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Mic or Mike Condom?


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i have a very nice Sontronics SOLO mic that I like to use. We have a one day festival gig in September and with the current situation don't want to be singing (I use the term loosley) i to a mic that has other people's bodily fluids added. I realise it will be a sound mixists nightmare but should I be able to use my own mic or just use a mic condom?

 

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Unless you’re likely to get a soundcheck I’d go for the condom. The desk will have the sound set for their mics and although any experienced sound person should be able to sort quickly, your first song is the one where you want to grab the crowd, having them need to sort levels and eq on that is risky.

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4 minutes ago, mcnach said:

I can't imagine anybody would object to your using your own microphone, to be honest.

I can't speak for anybody else, but back in the day I used to do P.A. hire with myself as engineer. As luck would have it I never got asked, but I'm not sure I'd have wanted somebody putting their own mic into the signal chain, not to mention the time it would take to set it up and check. Then again I did a lot of P.A. gigs with multiple acts, many of whom didn't really have a clue how it all worked. Also, as has been said, there would almost certainly be some issues with levels and EQ to resolve.

Depends on the circumstances I guess, but don't be surprised if you encounter resistance to the idea of using your own mic, unless it's been set up on its own stand with its own mixer channel (which in turn would mean it being done as part of the initial setup and routed through whatever outboard the engineer routinely uses for vocals).

Having your own pop filter would make all these problems go away...

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1 hour ago, Chienmortbb said:

i have a very nice Sontronics SOLO mic that I like to use...

Contact the sound team beforehand (they need your stage set-up, anyway...), and explain yourself. I'm pretty sure they'll be able to slot a mic change into the band change-over with no issues (assuming just a minimum of competence...). Singers will often enough use their own personal mic; it was quite a normal 'thing' at our yearly festival; no big deal. B|
The other option, to be sure..? Mime. ;)

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1 hour ago, leftybassman392 said:

I can't speak for anybody else, but back in the day I used to do P.A. hire with myself as engineer. As luck would have it I never got asked, but I'm not sure I'd have wanted somebody putting their own mic into the signal chain, not to mention the time it would take to set it up and check. Then again I did a lot of P.A. gigs with multiple acts, many of whom didn't really have a clue how it all worked. Also, as has been said, there would almost certainly be some issues with levels and EQ to resolve.

Depends on the circumstances I guess, but don't be surprised if you encounter resistance to the idea of using your own mic, unless it's been set up on its own stand with its own mixer channel (which in turn would mean it being done as part of the initial setup and routed through whatever outboard the engineer routinely uses for vocals).

Having your own pop filter would make all these problems go away...

 

Sometimes I get the same 'hmm, er...' about using my own amp or whatever. You go a long way by being nice about it and fluttering your eyelids ;) Levels, EQ... THAT's what we get a sound engineer for! Make them earn their fee! :D

I'd still want to use my own, but bringing a pop filter sounds like a very good insurance policy to have indeed.

It's hard to generalise, some festivals are barely justified the name, while others are very well organised and more ready to work with you. Typically the more they pay you, the more they work with you. It's a jungle out there.

 

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1 hour ago, leftybassman392 said:

Depends on the circumstances I guess, but don't be surprised if you encounter resistance to the idea of using your own mic, unless it's been set up on its own stand with its own mixer channel (which in turn would mean it being done as part of the initial setup and routed through whatever outboard the engineer routinely uses for vocals).

We've done a handful of gigs in the past year, each time we've been asked by the promoter  to bring our own mics.

Before plague, when I've worked as a stage manager at festivals, there would be people wanting to use their own mics for hygiene reasons. The FOH and monitor engineers didn't have a problem with that, as long as the mic wasn't cheap rubbish, which yours isn't.

Asking to use your own mic in the current situation isn't an unreasonable request - the promoter might even insist on it.

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4 hours ago, TheRev said:

We've done a handful of gigs in the past year, each time we've been asked by the promoter  to bring our own mics.

 

Indeed. If I were still working today I'd probably look to do the same (well, perhaps not quite the same; see below).

It'll slow things down though, especially if there's a lot of acts.

Another approach (which would be my preferred choice) would be to have a stock of pop filters and change them between acts. Good, experienced singers often want their own mics. With one - or even two - acts It wouldn't be such a big deal, but with a lot of acts it's a lot of mic swaps (not forgetting the clips for the stands...). If you get the chance to do a proper sound check so the sound person can tweak things for you then that'll take even more time. That said, IME proper sound checks can be a bit of a luxury, especially for smaller events. Even then, most engineers would (pre-pandemic at least) prefer to tweak your sound using their own mics. I guess maybe we'll just have to get used to standing around more while gear gets swapped around.

It's very similar to guitarists (and - let's be honest - bass players) wanting to use their own gear. Doable of course, but can make for a very crowded stage area - lots more mic-ups and DIs to organise. I've played festivals where the organisers have insisted on everyone using the (admittedly very nice) amps and DI connections. I've also run sound systems where there were umpteen amps onstage, and sod's law being what it is, some muppet invariably managed to get it wrong when it was their turn, and either put up with a shite sound or spend half an hour in front of an increasingly testy audience trying to untangle his gear and leads.

