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Recording two vocals at once... Condenser Microphones
Old 19th October 2011
Here for the gear

Thread Starter
Recording two vocals at once...

Hi All,

I've got some work coming up that will involve recording two singers at once. They sound like --> Worry Dolls's sets on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

My mic stash basically consists of enough to do basic acoustic recording: I've a pair of Oktava MK-012's and an AudioTechnica AT4040, going into an Audient Mico and ISA-One respectively. I also have an old MXL-SP2 (the battery one) lying around, and an AKG C1000.

As far as recording two singers at once goes, I've seen the girls live - they work off each other, and it would be great to capture some of that energy. There seem to be three approaches here though: 1) record separately, one after the other with whatever works best, 2) record at the same time with one mic for each singer, or 3) record at the same time with one mic (figure of 8).

I'm fairly covered for case 1) - out of the C1000, 4040 and judicious EQ I should be able to sort the sound out.. Cases 2 and 3 however might need an additional investment. My go-to mic is the 4040, simply because it's a decent LDC, however if one of the singers is using that, I need something else to try out (if indeed that works). Option 3 isn't even an option at the moment, since none of my mics are figure of 8.

Anything other thoughts?

I'm looking to expand my mic drawer anyway, but want the most flexible option in the long run. Spending £500+ on a new mic every time someone wants to pay me half that for 2 days recording, isn't the most savvy of business models..!!

I was looking at the ubiquitous Alctron HST-11A and its siblings (Avantone CV12. Studio Projects T3. t.bone etc), with the aim of replacing the tube with a Mullard/GE 12AT7 or comparable. This (from what I can tell) would give me a tube flavoured, multi-pattern mic that not only sounds good through a decent preamp, but also (from a client's perspective at least) looks the business. So - with the Alctron at £140 and the Avantone at £520, it's a big playing field...

In addition, just because these mics do figure 8 polar patterns, would I be better off with a similarly branded ribbon instead??

Any words of wisdom or advice? I've been through numerous threads on here, and I know it's all generally horses for courses (what works on one singer might not work for another...), but without the luxury of a drawer-full of U87's and C12's, I'm trying to make the most of what I can!!

Thanks in advance!

Old 19th October 2011
Lives for gear
cdog's Avatar
I would put up the 4040 and have them both sing into it at once, and treat it like a solo vocal track. This avoids "who gets mixed louder" and "should we pan them" issues...

I dont find ribbon mics useful or satisfying without a lot of processing, with the exception of horns or sources with a huge 2-4k peak.
Old 19th October 2011
Lives for gear
Jimsi's Avatar

since i record alot of vocals, I most times record vocals seperate as this allows my mixing volumes to be more even and eq's as well to be seperated...if you record them at the same time, just seperate the 2 singers far enough to avoid too much bleed into the 2 mics...
Old 19th October 2011
Lives for gear
Unclenny's Avatar
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
I would put up the 4040 and have them both sing into it at once
You have limited options here and you need to capture them the way they sing.

Put up your best mic in the best location in your room and work out specific mic technique for them accordingly.

Have fun.
Old 19th October 2011
Here for the gear

Thread Starter
I think it's likely to be (as is always the case, anyway) using the headphones and moving the (one) mic around but treating both singers as one source. A bit like bluegrass, but without the banjo...!

Thanks for the ribbon mic feedback btw - I've seen lots of words of caution against cheap ones (anyone for a saggy ribbon?), and to be honest unless I had the beans for a Royer, I probably wouldn't stump up for one...

I'm still tempted by the C12 clones though - anything to avoid or note here?
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