The other night I was at a hip hop thing in the back garden of a cafe. It was very nice! Good atmosphere and good music. There was an open mic aspect to the proceedings, which was very supportive and fun. Unfortunately the microphone was distorted and muffled, which made it hard to hear what the MCs were saying. I noticed the bass on the mic’s EQ was turned up loads — bemuddening the sound. I built up the courage to ask if I could tweak the EQ a bit and the man on the decks said “Do what you gotta do,” so I did but it went very badly because when I touched the EQ knob the mic cut out in a crackly way and I spoiled the poor MC’s flow! What a cack-handed doofus! I think it was a fault of the mixing desk rather than mine, but still, I leapt back with a “Sorrysorrysorry!” and vowed never to do anything ever again.
A guy next to me leant into my ear and said “It’s not the EQ man it’s just their mic technique. See they’re all holding the mic at the top, their hand’s covering the whole bit where the sound goes in. You’re supposed to hold it at the bottom, then it sounds clearer. I did an A-Level in this shit man, I know the technique.”
Now, it was partly to do with the EQ but he was definitely right about that being proper mic technique. I was looking forward to hearing how his methods would improve the sound during his performance, so when he leapt up to MC I was all ears.
But do you know what he did? He grabbed the microphone at the top with his ENTIRE FIST! There was barely a centimeter of microphone left for the sound to go into! Immediately after telling me you shouldn’t do that he just blazed right ahead and did it anyway! Without remorse! What a fickle fellow.
I don’t know, maybe he didn’t want anyone to hear him clearly because his lyrics were substandard. Or maybe he just got a bit overexcited that it was his turn and forgot all about his A-Level certificate: hidden deep in a dusty drawer, weeping softly and whispering “Why are you doing this? I told you it is wrong. You have let me down.”
But he would never hear the sound of the weeping and whispering over the boomy muffliness of his reckless abandonment. It’s just a sad, sad story, I’m afraid.
Don’t forget about your A-Levels, everybody. Don’t you ever forget.