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EAV Blog

  • 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.

  • Sennheiser Tourguide Hearing System

    A Tour guide audio system is designed to allow a presenter to talk directly to a group of listeners. Tourguide systems are usually portable wireless radio systems that allow the presenter and listeners the freedom to move around and still transmit/receive audio. They are commonly used in situations where it is hard for everyone to hear what is going on by just unaided speech alone or in environments where other people (not part of the group) are not wanting to be disturbed. At EAV Pro Audio, we are keen users and sellers of the Sennheiser 2020 Tourguide system and have sold it in to many different environments such as museums, universities, conference centres and other tourist attractions. The beauty of the Sennheiser Tourguide 2020-D system is that it is designed for ease of use and also allows for an undisturbed listening experience for up to 6 different groups simultaneously. You have multiple options at both the transmitter and receiver end. For the listeners, you can choose the HDE 2020-D-II stephoset receiver that allows for a comfy receiver with built in headphones. If you would prefer to use standard headphones, the EK 2020-D-II has a mini-jack input for use with any MP3 player headphones. When it comes to transmitting audio, your SKM 2020-D Handheld mic offers the presenter the familiar feel of a vocal microphone in hand. The SK2020-D belt pack transmitter allows you to plug in a headset or use a lapel mic to deliver a hands free tour in that manner. There is also the SR2020-D transmitter which is a compact ‘high tech’ unit. It allows for events to be interpreted simultaneously in up to 8 languages. You can also connect other audio content such as CDs, DVDs or things from your IT network. You can also connect a microphone to the unit for announcements. All the transmitters and receivers can be charged using the portable 20-way charger or the larger 40-way charger. This makes sure that you are always running on full juice and nobody misses a word. 2020d If you wish to discuss your needs or would like a quote for a Sennheiser Tourguide hearing system, just give us a call on 0845 125 9409 or email us at sales@e-av.co.uk Our team are happy to help and work closely with Sennheiser to make sure the system is right for you. We can offer a full demonstration or even an installation service of a tour guide hearing system if you would like however, these units are designed for ease of use and you may find that you will be up and running straight of the box.

  • 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

  • Audio Technica System 10 - UK Overview Video

    Just a short blog to show you all the new video from Audio Technica UK that goes through all the great features in their NEW System 10 Digital Wireless Microphones. The Audio Technica System 10 Digital Wireless Microphones are licence free in the UK and worldwide and we predict these are going to be big sellers once the word gets around. Their are three systems available to you at EAV Pro Audio. The first is the Audio Technica ATW-1101L System 10 Lapel 2.4GHz Wireless, the second is the Audio Technica ATW-1102 System 10 2.4GHz Wireless Microphone and finally we have an options pack where you can simply buy the receiver and belt pack transmitter or you can add on a headset of your choice. The model number for that is the Audio Technica ATW-1101 Options System 10 2.4GHz Wireless. You can use up to 8 of these systems (I Know, surely they should have called it System 8) and they can stack on top of each other or we offer a 4-Way Audio Technica System 10 2.4GHz Racked and Ready solution or an 8-Way Audio Technica System 10 2.4GHz Racked and Ready bundle. For more information on digital 2.4GHz wireless microphones or general UHF wireless microphone, feel free to give us a call or drop us an email. Jonathan

  • Crown XLi Series Power Amplifiers

    Back in the day we used to love the Crown XLS-D amplifier. We loved them that much that when they discontinued them we bought up pretty much all of our suppliers stocks and managed to knock them out at a cracking price. Why did we like them so much? They were no thrills, simple to use, take a knock or six, work horse amplifiers. Basically, you turned them on and they worked all day every day. I’m not sure why they discontinued them but alas…..The Crown XLi Power Amplifiers are now firmly on our site and look like they have taken over where the old XLS series left off, which is weird because they do have a range still called XLS? xli Of course the Xli Series of power amplifiers have some upgrades and newer technology inside, but what remains similar to the old XLS-D is that they are powerful, reliable and above all else…..They are affordable. This makes these amps the perfect choice for gigging musicians, DJ’s, schools, churches and anybody else that require a certain level of quality at a price point that wont break their bank. There are 4 amps in the range starting with the baby Xli800 Power amp through to the big bad Crown Xli3500 power amplifier. In between those you have the Xli1500 and the Xli2500. They don’t run down to 2 ohms but offer some big numbers at 4ohms and 8ohms.

    Model 4 Ohms 8ohms
    Xli800 2 x 300w 2 x 200w
    Xli1500 2 x 450w 2 x 330w
    XLI2500 2 x 750w 2 x 500s
    Xli3500 2 x 1350w 2 x 1000w

      Each amp offers Electronically balanced RCA and XLR inputs with binding post and Speakon outputs. The amps can be used isn’t stereo, parallel or bridge mono mode and have efficient forced –air cooling which helps to prevent excessive thermal buildup. They all have two level controls, power LEDs and six LEDs which indicate signal presence. amps Put simply, the Crown Xli series of amplifiers will give you a high performance for a cost unmatched by most other brand name amplifiers. If you need help matching your speakers to an amplifier, feel free to give EAV pro Audio a call on 0845 125 9409 and one of our team will be happy to help.

  • 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.

