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Advice

  • Microphone Polar Patterns – Choosing the Right Microphone

    Microphone polar patterns are essentially what determines the type of environment a microphone is best suited for. Every microphone has a polar pattern and you can see from the images below that the pattern is represented on circular graphs and it basically shows you the sensitivity of the microphone in different directions. The most common microphone polar patterns available are;

    Omnidirectional Microphone Polar Pattern

    omni As you may expect from the name, an omnidirectional microphone picks up from all round the microphone. 360 degrees of pick-up make it perfect for picking up natural or ambient recordings. They are often used with lapel microphone systems and boundary style mics as they allow the user to move their head and still be captured.

    Cardioid Microphone Polar Pattern

    cardioid The Cardioid polar pattern is most commonly found on vocal mics such as the Sennheiser e835. They pick up at 120 degrees of the direction they face and perfect for capturing a specific sound source in a loud environment. Vocals aside, you may find them on guitar cabs and drums.

    Hypercardioid & SuperCardioid Microphone Polar Pattern

    hyper cardioid The Hypercardioid pattern is similar to cardioid but with an even narrower pick up of around 100 degrees. They essentially give more sound rejection to the sides but also pick up a little from the rear. Again, very popular with vocalists. The Supercardioid gives you a little more pickup from the front and a little less at the rear. The AKG D5 microphone is a great example of this type of mic and has been very popular with our customers.

    Figure of Eight Microphone Polar Pattern

    fig 8 The Fig 8 mic or bi-directional microphone pick up from the front and rear but offer side rejection. This polar pattern is most commonly found in the broadcast world and sometimes it is used for recording. The Audio Technica BP4027 broadcast microphone uses this style.

    Line and Gradient Polar Pattern

    line grad Once again, these Polar patterns are most commonly found in the broadcast world. The polar pattern is extremely direction and have extreme side rejection.   Whatever you need a mic for, give EAV Pro Audio a call and we can help make sure we get the best mic for the job. We have close working relationships with Sennheiser, Audio Technica, AKG, Rode, Electro Voice and other microphone manufacturers and have just about every base covered.

  • Live Sound - Combatting Feedback in your PA System

    We've all heard the familiar high pitched whistle that nearly blows our ear drums at gigs. Feedback is a nasty beast and can ruin a gig for musicians and fans. Essentially feedback is a loop of sound. Your microphone picks up sound that has come from your speakers and sends it back through creating a loop that gives off this high pitched nightmare. There are a few ways you can deal with feedback and hopefully these handy tips will help.

    • First things first, try turning down the speaker volume on your main PA (and floor monitors if used) so that the microphones doesn't pick up any sound from them in the first place. I know turning down is never what a musician wants to hear but trust us, it’s better than a gig with unwanted whistles which detract from your songs. Also try moving the mics further away from the speakers if it is at all possible.

     

    • Ideally you want your microphones behind the main PA speakers on stage so that they are not pointing directly at them. Sometimes this isn't possible on smaller stages but if you can move the speakers in front of the mics or point them away from the mics, it will help.

     

    • Choose the right microphone for the job is one sure way to help with combating feedback. By this we mean the polar pattern the microphone has. Below is a chart of Polar patterns. You can see that a cardioid mic has the best sound rejection at the back of a microphone. This is particularly important if you are using stage wedges. Make sure that the wedge is directly behind the best sound rejection point on your mic.

    basics_pickup  

    • Get the microphones closer to the sound source and knock the gain back on the mic. Basically, sing closer to the mic or move it closer to the instrument it is mic’ing up. This way you can roll off a little gain and pick up less of what you don’t want.

