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Jonny DiBergi



Joined: 19/01/07
Posts: 221
Do I really need an LDC?
      #1048094 - 14/05/13 11:06 AM
Hello!

Never really caring that much about my recorded vocal sound I've been using an NT1a for many years. I mostly just demo songs for other people to sing, or record BVs and it does a reasonable job. I'm taking my singing a bit more seriously now and am doing a little collection of songs, and I'm looking to upgrade. Initially I started looking for just a better LDC but I'm wondering if that's definitely the right way to go, and whether looking at a nice dynamic would be worthwhile?

Budget is low, something around £300 would be do-able, maybe more. Not sure I can be specific about the sort of sound I'm after - happy to take recommendations based on my voice, which can be heard on this here song: soundcloud

I have a helpful combination of a warm bass-bari, screechy head voice, and a bit of sibilance. Any ideas, LDC or otherwise?

Thanks in advance

(Ps, if it could be decent on acoustic guitar, that would be a bonus..)


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Stef Andrews



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048109 - 14/05/13 12:13 PM
If you can stretch the extra £76, the Audio Technica 4033 is fantastic on just about anything you can throw at it (don't actually throw stuff at it though, unless you've got a REALLY good pop shield!). Vocals, guitar amps, acoustic guitar, upright bass, (in a pair) as drum overheads, upright bass, kick mic on a jazz kit are uses I've had for them off the top of my head and i'm sure I could think of more if i tried!

Thomann link

Edited by Stef Andrews (14/05/13 12:13 PM)


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ConcertinaChap



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048110 - 14/05/13 12:18 PM
Given that the NT1a is actually not a bad mic, what problems do you see with the sound you're getting from it now?

CC

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Jonny DiBergi



Joined: 19/01/07
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: ConcertinaChap]
      #1048120 - 14/05/13 12:46 PM
Quote ConcertinaChap:

Given that the NT1a is actually not a bad mic, what problems do you see with the sound you're getting from it now?

CC




The top end is a bit raspy and aggressive. I'm not saying I'm looking for something mellow and the airy lift is nice, but I don't find it particularly rich or flattering and with any extreme eq it can get a bit nasty. I think the characteristics of the NT1a are quite well-known - as you say it's not a bad mic, but I don't particularly love it and I think it's time to take a step upwards.


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Jonny DiBergi



Joined: 19/01/07
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Stef Andrews]
      #1048121 - 14/05/13 12:49 PM
Quote Stef Andrews:

If you can stretch the extra £76, the Audio Technica 4033 is fantastic on just about anything you can throw at it (don't actually throw stuff at it though, unless you've got a REALLY good pop shield!). Vocals, guitar amps, acoustic guitar, upright bass, (in a pair) as drum overheads, upright bass, kick mic on a jazz kit are uses I've had for them off the top of my head and i'm sure I could think of more if i tried!

Thomann link




Thanks Stef, I did see that getting recommended (by yourself and others I think) in another current thread, and it's on the list. There's one mic on the list at the moment.

I'm really hoping someone who knows their cherries will listen to the recording and say "I recorded a guy like that and a xxxx sounded great on him. Also it was perfect for acoustic instruments and cost next to nothing."


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Mike Stranks
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048130 - 14/05/13 01:24 PM
The Sennheiser MK4 is spot-on budget-wise. I've heard good reports. Bob Bickerton has one; maybe he'll be along to give his opinion...


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Jonny DiBergi



Joined: 19/01/07
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #1048135 - 14/05/13 02:01 PM
Quote Mike Stranks:

The Sennheiser MK4 is spot-on budget-wise. I've heard good reports. Bob Bickerton has one; maybe he'll be along to give his opinion...




Just listened to Bob's 'blind' comparison with the TLMs and a C414 which was interesting. Quite a chunky sound, though maybe not super-defined. Beginning to think I should be looking at a higher price range as these all seem to be variations on a theme that the NT1a isn't a million miles away from...


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ConcertinaChap



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048154 - 14/05/13 02:56 PM
Quote Jonny DiBergi:

The top end is a bit raspy and aggressive. I'm not saying I'm looking for something mellow and the airy lift is nice, but I don't find it particularly rich or flattering and with any extreme eq it can get a bit nasty. I think the characteristics of the NT1a are quite well-known - as you say it's not a bad mic, but I don't particularly love it and I think it's time to take a step upwards.




