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Tips for extreme in-your-face vocals
Old 22nd May 2006
  #1
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Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar
 

Tips for extreme in-your-face vocals

Hi people.
I´m currently recording a very soft and mellow female vocals. She wanted to try out the song in the control room so I gave her a revox3500 mic that was just there seating. I pluged it into my spl channel one and recorded some tracks, just as a test. I had to take same bass freqs ( a hi-pass at 120 or so..). After we were happy with it she decided to give it a go, now in the studio room. Here i had plenty of options ( At 4047, real good with her voice, a U89, nice but a bit to dark, a Ribbon, a geffel, a 414 etc..with some nice pre´s also, sytek,spl,tl, etc.) The thing is, i couldn´t get her singing as close as the fisrt time with a dynamic mic in her hand, of course. The vocals turned out nice but i wish i could capture a bit more proximity. I admit I am a bit of a extreme close freak, specially with very warm and smooth vocals.
Is there anyway to put the singer closer than that usual safe distance ( i use something like a closed hand in the horizontal position) without having pops and other nasty consequences?
I don´t mind if i have to cut the lows a bit, what i do mind is having a lot of pops and wind hiting the mic. I´m using a steadman filter. If I make her sing with the mouth glued to the filter i get an ugly air-hiting-the-filter sound with some words.
I already considered the option of giving her a dynamic mic to grab. The thing is I have a bit of handling noise and I don´t have that sexy condenser silkness.
Any tips? Any close micing freaks out there?
Old 22nd May 2006
  #2
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Andi Rauscher's Avatar
 

did you try compression?
Old 22nd May 2006
  #3
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allencollins's Avatar
 

a very dead room is a big help
Old 22nd May 2006
  #4
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Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andi Rauscher
did you try compression?
I did, and it helps a lot, but what I am looking is for a way to get a very close to mouth sound, then compress...
Old 22nd May 2006
  #5
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Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins
a very dead room is a big help
Hum...I can´t say I have a very dead room. Maybe I should look for a way to turn it more non-reflective. I use a wood panel with absorvent material on it and put it behind the singer. It works. maybe not enough...
Old 22nd May 2006
  #6


Do you have a parametric or shelving EQ?



-tINY

Old 22nd May 2006
  #7
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The best trick I know is to use M/S miking and offset the vocals slightly forward in time. Instead of cutting, boost the high frequencies.

Good luck!!
Old 22nd May 2006
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins
a very dead room is a big help
Yep, good point...!

I have to add that the "in your face" type of sound is VERY mic based...
Old 22nd May 2006
  #9
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

Definately close in the space around the vocalist. If you have baffles, try setting them up around the vocalist. Try to have him "sing into a corner" of baffles, with the mic "in the corner" pointing out toward the vocalist. This will give you a close, dry, intimite sound that will get you closer to what you're looking for. Add lots of compression and there you go.
Old 22nd May 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis
Definately close in the space around the vocalist. If you have baffles, try setting them up around the vocalist. Try to have him "sing into a corner" of baffles, with the mic "in the corner" pointing out toward the vocalist. This will give you a close, dry, intimite sound that will get you closer to what you're looking for. Add lots of compression and there you go.
That's a very good point, I haven't done it myself but I think it might work very well... I have read that solid state pre amps work better than tube pre amps for "in your face" vocals, try that as well...

But as far as I know, the BIG step is in the use of M/S miking. Try compressing the sides a lot...
Old 22nd May 2006
  #11
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pkautzsch's Avatar
 

