On that note, a handy problem-solver that should be in every sound tech’s toolbox is the Provider Series PPA (Phantom Power Adaptor).
The PPA allows you to transform any lavalier or headworn microphone that’s been configured for Shure, Sennheiser or Audio-Technica wireless systems into a hardwired microphone.
This inexpensive accessory can be a performance-saver if you can’t find a clear frequency, run out of spare batteries, or if your wireless system fails at exactly the wrong time.
3) Live or Broadcast? If you’re preaching or performing live on stage with a headworn microphone, consider your proximity to nearby loudspeakers and stage monitors.
You’ll usually get a fuller, richer sound from omnidirectional mics, but they are more prone to feedback.
To avoid this, choose an earset mic with a directional pickup pattern – most manufacturers offer both omni and cardioid versions of their earsets.
If you’re streaming video of your services or producing DVDs, the miniature size of over-the-ear mics can be very appealing, particularly for close-up shots on the pastor’s/speaker’s face. Many earset mics are very stealthy in their appearance and come in different flesh tones for a variety of skin colors.
Some manufacturers even make short-boom versions – the Countryman E2 and Audio-Technica BP893 are examples. These mics are nearly invisible on camera and are easily hidden in makeup.
4) Form and Fit. You may have noticed that not everyone’s ears are the same size and shape! Further, the way the microphone attaches to the head is different between brands and models. Many, like the Countryman E6, have a traditional single ear design; one single-ear mic I really like is the Audio-Technica BP892, because its boom hangs under the ear for a very natural feel.
Other microphones employ a two-ear design and tend to stay in place better for the more active user.
If you’re not sure which type would better suit your application, look for a single-ear mic with a dual-ear accessory clip, like the Point Source R-DMC, which will give you the flexibility of both.