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Trying to find a vocal mic I saw that only picked up sound if you were right on it.
Old 17th January 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Trying to find a vocal mic I saw that only picked up sound if you were right on it.

I saw an ad for this mic that was basically marketed as a mic that was impossible to make feedback, and was only sensitive to vocals that were right on it. It kind of looked like a soundtec halo, and in the demo video I saw, it kinda had that limited frequency "radio" effect on it (not too severe), and with a full band going on was nearly silent, but when the singer walked up and sung it was nice and clear.

I've searched every variation off off axis rejection and live microphone I could think of, so if anyone knows what it is, it would be greatly appreciated!
Old 17th January 2019
  #2
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Microphones do not feed back. Audio SYSTEMS feed back and the microphone is simply one of many components in the system, albeit the prime re-entry portal for a self-sustaining loop.

You can eliminate all bleed into any microphone by using a noise gate, but the most foolproof gate is an infra-red optical gate which opens only with the presence of the vocalist at the microphone. Properly adjusted, the gate only opens to pass signal when the user is directly on axis with and working it extremely close. A hyper- or super-cardioid mic woule be preferable, but remember that such narrow pattern mics can and do have a significant lobe at 180 degrees which, though less senesitive than the front of the mic, will be enough to induce system feedback if and when the stage noise or the bleed from monitors or mains rises above the threshold of feedback...which in any system with microphones can NEVER be zero.

So it's either marketing hyperbole or plain old BS...or there's a gate somewhere.
Old 18th January 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 
I think zvex made it. The one I remember seems to have been discontinued but they have a new one (with built in wah-wah?) on the homepage:

TB-2 Tea Ball Microphone — ZVEX Effects
Old 18th January 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Even if there's a gate, it can still feed back when the gate opens. Check out the Optogate PB-05, uses an optical sensor to detect a face in front of a mic.
Old 20th January 2019
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Or do what the Grateful Dead did and wire two microphones out of phase so they block the sound until the person gets close, (microphones must be the same manufacture and type). FWIW
Old 20th January 2019 | Show parent
  #6
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
Or do what the Grateful Dead did and wire two microphones out of phase so they block the sound until the person gets close, (microphones must be the same manufacture and type). FWIW
That's the basic idea, but the mics fed into a matrixing box made for the purpose.
They didn't "block" the sound, they cancelled sounds. The pair was arranged such that a singer could use the top/forward mic of the pair as a functionally single mic.

Simple concept, complex execution.
Old 20th January 2019
  #7
Here for the gear
 
I found a youtube clip about the one I was thinking about. Do you guys think it's a gate involved, it doesn't sound like it?

YouTube
Old 21st January 2019
  #8
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
First, their literature states it's designed for close-miking guitar cabs.

Second, pretty much all hype and hocus-pocus.
Old 21st January 2019 | Show parent
  #9
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys ➡️
That's the basic idea, but the mics fed into a matrixing box made for the purpose.
They didn't "block" the sound, they cancelled sounds. The pair was arranged such that a singer could use the top/forward mic of the pair as a functionally single mic.

Simple concept, complex execution.
I was at the Halloween Concert of the Grateful Dead in 1980 at Radio City Music Hall with a full access pass. (thanks to my good friend who was a stage manager at the venue). Their sound engineer told me that the two vocal microphones were wired out of phase with each other. No matrix unless they added it later.

From the WWW about how they did the microphones:

"A major improvement in the quality of the vocal sound is due to the use of differential microphones. Each singer has a perfectly matched pair of Bruel and Kjaer microphones hooked up out of phase, only one of which he sings into. Any sound which goes equally into both microphones is cancelled out when the two signals are added together. Therefore leakage of instruments and background noise into the vocal channel is minimized."

FWIW

Last edited by Thomas W. Bethe; 21st January 2019 at 12:12 PM.. Reason: Date was wrong.
Old 21st January 2019 | Show parent
  #10
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
I was at the Halloween Concert of the Grateful Dead in 1977 at Radio City Music Hall with a full access pass. (thanks to my good friend who was a stage manager at the venue). Their sound engineer told me that the two vocal microphones were wired out of phase with each other. No matrix unless they added it later.

From the WWW about how they did the microphones:

"A major improvement in the quality of the vocal sound is due to the use of differential microphones. Each singer has a perfectly matched pair of Bruel and Kjaer microphones hooked up out of phase, only one of which he sings into. Any sound which goes equally into both microphones is cancelled out when the two signals are added together. Therefore leakage of instruments and background noise into the vocal channel is minimized."

FWIW
From Wikipedia (where else?):

" The Wall of Sound acted as its own monitor system, and it was therefore assembled behind the band so the members could hear exactly what their audience was hearing. Because of this, Stanley and Alembic designed a special microphone system to prevent feedback. This placed matched pairs of condenser microphones spaced 60 mm apart and run out of phase. The vocalist sang into the top microphone, and the lower mic picked up whatever other sound was present in the stage environment. The signals were added together using a differential summing amp so that the sound common to both mics (the sound from the Wall) was canceled, and only the vocals were amplified.[10] "

1. Pins 2 and 3 were reversed on one mic reversing its POLARITY.

2. Matrix was set up via the summing amp which as far as I've been told was built into the mic mount/combiner sending a single output to FOH.

