A few months ago we rediscovered an old technology. Before there was DSP dynamic processing or VCAs or even luminescent panel photocell compressors, the tungsten filament of a light bulb was used as a level compressor to protect horn drivers in PA systems and stop clipping in radio broadcasts. Now this retro technology can be held right in your hand while singing in your praise team. Here’s an interview with the folks at Lampifier microphones. Yes, that stands for LAMP and AMPLIFIER, and it should give us all pause to rethink where we put our compressors in the sound chain
Guest Interview — Lampifier Microphones
Troy Stetina, Director of Marketing & Artist Relations, at Lampifier tells us about the new Lampifier microphone series and its place in sound systems.
1) Please describe the Lampifier microphone series and its purpose in live sound. How is your technology different or more effective from that of your competitors?
Lampifier Microphones are different from any other microphone because they have a built-in, miniature sound processor encapsulated within the handle of the mic. This programmable sound processor includes a high-quality audio compressor and noise gate, which act together to provide more clarity, articulation, evenness, polish and less annoying feedback potential. The result is professional sound even through a budget system. No expert soundman or complicated outboard rackmount gear is required.
Lampifier Microphones excel in live speaking and singing applications because they bring varying voice levels into a more usable, even range. For example, a more softly spoken person’s lower volume is automatically boosted, while high volume “booms” and peaks (particularly a problem for “plosives” such as Bs and Ps when one gets close to the microphone) are automatically tamed.
2) How does this microphone meet the special demands of the worship market?
Lampifier Microphones create a much better listening experience in the Sanctuary or event room. Without being distracted by uneven audio delivery, the listener can simply concentrate on hearing the speaker’s message. And what’s more important than that?
And on the flip side of the coin, the person speaking or singing receives similar benefits. He or she does not have to “work the mic” to avoid harsh overloads, yet those softer, intimate moments can still comfortably reach the back of the room. Putting less attention on the mechanics of your delivery, means you can focus more on the message being conveyed … and that creates more compelling sermons!
Another benefit of the Lampifier mic unique to houses of worship is the fact that in many situations, there will be different speakers using the same microphone. Different speakers means different volume levels, projection levels and different distances from the mouth to microphone. All these things cause wild fluctuations in sound levels. The Lampifier microphone brings these elements under control.
3) Can this microphone be installed by a typical church sound team or do you advise professional sound installation?
The microphone series comes pre-programmed for its specific application right out of the box, so all one need do is plug it into a standard XLR mic cable. It’s that easy. The microphone processor is powered by standard 48V phantom power on the mixing board. Virtually all mixers these days offer phantom power. (There is a switch or button [on the console] to turn phantom power on/off [either per channel or globally].)
If you happen to have an older mixer without phantom power, you will need a separate phantom power supply and a second XLR cable. You plug the mic cable into the phantom power supply box, and then run the output of that into the mixer via your second XLR mic cable.
4) What is the price of the Lampifier mics?
The Lampifier microphone pre-programmed for podium or hand-held speaking application is the model 711LD. Price is $135 US.
5) Where can I find a local dealer or representative of these microphones?
The Lampifier Microphone Company is in the process of expanding its dealer networks, so would encourage you to ask your local music store to carry them if they do not already! If you do not have a convenient source near you, you may buy them online directly from the company at www.Lampifier.com.
6) Where can I find more information on the Lampifier microphones?
Please go to: www.Lampifier.com.