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Topic: Using a handheld-microphone
Message: Posted by: Alexxander (Mar 16, 2016 05:08PM)
A few weeks ago I had a gig at a small restaurant/bar type venue. Intimate, but very nice.
During the sound check, the sound engineer and me just couldn't get my headset mic to work without getting horrible audio feedback.
So I was pretty much put on the spot there - I never performed with a handheld mic before. I was very nervous.
I thought about all the moments in my performance where I need to have free hands!
But the audience was already coming in, so I just had to wing it.


...And it actually went well!
Of course, there was some fumbling on my part, but I think I managed well (The audience even asked for an encore, which I did not expect at all!).

So I did two other gigs with handheld mic since then, not even bothering to try the headset.

I must say, there are a lot of benefits to it.
I can perform in a lot of venues with minimal preparation - they always have a handheld mic and usually have the sound settings already set up for it.
My participants can easily be heard by the audience because I can simply hand them the mic.
The sound quality is much better.
I can mute myself very easily if I have to cough, sneeze or want to do a stage whisper.

Of course, there are some things that I can't do with a handheld.. but I noticed that I don't always have to speak during an action which requires both of my hands... with body language and facial expressions I can still communicate what I need the audience to know in these moments.

I guess this is nothing new to many of the pros here, but maybe someone can take something from my experience.
If you always perform with a headset microphone, I would definitely recommend trying it once with the handheld :)


Alex
Message: Posted by: Magical Dimensions (Mar 16, 2016 05:30PM)
There are tricks in using a hand held. You just have to block it when you practice.
I much rather use a hand held along with a mic stand. The stand can be your friend if you turn the mic sideways facing left or right. Just stand next to the stand with the mic pointing left or right, and you now have room to use your hands. Or tuck the mic under your arm.

The point is simply to block it out. Uhh, you know what block means, yes?



Ray
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Mar 16, 2016 05:30PM)
On this and many other real-world topics, the wise entertainer will want to read Ken Weber's justly famous [i][url=http://amzn.to/254ZK4b]Maximum Entertainment[/url][/i].
Message: Posted by: Magical Dimensions (Mar 16, 2016 05:34PM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2016, ddyment wrote:
On this and many other real-world topics, the wise entertainer will want to read Ken Weber's justly famous [i][url=http://amzn.to/254ZK4b]Maximum Entertainment[/url][/i]. [/quote]


You would only read that book if you just wanted to look and act professional. :)

That is a great book with amazing advice.


Ray
Message: Posted by: Alexxander (Mar 16, 2016 05:48PM)
I agree, great book. :)

Even though I actually did know what Ken Weber wrote about microphone technique, I did not take his advice seriousy.
I thought I was good to go with my headset - after all, so many performers use headset mics effectively.
But there are some advantages I did not consider before.
Sometimes, you only learn swimming by being thrown in the water...
Message: Posted by: Amirá (Mar 16, 2016 07:52PM)
Alexxander, welcome to a great new technique to master.

Far more important than the latest imp p*d or the electronic toy, for stage performers, the proper handheld use is an essential tool that can transform your look in the stage. The handheld is a symbol of power and control. Use it wisely and you will visually appeal your audience, use it poorly and you will show your lack of competence.

Watching stand up comedians is a pure lesson.


Best
Message: Posted by: Robb (Mar 16, 2016 09:23PM)
While I love Maximum Entertinament and agree we should use hand held mics if we can make it work, I can't myself. My hands are just too busy on stage. I like the freedom of movement my headset mic gives me. No amount of creative blocking will work for some performers and I'm one of them. I wish I could make a hand held work, but I've tried and it just ain't happening.
Message: Posted by: Last Laugh (Mar 16, 2016 09:27PM)
Bob Cassidy has spoken about preferring a hand held for a number of reasons. It can act as a magic want and facilitate billet switches for one, also the ability to say things on and off mike is valuable.

Personally, I like them too, but it's nice to have a stand as well in the event that you need both hands.
Message: Posted by: Robb (Mar 16, 2016 09:40PM)
Ok, say you need to use both hands *while in motion*... A mic stand won't help you there.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 16, 2016 10:47PM)
I've used both...and each has its pros and cons. I greatly prefer my headset. It feels much more natural to me. I have a handheld onstage for the volunteer to use...and a backup in case I ever have an issue with the headset...although I neve have.

