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Vocal mics
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 Posted: Tue Jul 28th, 2020 09:00 pm
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ASecretMeaning
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So Moptop's thread about DAWs was really interesting. It sounds like there are lots of different audio interfaces and lots of different DAWs being used. But what about vocal microphones?

I started off with a really cheap dynamic microphone, but recently bought a Rode NT1A large diaphragm condenser microphone along with a pop-filter and a reflection shield - wow what a difference! The Rode picks up even the faintest noise in the room - even the fan on my computer - yet I can turn the levels up without it really adding any noise other than what is audible in the room, so my recordings are much clearer than from the cheap mic.

Yet it's noticeably not studio quality. My room isn't acoustically treated in any way, but the mic is in a cradle with the pop and reflection shields.

So what is everyone else using, and where/how do you record to get the best quality that you can?

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 12:27 am
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moptop
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As I said in the other thread I just normally use a Shure SM58 dynamic mic for most of my vocals. I don't do anything special when recording. I'm usually sitting in front of my computer screens reading the lyrics as I go! I have no special room treatments. I guess it's more luck of the draw that it works well as it does in the way I have my little studio corner set up.

I hear what you're saying about the background noises that a good quality LDCM can pick up. If it gets to be too much of an issue there is a noise reduction plugin by Reaper call ReaFir that works very well in reducing BG noises without messing with the quality of the vocal. It's free and can be installed to work on any DAW. I use it in Cubase without any problems and it has saved "good takes" more than once for me.
Might be worth a look at. Hope that helps!!

Last edited on Wed Jul 29th, 2020 12:29 am by moptop



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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 07:40 am
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RainyDayMan
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Like you, I use a large diaphragm condenser mic with a pop-filter. Mine's a Studio Projects one, but there are plenty of good brands.



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 Posted: Thu Jul 30th, 2020 09:04 pm
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JAPOV
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I just listened to "Things I shouldn't do" again and I think I know what you're really asking. VOCAL ATMOSPHERE is all about effects! Try running your mike through a mild compressor with a quick release, into a slappy one second stereo delay at about 15%-20%, then into a medium sized bright roomverb with bass dampening :)



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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2020 01:41 am
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moptop
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JAPOV wrote:
I just listened to "Things I shouldn't do" again and I think I know what you're really asking. VOCAL ATMOSPHERE is all about effects! Try running your mike through a mild compressor with a quick release, into a slappy one second stereo delay at about 15%-20%, then into a medium sized bright roomverb with bass dampening :)

Yes, excellent suggestion!

It seems that your effects chain suggestion is very similar to what I normally use, and so far I've always gotten good results from doing it that way. Very simple but very effective.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2020 10:39 pm
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ASecretMeaning
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JAPOV wrote:
I just listened to "Things I shouldn't do" again and I think I know what you're really asking.

Thanks JAPOV, I've experimented a bit with this tonight and I hear what you mean about atmosphere. But it's not really the reason I was asking the question, let me explain.

I've read various articles, on this forum I think, talking about the importance of microphone quality and speaker quality. Capturing the sound in the first place, and then turning it back into sound again as the end result. Whilst I've been working from home for a few months now on the same PC that I use for writing music, I have had the radio on almost all day everyday. It is playing through the same monitor speakers as I use for writing music, so the equipment that is turning the digital signal back into sound is the same. Yet it's like the recording I hear on the radio really is floating on air - it's so clear and effortless - compared to my recording that I think sounds good, but still a 'bedroom' recording. And given that the software many of us are using is commonly used in studios these days, or is supposedly of studio quality, I presume the difference is in the original recording and, of course, the skill of the engineer / producer. So the question really is about the mics / techniques people are using, and any advice anyone has to get closer to that studio clarity.

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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2020 11:23 pm
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JAPOV
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"Floating on air" lol... Again, I'm hearing ATMOSPHERE. Or perhaps a better word would be STUDIO! Every studio has its own unique Atmosphere... In the digital realm your studio is SIMULATED, That's what all the different rooms/halls/stadium reverbs are for. The trick is to choose the space that you want to record in and then make it your own, customize it. Don't just EQ your instruments, EQ the sound of the room you're in. Accentuate the reflective highs, deepen the lows... Kick drum is a good example. Everyone knows what a flat thumping acoustic bass drum sounds like, but in the right room it can sound HUGE. And here's a little hint, a bit of high end in your kick drum makes the low end sound even bigger. CUSTOMIZE YOUR STUDIO! Then make your instruments sound good in that space :Guitarman1:



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 Posted: Wed Aug 5th, 2020 02:16 am
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moptop
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Every studio has its own unique Atmosphere..

Couldn't you also call that "ambience" or "acoustics"?

Yes, room treatments can have a large effect on the quality of your recordings.

Last edited on Wed Aug 5th, 2020 02:18 am by moptop



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 Posted: Mon Aug 10th, 2020 11:59 am
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ChrisPrice
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Rode NT1A. Yes, I have 2 of them. Great mics without spending too much. FX are a personal thing. I have Waves CLA which I use on most of my vocals. A small amount of compression and a fairly large reverb which I use sparingly. My studio is a large wooden shed which sounds surprisingly good untreated. I am toying with the idea of fitting some acoustic tiles, but then again, if it ain't broke..:Guitarman1:

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 Posted: Mon Aug 10th, 2020 10:16 pm
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moptop
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Yep, looks can be deceiving.
You can walk into a room and it can look like it's a sonic and acoustic nightmare and think "oh boy, this is gonna sound like crap", but then be surprised when you record something and it sounds great. Just goes to show that acoustic correctness doesn't usually use an interior decorator.

Last edited on Mon Aug 10th, 2020 10:16 pm by moptop



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