An amplified word or two about microphones.

What about microphones?

 Here is an important topic that is often very misunderstood by beginners—and quite a few more experienced performers. The real role of a microphone is not just to make your voice louder but more importantly to allow you to speak more naturally, with greater dynamics, while of course amplifying your dialogue.  In this day and age a good wireless microphone system is integral to a quality performer. You can’t just turn up and hope the audio system works. A good microphone is a performer’s number one prop.

As a comedy magician having my words clearly understood and heard is vital to me. Let me tell you that in my (and many other top pros) opinion the Countryman E6 is as good as sound gets.  There are cheaper microphones that can get the job done but it is like buying a car; a Mercedes and a Hyundai will both let you drive from point A to point B, however they are not the same vehicles by any means. The good news about buying a top of the line microphone is that you are not talking about the same price difference as you are with a car! Unquestionably a wireless headset achieves the most natural and best quality of sound in almost any circumstances. There was a time when a lavalier microphone worn on the lapel was state of the art, that time is gone.

One of the great benefits of the Countryman unit is that it has replaceable cables to attach it to transmitter unit in your back pocket. This is almost always the link in the system that gives out and instead of having to replace the entire microphone, or send it away for repair, you can carry a spare cable and replace the faulty cable in a matter of seconds. I carry all the leads and plugs needed to attach my microphone to a receiver/transmitter supplied by the venue if at all possible. I also carry a Shure wireless receiver and transmitter unit to augment my Countryman microphone if needed and this combo works very well.

You are going to have to arrive at the venue early to have a soundcheck before the room is filled with your audience, a bit of a pain but important. You must always request a handheld (wireless) microphone on a straight microphone stand as a backup. This microphone can also be used by whoever is introducing your show. You should also always carry a good “round the neck holder” to use if your wireless microphone gives out or there are any other problems.  I could, should, and probably will write an entire article on the subtleties that I have been unable to cover in this brief audio primer.


~ by Nick Lewin on April 10, 2018.

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