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View Full Version : Playing into the mic with NO transducer!....



notalent31
10-29-2011, 08:27 AM
After much thought, I"ve decided to just play into my Shure 57 mic with just a Roland amplifier. I've also bought a Mic Extension so that I can
then place the mic quite close to my uke when playing.

Look folks, the reason I'm writing this is because I do need your feedback/guidance on this, and hope I'm doing the right thing.

I"m just a very very old man who simply wants to have some fun with his bariton uke. So, I say this to you because I just want you all to know that I"m just looking to do my very best with this uke.

Yes, there are certainly better options to amplify your uke, but I've
got the SHURE 57 mike and the stand that goes with it. So, if I just bring the mic way down and close to my uke, I should only hope that I'll get
some "decent" AMPLIFICATION!..No?... and, thats why I bought the "mic extension"..

So, knowing that I'm an explicit "AMATEUR", and just playing to suit just myself, please let me know if I did the right thing here. And, no, I've
just ordered all this equipment from Amazon.com, so I have no idea
how this amplification will sound. You might say, I just took a chance
in ordering this stuff sight/sound unseen!.

So, What do ya think.
and, please no bad responses from music dealers that check this site
out!

Gracia Moltissimo
notalent31 (yes, I'm just 80 years old)....

KamakOzzie
10-29-2011, 08:51 AM
Hi notalent31,
the shure 57 has been around a long time. It is a good mike and will do its job well.
You did not say which Roland amp you are going to use. Some are designed for mikes and some are not.
Tell us about the amp.

bill

UncleElvis
10-29-2011, 08:59 AM
Listen up, youngster! (I hope that I'm still willing to pick up new things when I'm 80!)

A Shure 58 should pick up just fine, especially if you're (and forgive the assumption) relatively stationary.

I come from a singing in a bar band background, so I move a lot on stage, so playing mic'd doesn't work for me, I need a pickup.
But if you're sitting, or standing still, which I assume you are, and the instrument isn't moving around too much, you should be more than fine with a 58. You shouldn't even need to worry about getting it TOO too close, as they're good mics and will pick up at a pretty good distance.
If you're playing somewhere with a soundman, make sure that you get a soundcheck, so that you can have the monitors nice and loud without feedback.
If just running through the amp, just keep moving the amp and mic until you've found the optimal mic distance and amp angle for you: Mic far enough away that it doesn't get in the way of strumming and amp loud enough to hear without feeding.

And do please keep it up. You're what I aspire to be!

UncleElvis
10-29-2011, 09:04 AM
Another option, if you haven't already bought the Shure, is the MXL V900! (http://www.mxlmics.com/products/900_series/V900/V900.html)

I bought this this year and absolutely adore it. It's beautifully sensitive and responsive and, if you're singing as well as playing, all the mic you need.
You can even mix just by tilting it. I've had no trouble with feedback, other than when I first set it up right next to the amp, where ANY mic would have squealed. Move it a foot away and turn the amp and it's perfect.

And how can you beat the look of it? It's gorgeous!

http://www.mxlmics.com/products/900_series/V900/V900_large.gif

notalent31
10-29-2011, 09:32 AM
No, I've not yet purchased he uke/guitar amplifier. I had thought about the
Roland Microcube amps.

You mention that amp might not project enough sound since I'm just
playing into the mic.... I would certainly appreciate it if you would
tell me which uke/guitar amp would be able to give me some
more sound projection.

I'm quite anxious to buy this amplifier, but I know its best if I get
your recommendation first.

I'll state this for clarification.....I am NOT going to put any transducer or any amplification onto my ukulele.

I am hoping that the amp which I have not yet purchased will be strong enough to project a good/decent amount of AUDIO.

Okay, folks, please make this 80 year old timers last years a happier
one with all your most welcome responses which will then allow
me to amplify me and my uke into that stairway to heaven!

