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Vocal Mic Feedback: Cardioid vs Super/hyper Cardioid

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  • Vocal Mic Feedback: Cardioid vs Super/hyper Cardioid

    My drummer son and I have just started a duet ala the Black Keys or White Stripes.

    Our rehearsal setup for the moment is:

    - Acoustic drums
    - Guitar through my cranked 17 watt Goodsell
    - Me on vocals into Allen & Heath MixWiz 12 and out to two QSC K12 floor
    monitors.

    I'm having trouble getting enough gain before feedback with my supercardioid AKG D870 dynamic mic. It's a great little mic for the money and has served well on acoustic gigs. But it doesn't seem to be cutting it here. In fact, I have to put my amp across the room facing us for practice or it really howls.

    Wondered if a cardioid pattern would be better since it supposedly wouldn't pickup anything behind the mic (i.e., monitors). And I'd like to move the amp back over near me like it would be at a gig.

    In particular, I'm interested in the Shure 55 SH mic which is cardioid.

    http://www.shure.com/americas/products/microphones/classic/55SH-Series-II-iconic-unidyne-vocal-microphone

    I'd appreciate experienced opinions and guidance.

  • #2
    Have you EQ'd the room to cut the feedback out? Any acoustical treatment in the room?

    Audix OM7 is one of the top choices to feedback problematic rooms.

    It takes practice, proper gain structure and EQ'ing to perfect feedback control. I can have a singer with an SM58 crouch almost to the grill of a Microwedge before it
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    • #3
      How big is your reheasal room?
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      • #4
        You mention how your mic is a super cardiod and picks up sound from directly behind the mic. Do you have the speaker off-axis to the back of the mic? In the null of the pattern?
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        • #5


          I'm having trouble getting enough gain before feedback with my supercardioid AKG D870 dynamic mic. It's a great little mic for the money and has served well on acoustic gigs. But it doesn't seem to be cutting it here. In fact, I have to put my amp across the room facing us for practice or it really howls.

          Wondered if a cardioid pattern would be better since it supposedly wouldn't pickup anything behind the mic (i.e., monitors). And I'd like to move the amp back over near me like it would be at a gig.



          I'm not grasping this....

          Is your vocal mic feeding back, or is your guitar amp mic feeding back or....

          What do you mean by your amp howls? Do you mean your monitor speakers...?

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          • #6
            Hey Guys, I'm a nubile with sound equipment as I just started putting together my own system plus I've played mostly bluegrass for 20 yrs.

            The room is about 300 square ft, carpeted, with no acoustic treatments. It's also my son's bedroom separated from the rest of the house by the carport. Ain't much but it's what we've got.

            I know I should get a 32-band eq but just haven't built back up the PP account.

            Not sure if the mic is off-axis really. How off does it have to be? Up, down, sideways?

            The vocal mic is what's producing the feedback. The amp's not howling...I meant when I place the amp behind the vocal mic it gives me even less gain to work with before I get feedback problems.

            The places will be playing barely have enough room for our bluegrass 4-piece band much less when we start gigging with drums.

            Aside from things I can do to help this, which I hope you'll advise me on, does anyone have experience with that Shure 55 mic?

            Thanks.

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            • #7
              Have you EQ'd the room to cut the feedback out? Any acoustical treatment in the room?

              Audix OM7 is one of the top choices to feedback problematic rooms.

              It takes practice, proper gain structure and EQ'ing to perfect feedback control. I can have a singer with an SM58 crouch almost to the grill of a Microwedge before it

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              • #8
                Hey Guys, I'm a nubile with sound equipment as I just started putting together my own system plus I've played mostly bluegrass for 20 yrs.

                The room is about 300 square ft, carpeted, with no acoustic treatments. It's also my son's bedroom separated from the rest of the house by the carport. Ain't much but it's what we've got.

                I know I should get a 32-band eq but just haven't built back up the PP account.

                Not sure if the mic is off-axis really. How off does it have to be? Up, down, sideways?

                The vocal mic is what's producing the feedback. The amp's not howling...I meant when I place the amp behind the vocal mic it gives me even less gain to work with before I get feedback problems.

