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10-year-old wows crowd at the NBA Finals - using a Heil PR35 microphone

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When 10-year-old Julia Dale was rehearsing the Star-Spangled Banner before Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Miami, her soaring rendition caught the ear of the man who would be directing the game later that night on ABC. She had done so well, he decided, that the performance would be carried live on the national broadcast.

Miss Dale's vocal sound was captured for the worldwide audience on a Heil PR35 vocal microphone.  The PR35 excels in overall warmth and sound quality, uniformity of its pickup pattern, and its ability to isolate the voice from nearby instruments and other sound sources. 

The young Miss Dale didn't disappoint when she got on basketball's biggest stage:
 

 
If you'd like more information about the Heil PR35, please give us a call. 
 

CTA Classroom - Ground Loops

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by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org

The topic for today's post comes from a reader, Jonathan Mould. He wanted to know more about the electrical side of sound. This is an interesting topic because sound is both electrical and physical. Sound systems turn physical movement of air into electrical signals, then process and amplify those signals (sometimes changing them into streams of 1s and 0s and back), and finally turn those amplified signals back into physical air movement. It's all kind of crazy when you think of it that way.

I started this post thinking I could tackle three topics and realized that even a cursory explanation of ground loops would take a whole post. So, you're witnessing the beginning of a series here. First up, Ground Loops.

Ground Loops

To understand ground loops, one must first understand electricity. A full explanation is beyond the scope of this article, but here's a brief description. Standard 120 volt circuits consist of three leads; a hot (current carrying) lead, a neutral (the return) and a ground. To vastly over-simplify, the electricity leaves the panel on the hot lead, travels to the appliance, does some work and returns to the panel on the neutral. The ground is properly called a safety ground and serves one basic function—to send any electricity right back to a safe place (the earth) if anything goes wrong inside the appliance. This is a preferred outcome (as opposed to sending said accidental electricity through your body to the earth).

Electrons go from the panel, to the appliance, do some work and then back to the panel on the neutral leg. This is vastly simplified, OK?

Electricity always wants to get back to ground, or earth, and will always take the path of least resistance. Should there be a short inside an appliance, the chassis of said appliance could become energized. If you touched it and happened to be providing a good path to ground, that current will flow through you. Since it only takes about 20 milliamps to stop your heart, it's very possible that a short like that could kill you. This is why we never...

Read more: CTA Classroom - Ground Loops

   

CTA Classroom - Set Auxes to Post

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by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org

Last week, Chris Huff had a great post over at Behind the Mixer that explained the differences between pre- and post-fader aux mixes. He said, quite correctly, that you generally want monitor mixes to be pre-fader, and FX sends to be post-fader. I totally agree with that, and run my auxes that way almost all the time.

This post is going to be about when it makes sense to break those rules. Keep in mind that this is a compliment to, not a criticism of Chris's post. But first let's review. You generally want monitor mixes to be pre-fader because you don't want changes made to the house mix affecting the monitor mix; most of the time. Every once in a while, however, that's exactly what you want. Let's look at some examples.

Read more: CTA Classroom - Set Auxes to Post

   

Heil PR22UT - pro audio's best kept secret

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Quietly about a year ago, Heil Sound did something remarkable.  Not so much in a technical way, but in a practical way. 

The microphone business is tough.  Certain models have dominated the music scene for years, and it's darn hard for people to change their habits.  At the time, the Heil PR22 microphone was selling for $165, and was quickly increased to $182. 

When the world's most popular microphones sell for $99.95 (and there are 3-4 good ones right at that price point), I had to admit that I was disappointed.  $99.95 is a magic price point.  Pastors and tech directors don't need approval to spend $99.95, $99.95 seems like the "right" price for a mic, and the list goes on.  $99.95 just works in the same way that gasoline at $3.999 is somehow cheaper than gas at $4.00. 

So what did Heil Sound do?  The people there decided to package the PR22 without the fancy carrying case and without the extra black and extra gold windscreens and called it the PR22UT.

UT stands for utility.  It has a nickel colored windscreen and comes in a simple vinyl bag with a mic clip.  The price?

Read more: Heil PR22UT - pro audio's best kept secret

   

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