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Old January 27th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Microphone for DJ Speakers

What mic is best for recording from a DJ's speaker. I have had mixed success using a SM58 and a RE50 with a lectrosonics plug-in wireless.

I get intelligible audio for the speeches but the music is always muddy. A little clearer with RE50, but lacking low end.

Will a better mic get me better results, or does this have something to do with the compander in the wireless?
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Old January 27th, 2011, 01:17 PM   #2
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I've been using a Sennheiser E604 drum mic and it works great. However, it is big on low end and short on the high end. I also use an AKG Blueline Hypercaroid on the camera. That setup has been on my camera for about the last 5 years or so and has proven to me to work very very well. The Hyper gets the room ambience and top end of music, the E604 gets the low end of music . In post I have to do almost nothing to the music. For voice it works well as long as the person who is talking holds the mic where it's supposed to be. Most non-pros don't, so I depend more on the hypercaroid.

I tried many different mics before settling in on the Sennheiser E604 and none worked as well. I've used it in live band situations as well and it works well there also.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 01:33 PM   #3
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Miking a loudspeaker is always a compromise. If you look at the speakers in a guitar amp - the sound people spend a lot of time selecting which particular area of the single speaker they aim their chosen microphone at. An SM57 is very popular - and a 58 isn't that different. One part of the cone is brighter, another much more bassy, and finding the right place is a bit tricky. Many who find the 'sweet spot' mark the grill with an X! for next time.

A PA speaker isn't even just one driver - there will be multiples so any for of close in miking means compromise. From a metre or two, they start to balance out to what the audience hear. Go closer and then you will have an unbalanced sound - not really much you can do about that.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 07:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. Paul what you are saying makes perfect sense. Actually it's why I decided to try an omni like the RE50. I thought the aiming wouldn't be as critical. Unfortunately I usually have to place the mic right up to the speaker to avoid having a mic stand in the middle of the dance floor.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 09:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Walsh View Post
Thanks for the responses. Paul what you are saying makes perfect sense. Actually it's why I decided to try an omni like the RE50. I thought the aiming wouldn't be as critical. Unfortunately I usually have to place the mic right up to the speaker to avoid having a mic stand in the middle of the dance floor.
And thats why I recommend the Sennheiser drum mic. To keep the mic out of the way it has to be close to the speaker, I mean close. The drum mic is made to take the high SPLs and placement isn't 100% critical. I keep the mic about 3 to 6 inches from the speaker (not the bass speaker BTW) and there have been times when it's been turned straight up to the ceiling and it's still worked up fine.

Trust me I've tried every kind of mic from shotguns to lavs to omnis (almost tried a tin can with a sting but it proved impractical) and the drum mic is the only thing that's worked, but it works best when used with an on camera mic ti get the high end.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 03:04 AM   #6
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Kevin, if you're tempted down Don's route have a look at AT's drum mics. I'm unfamiliar with Sennheiser's but AT has a Kick/.Tom mic (which I'd expect to be bassy) and also a Snare/Tom (which might be less bassy). Both handle very high SPLs which is a biug risk close micking speakers.

However, if I had the choice I'd take Paul's advice and avoid close miking. Why not invest in a boom and put your stand behind the speakers with the boom hanging over the front? If a mic stand isn't big enough try a lighting stand. We used them for suspending mics in a Decca tree array over brass bands etc.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 06:08 AM   #7
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Im asking because i dont know...but couldnt you plug into the Djs board with a field recorder as well? (ie Zoom H4n) or will you lose something here?
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Old January 30th, 2011, 06:38 AM   #8
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Yes you could BUT...some DJs won't let you plug into their board (afraid you'll mess something up I guess), some don't know where you would plug in as they don't know anything about their gear except how to play the music and keep the levels raised as high as they can. You need to have a lot of different connections, mini, 1/4, RCA, XLR adapters to go from 1 to another because you don't know exactly what kind of connection you'll get.

I used to ask but stopped since some, not all, DJs either didn't want me to plug in (don't know why) or simply screwed my audio up so bad because they were incompentent that I stopped asking and started using my 2 mic system.

Now at a seminar for instance where I'm working with a professional sound person who knows the gear and knows what I need, that's a different story.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 09:59 PM   #9
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Something that has been working great for me (since I don't use a wireless system) is putting my Edirol R-09HR up on a mic stand in front of the DJ's speaker. I leave the AGC on with the sensitivity switched to "Low." Everything matches up beautifully with PluralEyes. The audio mixes great with the crowd sounds from my camera recording.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 06:56 AM   #10
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I love it when I walk in to a reception and see JBL or Mackie speakers. Usually these speakers have a line-level XLR out on the back where I take my wireless feed from. The DJ doesn't mind because you're not messing with his board.

If directly plugging-in isn't an option, I hang a lav between the tweeter and woofer to try to get a balanced mix.

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