I use a Shure headset with the transmitter built into the headpiece, so there are no wires to crackle and rustle. It was very expensive and worth every cent. Crisp clean sound. I also have complete freedom to go anywhere onstage or into the audience...and I like that too.

David
Message: Posted by: Last Laugh (Mar 16, 2016 11:25PM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2016, Robb wrote:
Ok, say you need to use both hands *while in motion*... A mic stand won't help you there. [/quote]

You certainly have a point. I've not performed in front of audiences so large I can't project enough with my voice to be briefly off mike if necessary.

I'm sure a headset or lapel mike is the best for most larger audiences.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 17, 2016 12:25AM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2016, Last Laugh wrote:
I'm sure a headset or lapel mike is the best for most larger audiences. [/quote]

Couldn't disagree with you more. A lapel mic is rarely ever best for much other than broadcast.

Handheld is typically best in most situations. Especially when using volunteers or spectators in the performance. Other than that it is a matter of preference. Headset mics rarely have the same strength or sound quality of a decent handheld.
Message: Posted by: Last Laugh (Mar 17, 2016 01:08AM)
Makes sense. I was just imagining what Robb said, needing to use both hands and speak. In my experience, which is for smaller crowds, it doesn't matter if I go off mic for a minute, as I can project.

Good to hear the different perspectives.
Message: Posted by: Cervier (Mar 17, 2016 05:47AM)
[quote]On Mar 17, 2016, David Thiel wrote:
I've used both...and each has its pros and cons. I greatly prefer my headset. It feels much more natural to me. I have a handheld onstage for the volunteer to use...and a backup in case I ever have an issue with the headset...although I neve have.[/quote]
Same here!
I like to move around, and when I do, I will most of the time need both hands, so a handheld --esp. on a stand!-- would be a burden. I do have a "neck stand" but I haven't used it yet and feel it looks a bit awkward...

I used a lapel mic once, it was the only one available that night... I did a version of Al Koran's Headline prediction, not realizing I was tearing the paper right in front of the mic :whatthe: Let's say it stressed the drama of the routine :lol:
Message: Posted by: Robb (Mar 17, 2016 08:36AM)
[quote]On Mar 17, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
[quote]On Mar 16, 2016, Last Laugh wrote:
I'm sure a headset or lapel mike is the best for most larger audiences. [/quote]

Couldn't disagree with you more. A lapel mic is rarely ever best for much other than broadcast.

Handheld is typically best in most situations. Especially when using volunteers or spectators in the performance. Other than that it is a matter of preference. Headset mics rarely have the same strength or sound quality of a decent handheld. [/quote]

Not sure about that MindPro... My Countryman combined with AudioTechnica System 10 sounds incredible. I also run my mic through a dbX channel strip with compression and EQ. This helps the dynamics stay dynamic and gives my vocal tone a subtle boost.

I think this is one area where the performer's preference is what really matters. I think Ken Weber and Bob have good points in this regard, but they are not the final word on everything. Times change and the presence of a headset mic these days is not perceived as unusual.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 17, 2016 08:45AM)
My main point was about the lapel mic being "best for larger audiences" as someone mentioned. Which it is simply not true. If anything a lapel mic for large audience is the worst.

As far as headset mics, there are performers that love them, but it always requires the use as David said, of a second handheld mic anyhow for on-stage spectators and helpers. Even if you use a headset, most always have a handheld standing by for back up. One of my companies is a A/V production company and again the general consensus from sound crews is traditionally a handheld is typically preferred for the best, most controllable sound. That was the point I was trying to make. More things can go wrong with headset and lavs typically than handheld as well.

Now of course if you are using a Happie Amp or some sub-par sound quality and all you are going for is basic amplification, not true good sound quality, it doesn't matter what you use, but these guys also tend to use a headset mic.
Message: Posted by: Looch (Mar 17, 2016 08:45AM)
Alexxander

What pack were you using? On ones such as Sennheiser's there is a very small toggle switch that will adjust the DB range (-20,-10,0,+10) etc. By toggling down you can massively reduce the feedback through the system

HTH

Looch
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 17, 2016 08:46AM)
Unfortunately sound and production are an art and science few performers take the time to master or understand well.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Mar 17, 2016 10:03AM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2016, Robb wrote:
While I love Maximum Entertinament and agree we should use hand held mics if we can make it work, I can't myself. My hands are just too busy on stage. I like the freedom of movement my headset mic gives me. No amount of creative blocking will work for some performers and I'm one of them. I wish I could make a hand held work, but I've tried and it just ain't happening. [/quote]

Completely agree with you Robb.

But I always request 2 mics as Mindpro mentions - one handheld with a stand and a wireless countryman style.

A lapel mic (lavalier) would be my least preferred.
Message: Posted by: Al Desmond (Mar 17, 2016 10:37AM)
A handheld and stand has multiple advantages.

When the mike is on the stand, it gives you a home spot, helps you command the stage and gives the audience a focal point.

When the mike is in your hand, you have the opportunity (as mentioned above) to catch a spectators verbiage.

When the mike is in your hand, you can gesture with it, use it as a pointer at the right moments, once again you are controlling audience focus

Things not to do with a handheld.

Put it down your pants.

Bop an uncooperative spectator with it.

Sneeze on it.

That's all you need to know :)
Message: Posted by: Robb (Mar 17, 2016 10:41AM)
[quote]On Mar 17, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
Unfortunately sound and production are an art and science few performers take the time to master or understand well. [/quote]

Probably true... A workshop at MindVention would be a good idea. I have extensive experience in live sound production (recording as well) as I've been a touring musician for decades. The key is to keep it simple, understand speaker placement, EQ, compression, etc. Lapels are always the toughest as the mic is so far from your mouth, it's going to have a hard time rejecting feedback and not picking up ambient noise. A good quality headset will reject feedback quite well when worn properly. A little EQ and compression helps me but not too much. Compression can actually worsen feedback if you don't know what you're doing.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 17, 2016 10:59AM)
[quote]On Mar 17, 2016, Al Desmond wrote:
A handheld and stand has multiple advantages.

When the mike is on the stand, it gives you a home spot, helps you command the stage and gives the audience a focal point.

When the mike is in your hand, you have the opportunity (as mentioned above) to catch a spectators verbiage.

When the mike is in your hand, you can gesture with it, use it as a pointer at the right moments, once again you are controlling audience focus

Things not to do with a handheld.

Put it down your pants.

Bop an uncooperative spectator with it.

Sneeze on it.

That's all you need to know :) [/quote]

Also Al, don't forget the use of the mic switch (as in "like lighter").

(Extremely hard to do with a lav or headset mic, lol!)
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 17, 2016 11:32AM)
Mindpro makes a good point: it's odd how many pro performers will take whatever sound system happens to be available. I'm frequently surprised when I'm sharing a bill with another performer and they have requested 'use of house system.' When I'm on the road and can't reasonably bring my whole sound system, I at least bring my own headset along with all possible patch cords...AND I ensure there's a sound check on-site well in advance of the show.

It's a mystery to me that same performer who is perfectly fine with dropping several grand on the latest greatest 'whatever' doesn't take the time to at least study sound systems and get himself an excellent sound kit. If the audience can't hear you -- you ARE going to lose them...especially in mentalism where a huge percentage of the presentation depends on being heard and understood.

I also think that, as previously posted, headset mics are common enough now that they don't look unusual.

Finally -- lavs are, in my experience, ALWAYS a terrible idea. I have yet to see one that isn't a horrid little thing.

David
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 17, 2016 11:37AM)
Man do I agree and you can't say that loud enough David. I have my own sound systems at two location across the country so I always have access to either even when traveling by plane. I always carry my own mics and never leave it to chance. I've paid more fro my mics than most people pay for their cars but I have piece of mind knowing what I will be using. Even in a decent theater with top quality production, I still insist on using my own.
Message: Posted by: dmoses (Mar 17, 2016 12:01PM)
A handheld mic is the mentalist's magic wand.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Mar 17, 2016 12:17PM)
As a performer AND a sound man for over 40 years, there is a reason for both. You need to become fluent in each much as you need to know both a f*rce AND a *****r*l for cards. When I am traveling with my own system and sound engineer I always prefer a headset mic as it frees up my hands for other things. In my particular case it is critical that you are working with a soundman that knows you very well and knows exactly when to mute the mic on cue. On the other hand, when I'm doing a one nighter with a house crew, I will typically always request a handheld as it puts me back in control of the mic. Cueing is easier, I don't have to worry about it being left on when I run into the wings for a quick change, it has better gain before feedback as it is as directional and close to the source as it can be and I can aim it away from the monitors and mains to eliminate feedback issues, something you can't always do with an E6. For one night events when I must use a handheld, I have a neck loop that allows me to be hands-free in an instant. I will also always remind the soundman to set a different level for when it is down around my neck as it always requires more gain. Learn the options and learn how to work with multiple solutions for the best show.
Message: Posted by: Looch (Mar 17, 2016 01:33PM)
Mindpro I'm trying PM you, could you clear some space please :bg:
Message: Posted by: Magical Dimensions (Mar 17, 2016 01:37PM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2016, Robb wrote:
Ok, say you need to use both hands *while in motion*... A mic stand won't help you there. [/quote]


