Third row, second from the right: that goddamn 9 year old is tapping her foot again!

January 19, 2012 4:47 AM

Please help! I do sound for a k-12 school's concerts, and I'm looking for a solution to a problem with choir mics. I've been poking around a lot on line but I can't find anyone who sells pads to muffle footstep sounds coming up through the mic stand. Anyone have any ideas? What would make a good material for this?

The stage setup requires that the mics be placed on a risen aluminum stage. Obviousy, the stage reverberates like hell and it would be best to mount the mics elsewhere, but I'm stuck with it. Even after that, my next surace is a gymnasium floor.

At the moment, I'm getting tons of noise when people move on the stage and even when the preformers are tapping their feet! I can drop the low end a bit, but the next event is an acapella festival, so I want to maximize the bass as much as possible.

I assumed that muffling pads would be pretty easy to find (how has this issue not come up?) but I can't find anything.
posted by es_de_bah (6 comments total)

What kind of mics are you using? Shock mounts are designed expressly for this. Good handheld mics (like the SM58) are designed with an internal shock mount to isolate the diaphragm, but cheaper ones like the ones you often find in schools don't have them.'

The problem you have is with low frequencies and a pad isn't going to help much with that.
posted by unSane at 7:32 AM on January 19, 2012

If you have regular dynamic mics, this kind of thing is probably the most cost-effective solution.
posted by unSane at 7:34 AM on January 19, 2012

Your frustration is totally reasonable - this is why a lot of choir mics are hung from the ceiling. Stages tend to be hollow, boomy sorts of things. If the sound is actually from the stage acting like a giant drum, you are kinda stuck. If the sound is floor vibrations travelling up through the mic stand, it's easier to fix. Recording studios deal with this by floating the floor - basically decoupling the floors in different areas.

One option is to get thick neoprene and put it under the mic stands. something like this. I'd go for textured, as you want additional friction on the floor. If it were me, i'd get a big sheet that's yellow on one side, black on the other, cut pieces a little bigger than the mic stand base, and stack them until they're thick enough.
posted by dubold at 8:26 AM on January 19, 2012

doesn't the coach have wrestling pads you could put the mikes on? - or something like that?
posted by pyramid termite at 2:03 PM on January 19, 2012

all good ideas. thanks. I'll see what works.
posted by es_de_bah at 3:38 PM on January 19, 2012

I briefly considered mentioning wrestling pads, but my concern is that putting something under the mic that is much larger than the mic stand base would increase the likelihood of the stand getting bumped or maybe even tipped over...
posted by dubold at 2:42 AM on January 20, 2012

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