Tried a condenser slightly from the side, so the wind goes past it?
Or you might try a high-end stage mic w/ good handling noise suppression (I'd maybe think of Neumann KMS, but haven't ever heard that one) PLUS a supercard or shotgun SDC a little away - should be fine if you're can time align the SDC in the DAW with a "negative" channel delay.
Old 22nd May 2006
  #12
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Eide's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog_Chao_Chao
Is there anyway to put the singer closer than that usual safe distance ( i use something like a closed hand in the horizontal position) without having pops and other nasty consequences?
I've had some luck in the past using multiple pop filters to get rid of the noise that comes with a singer who are chewing on the mic. Lots of good tips already mentioned here though thumbsup
Old 23rd May 2006
  #13
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dirren's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis
Definately close in the space around the vocalist. If you have baffles, try setting them up around the vocalist. Try to have him "sing into a corner" of baffles, with the mic "in the corner" pointing out toward the vocalist. This will give you a close, dry, intimite sound that will get you closer to what you're looking for. Add lots of compression and there you go.
Theoretically I would probably have the singer sing "out of a corner" insted as you want the baffles to kill room ambiance. Having the mic point outwards from a v-shape of baffles will probably give you room sound (behind the singer) as the baffles would kill the sound behind the mic which is not likely to be taken up anyway if you used a directional mic pattern. Maybe try a Reflexion + some kind of dampening walls behind the singer?

/Matt
Old 23rd May 2006
  #14
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warhead's Avatar
 

Yeah, the Reflexion filter and the right mic = .

War
Old 23rd May 2006
  #15
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Jeff16years's Avatar
 

the last time i wanted that really close thing, i put the pop filter right up against the mic and had the singer get as close as possible.
there were 2 or 3 bad pops, so i put in the high pass on the mic (and pre) and had her re-sing the line where the pops were then I comped just the words that poped.

plus an LA-2A wouldn't hurt either.

Old 23rd May 2006
  #16
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Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirren
Theoretically I would probably have the singer sing "out of a corner" insted as you want the baffles to kill room ambiance. Having the mic point outwards from a v-shape of baffles will probably give you room sound (behind the singer) as the baffles would kill the sound behind the mic which is not likely to be taken up anyway if you used a directional mic pattern. Maybe try a Reflexion + some kind of dampening walls behind the singer?

/Matt
Yes. this was the way i tracked her vocals. I had a lot of absorvent material behind her, although not in a corner. I will try that today. I did use a La2a (plugin) in the end.

Most of you talk about the right mic for in your face sound...Do you have something in mind?
I can tell you that i didn´t get good results with the U89. It doesn´t handle proximity that much. The best mic for this, from the ones i tried, was the At 4047. Still, with some words ("p"& "B") I felt I should tell the singer to back away a bit...
Still, thanks for your tips so far
Old 23rd May 2006
  #17
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Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eide
I've had some luck in the past using multiple pop filters to get rid of the noise that comes with a singer who are chewing on the mic. Lots of good tips already mentioned here though thumbsup
This I never tried...
Old 23rd May 2006
  #18
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Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm
But as far as I know, the BIG step is in the use of M/S miking. Try compressing the sides a lot...
Never though this would help. Ms for vocals? I am curious enough to try it. thanks for your help.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #19
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Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm
The best trick I know is to use M/S miking and offset the vocals slightly forward in time. Instead of cutting, boost the high frequencies.

Good luck!!
when you say offset foward in time...you mean the 3 vocal tracks ( mid / side L (+)/ Side R (-) ) in relation to the music or between then, like, leaving the mid track a bit foward in relation to the side track? Or do you record different takes and then you offset them between each other?

what i do sometimes is to double the track ( clone, not a different take) and move the 2nd a few miliseconds foward and space them something like 40 left/ 40 right. Compress the hell out of both track and eq. No reverb. It works, but it also gives an unatural feeling. Sometimes it´s just what i want, i don´t care that it sounds unatural. But with more acoustic ambients that dosen´t work so well.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #20
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirren
Theoretically I would probably have the singer sing "out of a corner" insted as you want the baffles to kill room ambiance. Having the mic point outwards from a v-shape of baffles will probably give you room sound (behind the singer) as the baffles would kill the sound behind the mic which is not likely to be taken up anyway if you used a directional mic pattern. Maybe try a Reflexion + some kind of dampening walls behind the singer?

