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yazoo
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#1
1st April 2009
Old 1st April 2009
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Question microphones for radio

Hi guys!

Didn't find a forum for questions about radio related stuff so I drop it here!

I going to record a show for a radio program with 3 people talking.

Im thinking about renting 3 identical mics for getting a even sound.

Any advice?

I already have

1x 416, 2x K6 ME66, 1x Neuman TLM 103

regards
benny
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1st April 2009
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Unless your going to have three seperate channel strips with gating/expansion I'd go with dynamic mics. SM58s would work fine with
pop filters. Three condenser mics open at the same time in a small room will cause reflection and phase issues without gating.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asap audio View Post
Unless your going to have three seperate channel strips with gating/expansion I'd go with dynamic mics. SM58s would work fine with
pop filters. Three condenser mics open at the same time in a small room will cause reflection and phase issues without gating.
Thanks.

Does the SM58 sound "good enough" for a radio voices? It is boring if my program should sound crappier and less high-end?

We do have a very small room so using 3 condenser might be a bad option.

Maybe the shotguns is an option then? the only issue here is the big character different between the 416 and the me66.

/benny
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1st April 2009
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SM7b is pretty much the standard here.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommylicious View Post
SM7b is pretty much the standard here.
Thanks for your reply!

So this mic has good rejection for off-axis sound from my small room and leakage from the other talents?


If so maybe thats the ticket.

/benny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yazoo View Post

So this mic has good rejection for off-axis sound from my small room and leakage from the other talents?
Absolutely, it's made for this kind of stuff. You really need to talk right in to it. Be aware that it needs quite a lot of gain from your pre.

Another good option would be an RE20. I've used both mics with great succes for VO, broadcast and even for tracking vocals in the control room with the speakers on!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommylicious View Post
Absolutely, it's made for this kind of stuff. You really need to talk right in to it. Be aware that it needs quite a lot of gain from your pre.

Another good option would be an RE20. I've used both mics with great succes for VO, broadcast and even for tracking vocals in the control room with the speakers on!
So if I understand this right sm7b,RE20 has a short pickup pattern you must be very close, in comparison with our 416 that has a narrow but quite long pickup pattern.

I have only found 2 sm7b for rental and no RE20 so Im wondering what other mic i should combine with this?

/Benny
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My favorites are the Electro Voice RE20, RE27 & the Shure SM7b for radio. Just look at most radio shows broadcast on TV these 3 mics will be the ones you will see the most.

The 416 is great in a controlled enviornment and a standard for voice over use. If you don't have that you may have too much backround noise IMO.

The SM58 is a stage mic & I would definately steer clear for your use.
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Thanks for all your help!

Just got some new updates from my client regarding the radioshow.

Its going to be a radio drama show with actors in different ambiences and locations.

Maybe sm7b and RE20 will sound to much VO.

but the shootguns will pickup to much from the room.

hmm, though decision....
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Many kindsof mic work for radio, which I engineered for 30 years.

Three matched mics is a god idea. I've used 421s, RE15s, as well as a variety of condensers. NPR uses U-87s allover the place. The standard for radio drama was the RCA ribbon mic. Maybe try a set - or a stereo pair - of ribbon mics? If you set them up as a stereo pair and direct the performers where to stand, you will have a sweet and realistic effect. Post results!

L
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Are you gonna record live at these different localtions or is it all happening in the small room you talk abut ?
If it's gonna happen in your room, then the RE20 and SM7 are still good cause you're gonna have to add all the reverb and ambience sounds anyway so you're better off with a dry vocal. The dynamics will give you smallest amount of bleed, good directionality and a close up-in your face sound.
Doing radio drama is different from "normal" radio in that you don't want it to sound as if the actor is sitting in front of a microphone in a studio setting, you want it to sound real. Very few people live their lives in front of a microphone in a damped room.
Eventhough much can be done with reverb, delay and filtering (Speakerphone rules), it's often both faster and sounds better when you record the actors in the setting the play puts them in.

