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Would an decent AD coverter be a better choice? Condenser Microphones
Old 13th June 2018
  #1
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Thread Starter
Would an decent AD coverter be a better choice?

Hey everyone, so here’s my situation.

I recorded a few songs around 6 months ago with a Saffire Pro 24 and a Rode NT1A and a scratchy brittle frequency kept showing up at 3.8k that I couldn’t seem to tame with dynamic Eq etc. So I thought it must have been the room so I made a vocal booth with Rockwool in my closet. It still showed up so I thought it must be the NT1A as it is harsh in my opinion so I saved up a got a Neumann TLM 103. After recordeding again it was still there so I thought must be the pre amps so I got a GAP Pre73, still there so I thought must be the leads so got some Mogami’s. It was still there ha ha. After doing some test today and paying attention to how I speak in the room I’ve come to the conclusion that is in my voice naturally. My question is, would getting better converters help to convert that problem area into a less harsh distorted version of itself or would I be best finding the right mic. My budget is only £500 so I was thinking of getting the Apogee Element 24 as I’ve heard good things about it’s converters or would it be better to find the right mic, say the Shure SM7B?
I’m not 100% sure it’s my voice as it’s hard to focus in while speaking in the room, so could it be the Saffire? As I’ve listened to a comparison online with the Apogee Duo and I could tell a big difference in the highs and lows on the Apogee. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by The Artist; 13th June 2018 at 03:10 PM.. Reason: Missing information
Old 13th June 2018
  #2
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TurboJets's Avatar
Can you post a clip so we can hear it?
Old 13th June 2018
  #3
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Sigfried Chicken's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Artist View Post
Hey everyone, so here’s my situation.

I recorded a few songs around 6 months ago with a Saffire Pro 24 and a Rode NT1A and a scratchy brittle frequency kept showing up at 3.8k that I couldn’t seem to tame with dynamic Eq etc. So I thought it must have been the room so I made a vocal booth with Rockwool in my closet. It still showed up so I thought it must be the NT1A as it is harsh in my opinion so I saved up a got a Neumann TLM 103. After recordeding again it was still there so I thought must be the pre amps so I got a GAP Pre73, still there so I thought must be the leads so got some Mogami’s. It was still there ha ha. After doing some test today and paying attention to how I speak in the room I’ve come to the conclusion that is in my voice naturally. My question is, would getting better converters help to convert that problem area into a less harsh distorted version of itself or would I be best finding the right mic. My budget is only £500 so I was thinking of getting the Apogee Element 24 as I’ve heard good things about it’s converters or would it be better to find the right mic, say the Shure SM7B?
I’m not 100% sure it’s my voice as it’s hard to focus in while speaking in the room, so could it be the Saffire? As I’ve listened to a comparison online with the Apogee Duo and I could tell a big difference in the highs and lows on the Apogee. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I think this is a common problem frequency. I've seen similar things with other pres so I wouldn't assume that it's an issue there.

Are you notching the low mids with EQ? I think this can exacerbate the nastiness in the high mids, especially when you start adding compression afterward. You might try leaving the low mids mostly alone, or just relying on a very gentle, wide slope in the area and instead try a nice multipresser to attenuate the mud a bit. I borrowed this idea from Mick Gusuaski. I find that this cuts the mud without thinning the vocal out and inadvertently accentuating the harsher frequencies. Sometimes people thin out the vocals a bit too much in an effort to get the vox to "sit' in the mix.
Old 13th June 2018
  #4
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
Can you post a clip so we can hear it?
I’m away from home for next couple of days so I can when I’m back.
Old 13th June 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
Converters are pretty subtle for changes in sound. Eq sounds more like what you need although the whack a mole approach has upgraded your studio!
Old 13th June 2018
  #6
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigfried Chicken View Post
I think this is a common problem frequency. I've seen similar things with other pres so I wouldn't assume that it's an issue there.

Are you notching the low mids with EQ? I think this can exacerbate the nastiness in the high mids, especially when you start adding compression afterward. You might try leaving the low mids mostly alone, or just relying on a very gentle, wide slope in the area and instead try a nice multipresser to attenuate the mud a bit. I borrowed this idea from Mick Gusuaski. I find that this cuts the mud without thinning the vocal out and inadvertently accentuating the harsher frequencies. Sometimes people thin out the vocals a bit too much in an effort to get the vox to "sit' in the mix.
I have been removing a lot of low mids when referencing pro mixes, I’m probably taking to much out, but I’ve been finding when my low mids are in the same area as theirs, it makes it worse as you say, but I can’t hear the same problems in their vocals. It’s probably my inexperience in mixing to. I’ll definitely try what you suggested. Thank you
Old 13th June 2018
  #7
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Converters are pretty subtle for changes in sound. Eq sounds more like what you need although the whack a mole approach has upgraded your studio!
It did need it anyway.
Old 13th June 2018
  #8
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I don't think, the mentioned thing could be addressed by swap of ADC, cables or similar changes, which are perceived as rather very subtle. Even change of mic. preamp isn't necessarily as significant in most cases, unless you really drive it.
I'd guess, that primary factors of what you're experiencing are either some outstanding room issue or not so good friendly of mic and your voice according for the desired outcome. Mic choice and used technique (eg. distance, angle, position in given room) are most important technical aspects for recording, everything else is rather secondary thing, which doesn't have so high impact on character of your recording.

Both NT1a and TLM103 are rather thin and bright condenser mics with extended high-end response, in that sense those are very similar. It's not a bad thing, in some cases, it's exactly what's perfect for given source.

I'd try to borrow more different microphones to find out, what's best match for you. It can be easily also some dynamics (like SM7.. some Beyerdynamics etc.). It's not really any hard rule, what's dull or woolly for someone can be perfect fit for someone else.
Also check different positions and distances, when singing.. Proximity effect at closer distances can play very significant role there. Similarly you can try different off-axis angles.. this will progressively make sound less brighter and present. Ideally you can try to have recording on and test to record some vocal line or phrase several times with different settings.

With regards to acoustics, sometimes there is a problem, which gets more apparent as the source get louder, because it excites the reflected "nastiness" in the room. So if singer is close to mic and singing relatively quietly, it's passable.. but when he really hits that lean back from a mic it could sound really ugly at midrange (assuming, it's not character of his voice), especially at hard consonants, because of that. Again, when room is somewhat given, it's then matter of experimentation, where it would be best place for recording (angle and distance to the wall).

So to sum that up, don't bother with ADC or preamp ideas or so, unless you'd have those basic things sorted out.

Michal
Old 13th June 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
Try something like Soundbrigade or new Hornet 32 as a dynamic eq option that is affordable.....
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