Microphones & Techniques

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Microphone Types

Broadly, there are three types of microphone pickup:

  • Dynamic / Moving Coil

  • Dynamic / Ribbon

  • Condenser

    • Electret
    • Externally polarised

Cabled Microphones

Dynamic microphones are robust, and comparatively inexpensive. They’re best with higher volume sources. 
Condenser (powered) microphones are more sensitive, but more expensive. Mics used in studio applications are usually condenser mics.

General purpose vocals

Shure SM58 (Dynamic) – Industry-standard rock microphone. Very hard-wearing. Built-in pop screen. 

General purpose pickup

Shure SM57 (Dynamic) – Instruments or Close-up Foley etc.

Stage Area pickup 

AKG C568 Shotgun Microphone (Condenser) – hang from the rig above an acting area, or place in a suitable floor-mounted microphone clip along the front of the stage. 

Crown PCC-160 or Bartlett Stage Floor Microphone – Place on floor at front of acting area. (Will also pick up foot noise, so suitable for tap-dancing etc.)

Radio Microphones

LSI: Classic Gear - The Radio Mic (May 2015)
[External Website]
From Lighting & Sound International

Transmission Types

There’s a wide variety of types of radio microphone available, suitable for different applications, in different countries. 

UHF (Ultra High Frequency)

Channel 38 frequencies 606.500-613.500 MHz require a licence, which can be renewed annually.
Channel 70 frequencies 863.100-864.900 MHz can be used without a licence. 

VHF (Very High Frequency)

Frequencies 173.700-175.10MHz can be used without a licence.
Frequencies 175.250 to 209.800 MHz require a licence, which can be renewed annually.

More information on licensing in the UK can be found on the Ofcom website

Wi-Fi / Digital 

Should be chosen with caution – if there’s a lot of wifi traffic (from audience cellphones as well as from wifi access points around the venue) you will not get optimum performance from large numbers of these. Ensure you read manufacturer’s recommendations carefully.

LSI: Digital Wireless Microphones (February 2017)
[External Website]
From Lighting & Sound International


Lavalier / Tie-Clip

If the LED indicator lights on the radio mic packs are too bright, you can use LightDims dimming stickers to reduce their brightness while still being able to see that they’re on correctly.


Micropore tape can be used to hold the microphone frame in place, and to keep the cable tidy.


Keywords: chorus ensemble miking, chorus miking,