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Using two mics for vocals?
Old 20th March 2017
  #1
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Thread Starter
Using two mics for vocals?

Would it be possible to track vocals with two mics simultaneously without running into serious issues (such as phase canceling)?

In my scenario I'm considering using a condenser mic and a dynamic mic (with a cloudlifter) simultaneously and blending the two sounds at the point of mixing...just an experiment but am I going to get smacked in the face with things like phase issues when mixing?
Old 20th March 2017
  #2
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Lenzo's Avatar
A lot of trim plugs and others have phase switches on them. Once you record them throw one on one track, toggle your phase and go for the one that sounds best. Then I'd try just doubling the vocal with a different mic and see if that gets you more mileage. My guess is it would sound better, if you or whoever is singing can double themselves well. But who knows, you might love the two mic setup.
L.
Old 20th March 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
A lot of trim plugs and others have phase switches on them. Once you record them throw one on one track, toggle your phase and go for the one that sounds best. Then I'd try just doubling the vocal with a different mic and see if that gets you more mileage. My guess is it would sound better, if you or whoever is singing can double themselves well. But who knows, you might love the two mic setup.
L.
Those "phase switches" simply reverse the polarity of a signal. Unless you have a mic that has pin 3 hot or you are singing into the rear of a ribbon mic, reversing the polarity won't help. I mean... they'll certainly be more in phase if you don't reverse the polarity.


Anyway, yes, you can use two mics. If you can position them close enough together, you can get away without noticeable comb filtering. Positioning them side by side is usually better than positioning one above the other, because voice projection is more symmetrical horizontally than vertically and even if the diaphragms happen to be 5 cm apart, waves can hit them at the same time if they are equidistant from the source.

If the mics aren't equidistant from the source, you can somewhat compensate for that with a delay, but any movement of the singer becomes much more noticeable.

If you like highs of one mic and lows of another mic, you can also use an HPF on one track and an LPF at the same frequency on the other (higher order Linkwitz-Riley filters usually work best). This will also limit any potential cancellations to a narrow frequency band which makes it less noticeable.
Old 20th March 2017
  #4
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Lenzo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
Those "phase switches" simply reverse the polarity of a signal. Unless you have a mic that has pin 3 hot or you are singing into the rear of a ribbon mic, reversing the polarity won't help. I mean... they'll certainly be more in phase if you don't reverse the polarity.
He says he's running into a cloudlifter. He has to be running a balanced cable.
I've never seen one that wasn't.
L.
Old 20th March 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
He says he's running into a cloudlifter. He has to be running a balanced cable.
I've never seen one that wasn't.
L.
Yes, I also assumed that it's a balanced cable, but I don't quite get what you mention it.
Does it have to do with my statement about pin 3 hot microphone?
Most microphones with an XLR output are wired pin 2 hot i.e. positive pressure on the diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2. On some mics a positive pressure on the diaphragm produces a negative voltage on pin 2 (and at the same time positive voltage on the pin 3 - known as pin 3 hot).
If you feed those mics an identical acoustic signal, they'll produce electrical signals of opposite polarities.

Or you mean that the balanced cable could be mistakenly soldered in such a way that it would reverse the polarity?
Old 20th March 2017
  #6
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Lenzo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
Yes, I also assumed that it's a balanced cable, but I don't quite get what you mention it.
Does it have to do with my statement about pin 3 hot microphone?
Most microphones with an XLR output are wired pin 2 hot i.e. positive pressure on the diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2. On some mics a positive pressure on the diaphragm produces a negative voltage on pin 2 (and at the same time positive voltage on the pin 3 - known as pin 3 hot).
If you feed those mics an identical acoustic signal, they'll produce electrical signals of opposite polarities.

Or you mean that the balanced cable could be mistakenly soldered in such a way that it would reverse the polarity?
Yeah, I was confusing 2 and 3. I haven't soldered a xlr for awhile. My first post was in reference to him asking about phasing problems. If he just throws something on with the ability to flip the phase he can tell if he has a problem. And he might like the sound of throwing the mics out of phase, which he can do as well. He doesn't have to leave the plug on there..he can remove it as well if he likes the sound as is.
L.
Old 21st March 2017
  #7
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iMixOTB's Avatar
 

Human beings move, phase relationship between the two mics will contastly change, it'd be a nightmare,
and there are no benefits in using two mics aside of having 2 sounds for the same performance and be
able to use one or another in diff parts if the song, and/or the mics with diff gain staging for quiet/loud parts
if the singer is very dynamic.
Old 21st March 2017
  #8
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

If you want to get experimental, see if you can pick up a used one of these (they're out of production):

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...c0dda459dad08/

Never mind that it says "kick drum". It fits the bill for your test usage with concentric dynamic and condenser elements in a single mic body pretty much get rid of any phase issues even if the singer moves a bit.

Or you could go with concentric omni's, one D and one C.
Old 21st March 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
If you want to get experimental, see if you can pick up a used one of these (they're out of production):

ATM250DE Dual-Element Instrument Microphone (DISCONTINUED) || Audio-Technica US

Never mind that it says "kick drum". It fits the bill for your test usage with concentric dynamic and condenser elements in a single mic body pretty much get rid of any phase issues even if the singer moves a bit.

Or you could go with concentric omni's, one D and one C.
You either don't know what the word concentric means or how the ATM250DE is constructed.

Still it somewhat proves that two capsules positioned side by side can work quite well.
There are even some high end mics (Sanken, Josephson) that have two capsules.
Old 21st March 2017
  #10
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YES,

very useful if you have an inexperienced singer that you need to put a 58 in there hands. Then you can place an LDC 3' away to add the air back.

If you have continuous phasing issues, there are tools to solve that.
Old 21st March 2017
  #11
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
If you want to get experimental, see if you can pick up a used one of these (they're out of production):

ATM250DE Dual-Element Instrument Microphone (DISCONTINUED) || Audio-Technica US

Never mind that it says "kick drum". It fits the bill for your test usage with concentric dynamic and condenser elements in a single mic body pretty much get rid of any phase issues even if the singer moves a bit.

Or you could go with concentric omni's, one D and one C.
You either don't know what the word concentric means or how the ATM250DE is constructed.

Still it somewhat proves that two capsules positioned side by side can work quite well.
There are even some high end mics (Sanken, Josephson) that have two capsules.
Thanks for the correction. I meant coincident, not concentric. I took a fall on the icy walk and got a concussion. I'm still mis-rememberating a lot of things.
Old 21st March 2017
  #12
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
YES,

very useful if you have an inexperienced singer that you need to put a 58 in there hands. Then you can place an LDC 3' away to add the air back.

If you have continuous phasing issues, there are tools to solve that.
And which tools would those be?
Old 21st March 2017
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
If you like highs of one mic and lows of another mic, you can also use an HPF on one track and an LPF at the same frequency on the other (higher order Linkwitz-Riley filters usually work best). This will also limit any potential cancellations to a narrow frequency band which makes it less noticeable.
This was actually my line of thinking on this experiment, I notice cheaper condensers have horrible high-frequency capabilities but my trusty Shure SM58 has a decent upper-end (not exaggerated to make up for lackluster performance) so my condenser could be responsible for the lower-end response, and Shure (or better dynamic mics) could be responsible for the upper-end response.
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