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Live and Loud - Feedback Please

Mr Mark

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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  :D)...

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?
 

jozz

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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
 

Mr Mark

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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!
 

jozz

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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
 

debra

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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.
P8043485.jpg
 

JerryPH

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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.

hohnermics.jpg

Now, there is good and bad with this setup.
Bad:
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.

Good:
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).
 

Mr Mark

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Thanks for all the feedback (how can I get away from puns?)...

Yes jozz I am going into a DI (https://www.lrbaggs.com/preamps-di/para-di-acoustic-guitar-preamp - maybe not ideal but should work for the purpose) - eventually hope to have a personal monitor (actually this looks interesting http://yorkville.com/loudspeakers/excursion/product/exm-mobile/). In the meantime I will be happy with standing in front of a mic using my IEMs.

I actually have another simlair system kicking around here but I think the chipboard is cracked or there is a loose solder joint and I am terrible with solder so will just buy these misc based upon feedback relating to a similar situation.

debra - Accordions and castles go together like bread and butter imo. I was looking at those 420 mins but they are a tad more expensive. Perhaps if I am in this market again I will get them though as they are available here in Canada.

JerryPH - There is a lot of appeal in that setup and I happen to have an extra 58 capsule laying around so will endeavour to try that on one of my other boxes - do you have any other information on how exactly you did this?


Thanks again everyone!


Also!

I came across these in my searching...they look discontinued but are out there in the used realm - anyone have experience with these?

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/fol...os-wireless-accordion-microphone-and-receiver
 

JerryPH

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Mr Mark pid=68244 dateline=1574117343 said:
1 - JerryPH - There is a lot of appeal in that setup and I happen to have an extra 58 capsule laying around so will endeavour to try that on one of my other boxes - do you have any other information on how exactly you did this?

2 - I came across these in my searching...they look discontinued but are out there in the used realm - anyone have experience with these?
https://www.musiciansfriend.com/fol...os-wireless-accordion-microphone-and-receiver


1 - The Hohner actually came from the factory like this, and it really is no more complex than it looks.  My advantage is that the rubber mount floats and so absorbs some vibrations, but if it was hard mounted, it would not change things much.

2 - I *might* have an example of something better... its in the mail right now and I might need to make an adapter and of course it needs to be tested.  More to come (positive or negative) about this as soon as it arrives and I can play with it a little.
 

Mr Mark

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Ah, so that is a 1/4" output jack right below the capsule then.  Rubber mounts make sense.  I like the idea of a simple setup which will capture both sides with comparatively good results for the average end user.  I mean, ultimately I would like to be able to control bass and treble eq's separately so separate mics make sense - however I can also appreciate that for a lot of situations (such as with a loud group like mine where clarity isn't going to typically happen anyway) this isn't essentially going to change the sound so ease of installation and maintenance as well as cost come to mind.

Having said all of that I am now finding out that most wireless systems are mono, with the exception being the Stageclix above (and a Roland that apparently won't work with active mics)...and Stageclix do not appear to be available in Canada.


:D :D :D :rolleyes:
 

jozz

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stageclix is mono as well

it does have a TRS-style plug but the grey R-ring is used for charging the dongle

if you're unlucky that TRS ring causes bad contact if you plug it into your internal mic jack socket, fortunately that is not the case with my standard metal socket, so make sure you test that out should you go for similar setup

the only road-worthy wireless stereo setup I know of, is Limex
 

JerryPH

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Mr Mark said:
(and a Roland that apparently won't work with active mics)
Hang on… are you using a Roland V-Accordion?  I thought this was for a Lucia IVP?


If so, you don't need to do anything except use a 1/4" male mono plug in to the accordion and the same on the other side in to the mixer.  There is 100% ZERO chance of any V-accordion ever causing or experiencing feedback because there are no mics to pick up errant external sound.. ahh, the wonders of digital... lol.
 

debra

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Mr Mark said:
...
debra - Accordions and castles go together like bread and butter imo.  I was looking at those 420 mins but they are a tad more expensive.  Perhaps if I am in this market again I will get them though as they are available here in Canada.
...
I have always ordered the Microvox mics direct from www.microvox.co.uk. I have never seen a better price than direct from them. (I have seen much higher prices elsewhere though.) The mics you can get from Carini (in Castelfidardo) are the only reasonable mics I have tried that cost less than the Microvox but not much less. They have an option for stereo if you want that.
 

John M

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JerryPH pid=68147 dateline=1573332110 said:
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.

hohnermics.jpg

Now, there is good and bad with this setup.
Bad:
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.

==================================================================================================
So, what all is needed beside this head capsule?  Is there room for a transmitter, batteries, etc. inside the accordion?  What is output level to receiver & to amplifier?  This looks like a nice set up, except I would like to know what remaining equipment is needed.

John M
 

Mr Mark

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I thought maybe the Stageclix made it possible for separate Left and Right mixes but I guess not (the mic system has stereo out so I assume this inherently has the ability to separate things...am I wrong?) - I imagine the Roland (Wireless Dongle - not V-Accordion as per JerryPH) will be much the same with the R ring being used to charge the dongle.

What I wouldn't give for a V-accordion ha!

debra - Great information!  Those microvox prices are substantially less expensive direct (over 2.5x)!!!  Wow!
 

jozz

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Unfortunately just mono, so you would need to run a y-cable into two dongles, each with its own base-station. If you bring some backline you could built such things in your stuff. For Flogging Molly I don't bother and just output Righthand.
 

