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P-51 Microphone Parameters
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Author:  Fraqtal [ Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  P-51 Microphone Parameters

Hello dear friends!
I need the technical parameters specification for the P-51 microphone that is included in the old Passport PD-250 kit, i.e. sensitivity, impedance etc. Could not find it neither in the device's manual, nowhere. Just "Dynamic Microphone" is all that's written :(
Could anyone please send it to fraqtal@gmail.com ?
Thank you in advance)

Author:  ContraCaller [ Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: P-51 Microphone Parameters

I doubt you'll get the specs you are seeking. Fender tends to subcontract out stuff like this. They probably didn't make the microphone, and they probably don't know the specs.

This is a generic, dynamic microphone intended to be plugged into an XLR cable and connected to a mixer with a mic preamp built in (which most mixers do). It is inexpensive and according to reviews was of decent quality for the price. The generic type has a cardioid pattern, meaning that it tends to be deaf to sound coming from the cable end, and most sensitive to sound going straight in the front, and it picks up sound from the sides at a reduced sensitivity.

If you sing into it, use it like a flashlight, trying to illuminate the back of your throat. Do not sing over it, like holding an ice cream cone. It won't sound as good that way. Point it at your mouth. Like a flashlight. You are not just trying to illuminate the bottom of your nose (though that's the common way ignorant people misuse cardioid microphones).

The "dynamic" part means it doesn't require batteries or phantom power (though phantom power doesn't damage it).

Basically, inside that wired ball with a foam wind filter, there's a cone (probably treated paper) hooked up to a miniature generator (a magnet in the middle of a ferrous wire coil, or a ferrous wire coil inside of a magnet with a hole in it). Sound makes the cone wiggle, and that makes either the coil or the magnet wiggle. The wiggling generates a very tiny alternating electrical current. That makes up a signal that a preamp amplifies enough to reach "line level" signal, which the mixer takes in and modifies with volume and EQ controls, and maybe effects, like reverb or echo.

There's not much more to know about the P-51 microphone. I doubt that having specs will help you use it, and if you want to compare it to other mics, well, expect it to be a lot like other inexpensive cardioid, dynamic mics.

Author:  Fraqtal [ Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: P-51 Microphone Parameters

Dear ContraCaller,
That's sad to hear.
I do have the mentioned Passport system, and the two mics are included.

I am a very beginning singer, new to all the microphone stuff. However, I would like to compare the one I have to some well known equipment like Shure SM58 or S55II. My trouble is that when my band's playin even not too loud on the rehearsal, one can hardly hear vocals on the recording (rec made simply by a phone from the air). Increasind the mic volume on the mixer over some treshold value produces that vell known feedback effect. So I am thinking two ways. Should I either go get me a Shure mic (both models I mentioned above are also dynamic, which stands better against the feedback than condensator mics so far) or continue using the Fender P-51 which is probably also not so bad. To finally make that money-spending decision I wish to know the parameters of the stuff I have, so that I could compare the values.
Yes they probably outstuffed the microphone production, but I hope they should know the specifications for the stuff they payed for)
And - I appreciate your advise of the way of singing, and I deffinitely sing just the way you said, directing the mic to the bottom of my throat. The mic is fixed on a stand - hands are busy playing guitar))))

What I'm finally gonna do is try the Shure S55II in action and see whether it changes something or the trouble is not with the mics.

Author:  ContraCaller [ Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: P-51 Microphone Parameters

Sorry to be slow to get back to this. The Shure 58 is a workhorse industry standard; a fine microphone.

Personal experience has brought me to prefer the Sennheiser e800 series. I have four of them. It's the only mic I like for both vocal and instrument applications. It does sweet, warm things to voices, and works great with acoustic guitars, yet continues to sound great with fiddles, mandolins and other higher-pitched instruments.

Clarity, feedback rejection -- there's nothing to not like in a mic that costs around $100. Spend less and you get less. Spend more and you spend more.

The important thing about feedback is to figure out why the microphone is picking up the amplified signal. Either the mic is aimed at the speaker, or the mic is too "omnidirectional" and is too sensitive to sound coming from an extreme angle, or a floor monitor or other speaker is directly conducting sound to the floor, to the mic stand, and to the microphone. Try sitting the mic stand on foam or quilted cloth padding, if the latter is the problem.

Also, look at your EQ settings. The bass and treble should ideally be set flat (not boosting or cutting bass or treble). Don't boost unless you have a reason to want to change the sound you get when it's flat. Cranking everything up just boosts volume, resulting a mix that cuts the midrange that promotes feedback high and low.

If you boost one frequency too much, if that happens to be a frequency the mic picks up too well, then that frequency will feed back. A more expensive mixer would show you the frequency that is feeding back so you could notch cut that frequency to kill the feedback, but you don't have a more expensive mixer. I understand.

If you want to record, consider using a line-out port on the mixer. It will be a cleaner signal without environmental noise or the acoustic room-sounds that distract from your music. Then, if you can't hear the vocals for the band, instead of cranking up the vocal, cut back on the band. You mix in order to balance, and you don't balance by always turning something up louder. Contrary to all beginner reflexes, it's okay to turn something down. It may be briefly disappointing, but your ears adjust and it becomes okay, and sounds better because it's more balanced.

The most common source of feedback is a microphone, so if you get feedback, cut back on the mic channel, then cut back on everything else until the overall mix is balanced. If the result is not loud enough, put the speakers farther from or out in front of the microphone and bring the whole mix up to the desired loudness.

I hope this helps.

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