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Stage Bleed into Vocal Mic: Clearing things up...? Dynamic Microphones
Old 15th September 2011
Gear Head

Question Stage Bleed into Vocal Mic: Clearing things up...?

Hey Everyone,

So I've been having some issues with stage bleed and feedback into the Sennheiser e935 that my band's lead singer has been using and would like to clear something up..

Essentially, I did some "Google-ing"/searching around and have yet to find any trends to suggest that this particular mic has significant bleed issues, but I can't honestly recall an instance where I've experienced worse rejection with a live vocal mic.
What I am left wondering is whether I've simply forgotten that other common mics like the SM/Beta 58 are just as bad or worse, if this particular unit is a lemon, or if anyone else has in fact experienced terrible rejection/bleed/feedback with this mic???

(Notes: Rock band situation leaning toward heavier styles. Some moderate amounts of compression used on vocal mics. The N/Dyn967 that I use on background vocals and some lead sections is compressed to all heck and causes essentially no feedback/issues by comparison.)
Old 15th September 2011
Lives for gear
huub's Avatar
An SM58 CAN be just as bad if a singer sings very softly and/or not close to the mic in combination with a loud band..
With this combination you're screwed anyways..
But an SM58 is a safe choice nonetheless, so are some Audix mics, designed for very loud environments..
Old 15th September 2011
Lives for gear
AlexK's Avatar

The off-axis response of the Sennheisers is much smoother than the SM58 in my experience, and yes you do get more spill from the stage/audience, but it's easier to mix in as it actually sounds half decent unlike the SM58 which sounds bloody terrible off-axis (and on-axis for that matter).
Old 15th September 2011
Lives for gear
cheu78's Avatar
don't compress so hard...
or get a Telefunken M80, afaik has a great rejection..

I don't do hard rock or metal stuff (usually), but when I use compressors for live vox is just for controlling a bit the peaks... like 3-5 db max.. but hey that's me.. heh

just my 0.02$,


Old 15th September 2011
Lives for gear
hbphotoav's Avatar

More info would be good. What, in particular, is the worst offender... Guitar amps, snare, cymbal wash... What?

We mitigate cymbal wash on a short stage with a drum shield, further by putting the BGVs on dynamics (Audix OM-2 and/or SM58), and guitar amp wash by moving the amps to the wings and baffling with acoustic panels.

These remedies work well for us, but might be non-starters for you. As a rule though, mics with smooth off-axis response coupled with extended HF sensitivity (IOW, most high end vocal condensers) will be much more suceptible to cymbal wash... Loud guitar amps will saturate a small room all by themselves and bleed into everything not gated to death.

Finally, it's never too late to train, cajole or mentor a vocalist into good, basic on-stage mic technique. Like, stay on-axis, stay close, sing loud (especially if the band is cooking) and don't point the mic straight into the wedge when you relax.

Basic stuff, but important stuff.


Old 15th September 2011
Lives for gear
play/record's Avatar

Look at the Audix OM-7.
Old 15th September 2011
Gear Head

Hey, thanks for the replies so far...

As far as stage bleed goes, I would say that cymbal wash is consistently the worst of the offenders, but there is still a good deal more of everything in that Sennheiser than there is in the vocal mic that I use (and I am certainly compressed to an equal or likely greater degree).

For me, the real issue is that on top of the separation issue (which primarily affects the vocalist's in-ear mix), the mic seems excessively prone to feedback.. What caught me off-guard was how many reviews of this mic seemed to mention that is worked well in loud venues, cut through, and didn't cause feedback...

Personally I think it causes a ridiculous level of feedback, but I might be fooling myself. It's a hard comparison since the EV I use is specifically designed to reduce feedback and reject signals that aren't just off-axis, but are any distance away on-axis as well.
Old 16th September 2011
Gear Maniac

I think you need to keep in mind that there is nothing magic about any particular microphone. They all use the same physics principles, and it simply comes down to a combination of polar pattern, sensitivity, and frequency response. A particular mic may have a combination that works better in a certain situation, singer, setup, but there is nothing magic.

Really you just need to understand the characteristics of the mics you are using and know how to best utilize them. You and the singer need to use the tools correctly for what they are. Know the polar pattern and frequency response characteristics. Sometimes you need to have a technical discussion with a singer to understand their mic. Like about the back lobe on a supercardiod and how to best avoid it.

Steve Remoteness here has some subtle brilliance for using the right thing in the right way, and his work speaks for itself. He has no magic toys, in fact he advocates some rather pedestrian mics. But he knows exactly how to get what he wants out of each.

The only mic I know of that has had any sort of different physics principle involved, was the now defunct Crown Differoid series. Some people swore by those and could get amazing results. Others said otherwise. But obviously they didn't gain enough popularity.

And lastly, you may need to deal with stage acoustics. Fixing a couple glaring problems can do a lot more than a locker full of mics.

Old 16th September 2011
Lives for gear
12ax7's Avatar

Originally Posted by locutus View Post

Fixing a couple glaring problems can do a lot more than a locker full of mics.

Old 16th September 2011
Gear Head

I feel like it may have been helpful to have mentioned that there are no wedges whatsoever on the stages, or at rehearsals as we are all using wireless In-Ear-Monitoring systems. Somehow it slipped my mind when I made my initial post.. chalk it up to a late hour and being overly used to something..
Old 17th May 2012
Here for the gear

Hey man, don't know if this post is still active or not but I've been noticing some serious feedback issues with the e935's I've come in contact with. I'm FOH at an "acoustically challenged" mid-size venue, and I swear I thought my board was freaking out until I deduced the common thread being the e935's that people would bring in. I have this room pretty chopped, you really have to in order to have a functional show, and these are the only mics I have seen that have this problem, and honestly it's pretty severe. And random. I can completely ring out wedges and the room, and this thing will still feedback. I'm searching the interwebs myself to see if anyone else has this problem. It's a shame because I usually swear by Sennheiser, great products all around but there has got to be something wrong with these mics for them to exhibit this behavior. But, like I said, nothing else (including really awful wireless mics) has been this bad, so in this case, switching mics should fix the situation. Best of luck!
Old 29th January 2013
Gear Maniac

For vocals on stage the EV PL80 is excellent to isolate and get seperation from monitors etc..
Old 29th January 2013
Lives for gear
edva's Avatar
The 935 is a pretty wide cardioid pattern, with an extended high, and somewhat extended low, frequency response, as well as a rather hot output. Those are all factors to be considered. The 945 is a tighter pattern, if you like the Senni sound. I find it is too "classy" sounding for rock, and/or for non-trained singers. The beta 57 or beta 58 works fine with those styles.
Old 7th February 2013
Lives for gear

I find with the 835/845/935/945 the 2.5-3.5kHz range has an expansive quality. Past a certain point it jumps up about 4dB in sensitivity. If the drums and cymbals are below that point, they don't bleed much, but when they pass that point they bleed badly. Also they're great for aggressive voices but bad for strong milder voices that should stay mild, like female blues/jazz/soul vocals.

Good news is if you like a snappy snare, they're tough to beat.
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