What do you mean by in motion? Do you mean that you are walking around or just moving your hands and arms?

I love using a stand and handheld. When using both hands, sometimes I will extend my arms out in front of the stand. I can now talk in the mic that is seated in the stand and use both hands. Or, when the time comes to use both hands, I will turn the mic to face stage right. Now I can stand to the side of the stand with the mic pointing at the side of my face. I can still talk and use both hands. At other times, I will simply place the handheld under my left armpit as I do something. It all comes down to blocking. If a person is set on using a handheld, they will work out the method to use it. I can't see how anyone would say that it can't be done. A handheld and stand has been used for a very long time in history.

In 1923, the first practical moving coil microphone was built. So people has used a stand and handheld since then.

Ray
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Mar 17, 2016 03:49PM)
I will -- again -- strongly urge folks interested in this topic to read Ken Weber's [url=http://amzn.to/1MbSXiN][i]Maximum Entertainment[/i][/url]. Even though there are no magic tricks to be found therein.

It is pretty obvious from the comments here that most have not read the book (or weren't actually paying attention when they did so). One clue: the two [b]major[/b] reasons for using a handheld are tellingly absent from the opinions expressed thus far.

High audio fidelity is certainly important, but can be achieved in multiple ways; this is not the point of the hand-held vs body-mounted issue.
Message: Posted by: MichaelCGM (Mar 17, 2016 03:58PM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2016, David Thiel wrote:
I use a Shure headset with the transmitter built into the headpiece, so there are no wires to crackle and rustle. It was very expensive and worth every cent. Crisp clean sound. I also have complete freedom to go anywhere onstage or into the audience...and I like that too.

David [/quote]

I can't remember the name of mine, but it also has the transmitter built in. (About $400.00) The wires and belt-pack were always a hassle. I'm glad I switched.
Message: Posted by: Alexxander (Mar 17, 2016 07:25PM)
Here is a video on microphone technique I found on youtube, which is very clear and helpful:


[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQV4Z9JNrvc[/url]



And this one, I know she might be a little weird, but I really liked her tip on hand switching:

[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oevSZUU72k[/url]
Message: Posted by: bunkyhenry (Mar 17, 2016 09:26PM)
[quote]On Mar 17, 2016, ddyment wrote:
I will -- again -- strongly urge folks interested in this topic to read Ken Weber's [url=http://amzn.to/1MbSXiN][i]Maximum Entertainment[/i][/url]. Even though there are no magic tricks to be found therein.

It is pretty obvious from the comments here that most have not read the book (or weren't actually paying attention when they did so). One clue: the two [b]major[/b] reasons for using a handheld are tellingly absent from the opinions expressed thus far.

High audio fidelity is certainly important, but can be achieved in multiple ways; this is not the point of the hand-held vs body-mounted issue. [/quote]

Those two reasons might be...

1) A handheld can be moved closer or farther from the mouth, giving more control over the power and dynamics of your voice.
2) You can capture reactions of people on stage with you.
Message: Posted by: Robb (Mar 18, 2016 04:12PM)
[quote]On Mar 17, 2016, ddyment wrote:
I will -- again -- strongly urge folks interested in this topic to read Ken Weber's [url=http://amzn.to/1MbSXiN][i]Maximum Entertainment[/i][/url]. Even though there are no magic tricks to be found therein.

It is pretty obvious from the comments here that most have not read the book (or weren't actually paying attention when they did so). One clue: the two [b]major[/b] reasons for using a handheld are tellingly absent from the opinions expressed thus far.

