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Female singer with way too much 5kz, help what mic to calm her down?
Old 11th August 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Female singer with way too much 5kz, help what mic to calm her down?

Female singer with way too much 5kz, help what mic to calm her down.

The title says it all. Just finished recording a female vocalist with a very bright voice in the 5kz range. Used -6db of EQ at 5kz to bring it under control, but I don't want to do that.

Looking for a mic that does not emphasize this bandwidth, so that minimal EQ is necessary. Any ideas.

Mics I've tried:

Rode NTK
u99
e250 (the best so far, but no door prize)

I keep wanting to buy an AEA R84 but people keep talking me out of it. I have no where locally to demo these mics like the AEA R84.

I appreciate you'z guys helping out. You'z is a Pittsburgh thing.

Santo
Old 11th August 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 

e - 47
coles - 4038




be well

- jack
Old 11th August 2005
  #3
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Why do people talk you out of the r84? I've used it on a male singer with similar issues & it was great.
You might also try an sm7 if you want a denser, less airy sound.
Old 11th August 2005
  #4
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Lots of the presence and clarity lives around the 5-7kHz region so you don't want to totally kill it. Have you tried putting a de-esser into the chain? Or, take your EQ and try cutting an octave down and an octave up from 5kHz.

What about mic position? Have you experimented with that at all?
Old 11th August 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 

re-20
Old 11th August 2005
  #6
Gear Addict
 

U87!

U87!


No, just kidding. Neumann M269 has yet to do me wrong.
Old 11th August 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 
scruffydog's Avatar
Also try pop shield/mic placement alterations.
Try lowering the height of the mic a little and pointing up a little and tell her to sing as though it were at her mouth as before.
Just so she is singing over it rather than directly at it.
A pop shield that fits over the mic and a regular as before in combination will also dull frequencies..
but as the good books say...once its gone..you cant bring it back!
But worth a try before buying an extra mic..
Old 11th August 2005
  #8
Coles 4040 might do this well without killing all of the high end. Preamp choice is important with this mic, and I've been using the Daking Mic-Pre IV with good results.
Old 11th August 2005
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
e - 47
coles - 4038
I thought about the e47, have not heard one though or the Coles for that matter.

Quote:
No, just kidding. Neumann M269 has yet to do me wrong.


be well

- jack
Did not consider the Neumann, can probably listen to one locally.


Quote:
Why do people talk you out of the r84? I've used it on a male singer with similar issues & it was great.
You might also try an sm7 if you want a denser, less airy sound.
They tell me ribbons are hard to use on vocals, but when I look at the frequency curve for that mic it seems like it may be the ticket.

Quote:
Lots of the presence and clarity lives around the 5-7kHz region so you don't want to totally kill it. Have you tried putting a de-esser into the chain? Or, take your EQ and try cutting an octave down and an octave up from 5kHz.
I have not tried that, interesting solution! dealing with the harmonics?

What about mic position? Have you experimented with that at all?

Quote:
Also try pop shield/mic placement alterations.
Try lowering the height of the mic a little and pointing up a little and tell her to sing as though it were at her mouth as before.
Just so she is singing over it rather than directly at it.
A pop shield that fits over the mic and a regular as before in combination will also dull frequencies..
but as the good books say...once its gone..you cant bring it back!
But worth a try before buying an extra mic..
I tried raising the mic, and I angled the grill of the mic toward her. I did not try lowering it, I should have. I had a pop screen in front but no pop shield over the mic.

This woman has a particularly bright voice in the 5kz area. Talk about presence, she cuts like a knife. The track however is very economical, just stings and piano and some percussion. No guitars, or drums. This is the one I want to smooth out.

I was listen to the takes again and one of the tempo songs sounds good using the e250, but the ballad still sounds way to bright in the 5 khz range. I did add 3db in the 12k range. The mic need some air.

Thanks for the variety of input.

