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Using 2 mics for lead vocals Condenser Microphones
Old 10th September 2015
  #1
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Using 2 mics for lead vocals

I'm looking at using an sm7 and condenser together for lead vocals.
Anyone does this? I tried it and the phase issues were obvious but the right blend has a really cool tone. However, curious to know if there are many negatives? Editing could be very tricky especially pitch correction etc. any thoughts? Thanks
Old 10th September 2015
  #2
I do this relatively often, though usually in the end I am using only one mic at a time. Perhaps a particular mic sounds better on quiet passages, but a different mic shines on loud parts. To get the phase as close as possible, try listening on headphones with the polarity on one mic flipped and go for as quiet and phasey a sound as possible. pitch correction seems pretty doable, though I could imagine it easily taking at least twice as long.
Old 10th September 2015
  #3
N.E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
I'm looking at using an sm7 and condenser together for lead vocals.
Anyone does this? I tried it and the phase issues were obvious but the right blend has a really cool tone. However, curious to know if there are many negatives? Editing could be very tricky especially pitch correction etc. any thoughts? Thanks
I really like the concept of using 2 mics for vocals. However, I avoid using 2 close mics as they ll be slightly out of alignment. For vocals, this is not something you can fix with phase alignment plugins. The difference between vocals and a guitar cabinet is that the guitar cabinet doesn't move, therefore the full frequency spectrum is always linear. When a vocalist moves the pressures in air particles alter different frequencies of the spectrum. Therefore using a phase alignment plugin will sound good in some parts and out of alignment in other parts which is something that you really dont want.

Conventionally the 2 mic technique for vocals was used to control extremely performance dynamics. It is not uncommon to use the same mic too, with a lower gain on one.

I like using a c12 as a close mic and a u87 as ambient (1.5-2.5 meters away). This, of course, works really well if the room sounds good. If it doesn't, it's probably best to record 1 mic dry and duplicate the track to apply further/extreme effects if necessary.
Old 10th September 2015
  #4
N.E
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also, regards the production stage, it's easy to be editing the 2 tracks at the same time: cuts, automation etc and possibly surgical processing to fix problematic areas. Thereafter, i find it best to bounce the two files into one and then do pitch shifting, final eqing, compression and effects.
Old 10th September 2015
  #5
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Thanks fellas! Really appreciate the feedback so far! The reason for my is I like the dynamic dense sound of the sm7 but love the bigness and width of a condenser and both at close proximity.
Old 10th September 2015
  #6
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I've done it a lot. I do my best to get the capsules as close as possible. I bring the mics up on 2 faders, but record the, to one track. What I often like, is that I can change the tone from song to song quite easily, without swapping mics and killing the momentum of the session.
Old 10th September 2015
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I've done it a lot. I do my best to get the capsules as close as possible. I bring the mics up on 2 faders, but record the, to one track. What I often like, is that I can change the tone from song to song quite easily, without swapping mics and killing the momentum of the session.
Ditto... With sm7b and an old rhode nt2...

I don't do it as often as I should -- out of straight up laziness... But, when I do it I find a nice blend where I'm getting the body and low mids from the sm7 and air and sizzle from the rhode.
Old 10th September 2015
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N.E View Post
I really like the concept of using 2 mics for vocals. However, I avoid using 2 close mics as they ll be slightly out of alignment. For vocals, this is not something you can fix with phase alignment plugins. The difference between vocals and a guitar cabinet is that the guitar cabinet doesn't move, therefore the full frequency spectrum is always linear. When a vocalist moves the pressures in air particles alter different frequencies of the spectrum. Therefore using a phase alignment plugin will sound good in some parts and out of alignment in other parts which is something that you really dont want.

Conventionally the 2 mic technique for vocals was used to control extremely performance dynamics. It is not uncommon to use the same mic too, with a lower gain on one.

I like using a c12 as a close mic and a u87 as ambient (1.5-2.5 meters away). This, of course, works really well if the room sounds good. If it doesn't, it's probably best to record 1 mic dry and duplicate the track to apply further/extreme effects if necessary.
Agree.

I use the same method except U47 in place of C12. 1176 all buttons on the U47 combined with the U87 is a killer combo.
Old 1st October 2016
  #9
Gear Head
 

Well I've seen some pretty interesting uses of 2 mic system for vocals. I'm personally a fan of the M49 and U67 for complimentary tones. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt. Sometimes I've even torn down that setup and put up 2 different mics. But one method I've seen before that always seems to work, is actually 2 SM57s. Don't blow up on me; I saw a seasoned pro doing this in the studio one day while I was assisting. Ross Hogarth came into Stagg Studios and for a vocal session with an incredible female R&B singer, and then asked me to grab two 57s. I was like "whaaattt?????" But then when I heard his placement of the mics, and then flipped the phase 100% out to cancel out some of the harsh mids, I was blown away. These are things I probably shouldn't be saying online, but its worth a shot. Personally I like the M49 with U67, but if that doesn't work for you, try the 57s. Especially if youve got a good pair.
Old 1st October 2016
  #10
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There is an AE who sent me some lead vox tracks to mix. He used two bock 507's. One up close and slightly driven/distorted, the other about 6-8" inches back low gain and real relaxed sounding. Basically the preemptive way to get that driven parallel vox channel without artificial processing. First I had ever seen that technique used and it was so easy to mix. Sounded fantastic. I think bock mics are highly underrated by the way. Love the 407 and 507 on vocals.
Old 1st October 2016
  #11
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My favorite combo a U95 through an MA5 and an Isobel through a TG1.
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