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Having a problem with noise in a recording environment a lot better than most...
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Having a problem with noise in a recording environment a lot better than most...

So I have an sm7b bc I knew I would be recording in a less than ideal environment, but I'm still struggling with noise, while I see multiple videos of rappers recording quietly into condenser microphones in right next to computer fans and in rooms with clearly more noise than mine. For example: https://youtu.be/VS9kVIsoUpQ?t=307

I've gotten to the point where I've even had to turn off lights in my studio apartment (~700 sq ft. all open concept). I still even pick up a solid amount of noise from my refrigerator which is about 25+ feet away. I just don't understand what I could be doing wrong when I see videos like this. If I try to compress more than 10 db in total (which seems still way below industry standard for modern rap vocals) I introduce way too much noise on top of my compressed vocals. I'm using an audient id4 as my interface and have tried recording with and without a cloudlifter with no real luck. Would love any guidance or thoughts. I mostly want to know how they are getting such a clean vocal in that video when you can hear a ton of noise from the room at the timestamp I linked
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeys View Post
So I have an sm7b bc I knew I would be recording in a less than ideal environment, but I'm still struggling with noise, while I see multiple videos of rappers recording quietly into condenser microphones in right next to computer fans and in rooms with clearly more noise than mine. For example: https://youtu.be/VS9kVIsoUpQ?t=307

I've gotten to the point where I've even had to turn off lights in my studio apartment (~700 sq ft. all open concept). I still even pick up a solid amount of noise from my refrigerator which is about 25+ feet away. I just don't understand what I could be doing wrong when I see videos like this. If I try to compress more than 10 db in total (which seems still way below industry standard for modern rap vocals) I introduce way too much noise on top of my compressed vocals. I'm using an audient id4 as my interface and have tried recording with and without a cloudlifter with no real luck. Would love any guidance or thoughts. I mostly want to know how they are getting such a clean vocal in that video when you can hear a ton of noise from the room at the timestamp I linked
I'd say an noise gate plugin would help, but as soon as you execute a vocal, you're still going to have backgrounds. One thing you could do, (looking at your lay out) would be, build an false wall and add an full glass storm door, as to close in a corner of that room and treat it, or get an Patio Door too angle across a corner (ISO Booth) Man that's it, other than try another room,,, Bathroom maybe? Did you ever figure out what the weird robotic noises, was?
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeys View Post
So I have an sm7b bc I knew I would be recording in a less than ideal environment, but I'm still struggling with noise, while I see multiple videos of rappers recording quietly into condenser microphones in right next to computer fans and in rooms with clearly more noise than mine. For example: https://youtu.be/VS9kVIsoUpQ?t=307

I've gotten to the point where I've even had to turn off lights in my studio apartment (~700 sq ft. all open concept). I still even pick up a solid amount of noise from my refrigerator which is about 25+ feet away. I just don't understand what I could be doing wrong when I see videos like this. If I try to compress more than 10 db in total (which seems still way below industry standard for modern rap vocals) I introduce way too much noise on top of my compressed vocals. I'm using an audient id4 as my interface and have tried recording with and without a cloudlifter with no real luck. Would love any guidance or thoughts. I mostly want to know how they are getting such a clean vocal in that video when you can hear a ton of noise from the room at the timestamp I linked
Hey onthekeys, I'm not trying to sound stupid, but you're going to need an iso booth...., another temporary thing you can try, would be use a mattress angled across an corner, that'll knock down a lot. Or try a different mic. The noise gate can only do so much. You can turn that fridge off with the knob inside, while you track,,, just don't forget to turn it back on.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dalton View Post
Hey onthekeys, I'm not trying to sound stupid, but you're going to need an iso booth...., another temporary thing you can try, would be use a mattress angled across an corner, that'll knock down a lot. Or try a different mic. The noise gate can only do so much.
explain the timestamp I linked though? Those are vocals on a major album with all that noise in the room
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dalton View Post
I'd say an noise gate plugin would help, but as soon as you execute a vocal, you're still going to have backgrounds. One thing you could do, (looking at your lay out) would be, build an false wall and add an full glass storm door, as to close in a corner of that room and treat it, or get an Patio Door too angle across a corner (ISO Booth) Man that's it, other than try another room,,, Bathroom maybe? Did you ever figure out what the weird robotic noises, was?
I'm waiting to hear back from audient support on that - To try another mic I'll have to wait until guitar center opens and I can rent one
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeys View Post
I'm waiting to hear back from audient support on that - To try another mic I'll have to wait until guitar center opens and I can rent one
All my LDC microphones are so sensitive they pick up my AC vents, ceiling fans, even walking across the carpet, etc, even moving around in a chair. maybe try turning the gain down on your pre's and attacking the mic/vocals a little more, and the compressor can really get you in trouble, that's more of, gain staging, so a little will go along way.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
That Mic in your video, Have you tried the pre-attenuation toggle switch? Or your using the SM7B, arnt you.

