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  1. #11
    BretGBrown, CTS

    Re: Recording live speaking

    Wel, I have done live sound for many years now, and without more information (such as where are your Amplified Speakers in comparison to your Presenters) it is hard to say why you are having so much trouble with feedback.
    However, I will try to give an example of how your setup should be based on my experiences.
    1. Speaker placement is key. If the presenter is walking around in front of your speakers, then you will almost always have feedback. You want the speakers out in front of the presenter as much as possible.
    2. Lav placement is crucial when considering all things; such as how loud is the presenter? Does he speak boldly, or does he mumble and speak softly?
    Typically, the Lav should be about a hands width from the presenters throat. This can be debated, but it usually works best for me.
    Also take into consideration: Does the presenter tend to turn his/her head to the right or left more frequently? Then position the Lav accordingly.
    3. EQ can solve a lot of feedback issues, but you can over eq and make it just sound bad. As little eq as possible is always the best choice. Having said that, using a parametric or a graphic eq can really help eliminate unwanted frequencies in the system. If those are not available, the eq onboard the mixing console will have to suffice.
    Most of the feedback that I experience is in the mid range. So, just cut the mid eq back until the feedback goes away. Of, course I could go into the whole setting up the board thing, but I will assume that you are familiar with this process. Just remember to eq mics one at a time....AND...leave the previous mics open. A good technician will be prepared when the presenter says "The five of us are gonna go up together. Can we get some more mics?"
    Of course, you can always tell them to pass a handheld, but they will be impressed if you can give them what they want.
    If you still have feedback issues, then you may want to consider cutting the gain back a little bit and make them speak louder.
    Hope it helps.

  2. #12

    Re: Recording live speaking

    yeah...lapels are my least favorite to deal with in live being the biggest problem I encounter, using shure WL 184s. I've built a custom windscreen for them and I usually compress the signal then process through a graphic eq to notch out the nasty swirling/howling (weirdest feedback of any mic I've used) noise. If you are reinforcing and recording you might want to try (if you aren't already) "y"ing the output of the microphone, one output to your house console and the other to a separate mixer for recording so that you can set the mic as loud as you need (and getting possibly a better eq) for your recording needs and then concentrate on getting a better house mix.
    You should get some outbaord graphic eq's, they are always handy, or if you have a set for your mains try notching out the unwanted noises.

  3. #13

    Re: Recording live speaking

    Getting good signal at the source is the most important part of live sound. I agree with everyone posted so far, especially about EQ and speaker placement.<At my church our Pastor or guest uses a Sony Countryman earpiece mic for the most part, and Sony (various grades, depending on the sit.) lavs for other stuff, including plays. The Countryman is factory modified to plug in to a Shure transmitter tothestage pit booth, along with 10 or so other shure recievers for the praise team mics. Along with 40 or so more channels for the band and choir, effects etc, this is all split 3 ways with terminal strips to feed the pit, the FOH booth, and the AV studio for our tv ministry. We control the feed back with painstakingly researched and tested EQ (1/3 oct graphics for the hi-mid-low speakers configs. left and right, adding up to 6 EQ's), and a PC based processor/router up at the house booth. We record everything in a studio down the hall with another mixer that also feeds the video room,, so isolation is the key to our recording situation. You can safely tap off the output of most mic recievers at least three times and send those signals to different locations/systems in the building without degenerationg the signal too much. If all you need to record is the Word, then you probably don't need all that. Get the best quality mic/tranciever combo your church can afford, and then treat recording and PA as separate entities if you can, but at least you will know this is not the weak link, and work on the rest of the links one link at a time, (the way God works on us). As for cables, make sure your impedences are always matched, your connections are sound, and it doesn't matter too much how many splices there are.
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

  4. #14

    Re: Recording live speaking

    I most definately aggree with everything that these wonderful engineers have mentioned, especialy mic placement, speaker placement, what type of mic, and what kind of cables. Here, it just sounds wrong using all those cables to connect to the back of your house of worship, espeicaly how you mentioned that they arent the in best condition. I would recomend first off one of these two recomendations as these will clear up alot of yoru problems easiest (yes you still may need to change a few other things around to get it about right, but these will do the most claering up of the audio): 1. Invest in some 2 conductor shielded cable (this is the type of wire that balanced connections use such as XLR and 1/4" TRS), either 18 awg or 22 awg, both will work fine so that you will have one long cable run of one, new, balanced, XLR or 1/4" cable so there will most likely be no disturbance from one connection to the other connection. OR 2. invest in a good quality wireless lapel such as shure or sennheiser and quite possibly to get the most gain before feedback, invest in a countryman (connects right in where the lapel mic plugs in on the wireless transmitter) with the correct connection to either of the body pack you invest in because these mics have proven to allow the absolute highest gain before feeback as compared to a lapel (these mics are very difficult to get them to do what you want them to do for live renforcement) (all the different brands of body packs from the lapels all use different connections just to make everything difficult so just make sure they'll match up before purchasing an exact model of the countryman).

    You can also try replacement of your speakers so that they are in front of the pastor (if not already) and this will also give you more gain before feedback.

    The Y- split thing is not that nescessary as if you just Y the input you have right now with those bad cables, youll still have the exact same dinky audio being recorded as you are getting right now, just louder (assuming you can gain the audio that much to the level desired). I have used this method a few times where I'll split the source and then route it to 2 channels so that i can set different eq settings as well as different levels and then route each channel to different places, such as one of the splits only to house and then the other I sent only to a bus that was connected to a VTR (same thing as a VCR but just higher quality) to be recorded since the auditorium that i was enginering at was quite dinky and not eq'ed correctly as well as i did not have a graphic eq handy nor the time to level off those frequencies, so i just spit it and that made it sound half decent. May I also say that this is basicaly what every profesional show does, they split the signal 3 times: 1. Monitors (what the band and/or performers hear), 2. FOH (front of house, this is what the audience hears), 3. either broadcast and/or recording.

    That is pretty much what I can suggest to rectify this problem of yours, just remember that everything that all of us post is just suggestions, this does not mean that you have to do something just becuase we say it may help (we are here just to suggest based on experience), just use your best judgement in deciding what should be done, and you'll most likely be successful. Cheers and break a leg (not literally, it's a theatre tradition to say as an alternate to saying "good luck")!!

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