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Versatile mic for choir or hand-bell amplification

We are in the market for a pair of mics, something that can both mic a choir and/or hand-bell to provide a small level of amplification.

Our choir and hand-bells set up in the same area (only one will play per Sunday), but our choir loft is not the most friendly for microphone placement because of limited space out front.

I was thinking of getting a dedicated hanging microphone, but I would really like a pair of mics placed on boom stands so that I can also use the mics if our choir sings up front (every once in a while or if we have a concert).

I have a set of Rode NT5's that I was going to donate, but I'm unsure if they would be the right mic for the job.

Would a shotgun mic be of any benefit?

I'm looking for suggestions on mic placement as well as mic type, and feel free to open my drawing in paint an go wild :)

Thanks kindly


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Boswell Wed, 04/27/2011 - 09:04

The NT5s would certainly be a good choice to start with. Using them for a while could help identify problem areas that might need to be addressed by a more specialist microphone type. They need 48V phantom power. Can your PA system supply that?

Looking at your layout sketch, if the choir occupies all three rows behind the railing, setting up boom-mounted mics to get decent coverage could be a problem, and maybe unsightly. Wire suspension over the choir area may be a better solution, but that could mean dedicating a pair of mics to that function and not contemplate moving them for a concert out front.

One solution is to use the NT5s for the everyday (sorry, everyweek) usage and then buy or rent a second type of mic for concerts or other occasions that the Rodes would struggle with or when you don't want to be moving mics around in the gaps during a performance. However, you don't say whether your PA system could handle more than one pair of mics at a time.

For interest, the Rode NT4 (phantom or battery powered) is a pair of NT5-type capsules mounted in a single stereo body, and is easier to set up and move around than a pair of mics if all you need is X-Y configuration. In contrast, the NT55 is similar to an NT5 but has interchangeable cardioid and omni capsules and also has switches for attenuation and hi-pass filter.