Shure SM7B
Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

The Shure SM7B is an industry standard dynamic microphone. It has been the flagship of Shure’s dynamic mic product line for years, and has a reputation for being a go-to studio mic for numerous sources, including vocals.

The mic’s moving-coil cartridge is similar to the Unidyne III design found in the SM57/SM58.

Two recessed switches on the mic body enable onboard filters that change the frequency response. The HPF or “bass rolloff” switch attenuates low frequencies below 400 Hz (approx -3dB @ 200 Hz). The “presence boost” switch raises high-mids (approx +3dB from 2k-4k Hz).

Shure SM7BThe cartridge is shock-mounted internally to reduce handling noise. A humbucking coil and other electronics shield the mic from EMI/EMF/RFI (electromagnetic interference).

The SM7B has very low sensitivty: just 1.1 mV/Pa, lower than most contemporary passive ribbon mics. This makes the mic somewhat hard to use on quiet sources, as the mic requires more clean gain than most consumer-grade preamps can deliver.

Last edited by Rick Dalton; 1 week ago at 04:03 AM.. Reason: added
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

I end up with noisy tracks sometimes too. You got some good advice on keeping the levels reasonable and getting up in the mic a little more. That can help a lot. The SM7 kind of forces you to do that. But, if you are standing 2 feet from the mic and have the gain cranked you WILL hear everything.

Another thing you can do is to use automation during mix time to mute all the non-singing passages on the vocal mic. This really cleans things up a lot and makes your mix job easier. If you compress the heck out of the vocal before doing this, you're just making it worse.

Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
this is a Quote about the switch on the SM7b

"If you flick the switches, you will see that it changes "the alignment line"
Bass rolloff on the left, mid boost on the right. Flat is left switch up, right switch down"
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
Here's a shootout with the SM7b and a few entry level interfaces, including the use of the cloudlifter. It doesn't mention your interface, but it looks like the SM7b really is a booger to drive with entry level interfaces/Pre's.



http://recordinghacks.com/2012/06/18...face-shootout/
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Maniac
OK, your interface pre's should be fine. Just check levels. Also how close are you to the mic? The SM7b is meant to be used very close to the source (the long grille is there to prevent you from being too close and getting too much proximity effect). Don't know if you're using a pop filter, if so get it gone, and stick your nose in that SM7b. If you're still having issues, hook that cloudlifter back up and start over with levels, but keep close to that SM7b.

Also as cgardnerma mentioned, to use automation during mix time to mute all the non-singing passages on the vocal mic.

With that noise floor it's Just a tough mic to deal with, for your your style.

have your tried using phones to get your levels?

One more thing,,, when you had that noise in the other thread, was you using the Cloudlifter?
Reason I asked, is it's phantom powered and some interfaces phantom power were lacking.

Last edited by Rick Dalton; 1 week ago at 05:45 AM.. Reason: added
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
A few things:

- Just because it’s “major label” does not mean the vocals are recorded well or that the vocals don’t have a bunch of noise in them. Trust me on that.

- Refrigerator is a no go. Just no. Unplug it and keep the door on it closed and you can record for a few hours and then plug it back in.

- Get up on the mic. In the video he’s like 4 to 5 inches off the mic. I usually record rappers at about 4 inches off the mic.

- point the mic AWAY from the noisy stuff like the computer. If you’ve got the computer in one spot and a noisy air vent opposite, well, you are going to have trouble. Turn off the air conditioning.

- Absorb as much noise as possible. Most of the noise that gets into the mic is noise that has bounced off at least one surface. The industry standard blanket-behind-the-vocalist trick will prevent a lot of that sound from bouncing off a wall and going straight into the front of the mic. Also, baffle your computer. You can’t cut off the air supply to it or it will overheat, but you can baffle it with pillows and stuff. Pay attention to the wall or other reflective surface behind the computer and put absorption there. Again, most noise getting into the mic is bouncing off at least one surface. Computer are hell. I regularly mix records where I can easily hear the computer fan. If you’ve got a closet or another room available, move the computer and leave the monitor and keyboard/mouse/interface in your studio room (I’m assuming this is a one room setup).

- The video might not be representative of the noise in the room. Most onboard camera preamps have an auto-gain feature and in the little gaps of silence the volume will come up making it hard to know how much noise is really in the room.

- People have a false perception than SM7s are good for noisy environments. That’s B.S. Once you crank the gain up they are often noisier than condensers because of all the preamp noise. They might SEEM like they reject noise, but that’s because they have no high end. Once you crank the high end in the mix so it doesn’t sound like such a horrible mic for rap (99% of the time, there are exceptions, but there’s a reason almost no rappers are recorded with them), then you bring out all the noise you thought wasn’t there.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
A few things:

- Just because it’s “major label” does not mean the vocals are recorded well or that the vocals don’t have a bunch of noise in them. Trust me on that.

