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record without headphones Ribbon Microphones
Old 1st April 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 
chewing's Avatar
 

record without headphones

hi,

I have to record a diva for a kind of symphonic jazz cabaret project, with strings, woods piano, cb, drums and guitar.
We will record all the music separatly and after we (re)do the vocals.
Now I don't know if I can use headphone for her vocal sessions because she is a (famous...) classical singer and she is not used to this.
I never tried to work without headphones except for leading tracks (with a dynamic in the CR) during recordings, and last month for a choir of 25 people in studio.
I plan if I can to use some U47 or a couple of 67 or perhaps MK4-v depending on the way she's going to sing (I know her voice but not in this context, so I can't define the microphones now)

Do you have any solutions?

I thougt about this:

- 2 speakers out of phase system (read this once a few years ago)
It's of course impossible to try some dynamic microphone because her voice need a very good sound of course.

- I read that Peter Gabriel is doing his voices right in the control room with his moded U47. Raise the level so the bleeding is minimized. And position taking advantage of polarities.
(we'll probably work in a big studio for the sessions so the CR will be LE-DE treated)

- Using bi-directionnals (I actually own 2 R84, but any other: R122, R44 ) with monitors and use the polarities (like the precedent solution, but with ribbon)
The fact that she is a classical singer may be an advantage considering she won't be one of this whispering girl who need 60dBs of gain on the condenser...)

if you have any experience with this, I would appreciate.

Thanks for the help

Alban
Old 1st April 2008
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Presuming this isn't an april fools joke, it sounds like a nighmare of a situation and exactly the sort that I would have assumed it was essential that headphones were used.

My instinct would be to find a set of headphones the singer is comfortable with.

Losing the monitoring with phase sounds like it could be fun to try out, but will the time spent experimenting unsettle the singer?
Old 1st April 2008
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Better get in the room and try out of phase monitors way before singer gets there.
If she is a true Diva you could be in real trouble.
Have several types of phones available. I would try Ultrasones for the spacious effect.
Old 1st April 2008
  #4
Lives for gear
 
leaper's Avatar
 

Get her on the phone and explain your dilemma and maybe mention that you feel it would be a gamble to NOT use headphones.
If you can't track her down by phone, check out where her CD's were recorded and phone the engineers involved and ask them if she's into headphones. I think i've seen pictures of Montserrat Caballe and Freddie Mercury with headphones on... leave copies of them lying around the studio!!
Old 2nd April 2008
  #5
Gear Head
 
chewing's Avatar
 

Yes for sure I will do my best to convince her to have phones, but all the cds she has recorded before were classical ones (I did many classical recordings, including opera so I really know how it works)
So she has never recorded with phones. But you are right I hope we can find a "phone solution".
I think it may be possible that she feels really comfortable with phones, no matter the time it takes in the studio...
I REALLY want this record to sound VERY good, since my references are Joni Mitchell's symphonic albums.
I am a big fan of these recording and it is a big chance to have the possibility to make such sessions these days... Even if I won't have a Neve 88 but an SSL9000... Not bad anyway....

oh BTW, I like very much this Montserrat Caballe picture's idea!!!! And my diva probably knows her and perhaps even worked with her....


Alban
Old 2nd April 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 
RCM - Ronan's Avatar
I would not worry too much about it. If she is most comfortable without headphones just record without headphones. Just use a cardioid mic and you should be fine. Even if there are some small sonic compromises, I would always accept those if that is what it takes to get a great performance out of the singer.
Old 2nd April 2008
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Always a trying situation...but check out Michael Crawford's
"On Eagle's Wings"-- 57 piece orchestra and 70 to 100 singers per track.
NO headphones for Michael. Pair of speakers 5 or 6 feet away (not out
of phase), U-67, gobos behind him to cut out reflections, cut at the
now closed Sony NY studios.

This created a "comfort zone" for him to sing with the orchestra as if live.
Old 2nd April 2008
  #8
Gear Head
 
chewing's Avatar
 

yes I know it works well with many singers. Just as it can work when you mix a live session with deaf singers having loud monitors. You get a kind of coherence between the bleed and the sound itself.
But I wanted to see if some of you had real experience with this... I know it's not frequently we have to record without headphones. When it will be done I'll tell you if finally I finally will be good enough to make her use phones !

Alban
Old 3rd April 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
vernier's invention ..have your cake and eat it too

Theres no good solution, especially using those mics, but one way to avoid phase cancellation is to create a guide track of instruments playing the same song, but only to be used as a vocal guide, and dumped prior to mix.
Old 3rd April 2008
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
fuddfar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chewing View Post
hi,

I have to record a diva for a kind of symphonic jazz cabaret project, with strings, woods piano, cb, drums and guitar.
We will record all the music separatly and after we (re)do the vocals.
Now I don't know if I can use headphone for her vocal sessions because she is a (famous...) classical singer and she is not used to this.
I never tried to work without headphones except for leading tracks (with a dynamic in the CR) during recordings, and last month for a choir of 25 people in studio.
I plan if I can to use some U47 or a couple of 67 or perhaps MK4-v depending on the way she's going to sing (I know her voice but not in this context, so I can't define the microphones now)

Do you have any solutions?

I thougt about this:

- 2 speakers out of phase system (read this once a few years ago)
It's of course impossible to try some dynamic microphone because her voice need a very good sound of course.

- I read that Peter Gabriel is doing his voices right in the control room with his moded U47. Raise the level so the bleeding is minimized. And position taking advantage of polarities.
(we'll probably work in a big studio for the sessions so the CR will be LE-DE treated)

- Using bi-directionnals (I actually own 2 R84, but any other: R122, R44 ) with monitors and use the polarities (like the precedent solution, but with ribbon)
The fact that she is a classical singer may be an advantage considering she won't be one of this whispering girl who need 60dBs of gain on the condenser...)

if you have any experience with this, I would appreciate.

Thanks for the help

Alban
I would tell her to take off one side of the cans, put that side behind her ear so that it doesn't leak, check the panning to make sure she has all she needs in the solo can, and possibly a few choice statements relating to getting a life.
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