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Hello E Fans,

This month we're going to talk a little bit about Microphones. Every performer whether it be in a live band, Karaoke or Tribute artist has his or her preference in Microphones. Not just any microphone will do and you must also find the right one that will suit your needs for vocal projection and clarity. As an individual performer, you want to use a “unidirectional” microphone, this type takes sound in only from the top of the microphone head therefore reducing the chance of a high pitched feedback squeal. The term, “You get what you pay for!”, comes into play here. Cheaper microphones tend to sound tinny or hollow, like you are singing through a can.

Your average cost on a wired microphone could be anywhere from $25 - $350 and cordless mic‘s range from $200 into the thousands. I have found that SHURE microphones are one of the best on the market and together with SAMSON, they produce one of the best cordless systems available. You want to stay away from anything that says PA mic or Orchestra mic, these tend to be for public speaking and for omni directional use. Make sure that the microphones you choose are made for Vocal performance and don’t be shy about asking to try it out at the store. (Your better music stores will have a sound room in which you can test out the quality of your microphone.)

Make sure you do these three tests;
1st test is the “P” test, pronounce your P’s to make certain that it does not produce the “PUH” sound, if it does then it does not have a proper wind screen inside the microphone head.
2nd test is the sensitivity test, see how far away from your mouth the microphone will pick up your voice, the better the sensitivity, the less volume you will have to use in order to be heard, that way your voice will last longer.
3rd test is the distance test, this one is mainly for the cordless mic’s, talk on your microphone and walk away from its receiver, you want to make sure that you can go anywhere on stage with your cordless mic without it kicking out. We all remember “Elvis, That’s The Way It Is”, when the king decided to try out a cordless microphone on stage and it cut out on him, unless you are a perfectionist in reproducing that performance, make sure your cordless mic is a “True Diversity” and always use fresh batteries for every performance. True Diversity mic’s almost always have two antennas and will have an “A” signal and a “B” signal and will always use the stronger of the two signals. Also, if you are using more than one cordless microphone, make sure the two receivers have different channels and that they are at least 3 channels apart, this will reduce interference.

One of the easiest ways to reduce the quality of your performance is to have poor vocal sound and let’s remember, no matter what you wear, how good you look and move or how many lights and smoke machines you have, Elvis fans want to hear your voice, that is the final and most important aspect that all E-impersonators are judged on.

If you have a microphone that you prefer to use and you think others would benefit from using, let me know at bigt@elvis.com and I will be sure to give it my 3 step test and post the results on this site.

Until next time E fans, “Elvis has left the building!”.

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