Vocals in the "null"/control room
Hey all! A discussion started in the "work in progress" section, so I wanted to open it up. I found a few old threads on the subject from a few years ago, but I wanted to get some fresh opinions/experiences...
Every once in a while (or more often than not), we run into a vocalist that just doesn't take well to recording with headphones...so, recording in the control room (or in the live room) with monitors/PA blasting turns out to be the option. For me, this seems to be a more natural, comfortable way to record vocals in general, it tends to bring out more energy from many vocalists...So, how do you do it while minimizing bleed and phasing issues?
Some point the monitors/PA speakers towards each other and place the mic at the spot exactly in between them. This is usually done using a ribbon or other figure-8 patterned mic, as the null of the pickup pattern lies in the direction of the incoming sound waves. Some will sum the mix to mono, and even reverse the phase of one of the monitors to control bleed. Also, EQ can be applied, specifically in the lows and highs, to maximize phase coherence. Tracks that the singer deems "unnecessary" to sing along with may be muted to provide further aid with phasing issues and bleed (and in case they get taken out all together later!) Some engineers have had success using a "triangular"-type setup with cardoid microphones.
So, what are your experiences with recording vocals this way? Summing to mono is an option, but flipping the phase always seems a little drastic for me...I know I couldn't put up with it, but if the singer can, I suppose it might be worth it. It would be best for me, in terms of setup time and gear selection, if I could get the "triangular" method down, although I've only tried it once, and have had questionable results. This technique would expand the mic selection a bit. Also, I find that fitting a mic with the vocalist is especially crucial (as it always is) in this practice, because any drastic EQ you might need may accentuate bleed/phasing issues. Any thoughts?