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what's the best way to do a mic shootout for vox??? Dynamic Microphones
Old 28th December 2010
Gear Head

what's the best way to do a mic shootout for vox???

well we've been collecting gear for a little while now, and the time has come to track my band's first group of projects. with such an influx of new gear here it's hard for me to decide what to use on what, so i've decided to come up with some sort of a 'shootout' type of scenario. i see myself going about this in a couple of ways.

i want to check 7 or 8 mics on my vocalist. however, i dont have 7 or 8 great preamps to check them out with. here's the list of stuff (in the order i predict i'll be using)...

blue kiwi
akg c414 xls
SM58 (for comparisons sake)

and now for preamps...

summit 2ba-221
trident 4t
RME FF800 pres
digimax fs pres
presonus eureka

i plan on doing this in groups of 2, one for the LDC's and one for the dyn's. my question is, is it more practical to have my singer shoot out one take across 4 LDCs at once through something like the RME or the digimax pres or have my guy have a take for every mic and pre combination? i realize to be thorough doing this both ways would be best, but there is certainly something about using the same take against a few mics with identical pre's that might help me spot differences.

should i also leave out other factors, like compression/eq?

all advice would be appreciated!
Old 28th December 2010
Lives for gear
Sigma's Avatar
you want to put a speaker cab in front of the microphone and PLAYBACK prerecorded need a constant to ref against and a singer will be different to some degree every time

the bias introduced by the mic and speaker will be much less than a singers repeatable tonal and dynamic accuracy

of course if you were doing it for picking a mic and pre combo for a singer that is a different story and you have too many variables

when doing that with a singer for the first time i just put up an U87, a 414 original and a sony 800 and ran it thru the neve console..those mics are wildly different and considered classic vocal mikes..

if i couldn't get what i wanted then i'd add in a re 20 and sm7 on the dynamic front
Old 29th December 2010
Gear Head

i definitely see what you mean when you say start with less mics. i'm alright with that. still not sure what to do with my mic pre situation.

as far as recording a song played back through a mic, that's a new one for me. thanks!

any other ideas?
Old 29th December 2010
Lives for gear
close/far's Avatar

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the OP's question, but I wouldn't do a mic shootout for a specific vocalist by listening to playback/etc through each mic, unless you have pre-recorded material of that vocalist whose tone you like. Anyway, I always set up whatever top four guesses I have for which mic will be best for the singer, and then run them through the same preamp. You can swap out the channel between takes... record them all, obviously, unless you're comfortable making the decision on the fly. You'll probably find out pretty quick which mic is best suited to his/her voice. Also try varied distances from the mic.

Be sure to listen back to each take at as close to the same volume as possible.
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