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Old May 9th, 2015, 09:27 AM   #16
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

"Audio Technica used to sell a cardioid lav with XLR output"
- AFAIK they still do.
The AT898.. a cardioid version of the (decent sounding) AT899.
That said, cardioid lavs are still not a preferable option unless feedback is an issue.
A better option is a headset, if appearance permits it.
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Old May 9th, 2015, 05:20 PM   #17
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

I am the pastor of a church. It is for when speakers speak

We used the Canford converter today and it works. The lavalier microphone is not up to par as expected.

I have ordered this as a temporary measure, until we can afford a decent headset mic:

chord 171.857 Neckband Wireless Microphone Headset: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

I don't expect any awe inspiring quality but with the mic being in front of the mouth, it should be good enough for now.

We can throw some cash at it in the future when it's not such a pressing issue to get any workable solution in place (there is a deaf woman in the congregation and her hearing aid picks up the speakers much better than just a speaker talking).

It was buying the lavalier that triggered this. If I'd known it needed to be powered, I would have gone about this differently.

The wireless option was a poor choice because it was far too expensive.

We basically just want a mic to play the speaker's voice out of the PA.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 06:17 AM   #18
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

Does the speaker (or speakers) at your church stand at a lectern? That is the case at any church I've ever attended. (Forgive me, but I'm pretty conservative about worship: I would never attend any "church" with a rock'n'roll band instead of a real choir and organ.)

If a lectern is always used, I'd think a good lectern mic with an appropriate gooseneck would be more convenient than putting on and taking off an over-the-ears headset mic like the link you provided. A lectern mic would be especially practical in a service where one minister reads the scripture, another gives the sermon, perhaps another delivers a "message for the kiddies."

And a lectern mic would be much less susceptible to breakage compared an any mic worn on the person. A lectern mic is not plugged and unplugged with every use. There is no ultra-small-diameter wire that is easily fatigued and broken, a lectern mic will not be dropped, etc.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 06:35 AM   #19
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

There is a lectern but we don't use it because it's in an elevated position on a platform. We don't like the feeling of standing above the congregation. That's not the role of a pastor.

We stand in front of the lectern.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 07:19 AM   #20
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

This could lead to an interesting discussion, but it's too far off topic.

However, by not using the lectern (with a lectern mic) for its intended purpose, you're making your audio problem more difficult, with more potential problems, than it could be.

And when you say "we" (assuming you use the word in the literal sense, not the royal sense) that means that two or more people will be putting on and taking off some sort of mic, perhaps plugging and unplugging; and if you chose to go wireless then you'll incur some additional expense not just once but multiple times for multiple systems.

One other possibility: perhaps all the speakers could share a stand mic, even if it's not on a lectern. IMHO that would not be any more off-putting (to me, at least, as a potential member of the congregation) than a head-worn mini-mic (which always conjures the vision of a rock star in my imagination).
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Old May 10th, 2015, 08:01 AM   #21
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

We've been using a Shure SM58 but you really have to speak directly into it.A general condenser would pick up too much 'room noise'.

I appreciate what you're saying about wear and tear but that only component that is likely to fail is the headset and at 15, I'm not overly concerned. I don't foresee it failing all that much.

When I say 'we', I mean my co-pastor and I.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 08:51 AM   #22
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

Re: the 15 headset. In general you get what you pay for. At that price, there will be some compromise, either in quality, or in durability, or in both. You'll have to evaluate the quality, and weigh the risk once you get it.

The Shure SM58, while very popular with musicians, was designed for very close vocal work. You'll see countless singers with the mic touching (or nearly touching) their lips. Surely that's not the way you want to preach. A condenser in the same price range would probably have better audio fidelity than the SM58 (which is a dynamic). That does not mean the condenser mic would pick up more noise.

The amount of noise picked up at a given distance is related to the directional characteristic of the mic. With omnidirectional as a reference (it picks up equally in every direction), a cardioid pattern will pick up somewhat less noise (depending on the direction of the noise relative to the mic axis); a hypercardioid or supercardioid will pick up a bit less than that. You could probably stand three feet from a hyper and still not be troubled by noise pickup; OTOH the tight pattern of a hypercardioid mic will constrain you from moving around very much, lest you go off-axis and the voice level drops. (And -- not to debate your interpretation of a pastor's role -- one advantage of using a lectern is that it tends to keep you in the right place, relative to a fixed mic.)