High audio fidelity is certainly important, but can be achieved in multiple ways; this is not the point of the hand-held vs body-mounted issue. [/quote]

Doug, I have read Maximum Entertainment, many times. Yet, I choose to use a headset mic. I tried to use hand held mics but I did not like what it did to the dynamics of my performance. Ken is brilliant but there's no rule that says we have to agree with every dictate of even the most brilliant advisor.
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Mar 18, 2016 06:46PM)
Not saying that anyone's opinions should be followed with blind allegiance.

Just pointing out that the arguments put forth in the comments here do not even address the important reasons [b]why[/b] Ken recommends hand-helds.

Rather, they seem to focus on audio fidelity (something of a moot point, since both hand-held and body-mounted microphones can be had with pretty decent fidelity -- though you're unlikely to see a recording studio switch to the body-mounted versions), and the peculiar (to me) notion that the convenience of the entertainer is somehow of more concern than the quality of the performance.

Most entertainers, of course, have difficulty measuring the quality of performances, particularly their own: this is why the role of a director is so essential.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Mar 18, 2016 06:50PM)
I've seen people use both at the same time...as in, the performer has a headset and then a hand-held for participants...
Message: Posted by: Robb (Mar 19, 2016 11:24AM)
[quote]On Mar 18, 2016, ddyment wrote:
Not saying that anyone's opinions should be followed with blind allegiance.

Just pointing out that the arguments put forth in the comments here do not even address the important reasons [b]why[/b] Ken recommends hand-helds.

Rather, they seem to focus on audio fidelity (something of a moot point, since both hand-held and body-mounted microphones can be had with pretty decent fidelity -- though you're unlikely to see a recording studio switch to the body-mounted versions), and the peculiar (to me) notion that the convenience of the entertainer is somehow of more concern than the quality of the performance.

Most entertainers, of course, have difficulty measuring the quality of performances, particularly their own: this is why the role of a director is so essential. [/quote]

Doug, well, my concern is most definitely the audience. To say that the quality of the performance would necessarily or even likely suffer because of one's choice of microphone... well, I think that's going too far. And frankly, I think it's insulting and disrespectful to imply that those who use a headset mic are somehow less concerned with the quality of their performance and, apparently on top of that, not even objective about their performances. All this from the type of mic they choose to use?

Regarding your statement that recording studios would not use body-mounted mics, nor would they use the typical dynamic handhelds (Shure SM58 being the most common). They would use a quality consdenser microphone to record, which in a live situation would produce uncontrollable feedback in most situations. So that point simply makes no sense.

As I stated, I use both equalization and dynamics processing to give my headset maximum tone and sensitivity. I can go from a whisper to a scream, no problem.

All that said, if I COULD use a handheld *without compromising the dynamic I want in MY performances*, I would do so. Perhaps future shows with allow for it. My current show does not.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 19, 2016 11:41AM)
Another problem with a headset mic is the possible perception. I was once showcasing at a NACA conference. I was in the audience waiting for my spot and another mentalist went up wearing a headset mic. About three minutes into his performance three of the people seated in front of me said to one another, someone is telling him the information in the earpiece of that headset.

Now I know there was no earpiece, but it could look that way from the audience. I've also heard the same for in-ear monitoring systems. Why give the audience something to suspect, real or imagined?
Message: Posted by: Robb (Mar 19, 2016 12:34PM)
That's a concern, sure. Every choice we make has it's pros and cons.
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Mar 19, 2016 03:21PM)
Robb claimed:[quote]To say that the quality of the performance would necessarily or even likely suffer because of one's choice of microphone... well, I think that's going too far.[/quote]
Robb and I simply disagree here. I fervently believe that the choice of microphone (along with the choice of most other aspects of one's performance) definitely affects the quality of the performance.


[quote]And frankly, I think it's insulting and disrespectful to imply that those who use a headset mic are somehow less concerned with the quality of their performance and, apparently on top of that, not even objective about their performances.[/quote]
I would find this insulting as well. But it's nothing I've ever claimed. And to suggest otherwise is likewise insulting and disrespectful.

Not once in this topic have I denigrated the users of body-mounted microphones. Or even, if you take the time to read what I have written, advocated the use of one style over another. I have merely pointed out that the arguments that people were making had almost nothing to do with the reasons why advocates of hand-helds hold that position.