JerryPH

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John M said:
==================================================================================================
So, what all is needed beside this head capsule?  Is there room for a transmitter, batteries, etc. inside the accordion?  What is output level to receiver & to amplifier?  This looks like a nice set up, except I would like to know what remaining equipment is needed.

John M

Besides a head capsule?  Obviously the wire and connector.  It also has to be air-tight as the wire leading from inside the accordion has to get outside it, right?

What does it connect to?  A mixer with good gain... thats it.  Need more gain if your mixer is not up to it, you might need a preamp to help boost things ($40-$400 is that range).  My internal dynamic mics are well... cheap, like very cheap (lol), and their output is very low, about 50% of what the Shure capsules put out, so I addressed that with a preamp (Art Tube preamp)

Do you want to go wireless?  There are answers that go from mild to wild, meaning... from $35US to $3500US and options everywhere in between.
For example, I have a potentially good $40 mono setup answer happening soon that I am working on... reliable 50 foot range, 50Hz-15,000Hz dynamic range, works off 2 AA batteries in the transmitter and 2 AAA batteries in the receiver.  That same kit should also potentially work with my 8X too, making it a cool wireless setup.

Whats it sound like you ask?  I dont know!  :D 
Its a new project that I just received and am starting to work on, and my DIY juices havent started to flow in that direction yet and without my Hohner accordion, I have nothing to test with until next week at the earliest... besides, I dont have the cabling adapters made yet (Id like to play with that this weekend).

Right now my Hohner is getting tuned from A-Z at a professional tuner (it seems that nothing else is needed, reeds, valves and wax are all good), so I cannot show you any video examples right now, but  maybe I will do that later.
 

John M

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Thanks for your reply Jerry.  I am trying to understand the mounting to get it to fit inside the accordion.  Is there a mount for the mic or is it DIY special.  I looked up the Shure SM58 and the wireless or wired model seem to be about 10" in length.  I assume the head must be removed from the hand holder. and then wires soldered directly to the capsule for the wired model.  Is there nothing in the hand holder besides the wires?  The wireless version has batteries in the hand holder and probably electronics for the transmitter.  Any more info is appreciated.

John M.
 

JerryPH

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John M pid=68328 dateline=1574821605 said:
Thanks for your reply Jerry.  I am trying to understand the mounting to get it to fit inside the accordion.  Is there a mount for the mic or is it DIY special.  I looked up the Shure SM58 and the wireless or wired model seem to be about 10 in length.  I assume the head must be removed from the hand holder. and then wires soldered directly to the capsule for the wired model.  Is there nothing in the hand holder besides the wires?  The wireless version has batteries in the hand holder and probably electronics for the transmitter.  Any more info is appreciated.

John M.

That rubber mount came like that from the Hohner factory, it is basically a rubber isolator... imagine 3 rubber circles (2 outer ones are for the screws, the center one holds the mic capsule) and they are connected with rubber.

I would not know where to get one today other than to try to somehow DIY it myself.  The capsule for a Shure SM 58 is about 2 inches long after you remove the parts you dont need (including the external protective ball) and go for around $120 and you could go as low as under $1.50 if you cheap out and go for the lower quality stuff.  Connectors and wires for the rest I estimate at under $20.

If you are serious about going wireless, I would not be looking at installing the transmitter inside the accordion.  They are all battery powered and that is something that is done fairly often.  I personally would not want to be splitting my accordion apart each time I wanted to change batteries and I definitely would NOT want battery acid or its off gases inside my accordion where it could kill all my reeds.

My el cheapo wireless setup blog post is coming soon.  Tomorrow I get back my Morino and I plan to integrate this affordable wireless transmitter in to the setup for testing purposes.  I have absolutely no idea how it is going to work, but after I find out, I can let all know.  :)

The biggest factor is intended use.  My goals are all from the perspective of the amateur for home or occasional low importance gig use.  If I was a professional, there is no putzing around... you go for the high-end stuff and get maximum range and reliability, as this is not something that should be played around with.  ;)
 

John M

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Thanks for the info Jerry.  I do have to come up with some kind of a mount.  The photo below is my Excelsior 960 with a mic that doesn't work.  I believe it is an older style crystal mic.  It is in some foam with only a few nails for mounting it to the wood.  This, I would have to redo.

I did some looking and found a Shure R57 cartridge ($78.00) which is a replacement capsule for a Shure SM57 (very similar to the SM58).  It has solder lugs for a wired connection.  Since my accordion has an audio jack output for the crystal mic, I could use the existing jack.

Although it is a bit pricey, the Bose L1 Compact System is designed for a dynamic microphone input and would probably sound pretty good with this Shure capsule.  This project will probably go on hold for a bit until I save up some extra cash.

John M.
 

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Mr Mark

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The Mics came in today, the treble side is already installed and working on the bass side tonight - just in time with a gig in two nights from now.  Definitely sounds good with minimal feedback compared to the Meyers unit.  Much tweaking is yet to come but so far I'm happy.  

One question for anyone who has done this - what is the best tape to use for taping the wire to the bellows?  I have used masking tape in the past (could have swore I read that was what to use somewhere) but found that didn't last and left a terrible sticky mess everywhere.
 
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