32 votes

Why can't we leave all mics on during a gig?

Well, every mic you toss into the mix also adds more ambience, a bit of feedback from PA and monitors, and will pick up sounds that aren't really supposed to be heard at all, like breathing. Now, this ...
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24 votes
Accepted

Why are speakers howling when a microphone comes in front of the speaker boxes?

This is called feedback. Put simply, the microphone hears some sound. It sends it to the amp. The amp sends it to the speaker. Some time has passed. The microphone hears the sound from the speaker (...
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  • 35.7k
23 votes
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Why would a guitarist use a microphone and direct output from an acoustic guitar?

As others have noted, the properties of the signal from the microphone and from the piezo pickup will be different. The microphone picks up the same kind of air vibrations your ear does. The piezo ...
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  • 35.7k
22 votes
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Using two microphones for vocals

In these pictures it's likely that one mic is for the PA and the other mic is for recording. Either they didn't have mic splitters or they didn't trust them! This was a very common way of doing things ...
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  • 35.7k
16 votes
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What type of microphone is this?

It's not a microphone; it's directional antenna for wireless microphone systems. See http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/wireless-systems/wireless-systems-antennas for details.
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  • 2,639
14 votes

What is the difference between high impedance and low impedance microphones?

The simplest difference to grasp is 'intended use'. In one sentence, professional vs consumer. High impedance mics are cheap & cheerful, designed to plug straight into computer headset sockets. ...
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  • 22.9k
13 votes

Why can't we leave all mics on during a gig?

Never understood why any mic needs to be live when not in use. Every mic I use on a gig will be equipped with an on/off switch, and it's expected to be used. My own vox mic is only ever on when I sing....
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  • 174k
12 votes
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What is the purpose of the pop filter?

It's called pop filter, pop shield, or anti-pop. It protects the microphone from things like fast moving air and saliva. Its main function is to attenuate the aspirated plosives of the singer, which ...
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  • 15.9k
11 votes
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Difference between recording with a microphone in front of the amp vs. using an amp simulator?

When using an amp with microphone, it means that you play the guitar through a physical amp, and using a microphone to direct this sound into your recording system. An amp simulator is software that ...
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  • 5,744
10 votes

Why would a guitarist use a microphone and direct output from an acoustic guitar?

The sound from a microphone inside the guitar (or piezo pickups as in the case with Clapton) is different from the sound outside of the guitar. The signal from internal microphones or pickups will be ...
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10 votes
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Why are condenser mics so much more expensive than dynamics?

I think your question is sort of backwards. The cheapest condenser mics are very inexpensive. Electret condenser designs are used for small and cheap headset mics, phone mics, and PC/laptop mics. I ...
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  • 51.4k
9 votes
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Pop filters and dealing with plosives in live performance

I can't recall ever seeing it, but do people use pop filters in a live/concert/performance setting? I see where you are coming from. We see all these vocalists almost eating the mic and screaming and ...
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  • 15.9k
9 votes

Difference between recording with a microphone in front of the amp vs. using an amp simulator?

The answer is: It depends. A good amp connected to a good cab in a good room will sound good through a well placed good mic connected to a good preamp. I don't believe that any amp sim can beat that ...
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  • 5,069
9 votes

Why does my mono microphone have a three-pin plug?

XLR is designed to carry a "balanced" signal. Pin 1 is ground, Pin 2 is "in phase" or "+" and Pin 3 is "out of phase" or "-". See for example http://www.clarkwire.com/pinoutxlrbalanced.htm The reason ...
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  • 1,642
8 votes
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How much would cable quality affect the audio quality coming from a microphone to a laptop?

Audio cables - don't believe the hype! I'd say the difference between a $2 cable & a $25 cable would be completely & utterly undetectable. Your laptop's DACs will lose more than the cable ever ...
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  • 22.9k
7 votes

Why would a guitarist use a microphone and direct output from an acoustic guitar?

Adding to Meaningful Username's answer, the different sources (piezo pickup vs microphone) emphasise different parts of the guitar's sound. Not only is it used to help the sound be more consistent etc....
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  • 71
7 votes
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Advantages/Disadvantages of a line out compared to a close mic system

The biggest advantage for line out is that you don't have to worry about feedback, and that you can model the tone without worrying about positioning, angles, mics, bleeding, etc; which is a ...
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  • 15.9k
7 votes
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Microphone pick up patterns for live performance - advantages/disadvantages of cardioid, supercardioid or hypercardioid?

I see in the comments that you are already familiar with the polar patterns. For the readers that don't know them, here they are: Polar pattern: A microphone's directionality or polar pattern ...
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  • 15.9k
7 votes
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Can phantom power pass through a compressor?

The short answer is no, and don't do that. :-) Your mixer contains a very important component, which is the mic preamp. The compressor wants to use line-level signal as input and output. Even if you ...
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  • 34.5k
7 votes
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Do contemporary singers sound “wrong” without a microphone?

The proximity of a mic to a singer will have a profound difference in the sound captured. Good vocalists use this phenomenon a lot - you'll see someone holding a mic at various distances from the ...
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  • 174k
7 votes

Why are most microphones XLR and not USB?

Simple answer: because microphones are analog and USB is digital. The only way you can make a "USB microphone" is to build an analog-to-digital converter into it. Of course you can buy the electronic ...
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  • 71
7 votes

Why are most microphones XLR and not USB?

A USB microphone is essentially a microphone, preamp, and audio interface in one. They're convenient when you're recording or streaming with a single microphone that can be placed within a short ...
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  • 21.3k
6 votes
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Should I buy an Audio Interface for USB microphone?

Should I buy an audio interface to support my AT2020USB mic? Is it necessary to buy it... If you keep the existing microphone, than no. The primary purpose of an audio interface is to convert an ...
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  • 20.2k
6 votes

Do I need Phantom Power?

3.5mm mic jacks might (sometimes supported by a jumper or different sound card setting) provide "plugin power". It can power electret condenser capsules with the typical single-FET preamplifier and ...
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6 votes

Why can't we leave all mics on during a gig?

In principle, I agree with him. If you don't need a channel, mute it. In practise though, I would disagree here. It sounds very much like he's heard that principle but hasn't yet got the experience ...
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  • 4,374
6 votes
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How do they get guitars to sound so great on tv?

The first hint is that they both sound like an 'electro-acoustic' [especially the second one] with an internal piezo-type pickup & the second is you can see the cable out to what is probably a ...
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  • 22.9k
5 votes
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How to mic and amplify an accordion for live performance?

High budget solution The only very effective way to amplify an accordion is with multiple microphones attached to the accordion itself. On this picture you can see three, but I've usually seen people ...
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  • 5,744
5 votes
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Reducing amplifier sound bleeding into mics in a theater setting

Are the mikes on the amps feeding a PA which feeds the audience ears, or are the amps making the sound for the audience themselves ? If they're going through a PA one way is to turn the volume of ...
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  • 5,269
5 votes
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How to take care of a microphone?

In general, Dynamic Mics are the most durable. That is why they are so popular for stage use. There are some electrical soldier joints inside (connected to the diaphragm) that could potentially come ...
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5 votes
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Zoom H6 - Record electric guitar with pedals

The H6 offers Mic and Line inputs. If your effects chain ends up at Line level you can connect it directly. If it ends up at "guitar" level, you'll need to run it through something that makes it ...
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