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Build Your Pro Karaoke DJ System | Product Review | Microphones
During my time in Iraq KJ’ing for the troops, I had a variety of different mics to work with, I am reviewing three here as the first two are low cost solutions, and the third merits consideration for its performance and durability. They can each fill a role in both a mobile or fixed Karaoke system or for home recording studios.
Karaoke by its nature gets folks using the mics that are less than professional; so they get dropped a lot, they are generally held too close to the mouth so they get spit in, and people tap and blow into them to do their unnecessary mic checks. All this stuff makes sound professionals twinge, but it’s a part of the deal when you put the mic in the hands of someone who only sings in the shower or when they’ve had a beer or two. In short don’t spend a lot of money on mics as they will all be universally abused and will have to be replaced with some regularity no matter how much you spend.
One other note, UHF technology is a little more expensive than VHF and with good reason. VHF is far more subject to interference especially in close Urban environments. It is amazing what unwanted signals you can pick up with a VHF wireless mic. Since I have readers in 63 countries UHF mics may need a license in your city/state/country of operation, (UK, Germany and others), but it will be worth it as the VHF band is even more crowded in most of the rest of the world.
VocoPro UHF5805 4-Channel Rechargeable Handheld Wireless Microphone System
This system is the best of the low cost solutions, the four mics included would rarely be used at the same time unless you have say a Choir up on the stage. The wireless aspect gives your singers room to roam and gives a bit more of a ‘Performance’ as opposed to standing at the mic stand. It also makes better photo ops than most fixed mics (exception listed next), and it’s best feature is the rechargeable batteries and stand charger. There are also UHF headset mics than can be subbed into the system if you use your rig for things like Aerobics classes etc.
A word of caution here is warranted, VocoPro makes a lot of Karaoke systems. I have not had a good experience with any of it, though the conditions I operated under may have been too much for the systems and are unusual for most of the rest of the world. They have a reputation for being ‘Low Cost’ and it is well deserved. These mics are a notable exception to VocoPros’ norm.
Below are some of the features of the UHF 5805 system.
4 individual XLR Mic Outputs and one 1/4 in. Mixed Output
Now includes rechargeable microphones and 2 chargers
Recharge four microphones simultaneously
4 Handheld mics included
Individual Volume controls for precise vocal balancing
4 Independent Field-Replaceable Modules
Interference-resistant UHF Band operation from 614 MHz - 694 MHz
Rugged 1RU metal receiver chassis
Low power consumption design for longer battery life
Includes metal case to transport receiver and four microphones
Shure 55SH Series II Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
This is one of my Favorite mics. The old school look is a karaoke favorite with both ‘performers’ and ‘stand and sing’ customers. It is a photo op waiting to happen and over time will increase your turnouts for Karaoke, which is good for your client (The Club Owner). It’s technical properties allow it to be used for outdoor podium, and mic stand applications as it is nearly impervious to wind noise, even when you have to turn up the sensitivity on your mixer.
Your ‘performers’ will croon to the mic and stand, and your power singers will love the ambiance and performance levels. It’s Old Skool casing is wrapped around a very good performance mic for studio applications as well nearly matching a powered condenser mic for clarity and compression; but at a significant cost savings, and versatility.
Shure 55SH Features
The 55SH Series II has a cardioid (unidirectional) polar
pickup pattern that minimizes sound pickup from the rear of the microphone.
This allows the Model 55SH Series II to be used in close proximity to
loudspeakers without creating feedback problems, and it can perform under
adverse acoustic conditions where omnidirectional microphones cannot.
The 55SH Series II has a low-impedance balanced out-put designed for connection to microphone inputs rated at 75 to 300 ohms. The microphone features a cartridge shock mount to reduce stand noise, an On/Off switch, and an attached, self-tensioning, 5/8" 27 thread swivel mount.
This microphone is ideal for public address or theater-stage sound systems, as well as for broadcasting, recording, and other sound applications where a stand-mounted microphone with a classic look is desirable.
Shure PG288/PG58 Dual Vocal Wireless System
This system is a tried and true favorite of mine. The mic at the heart of the system is used by countless professionals on stage, TV and even in studios. It is also a rugged system that holds up well in commercial applications. Though I had a tendency to get protective during weekly karaoke, but would bring them out for talent shows and special karaoke events. Events like USO cheerleader visits and performances on my FOB’s in Iraq. It was one the visiting professionals had a comfort level with and enhanced their experience there with the troops. When I was at Abu Ghraib I had a small recording studio set up in the rec center and the Shure 58 series (both wired and wireless) were great for my rap artists, primarily I think because you just can’t do most rap with out movement. A sponge windscreen kept the mic clean (think dust + spit = Mud in your mic), hygienic, and minimized maintenance. If I could only get one of the three on this page I would spend the money and get this one.
Shure PG288/PG58 Dual Vocal Wireless System
Reliable wireless performance
Up to 8 compatible systems (across multiple bands)
Shure's patented Predictive Diversity ensures continuous reception
Confident, portable setup
First in the industry
Internal 1/4 wave antennas minimize poor positioning and breakage
Superior sound quality
Variable companding ratio for clear sound
80 years of microphone expertise
Internal Antenna Diversity
Up to 10 selectable channels
8 compatible systems (multiple bands vary per country)
1/4 in. and XLR output
PG2 Handheld Transmitter
Power, mute and battery status LED
Power and mute switch
9V battery (included) provides 8 hours of battery life
75m (250 ft.) operating range
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