We have a hallroom 15 feet width and 60 feet long. We use a Shure SM58 as microphone on the podium. But the problem is when a speaker(person) speaks a bit far away(tall persons keeping shoulder straight, or don't like to put mouth close to microphone) from the microphone, the sound comes a little. So we need to adjust this with the mixer. There are some speakers who used to move a lot, looking to the audience on the left or right, this makes a lot of change to the sound. These movements make the sound lower or louder which is a problem for some audience. We have a adjustable microphone stand which is not so long to serve Tall peoples.

We need a microphone type that can capture voice of speaker equally regardless what movement he or she is in. I understand, moving mouth to left or right omits significant amount of sound loss but we need something better than SM58. Will a condencer microphone be a solution here? It's Big Hall.

  • You can't fight the laws of physics. Moving away from the mic will mean less signal reaches it.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 20, 2017 at 15:30
  • I know. But I asked for is there any mic that can pick better than SM58 in tolarable range like 10 to 20 cm. Aug 20, 2017 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


I believe the cardioid pattern is ideal for this situation and the SM58 is a very good mic for voice. Cardioids have a pickup angle of about 120 degrees which is wider than super-cardioids and figure-of-eights. The only polar pattern that is wider than the cardioid is omni-directional but this is a bad idea because you need the rejection the cardioid pattern has at 180 degrees (the back) so you can have more amplification on your PA without feedback.

This is a task for a dynamics processor and more specifically a compressor. What a compressor does is turn down the volume when the input is above a threshold level. In your case, it would turn down the volume for the loud speakers and bring their level closer to that of the ones that speak too far from the mic. Then you will be able to turn both up and as a result, make both sound louder. You will find there is a limit to what you can do with this so expect audible improvement but not a miracle.

Setting up the threshold level will take some trial and error because human voice can vary quite a bit. I think I would start with a (realistic) worst case scenario. A low voice some distance from the microphone. Look on your level meters and set it as your threshold level.

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The next setting on a compressor is the ratio (of compression). This applies to any level above the threshold level. A setting of 4:1 would be a good start.

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Finally you will see an 'attack' and 'release' setting. These affect how fast the compressor will react to turn down the output when the input is above the threshold level (attack) and how fast it will stop compressing when it comes back down bellow the threshold. For a voice you need medium-low attack (5-30ms)and medium release (around 250ms).

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I believe this would work for most speakers except for the most careless ones.

All graphics were taken from the wikipedia article on dynamic range compression and belong to the public domain.

  • I'd be scared this would just be a quick recipe for howl-round, in the wrong hands - though I agree with your answer as such. [Being a studio engineer, not live, I'd have gone for a multi band comp ;-))
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 20, 2017 at 17:28
  • It did cross my mind but as you probably already know it's all about making the best compromise. 'You can't fight the laws of physics' was the correct answer but past that, I can't think of dealing with this with anything other than a compressor. Aug 20, 2017 at 17:39
  • Multi band compression is a bit beyond me. I understand the idea but I haven't practiced enough with one to able to give advice. Aug 20, 2017 at 17:41
  • I love them in a studio context on a vocal [I've never tried one live]. They can flatten the EQ curve to compensate for massive dynamics & also unintentional proximity changes. Take a bit to get the hang of but can be really sweet. [but sorry, totally off this particular topic, my bad]
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 20, 2017 at 17:45
  • 1
    It actually acts like a 'counter-EQ'. It stops massive volume [whisper to belt] vocal changes from going 'rich' to 'thin'. I'm probably not the right person to be able to fully explain it in technical terms, but in 'feel' that's about what it does, evens the performance. If the vocal doesn't have massive dynamic you can use it to keep consonants very audible, increasing intelligibility. Done carefully, most of your audience will never know it was done.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 20, 2017 at 17:59

Just get a lavalier mic like this one, if you have a budget you can use. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BLXLVCVL-H9 You clip it to the persons lapel, and then they can be free to move around all they want. This is what was used at the church I ran sound for. They had two mics, and one receiver. So the person speaking would have one attached, and the person 'on deck' would have theirs on as well. Then when the first person steps off stage, you can take that and give it to whoever may go on next. Some days we would have 6 different people go up (not including the band, which used mics on stands and DI boxes). They do have ones that are headsets instead of lapel clips, if that is more comfortable for the speaker.

While compression can definitely help, it can also cause a lot of problems in a live environment (both in the sense of having a crowd, and having walls that are very reflective). The lav will bypass the need for compression, most likely.

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