Santo
Old 11th August 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Saucyjack's Avatar
 

On the less expensive side maybe a Audio Technica 4047?
The R84 might be interesting as well...
I had the NTK for a few months and got rid of it quickly.It was a feast of sibilence and thin mids.
I have a U99 as well and it can also hype that region on certain voices.
Old 11th August 2005
  #11
Gear Guru
The 4047 is an interesting choice. So is the 4038. This might be a good place for EQ. Set the upper mid band for a fairly narrow Q and 5 or 6 dB of boost. Then sweep the frequency until you find the nastiest part of the sound. Then widen the Q and cut that frequency a few DB.
Or it might be as simple as having her back off the mic a few inches.
Old 11th August 2005
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by santo
They tell me ribbons are hard to use on vocals, but when I look at the frequency curve for that mic it seems like it may be the ticket.
Sometimes a ribbon mic IS the ticket for vocals. Though, I'll try everything before I throw new equipment at solving a problem.

Quote:
I have not tried that, interesting solution! dealing with the harmonics?
Bing!!! Give the man a cigar! If you have to cut presence, maybe cut low mids too so it doesn't turn into mud. Muck around with it...How about some frequency specific compression?

Quote:
This woman has a particularly bright voice in the 5kz area. Talk about presence, she cuts like a knife. The track however is very economical, just stings and piano and some percussion. No guitars, or drums. This is the one I want to smooth out.
I've had mixed results with turing the mic off-axis to the signers mouth. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Part of it depends on what the room sounds like because as the mic gets farther away the room becomes a bigger factor in the tone.
Old 11th August 2005
  #13
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Just ran into the same problem. Solution: Beyer MC740.
I think there is one for sale in the Classified section https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...&highlight=740
Old 11th August 2005
  #14
U47
U87
SM7
Old 11th August 2005
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
U47
U87
SM7
__________________
Bohus Sound Studios
I really appreciate all the sound advice (no pun intended).

Probably the most economical way for me to go is to try mic placement and then a bit of EQ going in since the e250 sounded good other than that 5K boost. One trouble is the perfomance was very good, so I hope we can capture that again.

On the cheap for microphones, seems like the SM7 is worth a try and the AEA is not very expensive.

Quote:
Just ran into the same problem. Solution: Beyer MC740.
I think there is one for sale in the Classified section https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthre...3&highlight=740
__________________
Michael Wagener
[email protected]
http://www.michaelwagener.com
ProductionWorkshop info
EARS-4-HIRE
Thanks for the heads up on the Beyer. That is also a consideration.

The idea of an AT4060 also came up. I've read that George Massenburg is a fan of that mic. That doesn't mean it would be good for my application. But it would also be an inexpensive possiblility. Most of the common mics I can audition at the local dealer. No one in town that I am aware of carry the AEA, Soundelux, Brauner and so on. A local dealer does have a Beyer though. I am going to check that out.

I really like the Soundelux mics that I have. Just this one singer is a problem.


I really appreciate all the help!

Santo
Old 11th August 2005
  #16
Gear Addict
 

E 47
Coles 4038
Beyer M160
M49 and probably E49
thumbsup
Old 11th August 2005
  #17
R84 tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by santo
The idea of an AT4060 also came up. I've read that George Massenburg is a fan of that mic. That doesn't mean it would be good for my application. But it would also be an inexpensive possiblility.
The R84 is less than a 4060.

If you go the R84 route, you will likely want to back her off the mic. Don't treat it like you would a condenser. Closer is bigger, but you can balance the top and bottom by backing up from the mic. I find that a distance of about 24" is pretty balanced.

Don't hesitate to use a "back stop" to cut rear reflections from entering the mic. I will put a 12" x 12" piece of Sonex or other absorptive foam taped onto a pop filter on the back side of the mic. But not too close. Any closer than 18" to the back of the mic and you will start hearing acoustic anomalies from the reflections entering the rear of the mic.
Old 11th August 2005
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
The R84 is less than a 4060.