Molto Grazie amici!..

notalent31.......

bazmaz
10-29-2011, 09:52 AM
I record thru my Marshall or direct into my Mac with a Shure mic pointed at the instrument. It sounds great.

And with a decent instrument, I'll stick my neck out, with a decent mic like that I think it sounds 100% more natural than using a pickup

KamakOzzie
10-29-2011, 10:05 AM
The Roland "Micro Cube" does not have a dedicated mike input. You can wire the mike with a 1/4" plug, but will not get the best performance that way.
The Roland "Mobile Cube" and the "Cube Street" have mike inputs and controls that match up better.
If UU member ricdoug sees this, he can give you some more amp recommendations. He has a lot of experience in this area.

Bill

mangorockfish
10-29-2011, 10:24 PM
It may be more than you want to spend, but Fender's Acoustasonic amps have both instrument and mic inputs. You might think about a stick-on pick-up.

nix
10-30-2011, 06:17 AM
I have EXACTLY this set up. I have a Roland Microcube Amp and a Shure 57 microphone with a cord that goes from the 3 prong mic to the 1/4 inch amp. It amplifies pretty well depending on what you want to do. The sound easily fills my living room, dining room and kitchen. It also provides me with a lot of amusement playing with the reverb and phaser and other effects. I've used it at parties at my house with around 20 people and could be easily heard.

I haven't tried this but my guess is that it would be sufficient to be heard in a quiet coffee house but there is no way it would be heard in a loud bar.

If you want me to try something specific with it in my house just let me know.

Nix

notalent31
10-30-2011, 07:23 AM
I just got back from "SAM ASH" music store and talked to one of their reps. The question I had asked him was: Would getting a much larger amp wattage give me much much more AMPLICATION?..in other words.....a 10 Watt vs. a 20 or even a 30 watt amp?..

I was totally surprised when he told me that getting the much larger wattage would NOT give me anymore increased AMPLIFICATION, and it would only INCREASE THE FEEDBACK!...now, I'm talking about NOT having my ukulele amplified. I would just play INTO THE MIC. So, I was actually surprised by his answer. I had
thought that the additonal wattage would certainly increase the AMPLIFICATION.

So, for simply using my un-amplified baritone and just playing into the mic, I guess a 10watt amp would be okay?...now, remember, this uke playing is
simply for my home use, and not professional at all.

Any ideas or suggestions if I'm right or wrong here?.

Thanks
notalent31....

ksiegel
10-30-2011, 07:27 AM
I've got Shure SM58 mics and a Vox mini 3 - works fine with any of the ukes I've tried.

What I did do, however, is buy an old Shure m68 mixer on eBay ($10), and with a couple of the SM58s in different positions running through the mixer, it picks up the uke beautifully. Add another couple for vocals, and you're all set - just set the output to lo impedance, and use an XLR- 1/4" adapter cable to the mic input on the amp.

The SM57 and SM58 are slightly different mics, but each will do the job nicely.



-Kurt

notalent31
10-30-2011, 07:38 AM
NIX......if I understand you correctly, your guitar or ukulele IS NOT AMPLIFIED? And, you simply PLAY INTO THE MIC that's connected to your Roland MicrCude
amp?... and, what wattage is your Roland Microcube amp?... and, yes, if the sound fills my living room dining room and kitchen, I'd be happy as a pig in mud!..
I feverishly await your response!...

Thanks
notalent31 (yes, the 31 is the year that I was born.. pretty darn old to be playing around with a uke, No?)..

ricdoug
10-30-2011, 09:05 AM
The Roland "Micro Cube" does not have a dedicated mike input. You can wire the mike with a 1/4" plug, but will not get the best performance that way.

