Live and Loud - Feedback Please
Got a new gig playing with a very loud folk punk band.  

We blazed some Flogging Molly covers Friday night and it was awesome - however it turns out my external mic setup (Meyers Grip 6 + Bass) was not up to the task of anything but feedback (mounted externally on my Lucia IVP), despite the best efforts of a quality DI box with notching filters as well as a great Soundman - so I stuck to standing in front of a mic stand for clarity of sound sake and found my style rather constrained in place...I like to move around (don't we all  Big Grin)...

I need a better solution - external or internal the mics need to be on the accordion so I can move around AND not feedback.  I'm having a hard time wading through everything out there on the web to find something that works for what I need (seems to vary depending upon the side of the world we are on as well).  There seems a lot of shining opinions (for example the reviews of the mic I bought contained a lot that said there were no feedback issues but I found out the opposite to be true) and threads that are more geared towards studio recording than live and loud.  

So I thought I would ask here and see what people in this application have come up with or are using.  It seems the best ideas I have seen so far are along the lines of using a dynamic mic capsule mounted direct onto the reedblock...but I don't want to go through all of the work only to find it has the same problem (feedback in the monitors or mains - or do I have to use in ear monitors and avoid stage monitoring?).  Maybe I am missing something here?

Any feedback out there?
Don't worry, it can be done. I do a flogging molly tribute as well, among other things.

First of all, a proper soundguy should be able to completely filter your feedback. I can drop my mic'ed up accordion on a floor wedge and not have it feedback when they dialed that in properly. Same goes for putting a vocal mic right on the grille of a wedge, it should not feedback, if this has been dealt with on sound check.

Second: do NOT use a capsule inside the accordion, it will kill your sparkling sound

I use the following stuff/guidelines:
- internal mics / mono out (under the grille), I've used musictech and a set from ebay-seller "midifisa". These have dials for the preamp circuit gain, and you should keep those at the lowest setting possible. So never crank them full open, or you will get feedback easier, and introduce hiss. Instead, have the volume level set at desk by the soundguy.

- use IEM, for the flogging molly tribute, we all have IEM, mainly because this offers faster stage setup and also is easier at rehearsal, be sure to get quality earpieces when you go that route. I use the more expensive Shure, but bandmates use the cheaper KZ's. Important is to have bright sound, but also feel the bass in that kind of music.
btw. we did some shows with floor monitors, but if you do want to move around, which we also do a lot, this is harder on the fiddle and on the accordion, it is much nicer to have the akoustic instruments in your ears in a quiet environment instead of a loud stage

- for wireless I use stageclix v4 base and dongle. I've tried all 2,4ghz solutions but most of them don't work with active pickups, like the musictechs. stageclix has 5ghz so a little less range but it sports anti-humm switch, that works. The dongle goes for 8hrs, and has an off-switch which kills the signal to base without a pop, so I can just "unplug" and walk off with my instrument
Great!  Thanks for the response and reassurance - I've bought, paid for and installed two different mic systems with no luck so far.  Three times lucky I suppose.

The only thing that saved this gig was a cheap IEM I bought the day before as I wasn't sure and wanted backup...not the greatest sound but it was sound nonetheless!
(Galaxy AS-950)

Very good to note the issue about the wireless systems not working with those active pickups - too bad my wireless also will not work...doh.

Going to have to sell some accordions and mics to pay for this, thankfully I have too many already   Rolleyes.

Thanks very much Jozz!
no problem, hopefully you will get it sorted!

I have just the simple 9V electret mic system (the italian "system"), but if you don't run it too hot it will be okay. I did it on many stages of many sizes while still running floor monitors.

I don't know if you go Direct In or via a personal amp but if you aim that clever it also can make a difference in how much you need over all the other monitors.

And: if you find yourself on a stage with unknown equipment, always insist on doing a lengthy soundcheck
[Image: P8043518.jpg]
This is what I have done:
All 4 accordions have the Microvox (420) installed on a bracket close to the grille. The bass accordion has built-in mic under the grille (Sennheiser, factory installed).
Behind us are two Bose L1 model 2 units.
The decor you see is the front of a castle. People could hear us very clearly even *at the back of the castle* which just shows how far the sound carried, and yet there was absolutely no danger of feedback.  Below you see the whole front of the castle (with a different orchestra). So you can imagine how strong the amplification was that people at the back of the castle (not visible of course) could still hear us quite well.
[Image: P8043485.jpg]
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
If you have a LOT of sound all around you and are playing in a loud environment, external mics will near always suffer from feedback.  The best place to put the mics is inside the accordion... like inside near the reed blocks.

[Image: hohnermics.jpg]

Now, there is good and bad with this setup.
1 - Cannot easily do a stereo mic setup
2 - requires you to be careful to maintain a sealed hole in to the accordion
3 - Sound quality is not quite as good, but if you use a good quality dynamic mic (head capsule of a Shure SM-58 for example), this setup can sound as good as a $500 setup.

1 - Really good location for minimized feedback because the mics are inside the accordion and all they hear is pretty much only the accordion
2 - 1 mic pics up right and left hands

I was told that volume differences on the left hand occurs between full closed and full open bellows... this is true, but the differences are about 2db... meaning almost impossible to hear, this I measured for myself on my accordion. Your results may be different.

A mic setup like this is also very affordable, anywhere between $50 to $100 (for a nice Shure SM-58 capsule).

My musical memoires blog/website:

Forum Jump: