Make a big impact for less than $500
"We've looked everywhere. Someone must have 'picked up' the wireless microphone." Not the words I wanted to hear five minutes before the service.
Our church hosted the Judson University choir on Sunday. The platform had been cleared, and everything was set up the night before, except our lone handheld wireless microphone. That's the microphone that the choir director requested to allow him the freedom to speak from different places. I couldn't find it during set-up, so I texted a couple people, one of whom said that it was in the pastor's office, so I didn't sweat it. But the next day, we still couldn't find it.
Like many of you, I'm the volunteer media team leader at the church I attend. We work with a fairly limited budget, and it appears that I need a new wireless transmitter. Ugh!
With limited budget money, our purchases have to be spot on.
We get daily questions about how to best utilize specific amounts of money, and the answers to the "how to" questions are particularly critical at amounts under $500.
Here are some specific ideas.
The List Will Never Be Done
by Mike Sessler, Church Tech Arts
Photo courtesy of Michael Mandiberg
Get a group of TD's together and it won't take long for the discussion to shift to how busy we all are. We all have a seemingly endless list of projects and tasks that we need to work on, and the pressure we feel (either from internal or external sources) to get them done—preferably right now. I too was one of those TDs. Years ago, I walked into a building that needed every single system updated, upgraded or replaced. In every room in the building. It was a long list. I know many of you are in similar situations. I started thinking that if I worked really hard just for the first few months, I could get it all done. But I came to realize that's simply not possible.
The truth is, the list will never be complete.
That realization can either be frustrating or liberating, depending on how you choose to deal with it.
I decided to go with liberating. Here's what I mean.
Indina Menzel chooses Heil RC 35 microphone for her Super Bowl performance
Idina Menzel is already the voice behind the unofficial anthem of girls between the ages of 4 and 12. And if you don't know what that is, call us and ask. You'll recognize the name, or even look it up on Google. We don't mean to be difficult in an article that's supposed to be informative, but let's just say that the copyright owners of the song are more than a little zealous to ensure copyright enforcement.
On Sunday, February 1, she sang the national anthem in front of 10 million viewers using a Heil RC 35 capsule on a wireless transmitter.
The RC35 has become a favorite upgrade of pro performers of all types. The RC35 fits all Shure and Line 6 handheld wireless systems. If you'd like to try an RC35, give us a call. We'll be happy to send you one for sale or demo, or order online.
Top 8 Microphone Myths Exposed
by Davida Rochman, Shure
There are microphone myths just like there are urban myths. And their longevity rivals Bigfoot, Nessie and that mysterious Roswell incident in 1947.
Right here, right now, we’re setting the record straight on mic folklore that we’ve continued to debunk over the years. Check each one of these off your list, and when the subject comes up (yes, it will come up), you’ll be the expert.
1. There are wireless microphone frequencies that are completely free from interference.
False. This is a myth that is being propagated by some pro audio manufacturers. The fact is there are no frequencies that are completely free from interference because there are no frequencies that are reserved only for wireless microphones. Even if there were, you could still have interference from other wireless microphones occupying that frequency band.
There are no “safe frequencies”. All of the radio spectrum is allocated for different uses by different types of equipment. Every wireless microphone operates in a frequency range that contains other devices. There is no exclusivity in the radio spectrum for wireless microphones.
Our advice: use wireless equipment that is as broadly tunable as possible.
2. Condenser mics are not as rugged as dynamics.
False. In the days when this myth came into existence, condenser microphones were very expensive, studio-grade models. The microphone they were compared to might have been a dynamic like the SM58®. If the ultra-expensive, circa 1930s vacuum tube microphone were dunked into a glass of beer or dropped on the stage ten times, or even one time, it probably would stop working. It will become a paperweight while the SM58 will survive all that.
Today, all of our condenser microphones are engineered to hold up to exactly the same abuse as an SM58. They go through the same exact environmental testing. Drop testing. Temperature testing. Humidity testing. Salt spray testing. Vibration testing. Electromagnetic testing. They have to pass the same battery of tests, and they do.
The SM81 was introduced around 1978 as a studio condenser microphone. But because it is made from a machined steel handle and has the same sort of milspec environmental capability as the rest of our microphones, it was quickly embraced by the touring sound industry. There are SM81s out there on tour today that are probably fifteen or twenty years old. You can drive over them with a truck. Drop them on the floor. Hit them with a drumstick. And the same is true of all our condenser vocal mics.
So, in the modern era, the fragility of Shure condenser microphones is just a myth.
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What others say
"We love the mic! It was a great fit for us." -- Greg Ferrara, Holy Trinity Church, GA
(on the Heil PR30 when used for children's choir)