     

    • If the feedback is still persisting through the stage monitors, you could always try using In Ear Monitoring system or IEM systems for short. This way you take the speakers out the equation and it also frees you up to move around a little. The LD Systems MEI100 G2 is our biggest selling product on our website at the moment and it wont break your bank. It is certainly cheaper than most floor monitors.

    xLDMEI100G2_1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.VCoB4HJ4HF

    • Get yourself an EQ unit or system management controller. Our install team always puts an EQ unit in to any PA system we install. Not only will it get the best out of your PA in any given venue, you can target the frequencies that feedback occurs and drop them out. Before a gig, do the ‘Ring Out’ method of placing a mic on a stand and increasing level until you get feedback. At this point you turn down the relevant frequency on the graphic EQ unit. Do it a couple of times put don’t over do it or else you will end up knocking every frequency out of the PA and it will sound useless. Using something like a feedback destroyer or system management unit can really help too.

    90216-6d6383b041be0a7543664a0ac728411a If you have any great tips on combating feedback, Please let us know so we can share it with you all.

  • Wireless Microphones – What Frequency Should I Use?

    Wireless Microphones – What Frequency Should I Use? We have blogged about this type of thing before but with more wireless microphone systems coming out on the market recently, your choices as to what frequencies to use is slowly growing. I’m sure most people know about the frequency changes that took place over the last few years and for many people, it was and still is a confusing time. Hopefully this will help you decide which frequency range is right for you. If you want to check about existing wireless microphones you have or what future purchases you should make, check out our online wireless microphone frequency checker tool. Channel 70 (865 -863Mhz) – AKA The FREE Band Channel 70 has always been free to use for wireless microphone users. It is a very small band and you can only really run four systems together in that band. Sounds perfect for people only wanting to run a few systems however, channels 61-69 were recently sold off to mobile 4G networks and we have seen evidence that these may interfere with channel 70 and render that band unreliable. Couple that with the fact that channel 70 is now very crowded in most areas and you have a frequency band that is now less appealing. Our install team no longer install channel 70 wireless microphone systems in to churches or schools because of these reasons. Channel 69 (854-862MHz) – the old ‘Overflow’ or The Old Shared Band Channel 69 used to be the shared frequency band that was licenced in the UK (see channel 38 for the new one). It was also used by many as an overflow band for when they had one or two extra systems that didn’t fit in channel 70 (as it is directly below it). This whole band, along with channels 61-68, have been sold to mobile 4G networks and no longer available for wireless microphone use. In short, if you are running systems in this band, you are now illegal. Call us on 0845 125 9409 if you are unsure. Channel 38 (606-614MHz) - AKA The Shared Band Channel 38 is a block of frequencies that was newly made available to wireless microphone users a few years back. It is designed for people on the move and gigging from venue to venue. It is a licenced band and that will cost you approximately £75 a year and that covers you for the whole band anywhere in the UK. You can usually fit between 8-12 systems on channel 38 (depending on the make and model of the wireless microphone). If you’re a gigging musician or hire company then this is the band for you. It will cover you if you only ever use the systems in one fixed location however, anyone can buy a channel 38 licence and theoretically your next door neighbour could legally run 12 systems and you may run in to difficulties and for that reason a fixed site licence would be a better option in these cases. UHF Fixed Site Frequencies / Coordinated Frequencies  – Channels 21 – 30, 39 -60 These frequencies are designed for fixed locational use. Basically schools, churches, music venues or anywhere that requires wireless mics permanently installed to their building and will never be taken on the road. You have the choice of buying individual frequencies or hole channel bands for your venue to use (subject to availability). Once you have secured the frequencies that are available to you, no one else is legally allowed to buy/use those frequencies in your area. It is a much safer option and this is the route we take with our fixed site installs. If you want help finding out what frequencies are available in your area, feel free to call us or fill in our frequency checker tool. An individual frequency costs about £28 and a whole band would be £168 a year Wireless Microphones - standard UHF TV Band Frequency Chart  

