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best performance mic for specific female voice
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melissa82
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#1
18th October 2008
Old 18th October 2008
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Smile best performance mic for specific female voice

Hello there,

What could be a great, clear sounding performance mic for a female voice that has a lot of high end frequencies, mostly head voice and sounds kind of airy/breathy at times. (think jane birkin and a more bluesy Dido)
A mic that will pick up breathy details.
The sound of the music goes from electro to blues , pop and rock so something that will not easily "drown" even though the sound changes and the singer doesn't sing too loud. Also, does anyone has experience with adding an extra vocal monitor on a stage on a stand on top of the extra floor vocal monitors and does it help? (does it give more feedback problems???) I often have trouble hearing myself and when I start pushing harder my vocal sound changes for the worse. Acoustic this is no problem but with a full band sound it gets messy sometimes. My knowledge of gear , as a singer-songwriter, is limited so any good tips are welcome.thanks
#2
18th October 2008
Old 18th October 2008
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Hey, Melissa. Not sure what your price range is but here are a few options:

-The Neumann KMS105 is a great choice for that style and a standard these days. Its a favorite of Sarah Mclachlan [spelling?] and Diana Krall, among others.
-Shure Beta87A-A more affordable alternative. Has more of that Shure mid-range sound. Might even be better in this application since you're jumping back and forth between styles so much.
-Shure KSM9- This one is alot like the Neumann [and the same price range] but has switchable patterns [including a more narrowed/focused/directional super-cardioid]. I find these to share the same tonality as the KMS105's, but a little more natural sounding.

And as for your feedback problems, I don't have much experience with spot monitors, but it sounds like you could benefit from investing in an in-ear monitor system. You can lose your stage monitors [or just have them down much lower], avoid feedback and as long as you're happy with the mix that the engineer gives you, sing better! These are all more costly alternatives, but I believe that being comfortable on stage and capable of performing your best is worth it. Hope this helps!thumbsup
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#3
18th October 2008
Old 18th October 2008
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That sounds like you want a tube condenser to me. The condenser is going to
pick up all that shimmery high-end on her voice .. but the tube is going
to warm it up so it's not overly bright and/or harsh.

Several candidates come to mind ..the Pearlman Church ... the
Bock 251, a good budget tube condenser is the GrooveTubes GT60.

It may seem counter-intuitive .. but sometimes you want to pick
a mic that complements other ranges of a vocalist's registers than
the one that springs to mind initially. e.g. "She has a great
top-end, so I'll get a bright mic" .. often not the best approach.
Sometimes filling out the other registers let's the one that she's
known for (and was given a gift for) shine out all the more.

Mic choices and EQ are a lot about Ying-Yang thinking..


jeff
#4
18th October 2008
Old 18th October 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarkham View Post
That sounds like you want a tube condenser to me. The condenser is going to
pick up all that shimmery high-end on her voice .. but the tube is going
to warm it up so it's not overly bright and/or harsh.

Several candidates come to mind ..the Pearlman Church ... the
Bock 251, a good budget tube condenser is the GrooveTubes GT60.

It may seem counter-intuitive .. but sometimes you want to pick
a mic that complements other ranges of a vocalist's registers than
the one that springs to mind initially. e.g. "She has a great
top-end, so I'll get a bright mic" .. often not the best approach.
Sometimes filling out the other registers let's the one that she's
known for (and was given a gift for) shine out all the more.

Mic choices and EQ are a lot about Ying-Yang thinking..


jeff
I would agree, but it sounds like shes looking for a mic for live use, ie-hand held condenser or a good dynamic.
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18th October 2008
Old 18th October 2008
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Maybe you should just go to a music store and try out a few different microphones and see what works for you. I toured with a female artist that a similar situation to yours and I suggest in ears. The only problem is if you're using house engineers because they aren't familiar with your sound and may send some "stabbing" frequencies through your mix without knowing it.

My suggestion is in-ears. Always have the engineer monitor your mix with headphones before you put the ear buds in your ears! Also in my experience the sm58 has enough sibilance but what's probably happening is that if you have a "soft" voice, the engineers are pulling a lot of frequencies out of your monitors so that they can get you louder on stage. In that case, a lot of what you're hearing is a nasty monitor mix.

As far as microphones, I've had a lot of luck with the Beta87 and Neumann kms 105 in live situations. In the studio I like the the Neumann U-87 or Akg 414 but there are tons of microphones that just sound better for certain people.

Good luck
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#6
18th October 2008
Old 18th October 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntillesSound View Post
I would agree, but it sounds like shes looking for a mic for live use, ie-hand held condenser or a good dynamic.
sorry .. i missed that nuance ;-) ... none of the mics I suggested would
work in a live setting ..

In that case, I would recommend the Sennheiser e945 ...

I like it for live vox because of the super-cardoid pattern and it has
a very nice warm sound that rounds out some female vocalists. They're
also very well built ... and can handle the occassional high SPL
things that happen in live performance.

jeff
#7
18th October 2008
Old 18th October 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarkham View Post
sorry .. i missed that nuance ;-) ... none of the mics I suggested would
work in a live setting ..

In that case, I would recommend the Sennheiser e945 ...

I like it for live vox because of the super-cardoid pattern and it has
a very nice warm sound that rounds out some female vocalists. They're
also very well built ... and can handle the occassional high SPL
things that happen in live performance.

jeff
I've been dying to hear that mic. I'll make a move to check it out soon then. thumbsup
#8
18th October 2008
Old 18th October 2008
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jowillie is offline
You may kick yourself later if you don't TRY the Heil PR-35.
#9
19th October 2008
Old 19th October 2008
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There are a couple of issues that are part of this equation. If you are having trouble hearing yourself live, the Neumann, KSM9, or any other condenser are going to be a nightmare. You can add as many monitors as you want and it won't help. Unless you go to in-ear monitors, you had best stick to a dynamic mic. That will require a compromise in the air that you are looking for. The best I have heard is the Heil PR35.
#10
25th October 2008
Old 25th October 2008
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Forgot about the PR-35

Pr-35!!!!
#11
29th November 2008
Old 29th November 2008
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There is one mic which has it all what you are searching...

AKG C-535 EB

...the world standard live performance, condenser vocal microphone.
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#12
29th November 2008
Old 29th November 2008
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melissa82
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#13
4th December 2008
Old 4th December 2008
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in ear?

thanks guys for the wonderful advice..
Just wondering though, as you guys are all advising in ears...
What's the best way to go with those in this case?
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