Microphones all have a specific application; each made slightly different than the other. Mics are also grouped into three different categories: recording microphones, general use and application-specific. The podium mic is an application-specific microphone.
Because of its multiple pattern choices, the PolarChoice microphone ($300) lets organizations purchase just one podium-type mic for a variety of uses. The mics come in 12″ or 18″ (measured from end-to-end) models.
A small circular pot labeled 0-3 on the base of the mic lets one choose one of four patterns. A flat-blade screwdriver easily takes care of any adjustment to the omnidirectional, cardioid, supercardioid and hypercadioid patterns.
The microphone is black, except for a small area around the tip, which is metal-chrome mesh. This silver area can be covered with a black windscreen, which is supplied, making it less noticeable on camera. As with most microphones of this type, it is meant to be phantom-powered with +48 volts DC.
Between the male XLR housing and the microphone element are two sections of bendable gooseneck, which allows the microphone to be positioned where needed. A solid, hard tube section splits the gooseneck areas, preventing the entire unit from turning. The outer diameter of the XLR housing is small enough to fit into a standard, panel-mount female XLR connector. Frequency response has been measured from 75 Hz to 15 kHz by Electro-Voice. With a dynamic range greater than 102 dB and a max input level greater than 130 dB, this mic should handle any event it is likely to encounter.
During the 17 days of the Ohio State Fair in August 1999, I auditioned the EV PolarChoice mic. Before use onstage, the mic was used FOH for announcements.
The four patterns were all tested and monitored through the sound system and Sony MDR-V600 headphones. With each switch of pattern, no noise was detected in the rotary pot mechanism and each pattern operated as specified.
The mic was clipped to an optional microphone clip attached to a threaded podium mount. The mic element was bent toward the announcer’s neck, just below his mouth, keeping his face in full view. As usual the high-pass filter (HPF) was utilized at 80 Hz to rid the unneeded frequencies in the sound system.
The cardioid pattern was chosen, allowing the highest level before feedback. During sound check, about 6 dB of 250 Hz on the console was pulled as well as 2 dB of 10 kHz to naturalize the announcer’s vocal. As the announcer stepped in and out of the preset cardioid pattern, the mic sounded most natural at a distance of 6 to 8″. To gain some volume in the flown sound system, additional frequencies were pulled in the main graph at 1.25 kHz, 1.6 kHz and 2.5 kHz.
Any microphone in your arsenal that allows switching of patterns is a valuable one. PolarChoice mics will serve several purposes in different environments and save money.
Contact: Electro-Voice Inc., at 800-234-6831