Tips for Microphones, Part 3

Tips for Working with Microphones for Christmas Performers – Part Three

Happy May! To go with your rambunctious flower frolicking, here’s part 3 of 4, of “Tips for Working with Microphones for Christmas Performers.”

Mic Techniques

Just as any radio announcer needs to watch for pops, sibilance, and mumbling, test your diction and record yourself and see what needs some practice.

  1. Always do some vocal warm-ups.
  2. If you are working with others, learn how to hold the microphone for them and how to pass it back and forth.
  3. Practice your HO-HO-HO at full volume with the mic away from your face, and then do it again with the mic in front of you. If no one is going to be running sound, you need to be able to know your personal volume and how to work with that mic.
  4. Have someone in the back of the audience you can see who can tell you if you are too quiet or too loud.
  5. NEVER CUP a MICROPHONE. People who do that are posers and don’t understand how microphones work. It does not improve your sound.
  6. If you are using props like jingle bells and you want them to be picked up on mic, you must practice. If you are playing an instrument, you probably already have plenty of audio experience. But practice using both anyway.
  7. If you are working with a wireless (RF) microphone, don’t go crazy running around. “Stick and move” from place to place.
  8. If you are on a cabled mic, practice keeping a loop at your feet and pulling slack as you move. Since mic cables are often dirty, watch out that you don’t mess up your pretty white gloves.
  9. If you are moving around on the stage, you need to watch for stairs, speakers, and lighting. When you move on to the stairs, the sound could pulse a loud “WAUGH” noise. If you move alongside the speakers, you could cause feedback, producing a high-pitched squeal. And if you move into the lights wrong, you could blind yourself. Be sure you are away from the stairs if you are momentarily blinded.

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