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Help choosing pulpit mic

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by unclejemima, May 18, 2011.

  1. unclejemima

    unclejemima Active Member

    Good day,

    Time to upgrade our pulpit mics. We have a set of cheap Apex (cheap) condensor pulpit mics with 18" arm mounted to an audio technica shock mount base.

    The current mics are to short, so our gain needs to be turned pretty high in order to get decent levels as the speakers are about 12-14" away from the mic when reading. To get a 24" mic would definatly help, but it seems the (forgive my lack of technical knowledge) current mics are very sensitive to ambient sound and therefor feedback easily.

    I would assume a good pulpit mic has a narrow pickup range to only include the reader directly infront of them, and not to be as sensetive to ambient sound.

    I'm not sure as to what one to purchase. I've got my eye on a set of audio techica mics (to go with the audio techica base) in 24" length but they have many of the same with different pickup patterns.

    Can someone please recommend the best one for picking up sound direct infront (just the reader) for use as a pulpit mic?

    The ES915's seem nice as well as the U857QLU
    Audio-Technica - Microphones, headphones, wireless microphone systems, noise-cancelling headphones & more

    I'd like to keep it in the $300 each range if possible.

  2. unclejemima

    unclejemima Active Member

  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I have used a number of dedicated podium mics in my church work. I haven't used the specific AT's that you listed, but the AT's I HAVE used worked well. They exhibited less handling noise (that creaking and rumbling every time that the speaker yanked on the gooseneck to move it closer) and sounded clean on voices. You will notice that there are 2 versions of the ES915...the "C" and the "H". The "C" designates cardioid pattern ( directional with a wide spot), and "H" is hyper-cardioid that yields a tighter more directional pattern. There are trade-offs here. the cardioid works better with folks who move around more (darned amateurs!) and the hyper is more focused. This will reject more ambient reverberation and noise than the cardioid, especially if the church is a traditional one with lots of stone, glass, and wood. The "livelier" the acoustics, the more you will want to consider the "H" version to minimize feedback potential. Try to keep away from the models that have a built-in on/off switch...folks tend to hit that switch at the most inopportune moments!
  4. unclejemima

    unclejemima Active Member

    Great, thanks for the reply. The hyper cardiod sounds like the one for me, as ambient sound pickup is a big problem now.
    What about the "microline" polar pattern mic? "sml"
  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I've had good success installing AKG GN50e goosenecks with CK31 capsules, with very decent gain before feedback. The GN is just the 50cm (just shy of 20") gooseneck module with an XLR male. The CK31 has a 125-degree pattern. 125˚ is wide enough to pick up two people standing at the pulpit or lectern side by side and also able to pick up a reasonably tall or short person speaking without adjusting the gooseneck. As noted by moonbaby, the extra width is a plus with lay-people (darned amateurs!) doing readings. You can also get it with an omni or hyper-cardioid capsule, as the application might dictate. Their hyper capsule the (CK33) is 95-degree.

    Good luck!
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Haven't used the sml line, but the website lists that as "contractor-only", don't know if that's how you will be going.
    Hawk's had a broader range of experience in that regard, maybe he has dealt with those. There are, like he pointed out, more manufacturers ou there. AKG, E-V, and Shure (and others) make a decent podium mic. They are all so dependent upon the source (the speaker ) as to how well they perform, I really prefer a good lav or headworn mic over the gooseneck. That is a whole other ball of wax, though....
  7. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    If it's at all an option, moon is absolutely right - a good wireless headset mic puts you miles ahead for getting a consistently good sound from your pastor. For a pastor a lavalier is a distant second choice, and a gooseneck pulpit mic is a very distant third. Although it is still something we use a lot for the lecturn or pulpit for the readers to do announcements or a scripture reading, if that's your prime objective.

    You can get a good gooseneck for $300 or less, and a good headset system is going to be hundreds more than that.
  8. unclejemima

    unclejemima Active Member

    Thanks again guys.

    We do have a good wireless headset as well, but the pulpit gooseneck mic will be just for those doing occasional readings and such.

    Any specific suggestions for a narrow pickup (hypercardiod) type gooseneck in the $300 range with a 24" length?

  9. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    The President of the US uses an Shure SM57 (from what i have heard) and if it's good enough for him it should be good enough for the pulpit. I know that's probably a lame suggestion, but it sounds like a good advertisement.
  10. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    The British Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition both speak into old AKG D202 microphones in the house of commons. They are also dynamic mics, albeit with a rather unusual dual diaphragm design. I have one, which used to be a spare in the houses of parliament*, plus a very similar D222. They both sound great :D

    I was going to make a different suggestion however: the Beyer M201 is an amazingly good dynamic mic, and a firm favorite of the BBC. I've used mine on almost everything (including voice over work when ambient noise was an issue) and they always do the business.

    I also have a firm impression that dynamic mics (regardless of pickup pattern) are much better than condensers at focussing on the sound immediately in front of them and rejecting ambient noise. Or to put it another way, they are much worse at picking up every little insect fart in the room. I think this is why they dominate the mic cupboards of live PA hire companies, and why they might also serve you better. The price should leave plenty of room in your budget for a different mount if needed.

    * According to the ebay seller I bought it from ;)
  11. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    But due to their requirement for high gain settings, if the speaker farts, you'll most certainly hear that.
  12. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Well, obviously a dynamic mic would need much more gain, so a reasonably decent preamp becomes more important. But I suspect that, once the gain is adjusted to amplify the voice to the same level, farts will be more audible with a condenser than with a dynamic.
  13. unclejemima

    unclejemima Active Member

    I thought the SM57 was a microphone where the best technique was to "eat the mic" you had to be so close without having the gain cranked up very high...?
  14. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    "eat the mic"...

    Speaking of food, any relation to the Queen of Maple Syrup uncleJemima?
    Sorry, don't mean to hijack the thread.
  15. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I believe he's trying to find something with a narrower pattern than a 57. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a directional condenser mic in this application and skinny little gooseneck and a good capsule will look 100% better.

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