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vocal mics - to gate or not to gate Condenser Microphones
Old 16th January 2003
Gear Maniac

vocal mics - to gate or not to gate

when recording a gig that perhaps has alot going on, a fairly loud stage volume, and sounds bouncing all over the place - how do you handle getting vocal in the vocal mics?

I've never been a fan of gates, yet I've also never owned them or used them enough to feel that they are or are not the answer...

I've tried to lower the stands a bit and point the mics "up" a tad so that their null faces the wedge areas if possible, yet usually have to abide to the artist's comfort zone and (gulp) hope for the best...

when thinking mix ahead of time, what do you rely upon? especially when using condensor vox mics like the kms-105 or beta-87?
Old 16th January 2003
Lives for gear
Steve Smith's Avatar

Funny thing is, I generally only gate ( or better yet downward-expand) vocals n live stuff whan there is very litte spill, I find it keeps the ambience more constant to keep it in there.. if I do have leakage problems, I try to just edit out the bits between words in a DAW, I find it a way better option than any gate.
Old 16th January 2003
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
When it comes to remixing or mixing the tracks afterwards, I totally agree with steve. Using a DAW or riding the faders truly works best for me.

When I'm mixing live and I only got one shot, I either set the gates with a light attenuation, usually only about -6 to -10 dB of reduction. Sometimes, I make the leakage work for me and ride the vocal faders, rather then use gates. But that's just how I like to do it. There's no wrong way. One thing I never will do is gate the multitracks. Now that's a big time no no!
Old 16th January 2003
Here for the gear

This reminds me of a gig years ago whan an Australian Producer brought over "his" engineer to track a live three day event. We supplied the Remote Facility (16ft rebuild trailer) and support.
I saw the "engineer" inserting gates on the channels and pointed out to him that he probably wanted them on the returns from the multitrack. But NO - he knew what he was doing !. Well, the inevitable happened - he started complaining that the kick and snare had dissappeared - obviously OUR fault. After hitting the Bypass on the gates they were back in all their glory.
A suitably repentant guitarist (aka engineer) then asked us for any other advice to help with the recording.
They took the tapes back to Oz, don't know if anything happened with them though . . .
It certainly re-inforced the - you only got one chance - reality for us

Old 17th January 2003
Lives for gear
It always amazes me how little spill the SM58s pick up. I recorded a hard rock band at Christmas with LOUD drums and 2 guitar players and you know what, when I soloed the vocal mics(2) I could hardly hear the any drum or guitar spill. I guess spill only becomes a problem it the vocalists are very soft or stand off the mic.
Anyway, gates are indeed a no no. DAW is the place to do the cleaning up (or automated mixer of course).

Old 17th January 2003
Lives for gear
Steve Smith's Avatar

Originally posted by Remoteness
One thing I never will do is gate the multitracks. Now that's a big time no no!
wow, I hdn't even thought that that is what he may have meant.. super-duper-big-time-no-no here as well ( never bitten, but wayyyyy shy )
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