Having said that, the amount of noise picked up by a given mic is related to the ratio between "mic-to-speaker distance" and "mic-to-noise distance." If you get a good condenser stand mic, and speak into it from a distance of 12 inches, you will need twice as much amplifier gain as if you speak from a distance of 6 inches. Therefore, you will hear twice as much noise with the gain at the "12 inch" setting as you would hear with the lower gain at the "6 inch" setting. So if you are really worried about noise, then a very close mic (like the headworn device) would have an advantage. But there will be some tradeoffs with the close distance (plosive popping, perhaps proximity effect, etc.) and these may be exacerbated by the low price and resulting quality. Obviously I haven't attended your church, but most churches I've attended are relatively quiet, so room noise pickup would not be a major concern with a stand-mounted mic, gain adjusted for a speaking distance of 12 to 18 inches.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 09:12 AM   #23
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

Another consideration is that we will possibly be connecting an output on the sound desk to a laptop to record. That is why I'm concerned over room noise.

We have some young children in the room and with the best will in the world, they are sometimes prone to making noise.

I will have to research other stand mounted condensers because the Shure SM58 is not ideal.

My co-pastor is Charlie Landsborough's son, so he has had a lot of experience with using microphones but for me and other speakers it really is unsuitable.

All in all, I think you are right and that I'll have to assess the headset when it arrives and see where to go from there.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 09:39 AM   #24
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

If you're planning to record, consider a few relevant questions. What is the expected purpose of the recordings? How far are the noisy children from the microphone?

I imagine you are not recording your sermons for distribution as a commercial CD which needs to be completely free of background noise. More likely you are making what I would call an "archival" recording of the service. In that case, if there were some noisy children, it's entirely expected to hear them in the "archive" of what happened on that given day. The consideration, of course, is that the noise should not make the desired voice unintelligible. Unless your venue is very unusual (compared to my experience) I think that's unlikely to happen. Sound intensity varies as the square of the ratio of the distance. If you are one foot from the mic, and the children are ten feet away, the mic will be 1/100 as sensitive to them as it is to your voice. That's a difference in level of 40 dB, which is quite a lot. (There will be somewhat less difference if the room is very reverberant; on the other hand there will be somewhat more difference if the mic is cardioid and the children are located somewhere behind the mic's main pickup direction.) So if there is a short cry, it will be unobjectionable on the recording. If the squalling is so loud and so prolonged that it makes your pause in your preaching, then it will be audible enough on the recording that a listener will understand why you paused.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 09:50 AM   #25
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

The children will be 20-30ft away.

The recordings are to put on YouTube. We are not a church that follows man-made doctrine from Rome and are entirely Scriptural.

We keep the Biblical Sabbath and God's law so we're of interest around the world and to other groups that have reverted to following Scripture and left tradition (Mark 7:7-8).

The background noise is therefore not a major problem but it is a consideration as we'd like to make the teachings as accessible as possible.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 10:07 AM   #26
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

If you hope to distribute your services via YouTube, then audio quality is of more importance than if you are concerned only about speech reinforcement in your local venue. There will be no direct "mouth to ear" sound path, the listener will have only the recording to rely upon. And data compression, combined with unpredictable quality of the various playback systems, means you really want to have good audio fidelity (which is not synonymous with lack of all ambient noise). So in order to evaluate your mic (and the entire recording chain) you need to listen to playback, rather than relying on comments about your local reinforcement system.

If the children are that far away, I doubt that they'll pose a significant audio problem, if you are speaking within 12 or even 18 inches of a cardioid mic on a stand. (The exception to this would be if you are in the Sistine Chapel or St. Paul's, or some equally reverberant space.) If you want to try something other than an SM58, you might start with an Audio Technica AT2021 condenser mic. IMHO it will sound much better than the SM58, and might even cost a bit less. Work it at a distance of 12 to 18 inches .. don't be tempted to "eat" the mic! Use a foam "pop filter" on the mic, to reduce problems from plosives if you are speaking directly into the mic. It will require phantom voltage from your sound desk; any reasonably professional desk of recent vintage should provide that.

