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wireless lavalier for interactive music performance ?

April 27, 2007 | 1:53 am

Has anyone tried wireless lavalier mic for interactive music performance with Max/MSP ?

I am thinking about buying one to pick up instrument sound during real-time interactive music performance but does not know if there are any disadvantages.

If you have used such kind of mic in real-time interactive music performance before, could you share with me your opinion about it or suggest the model of the microphone.

Thanks.

Chien-Wen


April 27, 2007 | 7:41 am


April 27, 2007 | 9:20 am

On 27 Apr 2007, at 02:54, Cheng Chien-Wen wrote:

> Has anyone tried wireless lavalier mic for interactive music
> performance with Max/MSP ?

Yes – I have used them a lot.
>
> I am thinking about buying one to pick up instrument sound during
> real-time interactive music performance but does not know if there
> are any disadvantages.

The advantages and disadvantages depend so much on what you are doing
(what instrument/what sort of mic/what sort of processing), that it
is difficult to make general comments. I have certainly had good
results. What you need to do is experiment.
>
> If you have used such kind of mic in real-time interactive music
> performance before, could you share with me your opinion about it
> or suggest the model of the microphone.

There are many makes and models that are good – one very useful thing
is to get transmitters which will accept your choice of mic – this
makes it much more flexible.

Best

L

Lawrence Casserley – lawrence@lcasserley.co.uk
Lawrence Electronic Operations – http://www.lcasserley.co.uk
Colourscape Music Festivals – http://www.colourscape.org.uk


April 27, 2007 | 9:34 am

>Has anyone tried wireless lavalier mic for interactive music
>performance with Max/MSP ?
>
>I am thinking about buying one to pick up instrument sound during
>real-time interactive music performance but does not know if there
>are any disadvantages.

I used such a mic on my cello (feeding a maxmsp patch) and it worked.
Actually i did notice any difference between using such a mike and a
normal one – in max world that is.

best

kasper


April 27, 2007 | 3:01 pm

I am thinking about buying this one:

http://www.audiogear.com/cgi-bin/shopper.cgi?key=SmsnSw7asw4&preadd=action

Any idea ? Or better suggestions ?

I don’t really know a lot about wireless microphone.
I need to use a lavalier microphone to do better pitch tracking mainly for woodwind and strings.

Thanks.


April 27, 2007 | 3:28 pm

There are some operational differences between wired and wireless mics (e.g. remembering to keep fresh batteries on hand for wireless), but for all systems I’ve used, the difference in sound quality between wired and wireless versions of the same mic is minimal. If there is a wired mic with which you’re happy, you might see if a wireless version exists. That will depend very much on manufacturer. The big wireless players are Shure, Sennheiser, and Audio-Technica, though other manufacturers have products available.

I do agree with the earlier poster that context is important — there’s no one mic that’s the best choice for all sources, or even for all placement options around a single source. However, there are a number of options out there that will give you a pretty detailed picture of what’s going on with fairly flattering coloration for most inputs. If it helps, I use a Shure ULX wireless system with a WB98H/C microphone with my saxophone. That’s their clip-on instrument mic and is relatively uncolored in its frequency response. It’s nothing like an Earthworks QTC-1 or DPA 4011, but I don’t need that in this context. While this is not one of the mics I use for my instrument in the recording studio, it sounds very good for live work and I’ve used it successfully with a wide variety of sources. Assuming good reception of the wireless signal, it is indistinguishable from their Beta 98 wired mic. They make several lavalier mics that will work with this system as well (e.g. WL185).

It’s worth noting that you get what you pay for, in terms of quality. Samson does not have a reputation for making really high-quality equipment. They do have a reputation for making inexpensive, fairly reliable equipment. That said, the Shure system above is much better than the one you linked. However, it’s not super-cheap; one channel will cost ca. US$600. If the Samson system works for you, and gives you acceptable sound quality, it might be the right choice. Cost is an issue for most of us, so you might also investigate Shure’s lower-end PGX or SLX systems — they’re cheaper than the ULX line. Sennheiser and Audio-Technica also have excellent options available at all price points.

Hope that helps,
EH


April 27, 2007 | 3:40 pm


April 27, 2007 | 4:32 pm


April 27, 2007 | 10:10 pm

Thank you so much for the suggestions.
I am still doing wireless lavalier mic research and might buy a whole set at the price of around 500 dollars.

Could anyone let me know why the following link ask the customer to choose from models of different frequencies ?

http://www.samedaymusic.com/product–SAMAIR77SHM40

What is the difference for choosing differnet freuencies ?


April 28, 2007 | 12:02 am

I have also noticed that for regular wireless systems, the performer seems to need to put the transmitter in his or her pocket and connect the lavalier to the transmitter by wire. I guess in this case, the performer always needs a pocket on their clothes, and the wire connecting microphone and transmitter may also affect the performer’s body movement. This makes it very much like normal lavalier microphone except that I don’t need to put the computer and mixer at the front of the stage during real-time interactive music performance. Samsan’s system, if the quality is not bad, combines microphone and transmitter into one, but I doubt if it is a little bit heavy when attached to the instrument.

Is my observation correct ?


April 28, 2007 | 12:42 am

Quote: Cheng Chien-Wen wrote on Fri, 27 April 2007 17:10
—————————————————-
> Thank you so much for the suggestions.
> I am still doing wireless lavalier mic research and might buy a whole set at the price of around 500 dollars.
>
> Could anyone let me know why the following link ask the customer to choose from models of different frequencies ?
> http://www.samedaymusic.com/product–SAMAIR77SHM40
>
>
> What is the difference for choosing differnet freuencies ?
—————————————————-

You need a model that will be able to transmit on a frequency that is not in use in your geographical area. The same frequency ranges used by wireless mics are also used by other devices, as well as TV stations. A typical wireless mic’s signal is weak enough that competition with another device will cause significant (or total) degradation of the reception quality.

On the omni vs. directional issue, I won’t argue with what is "best" or what "sounds better." I find those issues to be highly subjective and contextual. Certainly omni mics have more consistent frequency response off-axis than directional mics (that’s the point, after all), and many omni mics have less colored frequency response in general than directional mics. There is a lot to be said for using omni mics, as earlier posters have mentioned. Still, the live sound industry favors directional mics (especially cardioid and hypercardioid patterns) over omni mics to a large degree, not because of a lack of awareness of these issues, but because directionality is useful in targeting pickup of sources and avoiding feedback. If I were only going to buy one mic to use in live performance, it would definitely be a directional mic (but that’s me).

However, if you’re only using the mic for pitch tracking, and never for amplification through a PA, then omni might make a lot of sense, as feedback won’t be a concern.

The pros/cons of coloration are likewise subjective. For example, and not meaning to brag, I have a $30,000 microphone cabinet at my disposal here at UCM. Still, my go-to mic for guitar amps is the $90 Shure SM57. It’s certainly far more colored than the typical small-diaphragm condenser mic, but the sound of a guitar amp through an SM57 is pretty much the sound of rock, blues, and country (dumbing it down a bit).

Cheers,
EH


April 28, 2007 | 12:44 am

Sorry, I probably should have made clear that all wireless systems with which I’m familiar are capable of transmitting on more than one channel within a particular band of channels (e.g. the J1 band of the UHF range). One of the things that makes top-end systems more expensive is the # of available channels, the agility of the system in switching from one to another, and whether or not systems automatically locate and set themselves to open channels.

EH


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