    The UHF Wireless Microphone Frequencies

      1.8GHz Wireless Microphone Systems 1.8GHz wireless mics are relatively new to the market. In parts of Europe this is a free to use frequency band however in the UK, you do require a licence. They work the same as the fixed site licences and they are subject to availability in your area. Call for more information if needed. 2.4GHz Digital Wireless Microphones 2.4GHz Wireless Microphone systems are slowly taking off in the UK and more and more people are moving towards them. They are free to use both in the UK and worldwide and this is something that is attracting people. The audio quality is superb and as they are digital, there are no companders in the systems unlike regular UHF wireless microphones. Line 6 lead the field with 2.4GHZ radio mics however, Audio Technica are now chomping at their heels with the release of their ‘System 10’ mics. It may sound that 2.4GHz is the solution to everyone’s problems (and wallets) however, they do run on the same frequencies as most peoples WIFI and this can cause some issues if not setup correctly or used in a massively saturated WIFI environment. If you want more information on 2.4GHz wireless microphone systems, please give us a call on 0845 125 9409 or email us at sales(at)e-av.co.uk   The EAV team do their very best to keep abreast of all things wireless microphones and we are happy to help with any questions you may have. We are main UK dealers for Sennheiser, Audio Technica, AKG, Trantec & Line 6 and have stock of their radio mic systems ready to ship. Because of our roots in installation, we know which systems work in different environments and happy to discuss this with you. So for any information on wireless microphones, just call us on 0845 125 9409 Jonathan

  • DSLR Sound Recording – Capturing Sound for an Acoustic Session Video

    In our previous post we talked a little about the new products that recently come to the market that make live band recording much easier. Products such as the Allen & Heath ICE-16 or the Cymatic Audio LR16 allow for 16 channels of simultaneous recording on to a memory stick or hard drive. Once this audio has been captured, you can then pop it in to your favourite recording software and mix to your heart’s content. Both units also double up as USB 2.0 interfaces but that’s studio recording and not what we are talking about. When making an acoustic session video, you are often out and about with no power sockets and the gear that can be used needs to be portable. Most of the time you simply record the overall sound rather than individual channels for mixing later. Most people with a DSLR camera will know that the audio from the camera’s inbuilt microphone is pretty unusable and will not make your video sound good. For that reason you will have to use either an external microphone connected to your camera or capture the audio in portable recorder and sync the sound in post-production. Syncing audio to video may sound daunting to someone that hasn’t done this before but it’s pretty simple really. I use Apple’s Final Cut Pro X to edit my videos and that has a simple one click process that when you select your audio file and video file, it syncs them up for you. If your software doesn’t allow for that,  you could use the old Hollywood clapper board or simply clap a few times before you start performing and match the audio peaks up from the external recorder to the ones on your camera audio (I’ve done that successfully many a time).   External Microphone For DSLR Sound Recording If your DSLR camera has a mic input, you may choose to go down the route of an external microphone that captures the audio and records it on to the video in the camera. This obviously saves any syncing time in post-production. The most popular mic for people needing a quality solution without spending a fortune is the Rode VideoMic Pro. I own this little beauty and also seen it used in pro world hundreds of times. It isn’t the only mic on the market and our range of Audio Technica Broadcast microphones may be a better choice depending on what you want to capture   Handheld Recorders For DSLR Sound Recording Many companies make handheld records and I’m sure they are good bits of kit however, I’m personally a Tascam man and their range of portable digital recorders are fantastic. I own the Tascam DR40 and this bad boy allows me to record using its on-board microphones or use any microphone I want to capture the sound thanks to the two XLR inputs on the device. In the past I've taken a couple of AKG C1000s out with me, popped in batteries (the unit doesn't supply phantom power) and I've had full studio quality microphones in the middle of nowhere. Typically you record the audio on to an on-board memory card and you can choose the quality or format. This is my preferred way of capturing sound for an acoustic session video as I believe the quality is superior, it allows me to get the recorder nearer the sound source as it isn't attached to the camera and because it isnt attached to the camera, I could move the camera around whilst recording and it wouldn't affect the sound.   Wireless Microphones For DSLR Sound Recording Using a wireless microphone for DSLR recording is not really something that would be used to capture a live band recording however, I felt I should just mention that this technology is available. Usually this equipment would be more suited for interviewing or capturing general speech. Sennheiser make a broadcast version of their popular EW100 G3 series of wireless microphones and you can see the EW112P Lapel System and the EW135P Handheld versions on our site.   Here is a video I recorded of my acoustic duo performing in a lovely summer garden last weekend. I’ve not posted this for some vain self-promotion reasons but rather as I know how it was recorded. I’m no video expert and not claiming this video is great quality but it was perfect for what we wanted. The intention is to do loads of these whenever we are out gigging and because of this, I need an extremely portable set up that can be ready quickly. I had my Rode Video Mic Pro attached to the camera as my “backup” audio recorder and the Tascam DR40 just out of shot on the floor in front of us. I was using the mics built in to the Tascam recorder to cut down on gear and using a setting that recording the audio twice, once at the set gain level and once at -6db below that. It was a one take wonder and all done in 5 minutes. Could I have made the audio better…..Yes, I could have played around with the mic placement, used some better mics plugged directly in to the Tascam recorder and maybe put the recorder on a tripod to have it level with our mouths but hey, it’s an acoustic garden session and I felt the sound was good enough for what I wanted. Let me know what you think and feel free to give EAV Pro Audio a call if you want to discuss recording equipment.

