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Shure UT4 Wireless: Causing Feedback?


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Hi Folks,

 

I'm the mod over at the recording forum, but I also do some live sound.

 

A band I've been working with recently is having a problem with the lead singers' Shure UT4/SM58 wireless system which is driving me (and her) insane.

 

I get everything set up, check the wired vocal mics (EV 457B) and the monitors and mains are just fine. Girl singer arrives, hooks up her wireless and all heck breaks loose. I get about half the gain from the monitors, followed by ringing at at least 4-5 different frquencies. I know that a 58 has a different response curve than the EVs, but this is out of hand. I can NOT get her a decent monitor level, and it's really making me feel bad, for her as well as me. It doesn't help that she's one of the nicest people I've ever met.

 

The question: I've tried switching out every component - can a wireless really screw things up this badly, or is it malfunctioning? She said that she's had problems in the past with feedback using other PA's, but another member's identical system was fine.

 

I've probably done at least 500 gigs with this system (many different bands/venues) and it's always performed flawlessly - nothing but good comments from both musos/patrons. Many ask for LESS monitor.

 

My PA is small, but has been tweaked in so that it works great in most smaller (100 seat) clubs. It consists of a variety of mics (EV 457s, SM-57s, 421's, etc.) into a Mackie 1402 (yeah, I know...) thru a pair of DOD 410 PA processer thingies (15 band, 2 notch foilters, limiters.) I've got a dBX 166 patched in on the two main vocal channels and run a Lexi MPX100 for FX.

 

For speakers I've got EV S-300s on sticks, driven by one channel of a Crest VS1500, a pair of Peavey subs running kick and bass only off the other channel of the Crest.

 

I'm running 3 EAW SM202 monitors, off a Yamaha P2000 amp. Two wedges up front, one for the drummer (no vocal mic on him.)

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

 

MG

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The fact that it's wireless shouldn't make any difference.

 

The response of the 58 is different from the EV's, but that should only make a few dB difference in your gain before feedback point.

 

It is possible that the mic is damaged, try a wired 58 in it's place to see if things change. How about her using the EV for a gig and see if things are ok?

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I've had some issues with wireless mic's like this as well. Here is what I have found. Most times the wireless system is not adjusted properly. There is probably an adjustment on the transmitter. Make sure the receiver is not getting to hot of a signal. Hopefully it has clip lights at least. A signal meter would be nice. The next part can be a little more difficult. Adjust the output on the receiver so the gain structure matches other vocal mics on your mixer. You should be able to do this by using the PFL's on your mixer. At least this will minimize distortion and noise from the receiver.

 

I have found that when the gain structure in the wireless system is out of whack it causes feedback problems in the monitor system. This has always solved my problems. Let's face it, if there are adjustments to anything people tend to turn it all the way up. Must be better that way right.:)

 

Hope some of this helps you out.

J

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Originally posted by J Kylez

I've had some issues with wireless mic's like this as well. Here is what I have found. Most times the wireless system is not adjusted properly. There is probably an adjustment on the transmitter. Make sure the receiver is not getting to hot of a signal. Hopefully it has clip lights at least. A signal meter would be nice. The next part can be a little more difficult. Adjust the output on the receiver so the gain structure matches other vocal mics on your mixer. You should be able to do this by using the PFL's on your mixer. At least this will minimize distortion and noise from the receiver.


I have found that when the gain structure in the wireless system is out of whack it causes feedback problems in the monitor system. This has always solved my problems. Let's face it, if there are adjustments to anything people tend to turn it all the way up. Must be better that way right.
:)

Hope some of this helps you out.

J

If the gain is set higher, then it would be louder and thus should have lower gain at the board. It's a gain before feedback issue. You may hear some distortion (xmitter over-mod) but it will not increase the likelihood of feedback.

 

That's assuming, of course, that the actual volumes of the mics (regardless of console settings) is similar. If you are setting the console channels the same and then have feedback on one mic, it could be because the receiver levels are "arbitraty" (none are the same due to product gain structure, different standards, and calibration) and the volumes will be different. I'm assuming this is not the case.

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Is there feedback if she uses a wired microphone?

 

You also said that another person has an identical system, is there feedback if she uses that one?

 

Have you turned off the other (EV) microphones and tried to ring out the system with just her microphone on?

 

Where does she hold the transmitter? Close to the base of the microphone? This sometimes alters the polar patter (making it more omni - happens with all directional microphones) and can open it up to unwanted frequencies.

 

You mentioned that you have a dbx 166 inserted on the vocal channel. This may also be contributing to the problem. Have you defeated that? Sometimes the squashing effect of the compressor limits the dynamic range, which not only stops the vocal from sticking out of the mix, but causes feedback at lower volumes.

 

On a side note, it is refreshing to get a question like yours with lots of information. Far too often we get questions like "I'm getting lots of FB in my monitors. What could it be?" So thanks for taking the time to explain the problem and the setup!

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See below for answers...

 

 

Originally posted by Sugarfried

Is there feedback if she uses a wired microphone?




You also said that another person has an identical system, is there feedback if she uses that one?




Have you turned off the other (EV) microphones and tried to ring out the system with just her microphone on?




Where does she hold the transmitter? Close to the base of the microphone? This sometimes alters the polar patter (making it more omni - happens with all directional microphones) and can open it up to unwanted frequencies.




You mentioned that you have a dbx 166 inserted on the vocal channel. This may also be contributing to the problem. Have you defeated that? Sometimes the squashing effect of the compressor limits the dynamic range, which not only stops the vocal from sticking out of the mix, but causes feedback at lower volumes.




On a side note, it is refreshing to get a question like yours with lots of information. Far too often we get questions like "I'm getting lots of FB in my monitors. What could it be?" So thanks for taking the time to explain the problem and the setup!

 

 

Thanks - I've been at this long enough to know that info is our friend. She's got a lot of upper-mid presence in her voice, but so do a lot of singers - I'm really frustrated by this. I've never had a problem with any other singers/band. It's compounded by the fact that she's a GREAT person and doesn't really have enough $ right now (putting her husband thru college) to replace/upgrade. Even with all the problems we've been having she STILL brought me some home-baked chocolate chip cookies last gig. It's killin' me!

 

Thanks again,

 

MG

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One thing that might help is switching to a Beta 58A capsule. It's not too expensive, and might be better for her voice. It's easy to do, all you have to do is take off the top portion of the handheld transmitter. The Beta 58 Wireless capsule list price is around $150, so you can probably find one for less than that.

The model number is R179.

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Originally posted by greed2000

I struggled with my wireless (guitar) system when I first got it. I was getting horrible feedback through the monitors. It simply needed to have the receiver's output backed off a bit.


good luck!

greed

 

Or you could have turned down the mixer's input. Gain is gain, anywhere in the signal path

.

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