The rental companies want to have the best wireless system, but they make little effort to analyze the ratio of sound quality / price. Do not forget to train your staff in these systems, this will save the users inconvenience on the stage.

Juan Tamayo *

The rental companies in recent years have evolved, although not in the same proportion throughout Latin America. Some grow because they are linked to a musical group, others grow because they have a strategic plan that makes the business grow. But it does not matter the type of rental company, they all want the best for the services they offer, and of course, that it is economic.

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Starting from the base that all seek evolution in their systems, for example, almost all rental companies offer Line Array systems of all sizes and available power, the best audio processors, the most modern consoles, the best lighting, including there are some dedicated to the Backline that offer the best instruments, the question that arises is why we do not see an evolution in the offering of microphones for the stage? Why in the counter riders we still have the same 4 microphone options? I'm not saying it's bad, but in the market there are different microphone solutions that can easily satisfy any rider of any band. But, what happens in the Latin American market?

Making a comparison not fair, because I can not compare apples with pears, a company prefers to invest 50 thousand dollars in a console that have a second choice of microphones for a fifth of the value of the console. And it is with the justification that the console asks for it in the best riders in the world.

Now, how many of these companies investigate what is the second option of the rider in microphones? Very few. Worse still, many companies buy the new equipment, invest a lot of money in processing and power, but do not invest in changing the work wiring, or in using 4 dollars connectors because they are very expensive.

This article is not critical of the companies in how they spend their money, because as the grandparents say, it is their money. But we must question how to make smart investments. Here are some tips that can make your business evolve or at least improve the services offered.

Variety is the pleasure
I'm not saying that they have all the brands of equipment, that the 5 consoles have different brands, but at least offer on the stage two work options to the mix engineer, who can choose between two brands of microphones, between two consoles. If there is no budget, do not worry, start with the wired microphones, you can see a nice change in the engineer.

Store items properly
The microphones are like their ears, they are the ones that listen to the sound pressure generated by the instruments or voices and turn it into electrical signals. It is sad to see how microphones are treated in some rental companies, as if they were nothing because their economic value is lower than other elements, and they do not realize that it is the most important since everything starts there. Design and implement a good system of storage of your microphones that allows you to prolong the life of them.

Renovation and maintenance
Just as the console needs cleaning and the speakers that change the elements, the microphones also need care. The basic maintenance is to clean the grids (in the vowels), check the clamps at all and, of course, check the status of them.

Analyze the second option
Generally the first option of the rider always has the same brand, because it is usually in the whole continent. But many technical producers have decided to place their preferred microphones in the second option. Read the second option and check if you have it in your inventory. If you see the same microphones on the second option, ask yourself if you want to buy them.

Education for the operators and employees of your company
The majority of the work in a rental company is physical work. Moving boxes, loading items, unpacking and packing is the daily bread of an event, but it can not be an excuse to let employees educate. Offer them a course on how to choose the right microphone for the solution or the instrument, how to locate it for optimal performance, how the gain adjustments should be in the process of driving electrical signals along the path traveled between the microphone and the loudspeaker.

Possibly not all are able to understand the information that is provided, but at least one can have it and will make their work better, and who knows, it becomes their technical support.

In wireless technology, sound quality also matters
All rental companies want to have the best wireless system, but make little effort to analyze the ratio of sound quality / price. In the market there are very good wireless systems with excellent sound quality. Try these systems, possibly achieve the desired goal and at a lower price. Do not forget to train your staff in analysis and tuning in wireless systems, these training saves users annoyance on stage.

* Juan Tamayo is a senior applications engineer for Audio-Technica Latin America, with more than 10 years of experience doing audiovisual projects as a designer, integrator, consultant, among other functions. Any question or comment you can write to

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.


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