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Old 1st July 2015
More cowbell!
natpub's Avatar
The purpose of recommending the GIK kits was to provide something where you didn't have to know all about acoustics for it to work, or get into all the mess and hassle that can come from working with rock wool and trying to get it set up properly. I know you may see pics of people using these sound shields around the mic, like the SE Reflexion filter. I personally hate how these sound, and loosing some air in the vocal recording can make it really hard to sit in the mix. The purpose of acoustically treating your room is so what you hear and mix is flattened a bit, so that you balance frequencies of the recording rather than incorrect boosts or cuts coming from room exaggerations. As far as recording, just having a very quiet space with early reflections reduced is good. Look at YouTube vids of people actually recording professional vocals. NOT the vids of people posing and staging vocal recordings, where they are all up on the mic and wearing makeup and ****. Look at ones where someone famous was caught in the middle of recording their vocal. You won't see any foam shells around the mic, you won't see them all up in a tiny closet. They will most likely be in a very quiet vocal booth that also greatly reduces any early reflection by having absorbtive walls. Here's a decent example: .
You'll notice the music stand--I know people who will cover the stand in foam or cloth to reduce any reflections off it also (I'll do this from time to time). You may need to use the bass roll-off on the mic, if it has one, to eliminate any very low frequency sounds like rumble from freeways or roads nearby. These can be so subtle they aren't noticeable at the time, but if you go back in good headphones and check, you can hear tiny sounds. Air conditioning (!!) is the worst offender, and we always have to turn ours off when recording at home. Refrigerators too. Added noise from any mic'd up source contributes to your overall noise floor, and makes it increasingly harder to have enough space and headroom to do a good mix that isn't muddy or noisy.

Bear in mind too, use a good pop filter (like you see in all the pics)--pops and plosives can be really hard to manage, and virtually impossible to remove once in the recording. Distance from the mic is an aesthetic decision. Closer can sound more immediate, intimate and sits very up front in the mix. But, it can be hard (if not impossible) to go back with reverbs and delays trying to create a little more space in a vocal recorded too close. I usually like the artist a couple feet back from the mic, unless I'm trying to get an effect. I will use the pop filter to move them back, putting it where I want their mouth, rather than close to the mic. You can experiment with different distances and placements, as this is part of the recording learning process and artistic decisions about your space. Test different things, listen both on headphones and in a mix. See what works best for what application. Hope this helps.

Last edited by natpub; 2nd July 2015 at 02:49 AM..