Sound Off About Sound On: an Amplication Journal


This edition: “Where the %$#@! do I put my amp?

(Or: Getting a little more specific about “where?”)

If you use FM, or transmitted, amplification you may be thinking too one dimensionally.

I phrased it that way because various people have various terms for “sound without wires.”

Let’s start out by admitting that this has gotten a lot better tech-wise. Used to be every little am/fm or other broadcast had a chance to change what you were amplifying: other than just you. Rooms sometimes were impossible to amplify depending on what was inside the walls and the room itself. Hell, trucks passing by were a headache, especially with my first very cheap Radio Shack fm. The new stuff is so much better. Ask your dealer what’s best. I use the high priced end of the Audio Technica line myself, though I’ve never been the biggest fan of their other equipment: specifically microphones.

If you do use it, please stop placing your amps on stage near you. That’s not taking advantage of your system. I often place it in back so the audience gets a little bounce-echo from both directions: live and amplified. It can cause feedback. I do recommend headsets. The lavalier is problematic: not directional enough.

A word of warning: they do not make great recordings overall. The more cardiod specific a mic, generally the less I’d use it for recording. Think of it: the very design of your mic is editing out part of the sound.

I actually place it to the side more than to the back, but pointed a bit towards the back, or at least slightly angled towards it.

Also remember, if you interact with your audience a lot like I do you might have to walk there. Be prepared to try your best to keep your back to the mic without being too awkward.

And may you have better sound in your next gig.

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Sound Off About Sound On is a column by Ken Carman that offers advice regarding unusual amplification needs: especially for smaller audiences of a unique nature.

Copyright 2009
Ken Carman
all rights reserved