/Matt
Makes sense, but that's not how it's worked out in my experiences. What's going to reflect backwards if the voice is absorbed beyond the mic? I've always gotten "dryer" vocals by having the singer sing into an absorbent corner as opposed to out of one. The more absorbent material directly around the mic, the less sound travels into it? Depends on the material, of course. Maybe I've just gotten lucky with the rooms I've worked in...
Old 23rd May 2006
  #21
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

First, get an extreme in-your-face vocalist...
Old 23rd May 2006
  #22
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

(okay, seriously this time)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog_Chao_Chao
i had plenty of options ( At 4047, real good with her voice, a U89, nice but a bit to dark, a Ribbon, a geffel, a 414 etc...) The thing is, i couldn´t get her singing as close as the fisrt time with a dynamic mic in her hand...
Is there anyway to put the singer closer than that usual safe distance ( i use something like a closed hand in the horizontal position) without having pops and other nasty consequences?
With LDCs like the 4047, U89, 414, etc you can often put the mic very close to the singer (much closer than your horizontal closed fist, more like 0.5") if you rotate the mic on its long axis just slightly, so that the diaphragm is not perfectly perpendicular to the gust of breath coming from the singer's mouth.

Also, try the pencil trick.
Old 24th May 2006
  #23
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Eide's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirren
Maybe try a Reflexion
Has anyone got any first hand experiencce with the Reflexion screen from sE?

Does it work?

Old 24th May 2006
  #24
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methods

try turning your head quickly to the right or left on plosive syllables, this has worked well for me, also their is a method of passing your hand in front of your mouth on the plosive syllables, supposedly john lennon was a master at this.
multi tasking.

tree
Old 24th May 2006
  #25
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synthoid's Avatar
 

You asked about mics that give this sound. You can get this sound with a mic that has a proximity effect, and the trick is to get the vocalist close to it without getting a trashy sound due to plosives and excessive changes in image size as the singer moves. A windscreen and a pop filter, singing off-axis, all this helps.

A good mic for this kind of sound is a C414. It has a big proximity effect and a selectable tight cardiod pattern. If you get room noise then the singer will sound smaller, so a tight cardiod pattern can be useful for this esp. if your room is not sufficiently dead.

Once you've got it tracked right you can go crazy making it even more in front.

-synthoid
Old 24th May 2006
  #26
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Oldone's Avatar
Solution A: put the mic diaphram just above the bridge of her nose. The air will pass beneath the mic and you can get her in closer.


Solution B: Make a copy of the vocal track cut everything below 1000Hz and slam it with an LA2A plugin followed by an 1176 plugin. Mix this track in behind the original track.
Old 24th May 2006
  #27
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UPRYZ's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirren
Theoretically I would probably have the singer sing "out of a corner" insted as you want the baffles to kill room ambiance. Having the mic point outwards from a v-shape of baffles will probably give you room sound (behind the singer) as the baffles would kill the sound behind the mic which is not likely to be taken up anyway if you used a directional mic pattern.
/Matt
I think if you try this both ways you'll see that this is not the case. With the mic facing out of the V as the other poster mentioned there is no room ambience because it doesn't reach the room. The direct sound gets captured by the mic and any "overspray" is absorbed by the baffles, thus nothing enters the mic from behind the vocalist.

Dan Fox
Old 24th May 2006
  #28
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RoundBadge's Avatar
I usually use a U-47 up close in a dead space with an original LA2A..
great for the intimate up front vibe.thumbsup
Old 24th May 2006
  #29
Gear Head
 

omni pattern

if you have a mic with switchable polar patterns put it on omni instead of cardiod - this'll reduce the proximity effect, which may not be the sound you're after, but you'll be able to get closer without your pops etc. (you need a dead room for this also)
Old 25th May 2006
  #30
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Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge
I usually use a U-47 up close in a dead space with an original LA2A..
great for the intimate up front vibe.thumbsup
I wish
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