For recording live actors on a set, the 416 is a good choice since it will give the actor the freedom to walk around and.. well.. act and still give a relatively dry sound to which real roomtone can be added for effect.

If you're gonna record in a smaller room (your booth) then you might setup dynamics (RE20, SM7 and Sennheiser 421 are good for this) in a circular pattern for a close up vocal sound so that the actors all face each other. Also put a LDC in the middle set to omni.
That way you will get both a close-up and a slightly more distant naturally ambient sound as well.
Mix those to the desired effect.


My 2 cents.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommylicious View Post
SM7b is pretty much the standard here.

+1 for the SM7 over the SM58. The RE-20 is also used extensively in Radio.
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2nd April 2009
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Radio drama?? You might do well with MD421s.

The SM7B, and RE20/27 lean more towards announcers.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Bartos View Post
Are you gonna record live at these different localtions or is it all happening in the small room you talk abut ?
If it's gonna happen in your room, then the RE20 and SM7 are still good cause you're gonna have to add all the reverb and ambience sounds anyway so you're better off with a dry vocal. The dynamics will give you smallest amount of bleed, good directionality and a close up-in your face sound.
Doing radio drama is different from "normal" radio in that you don't want it to sound as if the actor is sitting in front of a microphone in a studio setting, you want it to sound real. Very few people live their lives in front of a microphone in a damped room.
Eventhough much can be done with reverb, delay and filtering (Speakerphone rules), it's often both faster and sounds better when you record the actors in the setting the play puts them in.

For recording live actors on a set, the 416 is a good choice since it will give the actor the freedom to walk around and.. well.. act and still give a relatively dry sound to which real roomtone can be added for effect.

If you're gonna record in a smaller room (your booth) then you might setup dynamics (RE20, SM7 and Sennheiser 421 are good for this) in a circular pattern for a close up vocal sound so that the actors all face each other. Also put a LDC in the middle set to omni.
That way you will get both a close-up and a slightly more distant naturally ambient sound as well.
Mix those to the desired effect.


My 2 cents.
Its going to happen in the small room and its going to be radio drama, so no "in your face" sound just as dry signal as possible.

Whats an LDC?

I have the option to rent both 421s and sm57 whats the big difference?

Thanks for all your help!

regards
benny
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2nd April 2009
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LDC is short for "Large Diaphragm Condenser", such as the Rode K2 and Neumann U87. Compared to dynamics, these mics are more sensitive, have better top end and as such pick up more of the room. If the room is less than stellar, condensers tend to bring that out.

For a good natural, dry sound, the 421 is an excellent choice.

The 57 is king for micing guitar amps, but is definately a good allrounder often used for vocals. You could probably get good results using either, but for relatively closed miced speech recordings I'd go with the MD421.

Best of luck.

/K

Last edited by K Bartos; 2nd April 2009 at 10:04 AM.. Reason: EDIT-TLM103 initially suggested doesn't do omni. My bad :)
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Where I work, we use RE20s, SM7s, 416s, TLM103s, 421s and PR40s. I use 58s for remotes and there's nothing wrong with them. I wouldn't hesitate to use one if the others were being used. Good luck!
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Thanks for your help!

I went for the MD421 and I think it sounds good. I think It handles the dynamic parts in the show without picking up ambience from the small booth.

I have only used condensers before in my booth, ME66 and 416 and they sound to harsh in the highmid when recording loud stuff.

The 421s glue the show together without to much highmid and the contrast to the VO (recorded with 416) gives the drama part more realistic feeling.

I also like that its not so sensitive for loud peaks.

One question about the gain on the mics. We are using a Digi Pre and have the gain on 60db with loudest peak around -9dbfs. Anyone with experience from this combination?

regards
benny
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Quote:
One question about the gain on the mics. We are using a Digi Pre and have the gain on 60db with loudest peak around -9dbfs. Anyone with experience from this combination?
Yes, that's about right, like any dynamic, it needs a lot of gain from the pre.