Attached pic shows both mics feeding into the summing (matrixing) box and a single cable out. Unless that's a 5-pin right-angle jack, the signal sent to FOH was created as a matrixed signal. BTW, I believe the original idea for this came from Bob Heil when he provided sound for the group prior to the advent of the Wall of Sound.
Attached Thumbnails
Trying to find a vocal mic I saw that only picked up sound if you were right on it.-image.jpeg   Trying to find a vocal mic I saw that only picked up sound if you were right on it.-image.png  

Last edited by Wyllys; 21st January 2019 at 03:05 PM..
Old 21st January 2019 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
does anyone know whether they used b&k 4007 or 4011? pop filter let's me think it was the 4011 but this would be more difficult with wind noise - however, 4007 seems like a crazy idea in front of pa but would have a bit less off axis coloration and hence could be a bit better suited for cancellation...

any details on the 'matrix'? maybe just a way to blend in some amount from the lower mic?



p.s. speaking of hocus pocus: remember this?
hocus pocus band at DuckDuckGo
Old 21st January 2019 | Show parent
  #12
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys ➡️
From Wilipedia (where else?):

" The Wall of Sound acted as its own monitor system, and it was therefore assembled behind the band so the members could hear exactly what their audience was hearing. Because of this, Stanley and Alembic designed a special microphone system to prevent feedback. This placed matched pairs of condenser microphones spaced 60 mm apart and run out of phase. The vocalist sang into the top microphone, and the lower mic picked up whatever other sound was present in the stage environment. The signals were added together using a differential summing amp so that the sound common to both mics (the sound from the Wall) was canceled, and only the vocals were amplified.[10] "

1. Pins 2 and 3 were reversed on one mic reversing its POLARITY.

2. Matrix was set up via the summing amp which as far as I've been told was built into the mic mount/combiner sending a single output to FOH.

Attached pic shows both mics feeding into the summing (matrixing) box and a single cable out. Unless that's a 5-pin right-angle jack, the signal sent to FOH was created as a matrixed signal. BTW, I believe the original idea for this came from Bob Heil when he provided sound for the group prior to the advent of the Wall of Sound.
Maybe they added all that other stuff after I talked to their engineer but he told me it was simply two microphones wired out of phase. (seems simple enough).
Old 21st January 2019 | Show parent
  #13
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Wyllys's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
Maybe they added all that other stuff after I talked to their engineer but he told me it was simply two microphones wired out of phase. (seems simple enough).
Matrix: an arrangement of elements for performing a specific function.

Don't let the term frighten or confuse you. It can be as simple as you state and is the proper term. The first of the two pics I posted comes from a 1974 performance.
Old 12th September 2019
  #14
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baskervils's Avatar
ZVex Tea Ball TB-2 Question

Has anyone picked up one of these ZVex Tea Ball microphones?

I am interested in using it for lofi vocal demos, mainly because I want to run a loud air conditioning unit next to me and limit the amount of noise coming in when doing demos. If there are useful alternatives, I would like to hear about those as well.
Old 13th September 2019 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by baskervils ➡️
Has anyone picked up one of these ZVex Tea Ball microphones?

I am interested in using it for lofi vocal demos, mainly because I want to run a loud air conditioning unit next to me and limit the amount of noise coming in when doing demos. If there are useful alternatives, I would like to hear about those as well.
Into a guitar amp?
Also big claims on the site re isolation'- but their's no magic bullets' in mic design, as well no specs (apparently.
How about this? As well as tight pattern -it let's you get very close to the actual diaphragm- which is the other half of the equation.
https://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=87
https://www.electrovoice.com/binary/...Data_Sheet.PDF
Old 13th September 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Dude in video

"This mic won't feed back"

Mic feeds back during video

"It only feedback if your head isn't blocking the mic"



And why would anyone use a MARSHALL cab to demo the mic/feedback rejection of the mic. Doesn't make any sense at, sorry.
Old 13th September 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
The Crown 311a, sometimes identified as the “Garth Brooks microphone” is a differential mic that does most of what the OP describes. It has two capsules, one with reversed polarity, that cancel the distant-source sound and do not cancel the singer’s voice, which is proximate to the front capsule. It is a reasonably good-sounding live vocal mic.
I think I read something decades ago that Crown developed the mic after studying the Grateful Dead vocal mics. As far as I am aware, the Grateful Dead’s mic was never patented and never available for sale.
This last bit may be some muddled memory, but the mic is real. I worked with a singer/guitarist last year who uses it.
Old 13th September 2019 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne ➡️
Into a guitar amp?
How about this? As well as tight pattern -it let's you get very close to the actual diaphragm- which is the other half of the equation.
https://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=87
https://www.electrovoice.com/binary/...Data_Sheet.PDF
Yeah, the N/D967 is about as good as I've found for feedback rejection. I usually take a couple to each gig, although since I moved to Sennheiser e935s I haven't needed the EVs. I'm sure I could get more level with the 967s, but I get enough with the 935s.

There are compromises, though, with the 967s:
When used in the way that EV intended, you're very close to the capsule. Meaning...
- The inverse square law comes in hard. If you move 1/2" away, that'll be about 6dB in level change.
- There's a ridiculous amount of proximity effect.


They're decent mics, but I find a good cardioid works better in most situations.

Chris
Old 14th September 2019
  #19
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Memory fading but I believe the 4011 did not exist that early. I believe Crown called it a “differoid”
Old 17th September 2019 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
an opto-gate is still the most efficient way to cut out unwanted sound - wish it wouldn't use a gate but an expander though but haven't tried any newer version lately...
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