Bill

Bill is correct. this can be solved with a Lil' IMP impedence matching transformer.:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/whirlwind-little-imp-lo-to-hi-impedance-matcher/427600000000000

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/6/001/507/688/DV019_Jpg_Regular_427600_lo-Z_angle.jpg

Tor
10-30-2011, 09:20 AM
The microcube is just 2 watts I think.. maybe 2.5. If I plug in my electric guitar (passive pickup) it's loud enough to annoy anyone else who happens to be in the house. On a different floor.
I also have a 5-watt tube / valve (choose your preferred term) amplifier, it's so loud that I never turn it fully up. Well, rarely at least. Only with nobody nearby, including those in the nearest house.

(Not exactly relevant to ukulele, but there are good reasons to use small-wattage tube amplifiers with electric guitars. The tube amplifiers sound best when you turn them up to where they start breaking up, and if you do that with a 50- or 100-watter you'll get serious problems with a large number of people around your apartment. Thus, to get a good sound for home use you'll have to use a tube amp with low wattage.)

Anyway, how much sound a microcube or (what I think would be better for ukulele) mobile cube or street cube puts out also depend on the level coming from the pickup, and its impedance I should think. So if you go for the microcube then that impedance matching transformer thingy that ricdoug linked to should be just the thing.

-Tor

ricdoug
10-30-2011, 09:35 AM
I just got back from "SAM ASH" music store and talked to one of their reps. The question I had asked him was: Would getting a much larger amp wattage give me much much more AMPLICATION?..in other words.....a 10 Watt vs. a 20 or even a 30 watt amp?..

I was totally surprised when he told me that getting the much larger wattage would NOT give me anymore increased AMPLIFICATION, and it would only INCREASE THE FEEDBACK!...

Any ideas or suggestions if I'm right or wrong here?.

Thanks
notalent31....

Aloha notalent31 (I guess you can call me notalent49).

I'm going to break down your post into seperate sections. The Sam Ash rep is both right and wrong. You can get feedback from a 2 watt Roland Microcube as easily as you can from a 5,000 watt P.A. system. Positioning of the microphone, positioning of the amp/speakers, acoustic "livelyness" of the venue, number of people in the room are among among the many factors that can contribute to feedback. Even a pickup won't eliminate feedback.

Volume is logarithmic:

20 watts will produce twice the volume of 2 watts (through an identical speaker cabinet)

200 watts will produce twice the volume of 20 watts (through an identical speaker cabinet)

4 watts are 3 decibels louder than 2 watts (through an identical speaker cabinet)

8 watts are 3 decibels louder than 4 watts (through an identical speaker cabinet)

I think you'd be happy with a Roland Microcube in your stated desires, but even happier with a Vox Mini3. You can use the $25 bucks you save to buy the Lil' Imp.:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/vox-mini-3-3w-battery-powered-guitar-combo-amp

nix
10-30-2011, 12:29 PM
NIX......if I understand you correctly, your guitar or ukulele IS NOT AMPLIFIED? And, you simply PLAY INTO THE MIC that's connected to your Roland MicrCude
amp?... and, what wattage is your Roland Microcube amp?... and, yes, if the sound fills my living room dining room and kitchen, I'd be happy as a pig in mud!..
I feverishly await your response!...

Thanks
notalent31 (yes, the 31 is the year that I was born.. pretty darn old to be playing around with a uke, No?)..


Yes. This is me, sitting in a chair, with a microphone stand that has a boom so that the Shure 57 microphone is about 6 inches away from the sound hole when I play. It is without any sort of pickup on the ukulele. I originally bought the mic and amplifier to use with wooden flutes but it works just about as well with my ukes. I don't have anything except the Shure 57 mic, a cord, and the Roland Microcube (2 watt) amplifier.

My house is small (1235 square feet) and I have fake wood/laminate floors so that may impact the acoustics. I can sit in my den facing the living room and through it the kitchen and dining room and have good sound. I also don't have any particular trouble with feedback even keeping the Roland Microcube close enough so that I can lean over and fiddle with it while I'm playing.

If all you want to do is play at home and amplify yourself, I think you will be happy with this set up. I've been using it with wooden flutes for over a year and just started with ukuleles and it is definitely loud enough for home parties.

Nix