  • Live Gig Recording – New Products on the block

    In the last year there have been some new exciting products that have made live gig recording so much easier. Even better than that, it’s now getting to be at a price point that is accessible to most people’s budget. The JoeCo Blackbox units are not new, we’ve been selling them around 4 years now and must say the quality of them is superb. JoeCo are a UK company that make a range of these Black Box recorders that will capture 24-channels of recording direct to a portable harddrive (not provided) for you to do as you please at a later date. The standard BBR1, BBR1-B, and BBR1-A truly changed the game for easy live recording and give you the ability to record up to 24 channels simultaneously on to a hard drive and then you can pop those 24 channels in to Cubase, Pro Tools, Sonar, Logic or whatever your poison is and mix them. They have since brought out a MADI and DANTE version of the boxes that have become extremely popular in the pro world. Check out our JoeCo Blackbox recorder page. Last year we saw the landing of the Allen & Heath ICE16. This baby was like a mini Joeco unit but at nearly a quarter of the price. It only offers 16 channels of simultaneous recording but also doubles up as a 16 channel USB interface. You can put a USB stick in the front of the ICE-16 and it will record 16-channels of simultaneous audio and like the JoeCo, you can then pop then in your recording software and create a masterpiece. The ICE-16 finally brought the ability for multi-track live gig recording down to people on more of a budget. We have sold quite a number of these and our customers have been extremely pleased. Last but not least is the Cymatic Audio LR16. This is new to our website but I reckon this could be one of the biggest sellers of 2013. Like the ICE-16 it offers 16-channels of simultaneous recording to memory stick or USB hard drive and also can be used as an interface. What’s more, it is even cheaper than the ICE-16. The first shipment of the Cymatic Audio LR-16 is due to us at the end of this month and we cant wait to get our hands on this.   It’s not just live gig recording that these units can be used for. Weve had customers use them for podcasting, interview recording, and conference recording with multiple mics. To be honest, wherever there is a need for on the move multi-track recording, these units are for you.

  • Audio Technica System 10 2.4GHz Wireless Microphones

    Audio Technica have now entered the 2.4GHz wireless microphone market with the ‘System 10’ wireless mics and they are now live on the EAV Pro Audio website. Audio Technica have produced the System 10 wireless microphones to compete with the Line 6 XD-V 2.4GHz systems which currently dominate the 2.4GHz range.

    The range in the UK currently consists of two systems. The first is the vocal handheld system known as the Audio Technica ATW-1102 and the second is an ‘Options’ system which consists of a receiver and bodypack called the Audio Technica ATW-1101. The ‘Options’ pack allows you to use any microphone that fits an Audio Technica connection and we have added some options to our page of headsets, lapels and instrument cables.

    The 2.4GHz frequency range is a free to use band that is not affected by the recent changes in wireless frequency law nor is it affected by TV or Digital TV signals. No licence is required and you can use up to 10 of the System 10 systems together. 2.4GHz is the same frequency band that WIFI runs on so we advise you keep the receiver a few meters away from your wireless router however, Audio Technica are confident that the System 10 systems will work alongside WIFI.

    The Video below takes you through the Audio Technica System 10 Wireless Microphones. It is made by Audio Technica USA but the systems are still the same over here in the UK.

    EAV Pro Audio have been Audio Technica main dealers for many years now and are excited to have the System 10 2.4GHz wireless mics on our site. Audio Technica are confident that these systems out perform their competition and we can see the System 10 units becoming a big player in the wireless market. They are perfect for Musicians, DJ’s, Schools and Churches. If you need help choosing the right wireless microphone system for you, just give us a call on 0845 125 9409 or drop us an email at sales@e-av.co.uk

  • Sennheiser 1.8GHz Wireless Microphones now Onsite

    We have been busy expanding our range of wireless microphone systems today. The Sennheiser G3-1G8 systems are the latest editions to our wireless microphone ranges and these bad boys run on the 1.8GHz frequency range. The G3-1G8 systems are basically the exact same systems as the standard Sennheiser EW100 G3 systems but on 1.8GHz.

    Sennheiser EW G3-1G8 Wireless Microphones 1.8GHz is a slice of frequencies that are unaffected by the recent wireless frequency changes and offers user the chance to run up to 15 of the Sennheiser system together. Unlike the 2.4GHz wireless systems, there is no WIFI interference and is safe from clashing with standard wireless microphones that are way up the spectrum. The 1.8GHz Wireless spectrum does require a licence to legally operate on and this will cost you £28 ex VAT per frequency however.

    The Sennheiser G3-1G8 range of Wireless Microphones consist of all the familiar faces from the standard EW100 G3 range. The handheld systems consist of the EW135 G3-1G8, the EW145 G3-145 and the condenser EW165 G3-1G8. The Lapel mics systems are made up of the EW112 G3-1G8 and the EW122 version an d finally the EW152 G3-1G8 headset system completes the range.

    Wireless microphone users have had a rough time of late and nowing which frequency ranges are safe to use can be a minefield. With the standard channel 38, fixed site bands, 1.8GHz and 2.4GHz all being sold and talked about, it’s easy to see where the confusion comes from. EAV Pro Audio are happy to discuss your wireless microphone needs and go through all the options with you. Whether you are school looking for a new set of systems for shows, a church needing a professional system to deliver message or an individual wanting to take a wireless microphone on the road, the EAV team can help. Just call us on 0845 125 9409 or email us at sales@e-av.co.uk

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