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What's the best mic to use as a vocoder modulator?
Old 15th September 2011
  #1
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What's the best mic to use as a vocoder modulator?

Hi all,

In my 24 years as a musician, I've had a couple of experiences where hardware vocoders were involved (Korg VC-10, and the Microkorg), but I never had the chance to dabble with them deep enough - therefore I admit that I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject.

Now that my ITB system is nearing completion, I will be exploring more using VST vocoders, starting off with the TAL-Vocoder to educate myself, with a view to move on to either the Eosis ELS or Klanglabs Vokko. The head-scratcher in all this is, what mic shall I purchase?

From what I gleaned throughout the years, the consensus seems to be that the crappier the mic, the better modulation you get. But I'm trying to get deeper here by asking what qualities does a mic have to possess that would make it the perfect modulator...would you be so kind as to help with my inquiries?

Thanks!
Old 15th September 2011
  #2
I've used both condenser mics, and dynamics.
My suggestion is to get a good dynamic mic, crappier is not better.
dynamic mics have less dynamic range, and therefore drive the vocoder better (more even signal), and don't require phantom power, so you can plug it right in. you could compress the signal before routing it into the vocoder.
Beyerdynamic m69, and Sennheiser 441 I'm using with the Doepfer. (depends on which one already set up)
Old 15th September 2011
  #3
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Hmmm...the 441 is way out of my pocket's reach. The M69 seems a more viable proposition, even though I think that £175/$277 is a bit steep for a mic that will be used only for one trick...
Old 15th September 2011
  #4
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organsymphony's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
you could compress the signal before routing it into the vocoder.
This is excellent advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody Aki View Post
Hmmm...the 441 is way out of my pocket's reach. The M69 seems a more viable proposition, even though I think that £175/$277 is a bit steep for a mic that will be used only for one trick...
shure beta 57a might be worth looking at.
Old 15th September 2011
  #5
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Duly noted. At the risk of sounding pedantic, the £50 difference between the two mics would make me go for the M69, as I seem to bracket the two mics within the same range.

Conversely, I am also aware that you're dispensing with good advice, so I don't know whether I should ask for cheaper alternatives for fear of getting flamed!
Old 15th September 2011
  #6
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If you are vocoding itb,I dont think it matters so much.
Your normal vocal mic will do the job
Old 15th September 2011
  #7
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pinkerton's Avatar
 

very srsly +1 on compression and take note of your dynamics when using a vocoder and it will sound 100% better. that is the biggest vocoding advice anyone could give you. the filter opens up as it gets louder so loudness will basically control the envelope as well. if it gets too loud and harsh on the peaks it will sound bad pretty much no matter what.
Old 15th September 2011
  #8
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U47, it's the only way. ;-)
Old 15th September 2011
  #9
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Talking of compression, what would be the ideal settings for vocoding?
Old 15th September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
U47, it's the only way. ;-)
Verrückter! heh
Old 15th September 2011
  #11
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pinkerton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody Aki View Post
Talking of compression, what would be the ideal settings for vocoding?
really just depends on the sound youre looking for. i like tight robot-like saws. i usually have it set to limit, and use the output gain to control the depth. also i like to gate the signal post vocoder.
Old 15th September 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkerton View Post
really just depends on the sound youre looking for. i like tight robot-like saws. i usually have it set to limit, and use the output gain to control the depth. also i like to gate the signal post vocoder.
Looks like we're on the same boat, as I like those super-intelligible vocodered vox you find in Herbie Hancock records...or Italo Disco classics to be exact, as Herbie used to let the clean vox ride on top of the vocodered vox most of the time.
Old 16th September 2011
  #13
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I think I might be going for this one - seems to tick the right boxes...

Audio Technica Pro 8HECW
Old 2nd June 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody Aki View Post
I think I might be going for this one - seems to tick the right boxes...

Audio Technica Pro 8HECW

Can you connect the headset directly to your keyboard?. It comes with a kind of box, I dont know why is this for.
Old 2nd June 2013
  #15
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DoctorG's Avatar
 

SM57 and brick wall limiter
Old 2nd June 2013
  #16
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Rogue Ai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody Aki View Post
I think I might be going for this one - seems to tick the right boxes...

Audio Technica Pro 8HECW
A headset mic would be great for vocoding as you'll have both hands free to play on the keyboard and won't have to have a mic stand taking up space. As far as this mic's sound quality, I have no idea.
Old 7th June 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Ai View Post
A headset mic would be great for vocoding as you'll have both hands free to play on the keyboard and won't have to have a mic stand taking up space. As far as this mic's sound quality, I have no idea.
The hands-free bit is the general idea...

Can't really vouch for its quality, but the specs seemed to point at this mic being pretty good for vocoding.
Old 23rd June 2013
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody Aki View Post
I think I might be going for this one - seems to tick the right boxes...

Audio Technica Pro 8HECW
After reading this, I bought this, but I dont know why it doesnt work ok with the Kingkorg, it sounds bad, with some "feedback" very high and disturbing (it is not issue with my monitors, I tried it in different positions)

Do you think this is due to the bad quality of the mic (it looks like a cheap mic with a cheap cable), or maybe is my unit KK that comes with problems?
Old 23rd June 2013
  #19
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NWSooner's Avatar
 

Can't go wrong with an SM57.
Old 23rd June 2013
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWSooner View Post
Can't go wrong with an SM57.

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