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Thread: Should I keep this microphone or get a new one?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cR8! View Post
    The 20 db pad is meant to reduce the level coming from loud sources, like drums. If i'm reading this right, and you have it on, then you're seriously reducing the gain on your vocals.

    Which means you would have to really turn up the gain on the interface to make up for it, which is probably leading to that harshness you're talking about.

    If you're not doing it already, cut the pad off and give it a go.
    That makes perfect sense about the 20db pad, for some reason I thought it sounded bouncier when I first ever put it on, but it was just because you gotta really crank the gain for it to get harsher so I'll try that. Also I experimented with the low cut on the microphone also a while ago, but I decided to turn the low cut off and just adjust it myself. So I guess the pad and the low cut are pretty much useless unless someone brings a bongo or something in here lol.

  2. #12
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    That's definitely true for the pad.........unless you have a rapper or singer who can really belt out their material at the same decibel level as a set of drums. At least you can rest easy knowing that when your studio gets to the point where your recording a live drum set, your mic can handle it



    The low cut could have some usefulness to it. If you're recording in a space where the low end response is ridiculous and your vocals are sounding a bit muddy...........or if circumstances force you to close mic the performer and you're having problems with plosives, it might help. Although it would probably be a good idea to leave it off by default, and turn it on once you run into a problem that could be fixed with it.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhythmgj View Post
    Disclaimer caveat-- I'm listening through not-too-expensive headphones from an iPhone 6S. So not the top-of-the-world monitoring chain, still:

    I don't hear the vocals as overly harsh. They sound like vocals. Now, is it possible to make some tweaks? Yes. Are there possible problems with your process? Yes. I will tell you what I hear, and hopefully others (maybe some of my experienced-ear compatriots here) will chime in as well...

    I do hear some "spitty" sibilance/distortion. Are you using a pop-screen? You definitely need some kind of windscreen or pop-shield with any decent condenser microphone. The moisture from your breath can overwhelm the element and cause issues for your recording as well as your mike long term. If you're not using one, get one (and I would guess not, from what I'm hearing). Also, how are you setting your levels on the way in to your DAW/recorder? Make sure that you are not clipping on input. I don't hear a lot of room in your track, but you can always go for an even dryer vocal when recording by creating some kind of vocal booth in a closet, or even throwing a blanket over your head and the mike or making some kind of "recording tent" when you track vox. As to microphones, you are picking some decent stuff and I think the problem is in your application and/or input chain somewhere; you just need to keep trouble-shooting until you figure it out rather than buying more and more expensive microphones. Otherwise I see you possibly maxing-out a credit card on a U87 and still not being happy.

    If you don't want to get a new interface with a more all-in-one feature set, you might want to consider a microphone preamp or some kind of channel strip with more EQ controls and other helpful features (variable input gain and/or ohm settings for various mikes).

    On compression ratios for vocals-- modern sounds tend to be very compressed. You may want to experiment with anywhere from the 6-to-1 to 10-to-1 range. Over-compression sounds terrible, but if there is not enough, too much dynamic variation makes the voice hard to mix and "sit right" in the music.

    Regarding room treatment (again, I don't hear any major issues on these tracks, but just for the sake of thoroughness), it sounds like you've put up some appropriate measures, but did you actually go through a room calibration process, or did you just buy some random treatments and sort of "eyeball it?" Spending time on the calibration can make a big difference.

    I can hear what sound like your edit points. This may not be a big deal, as those things tend to get buried in a mix, but best practice is to make those as smooth/natural and breath/click free as possible. Think of your entire recording and mix as layers of varnish on a woodworking project (a great analogy I read once). In the finished product, you can't necessarily identify so many individual issues as you can that the whole thing "isn't right," conversely if it sounds great it is the sum total of all of the individual "layers" and "brush strokes" of sonic varnish over the entire project. So each little step either helps or hurts, depending on the amount of time and care taken.

    Finally, you said that you are adding vocals to "remixes." What are the source tracks for these remixes? Are you actually mixing multi-tracks or stems, or are you just making loops from instrumental sections of pre-mixed stereo tracks? It is _very_ hard (but not impossible, I suppose, maybe for Dave Pensado) to get new vocals to sit right on top of a previously mixed and mastered stereo track. Everybody who has tried this has come to the same conclusion. If that is what you are doing, it may be part of, or the entire source of your problem.

    I hope you figure out the sources of your displeasure without spending too much $$$$!

    GJ
    Yes I use a pop filter and I make sure it's a few inches from the mic and im a few inches from the pop filter. One time I spent 10 minutes adjusting someones gain so he won't clip it so I think I have that under control, especially with the advise about taking off the 20 db pad, I'll just have to be a little more careful next time. With compression I think lies an annoying problem because I use to use only 1 compressor on vocals, but now I use 2 compressors. 1 to take off the peaks, and then another compressor to make it sound more smooth/bounce and gritty, but at the same time, I feel the compressor lies the problem when everyone says my vocals are too low. So I'm wondering should I put the attack on the compressor or the make up gain up some more to make the vocals louder or just use the fader volume? I kinda get lost in volume control. I usually have the beat peak around -6db and bring the vocals up so that it sounds louder than the beat as the very first thing, and then mix with waves eq for narrow cuts, a c1 comp for peaks, a cla-2a for I guess tone control, a ssl channel just to make the vocals more thick by just using the polarity switch (graham method) and if its a singing part i use a little s1 imaging usually just on singing parts cause it makes it smoother in my opinion, then a de-esser, and then lastly reverb/ a slight doubler effect on the mix bus. I recorded this song yesterday and I made sure the positioning of myself to the mic and levels were good while i recorded, and I found that using a reverb with a shorter pre-delay and time for this song made it fit better... I usually suck at reverbs, but is this technique and signal chain good practice? This one was done with the pad but today I'll try recording with no pad. btw the hook on this isn't the best vocal take but it's the best I could do yesterday
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    Last edited by julesbmusic; 01-10-2018 at 08:42 AM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cR8! View Post
    That's definitely true for the pad.........unless you have a rapper or singer who can really belt out their material at the same decibel level as a set of drums. At least you can rest easy knowing that when your studio gets to the point where your recording a live drum set, your mic can handle it



    The low cut could have some usefulness to it. If you're recording in a space where the low end response is ridiculous and your vocals are sounding a bit muddy...........or if circumstances force you to close mic the performer and you're having problems with plosives, it might help. Although it would probably be a good idea to leave it off by default, and turn it on once you run into a problem that could be fixed with it.
    Does the low cut help with bass proximity effect or can I just high pass that out?? I feel I get thinness with it. Idk it's just me.

  5. #15
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    You would probably be better served trying to clean up bass proximity in the software as opposed to turning on the low cut on the mic. I was just trying to come up with examples in which the low cut might be useful.


    To get rid of bass proximity, I'd rather use a pop filter and have the artist move back from the mic a bit.

  6. #16
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    You would use make up gain; just be cautious with gain-staging and watch stacking the multiple comps/limiters.

    All great advice from CR8 so far!

    Will listen to your new sample post later...

    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






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  8. #17
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    One more thing. When I'm finish mixing a song, why does sometimes the vocal sound harsh at the end of mixing? Could it be the post production?

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