Finally, the reason that we have directors in the performing world is because, as I [b]did[/b] write, "Most entertainers [not just those who favour one particular mic style or another] ... have difficulty measuring the quality of performances, particularly their own ... ".
Message: Posted by: Robb (Mar 19, 2016 07:39PM)
Doug, I apologize if I misconstrued your meaning. As a person that does agonize over these choices, I'm of course sensitive about them.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Mar 20, 2016 10:38PM)
Without having read all of the comments I would say the mic should be transparent. It shouldn't be a consideration to the audience. A handheld can be used to hide things. And a handheld can be cumbersome ie; having to put it in a stand or under your arm etc. A handheld needs to be a consideration when developing an effect. You have to think about how you want to use it and then practice with it. Sound quality is a non issue as a good headset will do the job just fine.

With all of this said, I prefer working rooms where I don't need a mic. I enjoy intimacy when it comes to mentalism. The bigger the room, the further the tables are spread apart, the more diluted the mentalism becomes. The show has to change to accommodate the space if you wish to maintain as much attention as possible. A theatre is a different story (compared to a dinner with 10 seatrt round tables spread out in a banquet hall.) It's socially acceptable to talk amongst yourself at a table. Not so in a theatre. Of course this is generally speaking. I usually work for 50 people in a parlor situation which I MUCH prefer to larger banquets. I like connecting with people and the smaller audience allows me to do that. There are lots of variables but anything can work if you put the time, thought, and energy into it.
Message: Posted by: Sam Hagen (Mar 22, 2016 10:45PM)
I found the discussion here interesting as I've felt the similar problems Robb has stated before about handheld mic. It limits the movement (especially with cable microphone). The microphone can be bothersome at times.

I've thought about getting a headset mic, but hesitate after reading the responses that praised the usefulness of handheld mic.

I like the flexibility a headset mic offers, but will not sacrifice the sound quality over it. Might try to get a cheaper one to compare.

Thanks,

SH
Message: Posted by: David McCall (Mar 23, 2016 01:12PM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2016, Alexxander wrote:
A few weeks ago I had a gig at a small restaurant/bar type venue. Intimate, but very nice.
During the sound check, the sound engineer and me just couldn't get my headset mic to work without getting horrible audio feedback.
So I was pretty much put on the spot there - I never performed with a handheld mic before. I was very nervous.
I thought about all the moments in my performance where I need to have free hands!
But the audience was already coming in, so I just had to wing it.


...And it actually went well!
Of course, there was some fumbling on my part, but I think I managed well (The audience even asked for an encore, which I did not expect at all!).

So I did two other gigs with handheld mic since then, not even bothering to try the headset.

I must say, there are a lot of benefits to it.
I can perform in a lot of venues with minimal preparation - they always have a handheld mic and usually have the sound settings already set up for it.
My participants can easily be heard by the audience because I can simply hand them the mic.
The sound quality is much better.
I can mute myself very easily if I have to cough, sneeze or want to do a stage whisper.

Of course, there are some things that I can't do with a handheld.. but I noticed that I don't always have to speak during an action which requires both of my hands... with body language and facial expressions I can still communicate what I need the audience to know in these moments.

I guess this is nothing new to many of the pros here, but maybe someone can take something from my experience.
If you always perform with a headset microphone, I would definitely recommend trying it once with the handheld :)


Alex [/quote]

There is also, I believe, a device you can get (or make?) to have a handheld around your neck. I've only seen it a few times, though.
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Mar 23, 2016 03:33PM)
David, I believe you are talking about this type of device: http://www.amazon.com/Close-Up-Magic-Stage-Microphone-Holder/dp/B01BCHUUOU/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1458765088&sr=8-13&keywords=mic+neck+holder

Also, there are many variations of that device so you might want to search around Amazon and Music Accessory Dealers.

Greg
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (Mar 23, 2016 03:41PM)
I prefer Betamax over VHS.
Go!
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 23, 2016 04:54PM)
[quote]On Mar 23, 2016, eSamuels wrote:
I prefer Betamax over VHS.
Go! [/quote]

:)
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Mar 23, 2016 05:11PM)
[quote]On Mar 23, 2016, eSamuels wrote:
I prefer Betamax over VHS.
Go! [/quote]

Actually, if you know the history of those two, Betamax was a better quality system. Unfortunately the first brands only let you put an hour of video on one tape. The VHS companies realized people wanted quantity and not quality and had the slower speeds you could set to tape full movies.