Well in that case I think I'd go a +1 on the AT4033a. Excellent mic for the money and also comes up quite often on ebay (I see there's one there right now for £215).

CC

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Jonny DiBergi



Joined: 19/01/07
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048190 - 14/05/13 05:48 PM
Hmm, I'm actually looking at SM7, RE-20 and PR-40s now...


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Bob Bickerton
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048205 - 14/05/13 07:05 PM
I like the MK4 on certain voices, usually female where I'm after a HF lift. But is has a similar (but nicer) character to the NT1a.

The SM7 is a great vocal mic and having listened to your track (unfortunately only on an ipad speaker) it would probably be the first mic I'd put up if you came into the studio. It needs to be worked close like a stage mic.

Bob

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Bob Bickerton
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048206 - 14/05/13 07:05 PM
I like the MK4 on certain voices, usually female where I'm after a HF lift. But is has a similar (but nicer) character to the NT1a.

The SM7 is a great vocal mic and having listened to your track (unfortunately only on an ipad speaker) it would probably be the first mic I'd put up if you came into the studio. It needs to be worked close like a stage mic.

Bob

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Tim Gillett



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048237 - 15/05/13 04:11 AM
Jon, I've just listened to you Soundcloud track through a good system. Sounds good. I wouldnt change much. Your vocal gets a touch lost in the mix when all instruments/voices are playing but apart from that, sounds pretty good.

Honestly, I doubt if a change of mic would help. Are you EQing/Compressing your vocal now in mixing? So long as your mic is being used correctly, is reasonable, and the NT1 is, the most important tweaking for the voice mic is EQ and comp.

Sadly there seems to be an idea about that since the mic is the first link in the chain, you need to find "that" vocal mic which complements your own voice perfectly. A bit like finding the perfect marriage partner. It just doesnt work like that. Basically, one good mic will capture any human voice. If there are tweaks to be made on a particular voice, that's what processing is for. Searching for "that" mic which relieves you of the chore of processing in the mix is not the way to do it. You have to use your ears and learn the art of processing the sound - if and when needed. And it seems you've already mostly done that.

Think of the countless professional recordings of top artists, male, female, basso, soprano and everything in between, made with the same one mic, for decades. What do we know that award winning recording engineers didnt?

Hope this helps,

Tim


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shufflebeat



Joined: 09/12/07
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048263 - 15/05/13 08:50 AM
Quote:

Basically, one good mic will capture any human voice. If there are tweaks to be made on a particular voice, that's what processing is for. Searching for "that" mic which relieves you of the chore of processing in the mix is not the way to do it.





Nah, often finding the mic that suits the voice/scenario is a pretty important first step in defining the sound of the project.

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Bob Bickerton
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048290 - 15/05/13 11:18 AM
Quote Tim Gillett:

Jon, I've just listened to you Soundcloud track through a good system. Sounds good. I wouldnt change much. Your vocal gets a touch lost in the mix when all instruments/voices are playing but apart from that, sounds pretty good.

Honestly, I doubt if a change of mic would help. Are you EQing/Compressing your vocal now in mixing? So long as your mic is being used correctly, is reasonable, and the NT1 is, the most important tweaking for the voice mic is EQ and comp.

Sadly there seems to be an idea about that since the mic is the first link in the chain, you need to find "that" vocal mic which complements your own voice perfectly. A bit like finding the perfect marriage partner. It just doesnt work like that. Basically, one good mic will capture any human voice. If there are tweaks to be made on a particular voice, that's what processing is for. Searching for "that" mic which relieves you of the chore of processing in the mix is not the way to do it. You have to use your ears and learn the art of processing the sound - if and when needed. And it seems you've already mostly done that.

Think of the countless professional recordings of top artists, male, female, basso, soprano and everything in between, made with the same one mic, for decades. What do we know that award winning recording engineers didnt?

Hope this helps,

Tim




Have to disagree.

Finding the right mic for the given source positioned correctly and with minimal processing is the way to go. Your assertion that the NT1a is a reasonable mic is also questionable! It's a cheap mic with a nasty high end which may possibly suit some sources but not many in my opinion.