  • 75% of wireless system users unaware of 2013 law change

    On 1 January 2013 a line-in-the-sand is being drawn for the legal use of many wireless microphone systems widely used in churches, schools, pubs and clubs across the UK. According to national specialist retailer and installer EAV Pro Audio, up to 75% of users may be unaware of an impending change in the law, which could directly affect them. Following the ‘digital switchover’ this year, some of the radio frequencies currently used by wireless microphones are being re-allocated to allow the broadcast of Freeview television signals and new 4G mobile technologies. The knock-on effect is that many wireless microphones legally in use today will conflict with these signals and will therefore be outlawed come the New Year deadline. EAV managing director, Glyn Chapman said, “We’re shocked by just how little awareness there is amongst users about the upcoming changes in the law.” He went on to say, “in our experience, up to three quarters of users don’t understand the changes, let alone know if their equipment will be compliant come 2013.” Not all equipment will be affected by the changes, but the technicalities can be complicated by the number of microphones in use, the location and frequency settings currently in use. EAV urge all wireless users to seek professional advice if they haven’t already. Talking about how people can check their compliance with the law, Glyn said, “we urge people to use our online equipment checker or call us for free advice if they are concerned - we’re always happy to help demystify the complexities of the technology!” Wireless microphone users can check their compliance by using the special free tool or by calling 0845 125 9409 and talking to one of EAV’s specialists, again free of charge.

  • Budget Wireless Microphone Systems For Schools and Education

    EAV Pro Audio have been supplying wireless microphone systems to Schools and other educational establishments for over ten years. We understand that 99% of schools don’t have a massive budget for their audio requirements, yet still require a large amount of professional sounding gear for that tiny budget. When it comes to wireless microphone systems you can easily pay £500 plus for a quality unit and when you have a school production needing 12 radio mics, this can cripple even biggest of budgets. Not only that, kids will have accidents (as well as adults, looking at the teachers here) and replacing microphones/lapels/headsets for these types of systems can cost an awful lot therefore, a top of the range expensive radio microphone may not be the most economical choice.

    If it’s just a single wireless microphone system is required, we have professional entry level systems that come in at around £100 pounds per unit. These systems are perfect for when purse strings are very tight. All of our major manufacturers like Sennheiser, Audio Technica, Trantec, Shure and AKG offer systems at this level and you have the selection of handheld, lapel, headset and even instrument systems. Give us a call on 0845 125 9406 or email us at sales@e-av.co.uk and we can recommend which system would suit your school best. To view a selection of our systems, take a look at our wireless microphone page.

