Okay, we get it…you liked the last article on five live sound accessories under $50! So let’s tighten the focus a bit, and look at sound accessories that are timely candidates for worship sound.
The Very Best Mics for…Someone Else
They say you can never be too rich or too thin—but for worship, you can never have enough mics. There’s the mic the “helpful person” dropped (“Here, I’ll help you set up!”) and no longer works, the one you need to hand to the kid who’s sneezing and sniffling, and the replacement for the mic that was working only a few hours ago. Yes, it helps to have some cheap and cheerful, but still decent, mics handy—so cue the Samson R21S 3-pack of cardioid, dynamic, hand-held mics. They have a relatively high output, dual-stage windscreen to minimize fallout from p-popping speakers, surprisingly rugged construction, and given that you get three microphones for under $50…well, it’s a no-brainer that the R21S is good insurance when bad things happen to good services.
Sometimes You Don’t Want Radio-Ready Sound
Is your local radio station coming in over the audio line in your church’s electric piano? Did the pastor really mean to say “10-4, good buddy!” at the high point of a sermon? Rapco Horizon’s RFBLOX to the rescue. It has an XLR female input, XLR male output, and RF frequency filter to get rid of radio frequencies that can bleed into shielded microphone cables. This isn’t so much a product; it’s a $30.55 insurance policy for when RF sneaks its way into audio lines, and turns into audio somewhere in the process. If you’ve ever had that happen, you know it’s a frustrating problem to solve. And if you haven’t had it happen, this handy little device may keep your “47 services without RF garbage getting into my audio” safety record intact.
Pouch Your Pack
It’s prudent to keep guitar players happy, because that way, they’ll be in a good mood when you ask them to please, please turn down. And if that guitar player uses a wireless transmitter, it’s likely the On-Stage MA1335 Guitar Strap with Wireless Transmitter Pouch will be appreciated. The pouch holds typical wireless guitar transmitters up to 1″ x 3″ x 3.5″, and can be worn on the included nylon webbing strap (adjustable from 32″ to 55″), a belt, or given that you can’t expect a product that costs $10.95 to incorporate a big-bucks custom leather strap, any other strap that’s not over 1.75″ wide. The pouch is made of neoprene and is water-resistant, so whether the guitarist sweats a lot, or takes your comment to “go soak your head” literally, the transmitter has a fighting chance of withstanding the moisture.
Monitoring Gets Personal
Sometimes you want to be a control freak—like when you need complete control over what you hear in your in-ear monitors, and don’t want to wreck your praise band’s sound with wedges that add to the volume levels. Granted, Behringer’s PowerPlay P1 Personal In-Ear Monitor Amplifier isn’t wireless, which is what allows for the sub-$50 price tag. But if you’re tethered to a mic stand anyway, or to an amp with cables, then the P1 is an affordable solution for monitor control. It can accept mono, dual mono, or stereo input, with a balance control for the two inputs, and a volume control. And although you can crank up the headphone amp pretty loud, the built-in current limiter protects your hearing from sudden volume bursts.
In addition to a belt-pack clip, the P1 can mount on mic stands with a 5/8″ or 3/8″ thread. A 9-volt battery lasts 12 hours, but an optional DC adapter is available for $9.99. The P1 is small, built to last, and manages to be both simple and effective—so it’s ideal for making control freaks happy.
Take a Stand, and Deliver
You probably have plenty of conventional mic stands, but a boom stand can be helpful in many ways. Ask any guitar-playing singer how many times they’ve bumped their guitar into a straight stand, and it’s almost certain the answer won’t be “none.” Boom stands are also great with lecterns and podiums if you’re using hand-held mics instead of a specific, podium-style mic. Also, for musicians who are sitting down and singing (drummers, piano players, and the like), a boom stand is pretty much essential.
For $47.95, it’s hard to beat the On-Stage MS7701TB for value. It’s pretty much unbreakable; the only real caution is suitability with super-heavy mics—but it’s fine with standard dynamic mics, like Shure’s venerable SM58. The height is adjustable from 36″ to 63″, and boom length telescopes out from 19″ to 33″. Overall, this is a boom that gives bang for the buck.