I Didn’t Know

In “real life,” the place we used to call “meatspace,” I chair a small regional arts council.

Over the years, we’ve hung a lot of art and presented a lot of concerts including the only stop the national Artrain ever made in Vermont; Artrain included works by Henry Casselli, Peter Hurd, Peter Max, Jamie Wyeth, and my friend Deborah Deschner from Vermont. We brought to the stage April Wine and 17 other bands in an all-day benefit we called Floodstock, held in the same site as the Grateful Dead concerts.

I know lots of artists. I know lots of musicians. Hundreds. Maybe thousands, but not as many as Mark Sustic. And I’ve strung cables on stage and lugged gear.

That’s why it surprised me that I didn’t recognize the gear in this Facebook conversation:

Great Female Vocalist (rock/pop/country singer-songwriter):
Last night the guts fell out of my Shure PG58. Dangit. Do any of you vocalists out there want to recommend your favorite mic for live performances? I’m in the market! Thanks!

Band Leader #1

Supercharged Drummer:
Shure Beta 58

Supercharged Drummer:
Or a Sennheiser E935

House Rocker Drummer #2:
Well then… Put the guts back in… The little set screw most likely fell out or became loose.

Gypsy Singer-Guitarist:
Shure Beta 58 is what I use.

Great Female Vocalist:
Well, I’d heard from my sound man that he’d appreciate me getting a better mic so that he could make better adjustments. That’s why I’m looking for feedback. I always liked that mic, but I don’t have the sound man’s perspective.

House Rocker Drummer #2:
Shure SM58 Industry work horse. But I am old school …If all is adjusted correctly…there is no feedback.

Band Leader #2:
I like our Beta 87 A’s for live work. Check with [female vocalist]. She has a mic she swears by. I forget what it is though.

August Sound Engineer:
I absolutely love the AUDIX OM-6 and it’s great for female voices. Highly recommended… Same with the Shure Beta 87A of course. There’s lots that’ll work well for you and of course that depends on your budget too. Best idea is testing them with your own voice though ! Good luck

I know that Shure designed the legendary SM58™ vocal mic for professional vocal use in live performance, sound reinforcement, and studio recording. I even know what it looks like. But I have no idea which of these mics is right for our Great Female Vocalist or whether some other one not named would be even better.

I’m a pretty knowledgeable guy with a broad expertise. Want to devise an AI controlled pick-and-pack warehouse or just a pick-and-place machine? I’m your guy. Need a suspension consult for your hot rod? I’m your guy. Want to design a website to sell your artwork? I’m your guy. Need a landscape photo or an opinion printed in portrait? I’m your guy. I didn’t know that I didn’t know an answer to this. And unlike most 3rd or 4th graders and most politicians, I couldn’t simply make one up.

There are undoubtedly lots of other questions I had no idea that I know nothing about. Maybe as many as the number of musicians I’ve never met. Using that data point of one, I shall now generalize that there are issues in this wide world that our self-proclaimed pundits also have no idea they know nothing about. But soooooo many of these authorities will analyze, and philosophize, and sound off anyway.

Gotta be a lesson in there somewhere.

2 thoughts on “I Didn’t Know

  1. House Rocker Drummer was right. We put the guts back in my mic and I’m back in business. But now that I know all of this I want a new one!

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