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Author Topic: Microphones?  (Read 686 times)


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« on: February 10, 2021, 12:04:00 AM »
Just curious as to who or what decides what kind of microphones to use on a game show? Director? Producer? Sound Technician? Set Designer? Budget? Accuracy of answers? I understand the format of a show can determine which kind is best (TPIR, LMAD, etc). But other shows could get away with any kind. Jeopardy started off with podium mics, then switched to lavs. Family Feud switched back and forth between desk and lav mics ever since Dawson run. Pyramid probably had a half dozen different ones through 70s and 80s.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2021, 12:20:17 AM by Argo »


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Re: Microphones?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2021, 08:26:04 AM »
I'm sure the audio engineers would primarily make the call; that said, I bet some hosts will have some input on what they want (especially with regards to lavalier vs. handheld). Producers and directors will probably have their preferences as well, but I'd bet they'd have to ask the audio team at the studio (e.g. "Hey, can you guys get a Sony ECM-51 for our host??").

Mr. Matté

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Re: Microphones?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2021, 09:04:40 AM »
I think it was discussed here by Chris previously but if you notice on Password Plus early on, the regular microphones used would pick up a lot of interference from all the projectors used to display the words on the desk, Alphabetics board, etc. which is why they switched to the shotgun-style mics after a couple of weeks. Now looking back, a lot of shows with such projectors use those mics (Blockbusters, MGHSH for the X's/O's).

Mike Tennant

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Re: Microphones?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2021, 09:50:12 AM »
Presumably host preference played into which mic was used on TPIR in the '70s since Barker used the ECM-51 and James did not. I can imagine Combs asking for a handheld on Feud (after starting with a lavalier) since he was so used to having one in standup.


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Re: Microphones?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2021, 05:38:51 AM »
All I can think is that Dennis James didn't like the form factor of the ECM-51. At first they gave him an E-V 654A which sounded like a**, then he had an RE-50, then an SM-61.

ISTR Barker had an ECM-51 in a very early show, then in the next segment he had an RE-55, then back to the ECM-51.

Bert Convy on Tattletales and Monty Hall on ANBTC each went through a succession of microphones. It was probably a decision made by CBS engineering and the audio technician.

One problem is that studio 33 has more reverberant acoustics than it should have, and it has parallel walls. I don't understand why they kept giving these guys omnidirectional mics. At one point Bert Convy had a Shure SM-59 cardioid for Tattletales.

Password Plus started out with Shure SM53's but Bobby Sherman thought short shotgun mics would kill some of the projector fan noise from the Kodak Carousel projectors used in the desk and for the puzzle board. Little did he realize that the short shotguns he wanted were condenser mics with a lower diaphragm mass than the dynamics they replaced, so they were a bit more sensitive to the fan noise, but he was dug in so they kept them.

On Super Password the wireless mics picked up a lot of static from the neon in the set.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 05:49:02 AM by chris319 »