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Some 57 action
Old 9th July 2005
Some 57 action

I was doing a female vox tonite. Pop Country music. In the ppp to mf range she was Karen Carpenter kinda voice. In the mf to fff range she changes to an Ann Wilson voice, but bigger, more gut--HUGE, clipped damn near anything I could throw at her.

Startd her on a Soundelux E47 thing, then a Groovetubes AM-51, then a AEA 84, then Josephson SDC. NOTHING could cover the range of her tone. So--- embarrassed--- I stick up a 57.

I did not have an SM7, though I wish I had.

Nonetheless, the 57 owned everything. I was pretty surprized. I have read of lots of you slutz saying that sometimes a 57 is the sh*t, but I always figured you were just kinda kidding around.

Guess I was wrong.

Here is my problem--the 57 seems noisy to me, compared to the LDC's and ribbons. It just grabs the room in a very nasty way. The SDC also seemed to hold quite a bit of weird room noise. Is the cardioid pattern on a 57 somehow bigger than LDC's or just responsive to yucky upper mids? I mean, it really flatters her voice, but the noise is ungodly. The rear rejection on the 57 is very nice, but the backwash of room is really slappy. The room is not that good, and has serious early reflection problems.

To be honest, it sounds LIVE. I know, I know, a 57 is gonna do that. But jeesh, it is killing my intimacy of the verses for the tune. The chorus busts out and gets huge, so fine, live is cool.

This leaves me wondering about using two mics? One for the verses, one for the chorus. But that is something I have never heard anyone do. Am I trippin here?

I actually like the 57 sound on the verses also, but the noise factor, or perhaps it is just the response pattern of the thing, but it is way too frantic for these verses. My other option is to over-eq each section, or vary up the effects.

Which brings me to another thing. The 57 does not take effects well at all. It sounds fantastic just pure. As soon as I hit it with a teeny tiny bit of chorus, or just a tad of delay, the sound goes to hell. A hint of reverb seems ok.

I feel like I am mixing a live show here. It is good on the song overall, but is making my general aim too fuzzy and seriously harms intimacy in the verses.

Should I seek out an SM7 or RE20, or should I try her on something like a 441? Is my pre wrong (focusrite red type)? I have an RNC inserted on Really Nice mode, just for about 2-4 db reduction on the choruses.

Any experience with this kinda problem would be appreciated.



Old 9th July 2005
Lives for gear
max cooper's Avatar

For some reason, I've been singing into a 57 lately, and I've been liking it. For one thing, I loaned my SM7 out to a guy who's reading his new book into an Mbox (and it's taking longer than he thought) and I haven't felt like singing into any of the stuff I usually use, for some reason.

To be honest, I hadn't sung into a 57 other than live in a while, but I've been digging it. I've noticed that it fattens up nicely when I put a little more compression on. Reverb, fine too. I hadn't tried any chorus, but I know that the 'thickness' of the vocal sound from a 57 doesn't usually sound so good with delay on it to me. I was thinking; set up something like a 414 and mix the 'wet' signal from that with the 'dry' 57.

As far as using different mics within a song, I'm trying to remember what songs, but I feel like there are places in Chris Isaak's 'San Francisco Days' where different mics will be used within the same song as an effect. Anyhow, it doesn't have to have been done before to work, although I'm sure it has.

Also, how far is she from the mic? Depending on what I'm singing, I'll hit it almost straight on, but not directly in line, but sometimes I'll come in at almost a 90 degree angle but slightly in front of the mic (and the second way is what I prefer lately.)

Maybe you can even use some of that!


Oh, BTW, I find that the 57 is the one mic that I like to use a good amount of compression on when I'm tracking.
Old 9th July 2005 | Show parent
Thanks Max, I will try some more compression, but I fear using anything as heavy as a Distressor. Hmm...The RNC seems fine for the mild gain reduction I want. Anyway, that is a great idea to change up the angle, I will try. Also, yep, I am thinking a new transformer 414 may be the ticket. But I wanna try an SM7 first. We have plenty of time to experiment with this gal, she is doing a long range demo thing. I may pick up a 414, that really interest me, and god knows I should own an SM7---im a WUSSY!!!

I am kinda thinking a diff pre, like a rented M1 or GML??? Or am I tripping? Our Focusrite vibe is really seeming to suck. The whole Karen Carpenter thing is freaking me out, LOL!! I feel like I have to kid glove her.

Hehe, anyway, thx reply.

Old 9th July 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear

Put up some packing blankets on mic stands behind the singer.
Takes the nasty room sound down a couple notches.
I did vocals with an SM7 this week and I'm competely amazed!
What a great Mic.
A very warm and convincing sound.
Every studio should have one.
Old 9th July 2005 | Show parent
I was gonna say, damp up the room.

You could also, once you've done that, try some of your other mics again, but backed up out of the blast pattern of your gutsy singer.

The other thing you can try, since she has two different modes -- double mic her, tracking each separately, one mic appropraite to the softer voice and the other appropriate to the loud mode. That's only gonna work in some situations, of course; if she goes in and out of the modes in the course of a phrase, you're sunk; but if she gets loud on, say, the chorus, you should be able to pretty much switch back and forth, rather than trying to get tricky moving balances (and all the phase issues that go with dual miking).

I love my '57s but one has a little more self-noise than the other... which is odd, considering they're dynamics and have no ciruitry, to speak of...

And, you weren't imagining the '57 picking up early reflections, etc. There's a 4-6 dB rise in the 6-10K area of the '57 with the biggest rise between 6 and 7.

Old 10th July 2005
Originally Posted by natpub
The room is not that good, and has serious early reflection problems.

This leaves me wondering about using two mics? One for the verses, one for the chorus. But that is something I have never heard anyone do. Am I trippin here?
fix the room with blankets etc... remember you want it dead BEHIND the singer.. try stnding the singer on a thick rug - build a vocal 'tent' to cut down floor / ceiling nastyness..

Two mic's per song is TOTALLY COOL!! If the song calls for it - DO IT

(Sometimes two mic's is the ONLY way to fly)

Last word - watch out for esses on a 57 if you crank eq in on vocals and record esses that are too much - it can be a total pain in the ass to remove them at the mix stage tutt

Old 10th July 2005 | Show parent
Gear Maniac

I've used 2 mics on nearly every music session(I do a lot of voiceover stuff) that I've done recently. For harsher, screaming/yelling type stuff, I use an SM7, but for real singing, I throw up some LDC. It works great, and fits seamlessly.
Old 13th July 2005 | Show parent
Gear Nut
music's Avatar

I used a nady dynamic something or other on a singer this weekend for scratch tracks on a screamo type singer. The guy had great control of his mic. I put up a u-99 and some other LDC's and you know what for the screamo type of music they were doing, the nady sounded great! When I put up the LDC's the feel was gone. I was very surprised that it beat my other mics for the actual tracking. But, go with what sounds the best and works. I would also love to have the SM-7. I have heard good things.

Old 13th July 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
BradM's Avatar
Originally Posted by Jules
fix the room with blankets etc... remember you want it dead BEHIND the singer.. try stnding the singer on a thick rug - build a vocal 'tent' to cut down floor / ceiling nastyness..
Why behind the singer? Why not behind the mic where you would pick up room reflections off axis?

Old 13th July 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
lasso's Avatar

Because a cardoid won't pick up much behind it. heh
Old 13th July 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
BradM's Avatar
Right, but there is still pickup in the lower mids between 90 and 120 degrees off axis...and with some cardioid mics it's a pretty skewed response in that region.

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