If you go the R84 route, you will likely want to back her off the mic. Don't treat it like you would a condenser. Closer is bigger, but you can balance the top and bottom by backing up from the mic. I find that a distance of about 24" is pretty balanced.

Don't hesitate to use a "back stop" to cut rear reflections from entering the mic. I will put a 12" x 12" piece of Sonex or other absorptive foam taped onto a pop filter on the back side of the mic. But not too close. Any closer than 18" to the back of the mic and you will start hearing acoustic anomalies from the reflections entering the rear of the mic.
__________________
Lynn Fuston
3D Audio Inc
http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi
Lynn,

Thanks for getting back.

My assumption is you think the R84 is a better solution than the AT. That said, funny you brought up absorptive foam. I have been trying to control reflections by placing Aurelex pannels in two semi circles, in front of the mic at about 15 inches and in back of the singer at about 4-5 feet (for rear reflections). I also have an Aurelex pannel hanging above the mic on a 45 degree angle attached to the ceiling.

I have been playing around with placement of sound absorption for the right combination. Maybe that is my problem. But you say it is critical to using the R84.

The tracks that she sings on are stings, piano, a bit of percussion and her voice. This is not an "vox in the mix type of thing." The vocal when mixed should be very upfront.

I want to get much of the articulations of her voice recorded as I can. I guess much of that will come out when the voice is mixed with compression. I want to make certain I would lose that with the ribbon at 24 inches.

Any suggestions on panel placement and info on the R84 are appreciated. Also a good preamp combo for the ribbon. The dealer the sold me the e250 also offered to send an e49 to try. I have some time. The singer is out of town and will be back late next week.

Thanks again,

Santo
Old 11th August 2005
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by santo
I have been playing around with placement of sound absorption for the right combination. Maybe that is my problem. But you say it is critical to using the R84.
It's not critical. Don't read my response wrong.

It may be necessary depending on the space you are in and the surface behind the mic and the distance from it. If she is standing parallel to the control room window and the ratio of the distance she is from the mics to the distance from the singer to the window to the back of the mic is 3:1 or 4:1 or 5:1 are any small ratio like that you will encounter some serious problems. If the room is fairly dead, likely you won't have problems. I use an R84 on altos all the time with no backstop. But they positioned 45 degrees to the control window and in a spot in the room where reflections are not a problem.

You don't have to do it, but sometimes it is advisable depending on the circumstances.
Old 11th August 2005
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Lynn,

I am going out on a limb to ask what pre you are using with the R84? I've been thinking about getting this mic for about 2 months.

Thanks again,

Santo
Old 11th August 2005
  #21
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
The 4060 is OK. I can't tell if the one they sent me to evaulate had a bad tube or not, but it was kinda noisy. It sounds nice, but can get a little papery with hi freq transients.

I like the R84 a lot. You can also try using the back side with the seem. It is designed to have less low end response. On a side note, if you are thinking about buying this or the 4060, I'd choose this any day of the week. The will add more flexibilty to the mics you already have.

As far as the mics you have currently used, I would stick with the 250 for a chick. I tend to use bright mics on females, and never have to reach beyond my C12 or my Manley Gold. It they are too sibilant, I simply start tilting the mic off axis. Have you done that yet? Try the 250 and tilt it anywhere from 20 to 45 degrees, and you should notice a lot of that 5k mellow out. If all else fails, try a de-esser.
Old 11th August 2005
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
I like the R84 a lot. You can also try using the back side with the seem. It is designed to have less low end response. On a side note, if you are thinking about buying this or the 4060, I'd choose this any day of the week. The will add more flexibilty to the mics you already have.

As far as the mics you have currently used, I would stick with the 250 for a chick. I tend to use bright mics on females, and never have to reach beyond my C12 or my Manley Gold. It they are too sibilant, I simply start tilting the mic off axis. Have you done that yet? Try the 250 and tilt it anywhere from 20 to 45 degrees, and you should notice a lot of that 5k mellow out. If all else fails, try a de-esser.
Thanks for the support on the R84. I did tilt the e250 during the session. I have the mic positioned hanging so I raised it up and tilted it toward her. I should probably try the same thing with the mic right side up with tilt below her mouth, instead of above.