    Budget Wireless system for schools

    If it’s multiple wireless microphones you require to cope with large school productions, we have a great range of racked and ready wireless microphones that offer you multiple radio mics that are racked up in a quality flightcase with antennae distribution and all you need to do is plug them in to your mixing desk and you are ready. From 4-way racks up to 12-way systems, we have something that will allow your school to become fully wireless. Trantec pioneered this racked format and are still our biggest selling racked N Ready wireless microphone supplier. They do three different racks ranging from their entry level systems to their theatre professional units. These are all built by Trantec on our behalf and then we ship them directly to you. If you want to look at another manufacturer of racked up wireless mics then we actually build Audio Technica, Shure and Sennheiser systems in-house and ship them fully tested. We do a variety of ranges that cover most budgets. Again, if you need some advice on which systems will do the job for you, just call or email us. Our website shows the different systems that are available so check out our Racked and Ready Wireless Microphone page.

    Schools Racked up Wireless Mics

    Providing budget wireless microphones for schools shouldn’t just be about giving them an unbranded pile of rubbish to save a few pounds. We can help your school get the most out of your money and feel secure that you have spent it on a wireless microphone system that will last and provide a quality that is needed. As with all schools and education establishments, once you decide you would like to place an order, we will be happy to invoice you providing an official purchase order is sent over.

  • Getting Visual With EAV Pro Audio

    As many of you know, the EAV sales team pride themselves on their customer care and are always looking for better ways to help make people be sure that what they are buying is the right choice. Let’s be honest, the world of pro audio is not the cheapest world to live in. A decent microphone will cost you anywhere from £69 to £1000’s and you need to know that your money is going to a product that will bring something extra to your sound.

    So because of this, EAV have started to create their own “Overview” videos of the products and ranges that they sell. These are not the one sided glamorous and glitzy manufacturer’s videos that you will see on their sites, but rather Dave sitting down with the product in his hands and giving you brief but informative slice of product pie (sorry, not sure where that came from). The aim is to get a couple of new videos each week and cover some of new and exciting products as they are released. As this is being typed the first in a series of Budget Wireless Microphone systems videos are being produced. But for now, here’s one on the brand new Allen & Heath ZED60-10FX we posted last week;

    Whenever a new video is live it will be posted straight to our EAV Pro Audio Youtube channel and linked over to our EAV Facebook page. We will post any video’s of products directly on the product pages for people to watch also.

  • Audio Technica Wireless Microphones - Differences Between the Ranges

    Audio Technica make great quality wireless microphones systems for all levels. They have their 700 series, 2000 series & 3000 series that all offer great features and a professional system. So the question is. . .

    What's the difference between the 700, 2000 & 3000 range of Audio Technica wireless microphones?

    Well, below is a table that outlines the main differences between the ranges and clears up a few things. If you have any questions about the Audio Technica range of radio mics, just give us a call. To view the full range of wireless microphones we have to offer, including Audio Technica, just click on this Wireless Microphone link. If you just wish to take a look at only the Audio Technica series of radio mics, just click here

    700 Series 2000 Series 3000 Series
    # of ch. U-band (channel 38 shared licence
    £75)
    8 10 10
    # of ch. F-band (channel 70 no licence
    required)
    4 4 N/A
    # of ch. coordinated (£28 licence
    per system)
    N/A 10 per band (D, G, I band) 21 per band (D, G band)
    # of possible channels total 12 44 52
    Channel selection 8 selectable pre-set
    frequencies
    10 selectable pre-set
    frequencies
    Up to 1001 selectable
    frequencies
    Operational range 80m 100m 100m
    Beltpack RF power 10mW / 5mW selectable 30mW / 10mW selectable 30mW / 10mW selectable
    Audio quality (dynamic range) >100dB >100dB >110dB
    Audio quality (frequency response) 100Hz-12KHz 100Hz-15Khz 70Hz-15KHz
    Remote antenna options N/A Yes Yes
    Rack mountable Optional rack tray Out of the box Out of the box
    Battery charging dock N/A Yes N/A
    Condenser handheld capsule N/A N/A ATM710 capsule
    Dynamic handheld capsule Standard capsule PRO41 capsule AE4100 capsule
    Handheld construction Hardened plastic Hardened plastic Reinforced metal
    Belt-pack construction Hardened plastic Hardened plastic Hardened plastic
    Price - handheld system (RRP) £199 £349 £499
    Price - belt-pack system (RRP) £179 £299 £499
    Applications Suitable for schools
    and karaoke
    Churches, small theatres
    and live music
    Live music, large theatres
    and hire companies
  • How many wireless Microphones can run together?