TL;DR If it's a properly organised event with relatively few acts and plenty of stage monkeys to hump stuff and change mics on demand then fine. In the real world, however, it doesn't always go like that...

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Amusing that sound engineers get exercised about people swapping mics, or even amplifiers.

No-one raises an eyebrow if you swap guitars for basses, even active for passive... heaven help us I bet the sound engineers don't even care which tone wood you use 🙂

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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Amusing that sound engineers get exercised about people swapping mics, or even amplifiers.

No-one raises an eyebrow if you swap guitars for basses, even active for passive... heaven help us I bet the sound engineers don't even care which tone wood you use 🙂

In fairness though none of those things are likely to cause very low and very noticeable feedback on the lead vocal. Swapping amps (they're bleeding into other mics on stage) or swapping microphones (which interact with stage monitors in different ways) might. 

 

I'd posit that in 95%+ of situations the lead vocal is by far the most important source on stage.

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21 hours ago, Dad3353 said:

Contact the sound team beforehand (they need your stage set-up, anyway...), and explain yourself. I'm pretty sure they'll be able to slot a mic change into the band change-over with no issues (assuming just a minimum of competence...). Singers will often enough use their own personal mic; it was quite a normal 'thing' at our yearly festival; no big deal. B|
The other option, to be sure..? Mime. ;)

Actually for the audience. miming might will be the best option.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, TheRev said:

We've done a handful of gigs in the past year, each time we've been asked by the promoter  to bring our own mics.

Before plague, when I've worked as a stage manager at festivals, there would be people wanting to use their own mics for hygiene reasons. The FOH and monitor engineers didn't have a problem with that, as long as the mic wasn't cheap rubbish, which yours isn't.

Asking to use your own mic in the current situation isn't an unreasonable request - the promoter might even insist on it.

This. I've always taken my own vocal mic to gigs where there will be others singing. Nothing quite equals the, er, delight, of feeling that soggy dampness on the pop shield of a mic others have been using...

In addition to carrying my preferred mic, I  keep a SM58 in my bag. It's not my favourite vocal mic', but it does the job and makes it simple to change for the engineer as the chances are a vocal channel will be set up for one.

Edited by Dan Dare
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Jack said:

In fairness though none of those things are likely to cause very low and very noticeable feedback on the lead vocal. Swapping amps (they're bleeding into other mics on stage) or swapping microphones (which interact with stage monitors in different ways) might. 

 

I'd posit that in 95%+ of situations the lead vocal is by far the most important source on stage.

Agreed so miming it is.

22 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

This. I've always taken my own vocal mic to gigs where there will be others singing. Nothing quite equals the, er, delight, of feeling that soggy dampness on the pop shield of a mic others have been using...

In addition to carrying my preferred mic, I  keep a SM58 in my bag. It's not my favourite vocal mic', but it does the job and makes it simple to change for the engineer as the chances are a vocal channel will be set up for one.

I have got a few mics, none of which is an SM58. I am loathe to buy one to be fair so its either miming or foam shield for this gig. As for the soggy mic syndrome, why do people seem to need to swallow a mic?

Edited by Chienmortbb
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5 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

As for the soggy mic syndrome, why do people seem to need to swallow a mic?

To be fair, it's difficult not to spit a bit, especially when going for it.

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Posted (edited)

I used to be a pro live engineer.  

I would have always frowned upon swapping mics as I would have rung my monitors out using my own mics and wouldn't want some weird battered thing with a phase off messing about with gain and feedback, or an unknown thing frying the phantom output on my mixer.   However, I was open to ideas, and for example I do remember agreeing to allow bands to swap in a Shure vintage 55H type mic to look the part for rockabilly bands. 

At the time I used to mainly use Shure Beta stuff so a lot of bands with SM57s and 58 would be happy to go along with mine.  This was all before covid of course.

I do remember a vocal trio who used to visit once a week and wear so much lipstick the mic mesh shields were just constantly red for months, even after cleaning.

We weren't so hot on cleaning them back then and they were in constant use.  I have fond memories of a muso once soundchecking and saying loudly over the mic "Hey, these mics smell of badly wiped a**e...."

I do remember a "urban myth" type story going the rounds at the time that Texas front lady Charlene Spiteri used to get someone to go out front and disinfect her mic before she would agree to sing at every gig.  We would always be incredulous at the snobbery and pomposity of it all, but after last year, I think she was totally right!  

EDIT - by disinfect, I assume a wipe over with a anti bac wipe.  Not good for the paint on the metal, but best for cleanliness you'll get without wrecking the mic, I reckon.

Edited by Huge Hands
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4 minutes ago, Huge Hands said:

I have fond memories of a muso once soundchecking and saying loudly over the mic "Hey, these mics smell of badly wiped a**e...."

A similar experience is what led me to start carrying my own.

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2 hours ago, Chienmortbb said:

...why do people seem to need to swallow a mic?

The same reason why bassists buy Rickenbackers: they've seen some 'star' performer do it. :ph34r:

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