belt clip has what I believe to be a very basic pre-amp. Now, this is not a high-end system in the least bit...but it actually sounds quite decent. My only complaint are in the highs, where it seems to be a bit louder, and it does need a little warmth.

So, I would like to add warmth in the sound, as well as control the highs. My initial thought is some sort of compression to remove the highs and maybe a tube preamp to give some warmth.

Now, I'm not an expert....and I know there are a few on this board that really know their apples in regards to this stuff, so here is the question:

How about plugging a wireless reciever into a tube pre-amp to give it some warmth/added control. Does this make any sense considering that there is already a pre-amp (albeit it a lousy one) built in. Or are there any other suggestions.

And how about some compression to chill out the highs. And if so, any recommendations on approach/products.

Many thanks, and let me know if there is any additional info needed.

-Todd
 

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If it's a wireless lavelier-type mic the 'belt clip' does several things.

1. It's the radio transmitter
2. It's supplies power to the mic element
3. It has mild compression. (usually 2:1, with a high threshold)

I don't think a tube preamp or compression (compression acts on amplitude-not timbre) will get you what you want. I would first:

1. Make sure you're not overloading the transmitter or receiver and getting a bit of distortion early in the 'gain chain'
2. Make sure you're not overloading the receiver, and introducing harmonic distortion.

If that's not part of your problem, then I would play with the placement of the mic element to see if you can find a better position. If that doesn't get you any joy, then try the equalizer on the board to get rid of some of the 'highs' (not sure specifically what you mean here).

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the good info....here are a few more tidbits and clarification

It is a clip on lavelier-type. Interesting to know that the transmitter does have some compression built into it.

For your suggestions:

1. I'm assuming you are referring to how much gain I have set on the transmitter. I'll turn it down a bit.

2. I am assuming that this is related to gain also, but am not positive. Would you mind clarifying this. Also, the receiver has a volume control. Instruction on the unit said to have the volume all the way up. So I did....I only find that when I turn the volume down at the receiver, I have to compensate at the mixer (duh :)...nothing that really shows me why they recommend full volume at the receiver.

I have played with the mic placement. It is a clip-on, but I don't have it directly above the bell. I did find this helped out a good bit as opposed to the mic directly above the bell.

BTW - I normally have everything flat at the board.

I am referring to the highs in this context as the higher pitched notes on the horn. G2 and up. They are louder in this amplified situation than the rest of the horn. I can easily lay back on those notes, but I thought compression would solve this.

Thanks for the info again - I'll keep playing with it....just curious if another electronic gadget would be the answer.
 

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toddno2 said:
I am referring to the highs in this context as the higher pitched notes on the horn. G2 and up. They are louder in this amplified situation than the rest of the horn. I can easily lay back on those notes, but I thought compression would solve this.

Thanks for the info again - I'll keep playing with it....just curious if another electronic gadget would be the answer.
I think you have the idea about the gain. If it's indeed the high NOTES that are overly loud in your situation, the first thing I would recommend is to find a mic placement where the volume is consistent throughout the range of the horn. If you can't do that, then judicious use of compression MAY help you. I don't like to overly compress horns, because I feel that it clamps down on the 'bite' of the articulation at the very start of a note, and can make things muddy.

...and yes CA, a sennheiser would work, too.;)
 

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toddno, the weakest link in any PA system is ALWAYS the microphone. You could probably get a much better sound with a better wireless mic. Samson is on the bottom rung of the pro audio equipment ladder (though they are higher than Behringer, but most don't consider them to even be on the ladder).

You can add a channel strip processor like the Presonus Eureka, which has an input for a mic or line level source, and includes 3 band parametric EQ, and compressor. Here's what you do: connect your mic as normal. Instead of running an XLR cable from your wireless receiver to the console or stage snake, run it into the Eureka (or other channel strip processor), and then run another XLR cable from the output of the Eureka into your stage snake to get the signal back to the sound console.
I don't like to overly compress horns, because I feel that it clamps down on the 'bite' of the articulation at the very start of a note, and can make things muddy.
A side note about compression. A lot of it depends on the console and the amount of head room the console has. I mixed the McDades last Friday. My first time working on the Yamaha PM5D (in a room with a Meyer M1D array in which I had mixed before). This board had so much head room that even though I had compression on most channels, they were not hitting the compressor on any of them. BUT, the violin desperately needed it. I had to crank the compression threshold down to -25db (I normally don't like to take the threshold below -10db) in order to keep the violin from bitting your head off.

Compression is a wonderful thing, but you need to know your system, and the console, and use it sparingly.
 

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It helps to have a nicely tweaked Meyer array.;)

Sounds like a fun gig. I'm jealous, sort of, in my old, retired way.
 

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hakukani said:
It helps to have a nicely tweaked Meyer array.;)

Sounds like a fun gig. I'm jealous, sort of, in my old, retired way.
Yeah :D It's a nice room; seats about 430, a Meyer line array, the subs are in a loft about twelve feet off the floor off house left and right about half a dozen seats back from the down stage edge. Could be a better location, like flown with the arrays, but they sound all right. I can't remember what the sub model number is, but they're the compact subs that Meyer has for the M1D array. I'd like more subage, but we don't run a lot of rock shows in this room, mainly community theatre and world music type shows (clasical Indian, celtic, etc...)

The PM5D is newly installed, while I was out running theatre in Utah for the summer. The previous console was an old Soundcraft K3. An okay console, but it's like a Flinstone's car compared to the supped up Corvette that is the PM5D. :twisted:

I'm going to be joining the union soon--filling out the application tonight. I just have to come up with the initiation fee. Then I'm going to take the journeyman's exam. At which point I'll end up being the main audio guy that works in this room. It's going to be nice...:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK - great info guys...thanks much.

Hakukani - thanks for letting me know why not to use compression. After learning that it can mud up the sound, I realized that was the info. I was ultimately looking for, just didn't know if yet. Easy on the compression. Got it.

As for the Samson - I knew by the price that I wasn't getting anything on the elite end of things. There is only one venue where I use my wireless rig, and thats only because there is very little stage space, and the bar patrons were tripping over my mic stand.

And thanks for the suggestion of a sound processor. I'm pretty much an anti-gear head. I've been playing on the same two horns for 15 years. I made a mouthpiece switch 5 years ago, and that was a big deal. I was thinking about something like this for a while, but have been real hesistant to go beyond what I am comfortable with. Sounds like it could be worth the plunge.

Thanks again....

-Todd
 

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I tried to EQ a Samson wireless headset once. It had a harsh sound no matter how much I tweaked. The best option is a better mic.
 
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