- Refrigerator is a no go. Just no. Unplug it and keep the door on it closed and you can record for a few hours and then plug it back in.

- Get up on the mic. In the video he’s like 4 to 5 inches off the mic. I usually record rappers at about 4 inches off the mic.

- point the mic AWAY from the noisy stuff like the computer. If you’ve got the computer in one spot and a noisy air vent opposite, well, you are going to have trouble. Turn off the air conditioning.

- Absorb as much noise as possible. Most of the noise that gets into the mic is noise that has bounced off at least one surface. The industry standard blanket-behind-the-vocalist trick will prevent a lot of that sound from bouncing off a wall and going straight into the front of the mic. Also, baffle your computer. You can’t cut off the air supply to it or it will overheat, but you can baffle it with pillows and stuff. Pay attention to the wall or other reflective surface behind the computer and put absorption there. Again, most noise getting into the mic is bouncing off at least one surface. Computer are hell. I regularly mix records where I can easily hear the computer fan. If you’ve got a closet or another room available, move the computer and leave the monitor and keyboard/mouse/interface in your studio room (I’m assuming this is a one room setup).

- The video might not be representative of the noise in the room. Most onboard camera preamps have an auto-gain feature and in the little gaps of silence the volume will come up making it hard to know how much noise is really in the room.

- People have a false perception than SM7s are good for noisy environments. That’s B.S. Once you crank the gain up they are often noisier than condensers because of all the preamp noise. They might SEEM like they reject noise, but that’s because they have no high end. Once you crank the high end in the mix so it doesn’t sound like such a horrible mic for rap (99% of the time, there are exceptions, but there’s a reason almost no rappers are recorded with them), then you bring out all the noise you thought wasn’t there.
Hey Chris, thanks a ton for the detailed reply. To address a few of your points - I know being on a major label doesn't mean that the recordings have noise in them but the final product of the vocal sits so well in the track even with all the compression and high end boost we see these days (Drake, Lil Baby, Gunna, etc). If I attempt to do the same (spending a week even on one vocal - I think I pretty much apply the same kind of production to techniques that they are AND carefully doing so) I introduce too much noise before I get enough compression. I use the softube cl-1b, fab filter pro-q for early cuts, waves denoise, a gate (doesn't help for when the words are actually above the threshold but helps automate noise reduction between words), SSL channel for boosting around 10k cutting with a shelf around 200 and some other moves, rvox or rcomp, L2 to cut absolute random peaks, airEq, gain automation, etc (not all necessarily in that order). I've even tried only boosting highs via eq after all compression. No matter what I do I either can't get enough high end, enough compression, or my vocal sticks out too much bc of the noise that stacks as a result of compression or modern rap vocal high eq boosting (vocal air).

In terms of room treatment, my situation should be heaps better than that video I linked and also better than this (where Logic is using my exact mic in a worse off room): https://youtu.be/9s2d01R4NpM?t=102 . The fact that his vocals sit just fine in that song with the same exact mic makes me really believe I should be getting closer to an "industry-standard" vocal than I am. Here's the completed song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EVFKrmXFmA . I have packing blankets hung around my recording area in a 8 x 6 foot rectangle, the back of the mic is facing the direction of the fridge (my next move was to unplug it while recording), but I really believe the gunna and logic rooms are both probably more noisey than mine. I have turned off the fan profiles on my pc completely, but I'll try to cover it as well. I'm also right on the sm7b just like logic is in that video. Would you recommend another mic for my scenario if I can't get to the bottom of this? I would probably try to rent from somewhere when stores open up again, so the cost wouldn't be an issue afaik.

Idk, this is super frustrating bc I feel like I've put in a ton of work to learn all of this stuff and I just need to figure this last headache out before I can start producing really high-quality music.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeys View Post
So I have an sm7b bc I knew I would be recording in a less than ideal environment, but I'm still struggling with noise, while I see multiple videos of rappers recording quietly into condenser microphones in right next to computer fans and in rooms with clearly more noise than mine. For example: https://youtu.be/VS9kVIsoUpQ?t=307

I've gotten to the point where I've even had to turn off lights in my studio apartment (~700 sq ft. all open concept). I still even pick up a solid amount of noise from my refrigerator which is about 25+ feet away. I just don't understand what I could be doing wrong when I see videos like this. If I try to compress more than 10 db in total (which seems still way below industry standard for modern rap vocals) I introduce way too much noise on top of my compressed vocals. I'm using an audient id4 as my interface and have tried recording with and without a cloudlifter with no real luck. Would love any guidance or thoughts. I mostly want to know how they are getting such a clean vocal in that video when you can hear a ton of noise from the room at the timestamp I linked
onthekeys, I thought that this really lays it on the line. cloudlifter or not.
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