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Newer Muppet Microphones

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by shtick, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. shtick

    shtick Member

    I've looked up microphones on this forum. I haven't seen any posts on the newer mics used in the live stuff like Puppet Up. I see them wearing headbands.

    Does anyone know what kind of mics are these and if a similar thing is available on the market?
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I don't know specifically what model(s) Henson uses, but pretty much any professional lav mic mounted on a headband would work. I'm a fan of Shure microphones, but everyone has their own preferences.

    Good, professional wireless lav mics usually start around $300 for the bodypack, mic and receiver. Like with most things, you're going to get what you pay for. The better models I've worked with were $900+.
  3. Jinx

    Jinx Member

    As Buck mentions, Shure microphones are excellent.

    When I have to be miced for live puppet performance I use my Sennheiser wireless. I put the capsule on my forehead pointed straight down and run the wire over the top of my head and down my back to the transmitter. I hold the mic in place with a simple gym-style headband.

    I find this gives me reasonable isolation from ambient sounds, and the mic never inadvertently brushes against anything.
  4. CoOKiE

    CoOKiE Member

    lol if you want to go the cheap route... Radio Shack sells a mic for $25... its wired... but you can rig your own head set and clip the mic onto it.

    Cheap and effective
  5. The Shoe Fairy

    The Shoe Fairy Active Member

    Shure do make excellent microphones, but I bought a new stage mic for vocals in music the other day, and the guy at the music shop claimed he couldn't tell the difference between a Shure and a company called JTS microphones in terms of quality and sound. I am not quite sure what JTS have in terms of wireless/head based sorta thing, but I have seen some stuff on their website about it though.
  6. Melonpool

    Melonpool Active Member

    Mics have been something that have confused me a lot over the years. I usually rely on a friend of mine that's in a band to do all my audio work and to be honest, I've been less-than-satisfied with the results and spent thousands of dollars on equipment that didn't work as I expected and consequently sit on a shelf collecting dust now.

    After checking out this discussion, I went over to shure's website and came across a couple of articles that helped me out:


    The one thing I'm confused about is why go the lav mic route and rig up a headband instead of just using a headset mic? Is there a difference in sound quality, or is it just to better emulate the way that Henson did it? I don;t know about you guys, but every headband/ball cap system I've ever rigged has been pretty uncomfortable.

    I'm kind of leaning toward this model:


    I wish we had someone that could field sound questions on here. I have an idea of what I need for my little production studio (3 wireless mics, a mixer expandable up to at least 6 eventually, all to be mixed and dumped on the fly to a studio-based DV camera or hard drive), but so far, this set up has eluded me, leading to my less-than stellar sound in my productions.

    I wonder if there are reputable sound engineers out there that could steer us in the right direction, down to equipment recommendations?
  7. Jinx

    Jinx Member

    The problem with making equipment recommendations is that there are so many elements to a PA system, and so many venues in which one might be used that it is impossible to make blanket recommendations. I used to own three separate PAs for different types of venues.

    The only reason that I use a headband arrangement at all is that I already have the mic. Most often I use it in musical theatre situations where it is usually glued somewhere on my face. This is perfect for me since I don't ever have to worry about it during costume changes; it is completely out of the way, like I'm not even wearing one.

    A headset mike certainly can be the way to go, like a Countryman E6, but you need to know whether you need an omnidirectional or directional pick up pattern (The answer may not be as obvious as it seems!). You also need to know what other equipment will be used. For multiple performers, it is idea to have identical mic setups for each one. If not identical, at the very least similar functioning.

    Another reason to go with a "headband" arrangement is if you want to avoid a "close-miked" sound. I prefer a more ambient quality to the sound, using more of a "sound reinforcement" technique than PA. This can really help with plosives, siblances and other diction challenges.

    Really you have to start by defining in detail what you want it to sound like before any sound engineer will be able to tell you what gear you need to accomplish your audio goals.

    Just as terms like "arm rods" and "mouthplates" and "playboards" won't have much meaning to a non-puppeteer, terms like "condenser", "dynamic", "hyper-cardioid" and "phantom power" won't mean much to non-microphone-geeks. It pays to hire a professional.
  8. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I'd second what Jinx said; it really is hard to make specific recommendations without having all the technical details. I am far from an audio expert, but in my experience the problem with "head set" mics is that they can be knocked and get in the way. Mounting a mic on a headband or baseball cap is what I've always found to be the best solution, but you have to rig it properly.

    I'd completely agree that if you're looking to spend a lot of money you should first consult with an audio professional.

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