By the time Betamax realized that everyone wanted quantity it was too late in the game even though they also switched over to having slower taping speeds.

Just a bit of history.

Greg
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (Mar 23, 2016 05:31PM)
You're correct (as is often the case), Greg.
Marketing means almost everything in the game.

Similarly, Blu Ray beat out HD DVD, not because of superior quality but because of smarter Blu Ray marketing (scoring Playstation for instance).

But, as you know, that wasn't the point of my post.
We seem to spend a lot of time on here (and elsewhere) trying to rationalize/legitimize opinions and preferences, as if this is necessary in order to validate them.
As I've often said, if you've (effectively) tried and tested various options and decided upon one that works best for you - little else matters.

As for my choice - after years of using just about every microphone setup known to man, I've recently decided to abandon all of them and simply yell at my audience at the top of my lungs.
Aside from saving time (no need for a sound check) and money (don't have to carry my own gear), it also seems to have cut down, significantly, the length of my performances.
Audiences seem to have had enough after my intro and often give me an immediate standing ovation. Or perhaps they're just getting up to leave. Not quite sure. But I'll call it a Standing O.

(seriously, I'm a two-mic guy. Headset for me, wireless handheld for helpers).

e
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Mar 23, 2016 06:06PM)
Oh, and e, I was not saying anything against your post, merely giving history on the two formats. Beta continued to be the industry standard when doing news and TV with the BetaMax format for many years later.

As for your choice in sending out your speech, cool... I vote for two foam hands I tape to my mouth to project the words... either that or I wear a Greek tragedy mask that has the mouth formed in a funnel shape. :rotf: :goof:

Greg
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Mar 24, 2016 06:10PM)
FWIW, I know this might sound like a joke but just yesterday I heard that the porn industry is what drove the choice of VHS over Beta because that was it's format of choice. The same study said that either (I forget) 30 or 40 percent of internet consumption is pornography. It beats out (pun intended) all of the video viewing sources such as Netflix, Blockbuster and all the rest combined. Now, back to microphones...
Message: Posted by: Moderncelt (Apr 4, 2016 11:35PM)
Take this for what it's worth. I use a hand held with a cord because my system is small. I work small venues. I have Maximum Entertainment, and it is well worn. Two things that helped me quite a bit: I got Ian Kendall's Egotistical Opinions, with microphone technique, and the second was having a friend who does direction at one of the local theaters critique my blocking. I have a Gim-Crack mic holder, but I honestly don't use it as much as the mic stand.

Yes, lapel and over the ear mics are nice, they also breakdown easy. Ditto with wireless handhelds. Obviously not everyone is in my situation, and many want a slicker look. All good. I got the system that was right sized for me.

$.02
Message: Posted by: tgplano (Apr 5, 2016 07:16AM)
I generally use a handheld mic provided by the venue. To go hands free I bought a holder that goes around my neck. The mic is easily inserted and removed so I can use it either way. The device is called "The Gim-Crack" and available for a reasonable cost from www.TheGimCrack.info. I do not have an interest in this company.

Now to change the subject. I ran into a situation last weekend where I wish I had a "over-the-ear" microphone. It would have to be one that could be plugged into an existing sound system. I know nothing about this area so don't know what to search or what questions to ask. Help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Ted
Message: Posted by: T.House (Apr 5, 2016 01:23PM)
I also take the Gim-Crack with me, but if I forget, I can put the handheld microphone in the breast pocket of my sport coat, even if the microphone has a cord.

Bruce
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Apr 5, 2016 10:22PM)
I prefer a hand mike just because I can switch it on and off undetected.
Message: Posted by: Davdo (Apr 17, 2016 05:30PM)
Just a disclaimer - I'm not a seasoned pro like many of those posting on this thread. That said, I have to give another thumbs up to the handheld. I perform mostly with minimal props, so not many problems with the use of my hands. Mainly, I value the availability (every backline has one) and having the control of being able to say things off mic to volunteers helps certain... principles...

