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D.Starr
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Best way to combat them?

Went to a competition at my local pub and got through to the regional final for this.

I think personally I sounded horrible because of the system. The mic was terrible, low notes were un recognisable and I basically had to yell to be heard.

Obviously it's all technical and I don't think I can do much to combat it, but I'm just looking for some advice and tips because I felt I was really grinding my voice to be heard. There was no way of holding the microphone comfortably at all. It was literally in my mouth.

If you didn't belt, you weren't heard. Had a lil falsetto part and it was quiet.

So a few hours and a sore throat later I'm a little angry >:(

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Just a standard little Sony Bloggie Touch. The sound isn't distorted.

Its hard to sing and know your singing loud enough and the tone is correct and your not off pitch.

It's kind of the main reason I don't do gigging. Really isn't my atmosphere.

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It's really all about the monitor mix. If you're going to have some quiter falsetto parts you'll want to add compression to the Vocal channel too so that those quiet parts don't get lost. Also, the Vocal channel needs to be EQ'd properly. If those things are in the hands of people at the pub the only thing I can say is try to get a sound check and work with sound guy prior to the show.

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Yeah it was all at a pub. The DJ said his mic isn't for singing it's more making simple announcements over the mic.

I really like to hold the mic away from my mouth, leave a bit of space, hold it out for higher notes. If I moved the mic more than an inch away your couldn't hear me at all.

It's really put me off doing the next heat of the competition because it feels like I'm having to shout to be heard. My friends and family we're complaining the audio was terrible.

I also felt flat in a lot of places because I was having to shout to be heard over the mic or couldn't hear what pitch I was.

Looks like I'm in deep water.

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If you get really close to a mic you get the "proximity effect" which boosts the lows a lot. If you move away from the mic, the lows start to disappear quickly. In a studio I stay 4" to 6" away from the mic and don't usually use the proximity effect. However, on stage I would get much closer and use the proximity effect often. On stage, to combat feedback, the mic might be as high as they can get it without producing feedback. If that's the case you should be as close as possible and use the proximity effect to your advantage. It may be weird using someone else's mic with their spit on it. Sounds like you have little control over the situation - try to get a sound check, try to have the DJ turn the mic up, and you'll have to make quick adjustments.

Can you bring your own mic? The other thing is to buy one of these portable vocal processors. You plug your mic into it, and plug it into the board. This will give you even more control over the situation.

Here's one that looks pretty cool - anti feedback, automatic d'essing.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=vocal+processor&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7AURU_enUS499&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1220&bih=735&wrapid=tlif134836870209410&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=8824954226632635516&sa=X&ei=inZfUI-SDqGR0gHZlIGoCQ&ved=0CI4BEPMCMAU

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I really hated the venue. Other venues I've been to they'd sort a proper sound check out and everything to adhere to your preferences but this didn't have one at all.

I have my own microphone. It's an MXL 990 which is a condenser and needs to be powered by an m-audio converter. I could ask if I could take that, just feel as if I have an advantage over the competition.

Worst thing as well is the next stage I go through to I'm up against at least 8 women. don't think I can surpass their vocal ability. I like subtle emotional tracks and everyone know's women like to belt out Whitney or Adele.

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welcome to the world of live karaoke singing.

the harsh reality is not all karaoke d.j.'s know how to do sound. there are also d.j.'s with poor equipment, who really don't care.

also, keep in mind, most contests are fixed, by their very nature they almost have to be. he might very well be tweaking the audio for those singers the owner of the bar may want to win....you never know...

you go up to the d.j. and politely ask him for more mic, echo, reverb, whatever. you still may not get it, but try.

the other alternative is to avoid going to that d.j.'s shows.

last week we had a contestant put the mic back on the stand and just walk off for that same reason. he was sick and tired of having no mic...

i know a lot of d.j.'s...some have real good mics, and others buy low priced mics for fear of people dropping them.

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Why are you using a condenser mic onstage?

Aren't condenser mica meant for the studio because they

are so sensitive and pick up everything little nuance (including

what's going on in the environment around you)?

I can't imagine all the extra noise you're picking up with a condenser mic

onstage/outside.

Get a good dynamic mic for the stage.

Keep the condenser mic indoors.

I'm pretty sure they're very sensitive to heat and moisture.

Lastly, if you ever drop a condenser mic, you'll almost certainly break it.

That's how fragile they are.

For tips on how to take care of your condenser mic:

http://proaudionet.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-to-care-for-condenser-microphones.html

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If the show is on the up and up for everyone, your vocals probably sound pretty similar to the other vocalist (EQ'd speaking). Hopefully the audience is getting apples to apples. If you think you sound crappy (speaking of the PA), the other vocalist probably feel the same way. You can certainly ask for a little reverb or ask if he can give you a little more low end. Are you allowed to give a little mic check? If you have a trusted member in the audience, they can give you a thumbs up when they like the sound.

Steve

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It was pretty much all out of my hands. He told me his mic wasn't made for singing but simple announcements that a DJ does over the mic. So I was like is there nothing you can do? He said I could lessen the echo coz you'll get feed back on the mic other wise. I told him to leave it as it was.

It definitely needed some EQ of sorts, it sounded horrible. Felt like I was having to push to be heard of quiet notes and I was literally eating the mic with it on my lips.

I was expecting a sound check but there wasn't one at all. I really felt it was unprofessional.

There's no way of me taking my own mic to the competition.

It's kind of put me off going to the next stage. My voice felt sore the day after for having to shout and belt to be heard over the mic.

I got a good vibe from the judges and the audience and made it through to the next stage at the same pub with the same DJ.

I have the audition this Saturday, then another audition for a bigger competition on Sunday that has a professional PA system and sound check so that should be a better experience.

I have several competitions coming up so not going back to this wouldn't mean much, the prize is £10,000 which would be nice.

Other competitions are:

Open Mic UK (Sunday) -£5000 if you win, £1000 runner up. Recording sessions, A&Rs and scouts present.

The Voice UK (October) - Obviously on TV and recording contract etc.

Also working with a local producer which I'm keeping a clear head and not singing anything as of yet. He wishes to become my production manager and dish me out to big record labels.

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