Of course the rest of your system needs to be reasonably good, and you need a good sound operator as well. You can't just "set it and forget it" and expect audio good enough for your intended purposes. This concerns me more than a little, because if you already had a good sound operator, you would not have been asking the questions, and making the wrong purchasing decisions, that you've indicated on this forum. In fact if your operation is really "worldwide" in scope, perhaps you should be consulting a professional sound contractor in your immediate locale, to help you with ongoing questions and problems, rather than looking online for help with a home-quality microphone.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 10:17 AM   #27
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

We also record the services with a camera but the audio quality is significantly improved with a separate audio input.

At the moment the main focus is the congregation but with it being only the addition of a single wire, we will probably output the audio from the desk into the laptop as well as the video.

The sound desk can be operated by either one of us while the other is speaking.We each have studio experience but not any experience with live speaking. We're just feeling our way when it comes to that.

It's "worldwide" in terms of having viewers from different locales and needing to accommodate an internet audience.

Thank you for your advice. I will take it all into consideration.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 10:43 AM   #28
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

I'm sure an audio input from an appropriate mic would be better than the sound of an on-camera mic, if that's how you're recording presently.

If two of you have studio experience you may be quite competent to operate the board. Yet you may have no actual technical background to guide you with the details. (I meet many musicians who are quite decent operators, and are capable of obtaining the sound they want, yet they have no idea how the equipment works, or how to interface it. Indeed, it is probably better for them to turn their own knobs, based on what they are hearing, rather than for them to try to put into words the sound that they want and having me turn the knobs.)

As a side note, I find it interesting that neither of you pastors has experience with live speaking. Am I correct in concluding that you did not have any traditional training in the ministry?

I still feel, if you are trying to attract and retain a worldwide audience, that there would be some real benefit in your establishing a personal relationship with a trusted audio professional nearby, whom you could call upon to help with any audio crisis, and who might even have needed mics, connectors, parts, etc. in stock locally. Be that as it may, I (and other forum members) are more than happy to try to help you out as you go along. So please feel free to keep us in the loop as things evolve.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 10:53 AM   #29
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

No experience recording live speaking I mean. We both have previous experience speaking live.

Neither of us went to seminary. I find that seminaries tend to skew the understanding of the Word. I was offered a paid seminary education and declined it. Man has butchered God's Word with their own take on the Bible which removes it from its original Hebraic context and looks at it from a Greek neoplatonic mindset.

Just like in the time of Jesus, when He was rebuking the religious leaders of the day for following tradition rather than the Scriptures. There is nothing new under the sun.

As funding allows, I think that the services of a professional would be greatly beneficial. We've just moved into a new building which needs a new boiler though so that is first on the list of priorities, followed by a better camera. We'll advance bit by bit as God wills.

Thank you again.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 11:28 AM   #30
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Re: Wireless Bodypack for Lapel Mic

Apologies to the audio purists, this post is entirely off topic.

I would think the biggest difficulty with interpretation of the Bible would lie in translation. Since the Bible was written 2,000 or more years ago, in ancient Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, and since I have absolutely no knowledge of those languages or of their history and proper translation, I couldn't possibly sit down and read the actual original Bible. Once I start relying on someone else's translation, I am at the mercy of the political, economic, and religious bias imposed when each successive translation was made. This is not to mention the fact that certain different sects accept or reject various books of the Bible as being legitimate. I would hope that an ideal seminary might be home of scholars who have studied the history and translation of these languages and can help to render the Bible into modern language accurately. But modern institutions, too (including seminaries) are subject to political, economic, and religious bias. So I personally think it's nearly hopeless to really understand the Bible, without having been present when and where its various books were written.

For myself, I would rather find spirituality in some of the great sacred music, be it by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninov or someone else whose works have survived the test of time. (I reject the contemporary religious music I've heard as being terribly shallow and un-moving by comparison.) I would like to hope that those writers were truly moved by the Spirit, and hope that listening to their music will consequently impart some sense of spirituality to me. Having said all that, I wish you success in following your chosen path. You are certainly welcome for any help I've been able to provide thus far, and you're more than welcome to ask again at any time in the future.

Peace.
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