If the new mic preamp device from Sabine, called “Phantom Mic Rider“, can do what it claims, the days of the sound man may be numbered. This inline preamp plugs directly between a microphone and a mixer, at the mic end, and provides almost all of the functions the sound man would perform at a spoken word event.
I spent a lot of time spinning knobs for spoken word and televised events, and this thing would have been a life saver. It eliminates (or at least reduces feedback), provides automatic gain control when the presenter moves too close or too far from the mic, provides proximity effect equalization, controls popping “p” sounds, and, most important, includes an infrared noise gate.
The noise gate automatically turns the mic and and off, depending on how far a presenter is from the mic position. This sensor can be detached from the rest of the preamp and taped somewhere like the top of a podium if that suits your needs better.
the “Phantom Mic Rider” is phantom powered, so no battery is needed. It will work with a stand mounted or podium-style mic, and Sabine claims that its internal digital signal processing will improve the overall sound of almost any microphone.
Only one problem that I can see. The infrared noise gate is activated by body heat, and some of the presenters we’ve worked with over the years appeared to have been dead for some time!
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