News

Choir mic shootout - Heil PR30 versus Beyerdynamic MC930, Neumann KM185, and Lewitt LCT340

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

In order to get a great choir sound in modern worship, you need a microphone with exceptional isolation, great uniformity of the polar or pickup pattern across its frequency response, and to be able to preserve enough warmth to make voices sound natural, without feedback.  And if you're a choir director, you know this is a tall order. There's always too much of something being picked up (besides the choir) - the drum kit, the orchestra, the bass amp, you name it.  You just never have enough of the voices. 

In early April, we were contacted by a church in Huntsville, AL with a little bit of a challenge.  The choir director had read our article about the Heil PR30 and its effectiveness for choir use and wanted to put it up against some big names in the microphone business.  Beyerdynamic (MC930), Neumann (KM185), and Lewitt (LCT340).  We talked with him for a few minutes and decided that we were up for the challenge, albeit with a sliver of trepidation. I mean, all of those microphones cost at least double of the PR30.  So we sent him four microphones to try, and waited for his report. 

Here's what he said. (click the link below for the rest of the story - hint: it's what you think it is, but I'll let his words tell the story)

Read more: Choir mic shootout - Heil PR30 versus Beyerdynamic MC930, Neumann KM185, and Lewitt LCT340

 

Save $100-150 with Sennheiser 'Gear Up and Cash In' promo

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Not necessarily as a result of the FCC-announced mandate to abandon the RF spectrum between 566-700MHz, Sennheiser has announced the Gear Up and Cash In summertime promo that offers up to a $500 per unit rebate with the trade-in of any manufacturer's wireless microphone system.  Between June 1 and August 31, buy an Evolution 100 Series system and receive $100 per system, buy an Evolution 300 Series system and receive $150 per system.  If you'd like to plan the purchase of Sennheiser 2000, 3000, 5000, or 9000 series, please call for more information.  Those systems are not available online, and rebates of up to $500 per system are available. 

Download the rebate form here.

   

If you own a wireless microphone, you need to read this.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Last week, the FCC released the date and details of both the start of spectrum incentive auctions and changes to the RF spectrum that will remain available for wireless microphones.  

With the ever-greater use of mobile broadband and the internet-of-things, the demand for RF bandwidth is immense, so television broadcasters are being asked to relocate and vacate, and secondary users like wireless microphones, wireless intercoms, and in-ear monitoring systems will be forced out, too.  

The start of the auctions will be May 31, 2016.  While details are not yet fully known, it appears that wireless microphone users will have 126MHz less RF spectrum available and that use of frequencies above 566MHz will become obsolete (and illegal) at some point.  

When users will be required to vacate the use of frequencies above 566MHz is not yet known, but in previous announcements, the time period of 42 months has been mentioned.  From this point forward, you will begin to see a transition to new technology, the reuse of the VHF spectrum and placement of microphones in the 900MHz and 2.4GHz portions of the RF spectrum.  

The primary takeaway from this announcement is that you should avoid purchasing wireless systems with operating ranges between 566-700MHz, if you plan to use them for more than a few years.  

If you have questions about how this impacts your set-up, or if we can help with planning during this time of transition, please be in touch.  And of course, we will keep you informed as we learn more. 

   

Berklee Standardizes on Point Source CR-8D Earset Microphone

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SERIES8 mics expected to support up to 300 student-run productions each year

berklee singers 563

Student actors of Berklee College of Music perform wearing Point Source Audio's SERIES8 cardioid headset
(Photo Credit: Berklee College of Music)

Berklee College of Music - home to more than 4,000 students and a list of successful alumni who have collectively won more than 300 GRAMMYs and Emmy Awards - has standardized on Point Source Audio's SERIES8 cardioid headsets as their musical production microphone.

The Point Source mics debuted for the school's Berklee Performance Center Anniversary Concert: 100 Years of Musical Theater with a cast of 20 wearing the CR-8D headset.

"After doing our tests, we found the CR-8D to give the least coloration and the highest gain before feedback. I've used many other headset brands but by the time I completed tuning all of the rings out, the signal would be completely unrecognizable as a human voice. With the CR-8D headsets, the sound is much more natural after feedback corrections," reported Alejo Planchart, production manager in concert operations for Berklee. "The exact placement near the mouth of the singer was the most forgiving out of all the headsets I've used before and the noise handling was very minimal, which are two very crucial factors when working with student singers."

Responsible for over 2,200 events each year in six different performance venues, the production and theater staff at Berklee sought to find a robust headset microphone that could also deliver a highly directional pattern because many of their productions require floor monitors where feedback tends to be a major issue.

Berklee has many student-run productions and beginner students are still learning proper microphone placement so it was very important for Berklee to find a headset that would stay in place throughout numerous costume changes.

We find Point Source microphones to be an excellent choice for live speaking, singing and drama use, especially where floor monitors are in use.  Find more information and/or order your own CR-8D headsets here.  From $499. 

   

Can you help us with our sound system?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

"Dave, can you come to Sioux Falls to help us with our sound system?"

Prior to that call, we had worked together with the Ransom Church for some add-on products and accessories, but the new tech director wanted to talk with us about systems, so that we'd have a better understand of their needs as the church grew.

A couple weeks later, I boarded a plane to Sioux Falls, SD. From the cool vibe of the concrete-floored welcome area, I walked into the back door of the worship space where the tech director explained that weekend attendance was growing (from 300 to 1400 in under a year) and that the tech systems were straining under the load.

As he walked me around, I saw a lighting system that was well done, along with the audio and the video systems – both of which were recently installed.

Frankly, I wondered why I was there.

After a few minutes, I asked what types of issues they had and if I could hear the system. In a nutshell, the church had plenty of equipment, but the audio system did not sound good.

The space was loft-like in nature, having been an old auto parts warehouse. The wood trusses acted like a low ceiling, and the worship space was very wide, so acoustic volume was high near the platform, but didn't carry well toward the back, corner and side seating areas.  See "before" coverage map below.  The difference between yellow and purple areas is about 10dB, an apparent halving of acoustic volume. 

Ransom AC Before

As we discovered, the previous choice of main speakers was not poor equipment, but simply the wrong equipment.

Read more: Can you help us with our sound system?

   

Page 1 of 27

Newsletter

Newsletter

What others say

Also wanted to let you know that our first week with the new system was incredible!!!
People were really blessed, and were so blown away at the clarity of speech and audio overall in the entire space.

So thank you so much!!
--
Phil Kosakowski
Director of Technical Arts