How Integral works
Many sound engineers like the ability to move a mic to different positions in front of a speaker because they want to capture specific characteristics. This has been the accepted norm for 60 plus years but, in the live situation that will always be a compromise because whilst a sound check may produce the desired effect, it will be short lived when the gig starts with a vengeance. There is no guarantee that the mic will stay in place during the performance and so the sound will be compromised very quickly. Add to that overspill from other sources close by such as other instruments, drums etc., the engineer on the desk will have his work cut out for sure.
Integral uses a dynamic microphone capsule, requiring no phantom power, placed within the space of the speaker cone and which is positioned and aimed towards the edge of the speaker. At first sight it would appear to be in the wrong place being mounted centrally on the face of the speaker. However, the mic capsule lays on a cradle which places it sideways on to the centre of the speaker cone.
The Microphone capsule has a super-cardiod pattern which gives a high rejection of sound coming towards the sides and rear of the capsule. This means that all those harsh frequencies emanating from the centre of the speaker are largely rejected. Similarly, overspill is also rejected too. This leaves the target area for the mic as the outer edge of the speaker. The Integral mic is housed and fixed under a domed “pepper-pot” cover which creates diffusion of the speaker sound. Thus the capsule now collects a rounded sound from the whole of the speaker requiring very little attention during set up and despite having a super-cardioid pattern, Integral’s capsule can be described as collecting sound from 360deg within the speaker cone. The microphone cannot move to compromise the sound and will be consistent for every performance.
For a live band mix it is quite normal that the E.Q. for a regular mic will need to be adjusted for the guitarist to cut through and be heard clearly in the mix. Generally this will mean some bass being rolled off and perhaps some top end having to be added in. It is quite likely that adding top end will also introduce hiss creating even more issues for the sound man to deal with. Integral already incorporates this specification and for the most part will mean the E.Q. on the desk will be set pretty flat from the word go.
“The Integral close miking system makes my job as a sound engineer so much easier. I don’t have to waste time rigging mike stands, so band set up and turnaround times are much quicker.
It drastically reduces overspill, and when fitted to a guitar cab or combo, the sweet spot is a constant that you take on tour. The separation and clarity of the guitar sound is superb.“
Whilst Integral was created with live music in mind it does have the clear advantage of only hearing the true sound coming from the speaker it is mounted in front of. So, for studio work it is a great starting point because it enables a transparent base to work from in the recording process. As the project proceeds ambient can be added with additional mikes which would probably be the case anyway, using a blend to get the end result required.
Connection to the desk is a regular balance XLR socket positioned in a convenient place on your cab. It is supplied with an adapter to convert from a boxed housing used in an open back cab, to a flush mount used on a closed back cab.
Often we are asked for the sound spec sheets for Integral and these are available on request. However, if they are wanted to make a comparison with other mics then this may not be realistic.
To explain….. All microphones are tested to an international standard which dictates that the microphone is positioned square on to a sound source (i.e. a speaker) at a 0.50m distance. In Integral`s case this is impossible to replicate because the mic capsule is presented sideways on and would be at 0.00m during use. Thus, the info is interesting showing a flat response but, any comparison would be meaningless because the criteria is different.