One note, check the rotary LPF switch all the time, anyone handling the mic, has a tendency to accidentally change the settings.
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RE20 bad. LDC good.

Just because many radio stations/TV production facilities use the RE20 or SM7 doesn't make them a good choice for radio or TV.

In my experience in public radio and TV post-production, the RE20 is one of the worst mics to use for voice. There's no presence, it takes alot to move that diaphragm (it has to be worked really close), and there's no presence. Did I mention there's no presence? By the time the audio makes it's way through a radio station's signal processing the voice sounds like boomy muckity-muck.

A LDC is the way to go. Pick your poison.

If you find yourself in a small room (or a big room, for that matter) with a bunch of open mics, regardless of kind of mic... the faders are your friends. Ride the faders - whoever's not talking, pull their fader down 6dB. A good degree of attentiveness and you'll get a feel for the flow of conversation and anticipate who's talking next, laughter, etc. Won't even need compression.
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I realize now that was a post from a few months ago. My bad.

The opinion is still relevant, I think!

Glad it went well for you.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asap audio View Post
Unless your going to have three seperate channel strips with gating/expansion I'd go with dynamic mics. SM58s would work fine with
pop filters. Three condenser mics open at the same time in a small room will cause reflection and phase issues without gating.
No difference regarding condensers and dynamics in that regard.

It's about choosing the right polar pattern for the job and work with distances and angles.


/Peter
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I recently recorded a 1-on-1 interview for podcasting with two Rode NT5 mics with pop caps placed on table stands; probably not the most obvious choice, but the voices were captured very well. The final result sounded like a real radio conversation.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
Many kindsof mic work for radio, which I engineered for 30 years.

Three matched mics is a god idea. I've used 421s, RE15s, as well as a variety of condensers. NPR uses U-87s allover the place. The standard for radio drama was the RCA ribbon mic. Maybe try a set - or a stereo pair - of ribbon mics? If you set them up as a stereo pair and direct the performers where to stand, you will have a sweet and realistic effect. Post results!

L
Great idea. You can even use just one ribbon and let people stand on both sides of the mic since it's bi-directional. With a little practice it should work great. These were used years ago for radio. If you need stereo, use two as Lou suggested, and let people use the patterns to create the space you need.
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It's already been mentioned but I really like the Heil PR-40 for this type of application, preferably with shock mounts and definitely with pop filters.
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+1
PR40
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We use RE-27's and SM5B's here. I don't share Robobo1's dislike of them, though he does have a point, you need an experienced and powerful voice to be convincing while talking into one of these mics. Since I do announcing myself, I had to relearn how to speak in order to project my air into these mics, so yes they do sound bad on weak voices, though they are fantastic on voices that know the craft well.
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9th December 2009
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I made a recording with a PR40 not long ago. The mic was 2 to 3 feet from a fluorescent light fixture and it picked up a great deal of inductive hum. I checked it with an ohm meter and it appears that the head basket does not act as a shield because it is not electically bonded to ground due to the paint being non-conductive. At the bottom of my list of things to do is to open it up and solder a wire from the end screen to the cylindrical side screen to ground, scraping away paint at the solder joints. I have removed the inner layer of wire mesh from the PR40 and it definitely does help but you would probably want to use an external pop filter for close miking.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
We use RE-27's and SM5B's here. I don't share Robobo1's dislike of them, though he does have a point, you need an experienced and powerful voice to be convincing while talking into one of these mics. Since I do announcing myself, I had to relearn how to speak in order to project my air into these mics, so yes they do sound bad on weak voices, though they are fantastic on voices that know the craft well.
Not to belabor the point, but I feel the RE-20 (I don't know the RE-27) is a poor choice for voice, period. I've heard it on all types of voices, and it just doesn't cut it (pun intended) in my opinion.

I'd even pick a SM58 over an RE-20 in a heartbeat for radio, but prefer an LDC.
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