Microphones for a small group

Does anyone have any suggestions for microphones for a small group (about 5 -6) of singers playing ukuleles? Two or three to each mike, possibly?
We cannot afford big amps or sound mixers, but wish to have a bit more
volume as we cannot always be heard in noisy or windy venues. We often play at fetes etc and we do not always have electricity on hand...

Replies

  • edited 3 May 2015 at 7:44PM
    RHemmingsRHemmings Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 3 May 2015 at 7:44PM
    Your problem is going to be feedback. If you have (e.g.) a stereo pair of microphones in front of the band as you might use for recording, but are piping that sound to the PA, then the sound from the speakers will feed back to your microphones. Squeal city.

    You could use a stage mic such as the Shure SM57 recommended in another thread (and recommended elsewhere). However, while these are good at rejecting feedback, to share one of these microphones you will have to have your groups of people very close to the microphone to be picked up. Are you all very good friends?

    While I'm not a live sound reinforcement guru by any means, that's going to be the issue. If you have microphones sensitive enough so that you don't need to crowd around the microphone, then there is going to be feedback problems.

    Do you own electro-acoustic ukuleles? If so, then a relatively inexpensive mixer may be the best option. However, even for a no-brand mixer (or Behringer), six channels of mixing is going to cost a bit.

    There are clip on piezo microphones which you could attach to each ukulele. They can be bought on eBay for as low as £5 each. However, I have no idea how good they will sound, and how well they will reject feedback, but the guy in the following video is amplifying an acoustic guitar with one and it sounds ... reasonable. Don't watch the end of the video BTW: He attaches the piezo to his head and starts talking about how you cannot hear his thoughts. Although it does sound cool when he uses his head as an electric percussion instrument.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOJuCYgmPPE

    You'd still need a mixer. If you are handy, there are lots of pages online describing how to make your own mixer, and you wouldn't need EQ and effects sends just to do a bit of live sound reinforcement.

    BTW: I own a Roland Microcube guitar amplifier. They are cheap and produce a good amount of volume for the size and battery power. I've seen people using them for busking with acoustic instruments, and they sound pretty good for that use. You don't have to use the effects if you don't want to.

    EDIT: Unless you get better answers here, you should ask this question on gearslutz.com
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