~Dave
Message: Posted by: Alexxander (Apr 17, 2016 06:50PM)
I agree, but to be fair - most headsets have a "mute"-button which allow these ploys as well. But, it requires a lot of practice to be smooth with it..
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jan 6, 2017 03:42PM)
Will look at www.TheGimCrack.info, my WHITE neck holder getting dirty. Does it adjust for different size skinny necks?

Thanks!!!!!! :cool:
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Sep 6, 2018 10:15PM)
Interesting and important discussion. More than a year has passed since the last posting, but still very relevant.
I am not certain why so many performers seem dislike the label lavalliere mic when is a top quality uni-directional mic like a Share lapel?

For years I used a head mic for myself and a handheld on a stand for volunteers, with much satisfaction and success. But after integrating a blindfold routine into my Mind Reading show, I quickly found that the head mic I wore got in the way, and had to be removed (actually quickly lowered abound my neck) solely for this effect, then at the end of this effect, quickly put back on. That's when two top Mentalists (each very successful and respected amongst the Mentalist community) strongly recommended that I switch the headset out, for a top quality uni-directional Lavallière mic. So I recently bought one (the Shure brand) and will soon try it out.

I am interested in understanding (more specifically) just why so many other pros, here on theMagic Café, seem to frown upon the Lav mic set up? Especially for the Mentalism type performances, where a Blindfold effect os performed.

Jonathan
Message: Posted by: Last Laugh (Sep 8, 2018 05:42PM)
It's more of a practicality issue with amplification.

The headset mic sits right in front of your mouth.

The lapel mic is a number of inches a way. So that means more potential for feedback and other gain related issues.

Considering the varied types of venues and different speaker placement, the headset is just much less likely to have issues with feedback, background noise, etc.
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Sep 8, 2018 06:01PM)
Good points , Last Laugh. Thanks.

If you go back and read my earlier post, you will see for years I used a head mic in combo with handheld on stand (for volunteers) for many years with much satisfaction and success. However, when I added th eBlindfold effect into my Mentalism performance, I found the head mic too awkward and obtrusive. This is why I began to search for a new mic arrangement that would prove to be an adequate compromise and solution. The Lapel (cardioid 130 degree) was highly recommended by two top pros. I realize it has its limitations, but I believe it could d prove to be the right solution for me. .

Others have given their reasons why they would not use a Law mic, and what their own preferences are, and why. I appreciate that this works for them, and their added insights.

Jonathan
Message: Posted by: ed wood (Sep 9, 2018 11:06AM)
Good time for this post to pop up.
I'm in the market for a new headset mic and the receiver/transmitter thingummy to plug in to (hope I'm not getting too technical here:)).
Any recommendations would be much appreciated. Spoke to someone at shure yesterday, but they got way too technical and I got somewhat confused, it doesn't take much!
Sometime in the future I also want to get a new speaker, the one I have at the moment is great but its huge and a pain to lug around. I worked with someone recently who had this fantastic long thin one, speaker that is, and it was fantastic. Of course I forgot to get details. Again, recommendations would be appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Last Laugh (Sep 9, 2018 04:19PM)
Depends on how much you want to spend of course.

I've been really happy with my Samson Concert 88 Earset mic and it was surprisingly inexpensive. I've never had any issues with it and the sounds is just fine.

Just a little important distinction - there are headset mics and earset mics. The earset mics are thinner and flesh colored and are much less visible than the headset as they just wrap around the ear. Headset mics are bigger, have a larger mic and wrap around the whole head.

I strongly suggest an earset over a headset as it's much less obtrusive (and it doesn't mess up your hair).
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Sep 9, 2018 04:52PM)
...what hair?!? ;) :rotf:
Message: Posted by: ed wood (Sep 10, 2018 05:24AM)
[quote]On Sep 9, 2018, Last Laugh wrote:
Depends on how much you want to spend of course.

I've been really happy with my Samson Concert 88 Earset mic and it was surprisingly inexpensive. I've never had any issues with it and the sounds is just fine.

Just a little important distinction - there are headset mics and earset mics. The earset mics are thinner and flesh colored and are much less visible than the headset as they just wrap around the ear. Headset mics are bigger, have a larger mic and wrap around the whole head.

I strongly suggest an earset over a headset as it's much less obtrusive (and it doesn't mess up your hair). [/quote]

Yup, earset is what I'm after. I'll check out the samson.