Lapel Microphone alternatives ??

Discussions around meetinghouse sound systems, microphones, assisted listening devices, and translation equipment
joevans3
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Lapel Microphone alternatives ??

Postby joevans3 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:29 am

We keep growing, and the chapel is now the only place we can all fit for Gospel Doctrine. We also have a decent contingent of members in their golden years who need the teachers to be amplified. We have played around with carrying microphones around, just using the pulpit and repeating comments from the class, and passing around a mike. All seem awkward.

We are very hesitant to spend hundreds of dollars on a good lapel mike. But that is the functionality we'd really like to have. Has anyone used some other hack to get the same effect? It seems like we could hook a laptop to the pulpit input and use either a bluetooth connection straight to the laptop (maybe a nice phone headset?) or even have a cell phone with a wired mike on it connected straight to the laptop. There are so many possible combinations of hardware and apps out there, I am not sure what we should try first.

We think that if we have lapel mikes on the teachers and pass around the wired mikes for comments, we'll all be able to hear each other without to much hassle.

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Re: Lapel Microphone alternatives ??

Postby lajackson » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:59 am

joevans3 wrote:We are very hesitant to spend hundreds of dollars on a good lapel mike.

Have your Physical Facilities Representative (a high councilor) speak with the FM group. On occasion where we have had visiting general authorities who wanted to use a lapel mike, the FM group has provided us one that worked very well with the sound system. They may be willing to help with a permanent solution for your building if the stake identifies a need. (And the might even pay for it.)

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Lapel Microphone alternatives ??

Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:19 am

I'd like to echo Bro Jackson's reply. The church already has an approved wired, and optional wireless, lapel mic system that the FM group should be aware of. If not, they certainly have the means to find out what it is. Yes, there are many alternative solutions out there, but it's always a good idea to stick with the church standard, where possible.

Here's another thread on the subject of Wireless microphones from 2 years ago that contains some very good information.
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Re: Lapel Microphone alternatives ??

Postby michaelfish » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:18 pm

From my experience, don't waste any money on a cheap lapel microphone. The pickup characteristics yield more feedback than gain. I've seen several Radio Shack models used once and then stored in cabinets for decades!

For years, we have successfully used the Audio Technica ATW-2129 lapel microphone system (came from our FM group) with very good results in both the chapel and the cultural hall...but don't expect too much from ANY lavalier microphone in rooms that have speakers! If you're expecting pulpit quality sound and volume from a lapel (lavalier) microphone, you'll be sadly disappointed. This is because the chapel (or other) sound systems amplify through speakers and a lavalier microphone element will tend to feedback sound without a whole lot of gain. The better the microphone element, the more gain you can get before feedback.

When feedback is a problem, we switch out the lavalier microphone out for a head-worn microphone (AT892cW-TH) that is part of the ATW-2192-TH system. The body pack is the same and the microphones are interchangeble. When using the head-worn microphone, we have the same quality and volume as the pulpit microphone with the freedom of movement.

For class member responses, the handheld ATW-2120 is great. It is simple to use (one switch and LED light on the bottom) and sound quality is excellent.

The range of the ATW-2000 series is very good, no problems anywhere in the chapel, overflow, cultural hall or on the stage. We recently hosted Elder Cook at a Priesthood Leadership Training Conference and 8 wireless handheld microphones for Q/A's were requested. We scrounged around and borrowed any wireless microphone we could find from other wards (Nady, Shure, Samson, etc.) and the only microphones that worked FLAWLESSLY were the Audio Technica microphones.

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Re: Lapel Microphone alternatives ??

Postby mevans » Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:04 pm

michaelfish wrote:When feedback is a problem, we switch out the lavalier microphone out for a head-worn microphone (AT892cW-TH) that is part of the ATW-2192-TH system. The body pack is the same and the microphones are interchangeble. When using the head-worn microphone, we have the same quality and volume as the pulpit microphone with the freedom of movement.


The Sunday School President just asked me about a microphone for the Relief Society Room today and I had just read this thread earlier in the week. I googled the AT892cW-TH and found that it's been discontinued. The replacement is BP892cW-TH.

I'm going to have to see if the FM group can get one of these for us.

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Re: Lapel Microphone alternatives ??

Postby chmsant » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:51 pm

Let me echo the "check with FM" statement.

That being said, don't scrimp in the pro audio department, EVER! You get what you pay for. My predecessors always bought the cheapo wireless systems from radio shack and they've all fallen apart, have terrible audio quality among numerous other problems and incompatibilities.

Stick with trusted brands like Shure or Audio-Technica. The SLX series from Shure won't do you wrong at all. We've got 3 wireless systems all with handheld SM-58s and one additional Lav/bodypack that we can swap in, in place of a handheld. One of the best tech-investments we've made yet.

michaelfish wrote:...but don't expect too much from ANY lavalier microphone in rooms that have speakers! If you're expecting pulpit quality sound and volume from a lapel (lavalier) microphone, you'll be sadly disappointed. This is because the chapel (or other) sound systems amplify through speakers and a lavalier microphone element will tend to feedback sound without a whole lot of gain. The better the microphone element, the more gain you can get before feedback.
Are you kidding? I get better sound out of my handhelds and lapel mic than the pulpit mic any day. It's all about gain staging, and capsule quality. Once you plug the lapel into the system, the amp and all of it's magical trickery behind the scenes will auto-adjust (assuming your building has been retrofitted to the newer standard) and will cancel any feedback leaving you with crisp, clean sound. That of course assuming the room was tuned correctly in the first place. I've been in chapels where that isn't the case.

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Re: Lapel Microphone alternatives ??

Postby ballen1057 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:51 am

Over the past 2 years my Stake in south central Pennsylvania have bought 4 Audio-tech 2000 handheld and 2 wireless lapel mic systems the same series. They work great with my FM manager and I walked way out in the parking lot and they were clear as a bell. We run then though a Mackie 1602 mixer. I also always remove the batteries when they are not in use, Use fresh batteries. I now get asked to do Conference webcast in other Stakes in the state. I wish the Church had a national account with Guitar Center. They do have fare prices. Bro Fish I would love to do business with you.
Bruce M Allen
Elizabethtown Ward Executive Secretary
Lancaster PA Stake Technology Specialist A/V
Lancaster PA 17603

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sbradshaw
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Re: Lapel Microphone alternatives ??

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:00 pm

joevans3 wrote:We keep growing, and the chapel is now the only place we can all fit for Gospel Doctrine. We also have a decent contingent of members in their golden years who need the teachers to be amplified.

You may consider suggesting that the Gospel Doctrine class be divided into two Gospel Doctrine classes – or hold other Sunday School classes, like Temple and Family History, Temple Preparation, Teaching the Gospel, or Marriage and Family Relations, all of which are mentioned as optional courses in the 2013 Instructions for Curriculum...

Smaller classes often encourage better discussion, and in a smaller room hearing the teacher won't be as much of a problem.


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