Buyer's Guides

FOH Buyers Guide Feb 2013

Interchangeable Mic Heads for Wireless Systems

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

Finding the right mic that works with a particular vocalist can often make a huge difference in the sound of your show. Different makes and models of handheld mics can vary greatly in sound, and what works for one singer may not work for another. Besides the sound of the capsule itself, there are other factors to consider, such as the polar pattern and how that works with stage monitor selection and placement. And almost equally important is the mic’s on/off axis response, particularly if your vocalist tends to move around a lot while singing.
To download a copy of the Feb. 2013 FOH Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.

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FOH Buyers Guide, Sept 2012

Hanging Microphones

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

In reality, almost any end-address microphone can be used in an overhead hanging application, whether for speech, theater, orchestra or choir sound reinforcement. Yet an unobtrusive — almost unseen — appearance is often highly desirable in this application. Therefore, the most popular choice tends to be a miniature condenser capsule that can be separated from the electronics, for a near-invisible appearance in most venues. We surveyed a selection of what’s available and uncovered a bounty of models that combine excellent performance in a stealth design.

To download a PDF of the Sept. 2012 FRONT of HOUSE Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.

FOH Buyers Guide Jan 2013 - Universal-Fit Earpieces for IEM Systems

Universal-Fit Earpieces for IEM Systems

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

In-ear listening systems can significantly improve nearly any show. The best option is earpieces with custom earmolds made by an audiologist that precisely match a performer’s ear canal. Unfortunately, this is not possible in every situation, so let’s examine some current offerings in universal-fit earpieces. We should mention that companies such as JH Audio (jhaudio.com), Sensaphonics (sensaphonics.com) and Ultimate Ears (ultimateears.com) only make custom earmold products, which are not covered in this article.

To download a copy of the Jan. 2013 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE:

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FOH Aug 2012 Buyers Guide

Rack Mount Analog Mixers

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

Over the years, rack mount analog mixers have developed from simple utilitarian devices into some fairly complex systems suitable for serious pro applications. And despite their compact enclosures, these can provide a real solution, whether employed as a submixer as part of a larger rig or simply used as-is in a straightforward application, where showing up with the latest 72-channel behemoth for a small bread-and-butter gig at a local mall opening just seems like overkill. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of what’s available in rack mount mixers from a variety of manufacturers.

For a PDF of FRONT of HOUSE’s August 2012 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.

FOH Buyers Guide: Portable PA

Portable P.A.

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

“Portable PA” could refer to a lot of things, because in a sense, anything that’s not in a fixed install can be considered “portable,” from a 128-box line array rig to a simple, compact single-driver powered enclosure mounted on a mic stand. But over the last few years, the portable audio genre has been more closely associated with the speaker on a stick (SOS) category, where a mostly full-range system can be pole mounted on a tripod stand or above a subwoofer box, creating a powerful, versatile system that’s easily broken down into its basic parts for transport. In fact, this SOS category has become incredibly popular with both M.I. and pro users to the extent that there are literally thousands of possible available combinations and permutations on the market today.

To download a copy of the Dec. 2012 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.

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Top-of-the-Line Handheld Condenser Microphones

Top-of-the-Line Handheld Condenser Microphones

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

One of the great mysteries of live sound production is that, given the importance of the lead vocal, why vocalists often shy away from investing in a high performance mic, often settling for something that costs less than what the drummer spent on a kick drum pedal. This is not to infer that there’s anything wrong with a dynamic mic — in fact, on certain vocalists, that may be exactly the right transducer to match a particular vocal style or timbre.

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FOH Buyers Guide Nov 2012: Mini Line Arrays

Mini Line Arrays

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

A year ago in this space, we covered the topic of “compact” line arrays — referring to units where the woofers were nine inches in diameter or less. Of course, some of those entries, particularly three-way systems with dual 8-inch drivers, weighed more than 100 pounds, so the term “compact” had to be used in context to the larger format line arrays presented in the Buyers Guide in our May, 2012 issue. This time, we turned to units that are even smaller, having LF drivers less than seven inches in diameter and one entry even packing a pair of 3.5-inch woofers.

To download a copy of the Nov. 2012 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.

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FOH 2012 June Buyers Guide

Curved Array Speakers

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

This month, we continue our coverage of line arrays with this focus on curved array designs. Here’s a representative sample of these types of smaller-to-intermediate-size solutions. They’re ideal for creating tight curvilinear arrays for shorter-throw applications, whether used in a hung array, ground-stacked atop a subwoofer — or, in the case of smaller boxes, pole-mounted for fast portable setups. For more details about curved line array technology, check out  Phil Graham’s “Speaking of Speakers” article.

To download a PDF of the May 2012 FRONT of HOUSE Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.

One-Inch Exit Compression Drivers

One-Inch Exit Compression Drivers

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

With all the emphasis on larger 1.5- and 2-inch exit compression drivers, it seems that the long-time, industry-standard 1-inch exit drivers have less importance today. Yet, actually the opposite is true, and with the rise of small-format line array designs and compact top boxes for speaker-on-a-stick systems, our old friend the 1-inch exit HF driver is back in style, big time.

To download a PDF of the Sept. 2012 FRONT of HOUSE Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.

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FOH May 2012 Buyers Guide - Large Format Line Arrays

Large Format Line Arrays

George Petersen
Buyer's Guides

It’s no secret — for the past 10 years or so, line arrays have been the hottest ticket in live sound systems. And one of the fastest growing segments in the industry has been compact line arrays, which we covered in our Nov. 2011 issue. Yet for the largest venues — and really big jobs — you need a little more horsepower, so this time we’re examining the largest, top of the line systems (having LF drivers larger than 10 inches) from more than two dozen manufacturers. So, listed alphabetically, let’s look at these bad boys.

To download a PDF of the May 2012 FRONT of HOUSE Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE.