A few years ago I was employed to operate sound for a big charity fund raising event at a posh London hotel. The guest speaker on this occasion was a senior member of the British Royal Family who was a patron of the charity. After dinner HRH arrived on stage to deliver her speech. The microphone supplied by the event company was a good old Shure SM58! The Princess positioned herself about 2 feet from the microphone and spoke in a very quiet and suitably regal tone. Throughout the speech she continuously turned her head from side to side without ever once actually addressing the microphone! Meanwhile, back at the sound desk, I had run out of gain, and was desperately tweaking EQ and compression in a fruitless search for level. The system was flat out! Anyhow, at the end of the speech the audience applauded politely, even though I’m sure that most of them never heard a word of it! As the Princess turned to leave the stage, and before I had chance to grab the gain control, the somewhat inebriated TV host, who was compèring the show, leaped forward and grabbed the mic shouting “THAAAANK YOU VERY MUCH”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyone who has worked in event and conference sound for a few years will almost certainly have their own similar experience to relate!
So what could be the solution to this common problem?
A few weeks ago, out of curiosity, I purchased a Beyerdynamic MPR 210, a horizontal line array microphone specifically designed for use in conference venues and lecture theatres.
Having tested it both in the studio and with a PA in a large conference venue I can honestly say that it does exactly what it says on the tin, and may well be the solution we have been seeking!
Here below is the Beyerdynamic MPR210 Manual and tech spec.
The information sheet below also covers the Classis RM30 which is Beyerdynamic’s vertical line array.
So what does it sound like dealing with a problematic speaker?
The current list price for the MPR210 from UK distributer Polar Audio is £746.41. This might seem like a lot of money for a desktop microphone. However, if you are in the business of conferences /events and lectures, this could be the perfect tool for the job!
If you are curious to know more about line array microphones, a while ago I penned a post about my experiments with a homemade vertical line array. https://martinmitchellsmicrophones.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/experimental-line-array-microphone/