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mic for lighting desk


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what lighting desk?

if its one of the zero88 ones [my experience with this is the frog range and sirius] I use a line level output, so I'd guess that any mic that goes through a DI can be used.

or not.

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I have run a mic through a Sirius 24/48 in the past and this has given mixed results due to the inconsistency of the frequencies.


Generally, I tend to put an equaliser between the mic and the lighting desk to give me more control over lower frequencies. This works well and any mic I have tried seems to have the same effect.



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what mic should I use to pickup general sound from a gig with no proper sound, which type, not models (unless cheap)


I tend to run a cue send from the desk staight in: you can then assign what you want the LX to trigger off...


Dom - I think ben was after solutions where there is no sound desk.


Ben. As other people have said you want a source of sound that is at line level for most lighting desks, therefore if you want a feed from a mic you want a small pre amp to make it up to line level.


Behringer do possibly the tiniest little sound desk that would do the job perfectly for you, As for what mic, it depends on what you want. If this is a gig / club event and you can hear the sound loudly where you operate then any old cardiod dynamic mic would work. These should be very cheep. If you want to be more adventurous or the sound is further away from you then a shutgun style hypercardiod condenser would be best. However if all you are after is a pseudo random source for changing lights then plug your walkman or laptop to the lighting desk and use something with a similar beat to the music :)


Behringer UB502 - possibly the smallest desk arround!

Cheep & Cheerful Microphone.



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I'd say the best bet was to stick something in the kick drum and connect that via a preamp to your LX desk input. That'll sync your chases to the beat of the music, and you don't need to worry too much about EQ.
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riiight, so if I understand it correctly the mic puts out a line level?

I understood it as it takes a random source and pushed it to line level so that you could put it in any input.

or, putting it through a DI would preamp it so then purely the 'volume' would be able to be reduced with the gain?

[ sorry for ignorance, I am a lampie by choice and am only slowly picking up the basics]

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A standard mic puts out a signal at 'MIC' level.

Your typical lighting desk will need a signal at 'LINE' level.


LINE level is 100 to 1000 times bigger then MIC level.


To convert MIC level to LINE level you need a PREAMP. A preamp is an amplifier designed for small signals like MIC and LINE. An audio mixer has a preamp on every input. The amount of amplification (the GAIN) is set by the GAIN knob. They are often calibrated in dB (decibels). 20dB is an amplification of 10, 40dB is an amplification of 100, 60dB is an amplification of 1000.


A DI box does not amplify the signal; it's the audio signal equivalent of the 110v yellow site isolation transformer. It takes in one AC (audio) signal and gives out another, isolated, signal.


As for the lighting desk, take an XLS as an example. It's input is spec'd at 30mV, that's 0.03 volts, as a minimum up to 100V as a maximum. 100V is typical of a kilowatt or so of PA when tapped across the speakers. 30mV is half-way between MIC and LINE level and so a preamp will be needed.


However, with a mic inside a kick drum (=loud) you will get peaks above 30mV from the mic and these will be enough to trigger the 'beat-step' functions of most lighting desks. It won't be enough to work a multi-channel sound-to-light though.




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right, cheers.

it seemed a bit off that a mic would put out a line level wub.

when I did it, I always toook a feed off of the aux outputs. in lieu of that


could one of those headphone amps that dj's use could be of use?

i.e. it has a mini amp in it and a gain control.

or does it do it too crudely?


easiest option would be to push it through any mixer.


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If you're going to buy anything, have a look at James' suggestion of a little Behringer mixer. If you've got a half-decent music shop near you expect to pay around £30 for the UB502 or £40 for the UB802. OK, so it'll do more than what you want but it'll cost no more than a simple pre-amp and it'll worry the noise boys when the lampie pulls out an audio mixer :)
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