                The places will be playing barely have enough room for our bluegrass 4-piece band much less when we start gigging with drums.

                Aside from things I can do to help this, which I hope you'll advise me on, does anyone have experience with that Shure 55 mic?

                Thanks.


                Cheapest fix and most reliable fix is turn down. I have to preach this over and over with my bunch because put them on a stage and all hell breaks lose with volume. :facepalm:

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                • #9
                  A slightly relevant video to help understand some of the mic pickup pattern issues in relation to GBF:
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53-E8nUN7xM&feature=related

                  On a basic level, with a hyper-cardioid mic you want to have the monitor in the 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock position, relative to the microphone. With a cardioid, you want the monitor in the 12 o'clock position.

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                  • #10
                    This sounds very much like an issue of too much volume for the room, in which case a new mic is not going to help anything.

                    Consider how much of the drums and guitar are going into the mic.

                    Consider that your goal is to make the vocal louder than the drums and guitar.

                    Then consider that as you turn up the mic channel, you are also making whatever else in that channel louder, including the drums and guitar.

                    Perhaps you will come to the conclusion that if, measured at the mic, the drums or guitar is as loud as your voice, then you will never be able to make the vocal louder than the drums or guitar.

                    But, of course, that is just my reasoning. Others come to different conclusions.
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                    • #11
                      A slightly relevant video to help understand some of the mic pickup pattern issues in relation to GBF:
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53-E8nUN7xM&feature=related

                      On a basic level, with a hyper-cardioid mic you want to have the monitor in the 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock position, relative to the microphone. With a cardioid, you want the monitor in the 12 o'clock position.


                      Ok. Good tip and video reference there. Thanks.

                      We're trying not to be too loud believe or not. My son plays in his church youth band and has been working on his dynamics for several months and he uses VF 8D's which are very light.

                      Any rec's on an decent equalizer in the weekend warrior budget level (not Behringer level stuff, but more along the QSC/A&H line)?

                      How about auto feedback busters?

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                      • #12
                        Without being there it's hard to say what is happening. But if you need an EQ with that system (just for rehearsal) I would guess you're too loud - but as I said I'm not there, maybe you're not loud and there's another issue.

                        An EQ would help of course but.... for instance, I just used an HPR 122i last night as one of four monitors (ten piece band). I did not have an EQ on it and it was pretty loud.

                        So I'm guessing that because of the room size, reflections and band volume, you are louder than the room will allow. You can EQ out a few frequencies but after four or five cuts the volume will suffer such that you will want to turn it up again and.... you get the picture.

                        Feedback occurs when the source from the speaker appears at the mic as loud as the original source (or something to that effect - look it up).

                        Anyway, DBX makes some functional affordable EQ's such as the DBX 231.

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                        • #13
                          As far as the "Feedback Busters", I've used a pair of Behringers for a few years and my conclusion is they work OK, but I don't use them for any musical project that really matters. I reserve them more for public speeches, auctions, things that are not that critical to the ear. If speaker placement, etc.... don't work, I'd rather use a dedicated EQ.

                          TW

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                          • #14
                            I'm surprised no one in this thread has mentioned proper gain-structure.

                            Try this next time you plug-in your mic; set your mic channels' gain 'til it tickles the red LED, and then' crank the gain back about 6-9dB.(probably 9-10 o'clock?) Control your volume with the channel fader. Let me know if that works.

                            Also, are you using FX in that small room?
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                            • #15
                              I'm surprised no one in this thread has mentioned proper gain-structure.

                              Try this next time you plug-in your mic; set your mic channels' gain 'til it tickles the red LED, and then' crank the gain back about 6-9dB.(probably 9-10 o'clock?) Control your volume with the channel fader. Let me know if that works.


                              Amp attenuators can do wonders for gain structure. :idea:
                              Also to Pater as far as EQ recommendation DBX most affordable quality built EQ Also Rane and Ashly 31 band EQ if you have budget. Each monitor send needs it's on EQ so if your running a 2 separate mixes then a Dual 31 band would be more appropriate.
                              Come back once purchased and folks here will step you thru ringing out process.

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