Thanks again on the R84. The mic isn't that expensive and if it doesn't work out I'm sure it will find another nice home somewhere.

Best,
Santo
Old 11th August 2005
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scruffydog
Also try pop shield/mic placement alterations.
Try lowering the height of the mic a little and pointing up a little and tell her to sing as though it were at her mouth as before.
Just so she is singing over it rather than directly at it.
that's what i'd try...you can even go so far as to put the mic really low in the middle of the chest and have it point up towards the mouth. it'll help take the edge off of things a bit...good for helping with nasal sounds too. worth a try.

i know what you mean about those singers that cut through like a knife....wince.
Old 11th August 2005
  #24
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
Yeah, also remember, you don't have the capsule level with her mouth. But I'm sure you knew that. Tell us how it turns out.
Old 11th August 2005
  #25
Lives for gear
 
john caldwell's Avatar
Hi Santo. The Beyer 740 was already metioned. My 740 was modded by Jim Williams for extended HF response, yieldind considerable air and detail. This might work here in that as you roll off the siblant zone you'd still be left with nice upper register shimmer.

Further I'm in Pittsburgh, and I'll discuss the mic further if you wish. My Beyer 740 is not for sale however. PM if you like.

John-
Old 11th August 2005
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by santo
Lynn,

I am going out on a limb to ask what pre you are using with the R84? I've been thinking about getting this mic for about 2 months.
Currently I use either the Great River NV or the Cranesong Flamingo or the Focusrite ISA-110, depending on the singer or instrument. I am currently evaluating the GML 2032, the Chandler TG Channel MkII and the Manley TNT. I suspect any of those would do a wonderful job as well, although I've not tried them with it yet.
Old 11th August 2005
  #27


Have you tried a boringly-flat standby like a 414 or even a front address SDC like a C451 or an Earthworks onmi?

If she has "too much" 5kHz, maybe you need a mic that doesn't hype anything at all....




-tINY

Old 11th August 2005
  #28
Another thought.

Is it level dependent, this 5K peak? Does it hurt you when she's loud but not when she's soft?

If so, then a multiband compressor might be the ticket. I've used this trick a lot. Compress the 3-5K band aggressively, with the threshold set for when she gets loud. That way, when she is soft, you still have the midrange you need for clarity.

Or you can use a side band on a compressor and EQ the key signal so that the 5K peak is really boosted. That way when it gets really loud, the compressor will "key" off it and pull the overall volume down. This is not as good as the multiband, but could work. It's basically a 5K de-emphasizer.
Old 11th August 2005
  #29
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

stick the u99 2-3 inches from her lips, move it off center so that it's lined up with her left cheek, lower it until the capsule is level with her chin, then rotate the mic 90 degrees so that it's pointing to her right. now have her sing straight past the mic.

fiddle with the degree of rotation, height of the mic, and the pattern on the PS to adjust for the desired amount of proximity effect and room:voice ratio.

the u99 is gorgeous off-axis, tames the hi-mid hype beautifully.

also, this needs to be said: if her voice cuts like a knife, and the arrangement is economical, the simplest (and best) solution is for her to sing differently, in a way that's sensitive to the needs of the music. work with her to produce a different tone and eliminate the issue rather than bandaging it. if she owns her instrument, and isn't owned by her ego, this won't be a problem, and it could be an adventure as well as a good musical challenge for both of you. the human voice is so ridiculously versatile, but singers too easily get locked into "this is how i sound" and never explore all the things they are capable of.

good luck, and let us know what you end up doing!


gregoire
del ubik
Old 11th August 2005
  #30
Lives for gear
 

i'd be inclined to try the aea r-84 as a first 'at bat'. the beyer m-88 and shure sm-7 can be great on some voices as well.
good luck,
joshua
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