I just wondered if anyone else was familiar with infrared microphone gates. I have used them, and they work exactly as they claim.
Using an unfrared beam the microphone will turn on when you get close to it, and shut off when you are away from it. You can even adjust the distance at which the microphone will turn on and off.
The web address of the company that sells the device is http://www.optogate.com .
The optogate has come up a couple of times.
Search Results for Optogate
Out of curiousity, what did you pay for yours?"
Also, could you tell us a little about the circumstances in which you used it?
When I first got the System I was having trouble getting everyone onstage to remember to turn off the microphone (with the Remote) to avoid feedback.
It didn't take long for us to work out the gain staging (setting the trims) and the behavioral stuff. And now that we're used to the Systems I don't know that we need these.
But they would be invaluable in open-stage situations or when doing quick changeovers for folks unfamiliar with the Systems.
I actually did not purchase one. The producton company I work with has used them on several occations. This was mostly to get the horn section out of the vocal microphones. I play in a 7 piece rock horn band (ala Chicago, BS&T, TOP, EWF, AWB, etc.), and open microphones cause many problems. (See sugarfuzz.net)
Although my experience with the proximity gates has been with a traditional PA, I thought they worked quite transparently. Hardly any extra effort of the part of the musicians, and no coloration of sound.
The only things you have to remember are that you can't sing on the side of the microphone (which is bad anyway), and that you may have to be in front of your microphone just a fraction of a second before you start singing. The red light on the unit makes this almost foolproof once you get used to it.
The gate also stays open for about one second after the infrared is untripped, so you don't have to worry about coming off the microphone a little when singing. The distance the gate kicks in is easily adjusted with a small screwdriver, and the units work on phantom power. If for some reason phantom power fails (or is switched off), the gates just remain open.
Although, I have yet to convince the entire band to invest in the PAS concept... My thoughts were that the proximity gates (for vocals) would come in quite handy with the PAS. Especially if you have vocal microphones in front of other loud sound sources like horns or drums, to help control bleed. And of course, to virtually eliminate any feedback with the PAS.
I am not postitive, but I believe that the production company purchased them for less then the $300 advertised on the Optogate site (maybe they are a differnt brand??), but I will get in touch with them and let you know.
Thanks for that insight. I can see that when there are a lot of instruments (horns for example), something like the Optogate could be more useful than in the situations I described.
That's a http://www.sugarfuzz.net fun website and to all, worth a visit.
You might want to let your webmaster know that I could not see the full sized versions of all the pictures of the YSU Tailgate Party. Most of the pictures come up fine but only the first of the YSU ones seems to be working.
Thanks for the heads-up about the site, it is fixed.
I spoke to the production company guy about the gates and he can't remember exactly what he payed for them; only that he had to order them direct from Germany and that he had to buy at least six. It sounds to me like he bought them before there was a North American distributor for the Optogate, so what ever he payed wouldn't be the same as now anyway.
That reminds me, I did contact them some time ago (10 months?) and they offered to sell some direct out of Germany for a little less the $300 USD, but I had to buy a bunch and I wasn't willing put that much into an experiment.
As it turns out, while I would use 'em if I had 'em, for most gigs they wouldn't be necessary now that we're used to the Systems.
If I was frequently hosting various acts unfamiliar with the Systems, I would probably get some.
Thanks for bringing this up.
the optogates are now available for purchase online at www.optogateonline.com
they are amazing at cleaning up your sound...and have things clearer and cleaner
The previous posts pre-dated the introduction of the T1 ToneMatch® Audio Engine .
The T1® gives you four noise gates (one for each major channel), and I have found that these are very helpful for shutting down unused open microphones. And then there are the added benefits of the T1® (Presets, EQ, Effects, Compresser/Limiter).
in very quiet spaced a gate may work, when you have any significant sound sources gates don't work so well, since the human voice is typically more sensitive and dynamic in its expressions than says a guitar amp, bass amp, drum set...etc... and false triggers ensue...
i find the optogate the best solution....set the distance and forget it...no playing with thresholds
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