Optical Mic Switch

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Optical Mic Switch

Post by Music Wolf »

Has anyone got any real world experience of using an optical mic switch such as this https://www.thomann.de/gb/monacor_pb_05e.htm?

I’m singing backing vocals through a TC Helicon VoiceLive2 processor. I’m the only backing singer, so the VoiceLive is useful for filling things out a bit, but spill from the drums can sound quite odd when I’m ‘off mic’. I use a mic mute switch for songs where I don’t sing, and I’ve tried a gate within the effect and on the desk, but with limited set up / sound check time it can be a bit hit and miss.
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

No experience of that unit. I can recommend the Orchid mic mute, though.

http://orchid-electronics.co.uk/Mic_Mute_lite.htm

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/or ... -mute-lite
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by Music Wolf »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:07 pm No experience of that unit. I can recommend the Orchid mic mute, though.

http://orchid-electronics.co.uk/Mic_Mute_lite.htm

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/or ... -mute-lite

Thanks Hugh, but I've already got one. It's just I'm already doing enough tap dancing as it is with the Helix running the whole show (external effects, synth patches, digital mixer and playback duties). We needed another mic mute anyway for the lead singer so I thought that I could get the optical switch and she could use my Orchid mic mute.
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by Mike Stranks »

I thought this sounded familiar, rang bells etc. so did some research and there it was...

... Optogate

Looks effective in the demos... as long as it's not susceptible to false triggers...
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by Dave Rowles »

They work as long as you use them correctly. Setting the distance for it to open is key, and I've had one instance where lighting has conflicted. But generally they work, although I know a couple of grumpy engineers who aren't fans.

I'm in two minds on them really. In one way they obviously allow you to gate off a mic, but when it opens you've still got to cope with the bleed that's still there, and not fully blocked by your mouth and head being in the way. If you've got an engineer who knows the set, it's probably better them riding the fader. But at the same time if you've got a busy stage with lots of channels, it does take one action off the engineer's to do list.

It can work really effectively, but like any bit of funky tech like this you need to practice to get the best out of it. Plus the whole "pull away from the mic to control your volume" can be problematic.
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by Music Wolf »

I've placed an order for one, I'll let you know how I get on.
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by Music Wolf »

The switch arrived yesterday, the day after band rehearsal. It's pretty small and light (which I guess is good), arrived in a simple plastic bag with minimal instructions. The sensitivity adjustment is courtesy of a recessed surface mounted pot with requires a jewller's screwdriver to adjust (so shouldn't get knocked by accident).

I set it to minimum range, plugged it in - and it works. I'm confident enough to try it in anger at a gig on Monday. I'll report back.
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by blinddrew »

:thumbup:
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by Wonks »

Won't it get false triggers to turn on when the audience throw things at you? :D
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by Music Wolf »

Wonks wrote: Thu Aug 25, 2022 9:15 am Won't it get false triggers to turn on when the audience throw things at you? :D

Should be ok as the audience is in front, I'll just have to watch out for the drummer chucking stuff at me from behind.
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by Wonks »

Just trust the chicken wire.
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Re: Optical Mic Switch

Post by MarkOne »

Wonks wrote: Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:10 pm Just trust the chicken wire.

And know how to play “Stand by Your Man” :bouncy:
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