Two basic type of MIC, CONDENSER AND DYNAMIC, Condenser MICS are most usual in studios, although Blue grass bands often sing around a single Condenser MIC, Dynamic MICS are usual in live situations, gigs, Most common would be a SHURE SM58 (vocals) or a SHURE SM57 (Instrument MIC) MICROPHONE WINDSHIELDS To alleviate 'plosives' popping sounds produced by (P's and B's), sometimes built into the Mic or a foam cover that slips over the Mic head. I n the studio these are often termed pop filters or pop screens. Good MIC technique will reduce 'plosives' MICROPHONE CONNECTIONS Microphones are connected to the PA system via an XLR lead, from the MIC into the Mixing desk or through a Multicore cable (sometimes called a SNAKE) if the mixing desk is away from the stage. It is also possible to connect a MIC to an Amplifier by using a XLR to JACK lead, useful, as most AMPS don't have an XLR input. MIXING DESK Mixing desks will have both XLR and JACK inputs, often the MICS are through the XLR and the INSTRUMENTS are through the JACK. We use a multicore cable which has all XLR inputs to the desk, at the stage end of the multicore it terminates in XLR outputs, using an XLR cable we extend to a MIC or a Dl box, the Dl box is for Instrument input Dl BO X A Dl unit, Dl box, Direct Box or simply Dl is an electronic device that connects a high imDedance line level signal that has an unbalanced output to a low impedance mic level balanced input, usually via XLR connector. Dls are frequently used to connect an electric guitar or electric bass to a mixing console's microphone input. The Dl performs level matching, balancing, and either active bufferina or passive impedance bridgina to mini mise noise, distortion, and ground IOOOS. Dls do not perform jmRedance matchina. LEADS XLR leads are used to connect MIC to DESK or AMP, some guitars will have an XLR out and some guitars have both XLR and JACK outputs JACK leads are used to connect instrument to the PA or AMP GUITAR ON BOARD CONTROLS When doing sound checks it is advisable to set all onboard controls to mid positions, this gives the sound man a fighting chance of setting you up correctly, he will tell you if you need to alter your onboard controls. All guitar onboard pick up systems produce different signal levels (strengths) so volume will vary from guitar to guitar, the sound mans job is to balance your instrument with the PA. RULE ONE Never upset the sound man; he can ruin your set, and can also make you sound wonderful MIC POSITIONS For vocal MICS the optimum position is within 100mm of the MIC head, further away will reduce sound quality and volume, do not move away from the MIC when singing, this makes for varied volume and quality , (probably why many professionals prefer to hold the MIC rather than use a MIC stand. For guitar MICS it is preferable to have the MIC somewhere to the right and slightly lower than the guitar sound hole, within about 100mm of the guitar body, trial and error is needed if you have time for an actual 'sound check' If the soundman sets you up with a guitar MIC, you must maintain the position you took up throughout the performance, there is nothing the soundman can do if you move away from the MIC. RULE TWO Never come on stage without tuning your guitar first, this is something the soundman cannot help you with, if you don't tune you will just sound out of tune, louder and clearer! An onboard, inline or clip on tuner is worth buying.