    Everyone knows there are big changes happening to the wireless microphone frequencies at the moment. With channels 61 to 69 being taken away from radio mic users in December of this year and channel 38 replacing the old channel 69 shared band. With all these changes come many new questions regarding things like; 1) Do I need a license to run my systems? 2) Will my wireless microphone work after 2012? 3) What frequencies should I be using 4) Which license do I need If those are questions you would like answering, take a look at our wireless microphone frequency checker page, you will get the answers you require. Another big question we often get asked is ‘How Many wireless microphones can I run at once?’ Now the answer to this question relies on a number of things. The first being on which frequency band do you mean? If it’s the free band of channel 70 then you can ‘current’ run up to four wireless microphones simultaneously on this band. Now I say ‘currently’ because no one know exactly how channel 70 will be affected once the mobile broadband technology moves in to channels 61 to 69. There is a chance that channel 70 may be affected by this technology and depending on where you are in the country, you may find channel 70 very limited if at all usable. The problem is, no-one can say for sure until after 2012 when channels 61-69 are occupied. If you wish to know how many wireless microphones can be used in the new shared band of channel 38 then this is the current best information we can give. Some manufactures claim they can fit 12 wireless microphones running simultaneously within channel 38, others say they wouldn’t spec more than 8. Personally, I think 10 systems can be tuned with enough space in-between them to run comfortably on channel 38. Remember, channel 38 is designed for people moving from venue to venue, if you are based at a fixed location, I would be looking at buying a fixed license and purchasing a block of frequencies that only you can use in your area. These channels are a little smaller than channel 38 (8MHz instead of 12 MHz) and you can run around 8 systems on each of these channels. If you have any further questions about wireless microphone frequencies, just give us a call and we will do all we can to help.

  • Wireless Microphone Frequencies - Your Existing Systems

    As many of you know, in December of this year, there are going to be some big changes to the frequencies available for wireless microphone users. For many of you it means parting with some cash and replacing your wireless microphones. For people that only use one or two systems, you may be able to tune them within channel 70 which is, and will continue to be, free to use. Before these changes were announced, most people bought wireless microphones that include the frequencies of channel 69 and 70. Channel 69 is being sold off but channel 70 isn’t therefore, using the frequencies we have listed below, you may be able to re-tune your units and continue to run them past 2012. Channel 70 is a small band and you can fit a maximum of four wireless microphones on it.

    Here is a list of our biggest selling wireless microphones. Please take a look at the bands they run on, if your systems are on this band, you will be able to tune in to channel 70. If you have any questions or your wireless systems are not listed, just give us a call or drop us an email. Alternatively, use or Wireless Microphone Frequency Checker tool.

    Wireless Systems with a numbered display

    These systems show a number or letter on the receiver rather than a specific frequency

    ATW1600 Series – F Band – Tune to: C (863.125MHz), D (863.375), E (864.125MHz) or F (864.375MHz) .

    ATW2000 Series – F Band – Tune to: 1 (863.1MHz), 2 (863.5MHz), 3 (864.1MHz) or 4 (864.9MHz) .

    ATW700 Series – F Band – Tune to: 1 (864.9MHz), 2 (864.5MHz), 3 (863.5MHz) or 4 (863.1MHz) .

    Frequency Displayed Systems.

    The following units actually show you the frequency they are tuned to on the receiver.

    ATW3000 Series – F Band – Tune to: 863.1, 863.5, 864.1 and/or 864.9MHz.

    Sennheiser EW100 & EW300 (G1,G2,G3) E Band – Tune to 863.1, 863.5, 864.1 and/or 864.9MHz.

    Trantec S5 series – D Band - Tune to 863.1, 863.5, 864.1 and/or 864.9MHz.

    If the changes are confusing you or you want any futher information, please call our sales team. We are happy to help you with all your wireless microphone problems.

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