Mic sale... which to choose?

with industry Pro, Nick Batzdorf

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nomiyah
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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by nomiyah » Sun May 28, 2006 4:57 am

I suspect you're right I could talk someone into letting me record in the store. But the policy on no mic returns is not negotiable. I think it's a fairly new rule but they wouldn't bend on it at all. There was another store I could have bought mics at instead but they charged triple the price.

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by hummingbird » Sun May 28, 2006 7:42 am

ack it seems a little daunting... Long & McQuade is pretty good tho. A while back, when I was just starting out, I went in to buy a lower cost vocal mic recommended by Recording Magazine - and the salesman pursuaded me to buy something more expensive, so I did. I started thinking about it when I opened up the box at home. He failed to tell me I'd need phantom power, or a different mic stand or at least a different attachment for my current mic stand in order to use it. At that point I needed to be conscious of every dime. So I went back to the store with the open mic box... & they took it back & I got the one I'd gone there for plus a refund of the difference.Sounds like the best option is to rent one if you can. I actually like the Shures I have (and get lots of compliments on the singing recorded with them), but the studio engineer who mastered my CD says they don't do my voice justice. So that's why I was thinking of getting something else.cheersVikki
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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by andreh » Sun May 28, 2006 8:28 am

Vikki-With all due respect for your mastering engineer, by the time your mixes get to the mastering stage your vocal tracks may sound quite different from how they did straight from your mic.What does your mix engineer think of your vocal sound? Are there other professionals (or regular ol' listeners) who could comment on it at an earlier stage?What about your vocal character does your mastering engineer, or others who may think it could be recorded better, feel needs to be addressed?I think you should have a clear idea of what you're hoping to achieve with a new mic before you go spending more dough on one. The problem (if there is one) could lie elsewhere in your production chain: your position on the mic, your room treatment, production processeses, even your own vocal delivery.Just a thought.Andre
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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by nickbatzdorf » Sun May 28, 2006 9:39 am

A complementary mic combines well with the voice to form a complete sound; a complimentary mic would be one that's free, as in complimentary valet parking. Nomiyah, then go to the more expensive store to audition the mics! Are they really three times the price, though? If that's the difference, of course there's no reason to buy it there. But if it's a matter of, say, $40, it's well worth it. The mic has far more effect on the vocal sound than anything else.

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by ernstinen » Sun May 28, 2006 10:31 am

A man goes to a restaurant, orders some takeout, and sitsdown to wait for his food.While he waits, he grabs a handful of peanuts from the bowl on the counter, and as he starts to chew, he hears a voice say, "That's a beautiful tie, is that silk? Very NICE choice!"Wondering who made the comment, he looks around and doesn't see anyone nearby who could be speaking to him. With a shrug, he pops a few more peanuts into his mouth.Next he hears the voice say, "Those shoes are stylin', myman. Are they Italian leather? They look GRRREAT!"He whirls around again but sees no one near him. He glances nervously around and then at his shoes, which he tucks self-consciously under the seat.He grabs another handful of peanuts. This time the voicecontinues with, "That suit looks FANTASTIC! Is it an Armani? Very nice!"Quite shaken now, he immediately calls the waiter over and says, "Look. I keep hearing these voices telling me how great my tie, my shoes, and my suit look - what's up with that? Am I GOING CRAZY?""Oh," the waiter nonchalantly replies. "It's just the peanuts." "The PEANUTS?" the astonished man asks, staring at the bowl beside him."Yes," replies the waiter, "they're complimentary." ******************************************Ern (With apologies to Drew)

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by nomiyah » Sun May 28, 2006 1:22 pm

That's a good idea to test in any store that will let you and buy it in the store with the best price. The mics I got a couple of months ago I wasn't so concerned about because they were midrange performance mics on sale at GC. They were literally triple the price at Leo's (high end audio specialists). But I'll definitely be more careful when I replace my studio mic, which will be in the next few months.Nomi

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by nomiyah » Sun May 28, 2006 1:24 pm

Ps, I noticed that adjusting a preamp is the same as judging a mic, I can't do it while singing. I have to record, listen, adjust, record, listen, adjust, etc.

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by ernstinen » Sun May 28, 2006 3:17 pm

Quote:Ps, I noticed that adjusting a preamp is the same as judging a mic, I can't do it while singing. I have to record, listen, adjust, record, listen, adjust, etc.Very true. IF you can tweak WHILE you're singing and not recording, that makes the process faster --- And you also have to add into the equation the tweaking of your limiter/compressor. That can really change the sound of your vocals. (Nick is correct that the mic is THE most important part of the chain, though).Make sure your mic-preamp is really cooking. Get it up near the red (or over, in the analog days). Same with your limiter/compressor. Every little step that you increase gain will add to the fullness and clarity of your vocal sound. --- When we used to record to tape, pushing the envelope of the tape recorder also added to the big, warm sound that we're all striving for. It was called "WAY into the red." Digital recording limits that somewhat, but it's still good, IMHO, to experiment with the limits of every piece of the chain in vocal recording.Your ears are your friend! One of the biggest proponents of this style of recording was Ray Charles. Ern

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by nomiyah » Sun May 28, 2006 7:43 pm

I've tried tweaking while singing. It's absolutely useless. The vibration of my singing throws off my objective hearing. Maybe you know some tricks I don't?I agree with getting the hottest possible signal. When I went from analog to digital, I had lots of distortion by trying to get the sound into the red. But now I'm used to it, just have to make sure not to ever make it peak red.Nomi

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Re: Mic sale... which to choose?

Post by 53mph » Mon May 29, 2006 2:24 am

If you want to get a good sound to your voice without digital peaking then the best thing is to record with the levels down lower so as to avoid going into the red and boosting the signal in post recording. I too found it strange going from analog where you could push all the levels to get natural distortion to digital where it's all about restraining that peak. I would concider these things before thinking of how high to put the volume.1. Is the room you're recording in accoustically flat? If it isn't then the recording will come with room reflections and hiss which means when you boost the signal later on you'll get nasty hiss, too much reverb/echo etc..2. Do you have a pop shield in place and are you standing at the recommended position in front of the mic?Too close and the signal will get very bassy (depending on the mic) too far and you'll pick up too much room noise and lose the bass. Also, what mic are you using. Some mics when shouted into close up will react badly (ribbons for example). Does the manual have a recommended position?3. Is you're recording gear near the mic? Look out for the sound of CPU fans and digital hardware getting picked up during the recording, the trebles and rummbles can get really bad when you boost the signal later.If you're recording at home try doing test recordings in different parts of the house, including the toilet. Then you'll get an idea of which part of the house has the deadest sound.I recently recorded some actors rehersing in a school building using nothing but an AKG C1000 S, a minidisc recorder and a stand with pop shield. I needed to get some recordings that could be used as part of the sound production in the play, so they needed to be pretty clean recordings. I started in a big room hoping that the size of the room and the objects might reduce the natural reverb but I ended up with some bad recordings that couldn't be cleaned up well in post production (it's easier to add reverb later than to take it away) so, I found a little ante-chamber between two class rooms that was small enough to reduce the room reflections but as the walls were reflecting too much sound I decided to try recording the actor standing in the doorway and the mic pointing out of the anti-room. This means that the mic was in a small isolated space but the mic was pointing away from the sound reflections. I got some really sweet recordings, better even than some recording studios I've been in.Play around with the positions till you find a good spot. Because if the initial recordings are clean of background noise you can add tube warmth, compression, brightness, reverb and whatever you want later on in the digital realm. Also, check-out a plug-in called by Antares which adds tube warmth.

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