Bob

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www.bickerton.co.nz


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Jonny DiBergi



Joined: 19/01/07
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048368 - 15/05/13 07:40 PM
Bob is saying all the right things here

The SM7 is looking like it's worth a blast, and I appear to have convinced myself that I should get an Isa One to go with it...

My 'style' does feature quite a lot of long consonants and since I have a goofy front tooth they're a bit lively - I would really like something I can just relax and sing into. Almost everything I'm reading about the SM7 is saying go for it, including that it will help hide the fact that my room isn't ideal.

Tim thanks for the thoughts and kind words. There was a bit of EQ and a fair amount of compression. I would like to use more actually but recordings with the NT1a don't seem to always respond the way I'd like them to. Things get sibilant and just a bit unpleasant which is why I'm looking for something else.

As a bonus, when pointing out to the wife that the SM7 is good on female vox, she sounds keen to chip in! Happy days.


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Tim Gillett



Joined: 30/01/13
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Bob Bickerton]
      #1048418 - 16/05/13 01:04 AM
Bob, I agree with you that finding the right mic for the given source, positioned correctly and with minimal processing is the way to go.

But "minimal processing" can be taken to extremes. I see the NT1a is pretty flat but has a peak of 6db around 13khz, something easily tamed in processing if you are aware of it.

The fact is various vocalists have voices with excessive sibilance, far greater than the NT1a's peak. I recorded one last night and will have to deal with it in mixdown. Nobody in their right mind would go looking for a quality mic designed specifically to reduce excessive sibilance for example. They just dont make them. The manufacturers expect that the audio engineer knows his stuff, can use his ears and make his own judgements and corrections in mixdown.

Cheers Tim


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Bob Bickerton
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048426 - 16/05/13 05:35 AM
Quote Tim Gillett:

Bob, I agree with you that finding the right mic for the given source, positioned correctly and with minimal processing is the way to go.




If so why the following?

Quote Tim Gillett:

But "minimal processing" can be taken to extremes. I see the NT1a is pretty flat but has a peak of 6db around 13khz, something easily tamed in processing if you are aware of it.




Actually it's anything but flat, the foothills start way down but more important is how it sounds!

Quote Tim Gillett:

The fact is various vocalists have voices with excessive sibilance, far greater than the NT1a's peak. I recorded one last night and will have to deal with it in mixdown.




Recording a sibilant person with a harsh mic is making your job doubly difficult relative to using the right mic for the task.

Quote Tim Gillett:

Nobody in their right mind would go looking for a quality mic designed specifically to reduce excessive sibilance for example.




I must be out of my mind!

Quote Tim Gillett:

They just dont make them.




Actually they do, good dynamics, ribbon mics TLM193.........

Quote Tim Gillett:

The manufacturers expect that the audio engineer knows his stuff, can use his ears and make his own judgements and corrections in mixdown.




Now your implying if we cant make a good recording with any old chinese mic it is the fault of the engineer and likewise implying that theres no need for quality microphones, sorry but thats nonsense. An audio engineer who knows his stuff will use his ears and judgements to select the right microphone for the task and make minimal corrections at mix down. Which is not to say they won't do their best to fix a poor recording, but most of us have learnt it easier to get it right first up.

However its true to say that if you're on a limited budget then its not always possible to have a range of mics. But some are keepers and some are quitters and I'd say SM7, TLM193 fall into the former and NT1a fall into the latter.

Bob

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Mike Stranks
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048437 - 16/05/13 08:22 AM
I'd stop digging Tim...

I'm at the very shallow-end in terms of being able to afford quality microphones, but even the budget mics I use (and I'd classify the NT1A as a budget mic) display differing characteristics that are far more complex than just what their frequency-response plot indicates. So even though I'm on a tight budget I still have a range of mics that I'll use for vocals - seeking to suit mic and voice.

... there's more to it than 'fixing it in the mix'.


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Tim Gillett



Joined: 30/01/13
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #1048488 - 16/05/13 11:40 AM
Quote Mike Stranks:

I'd stop digging Tim...

I'm at the very shallow-end in terms of being able to afford quality microphones, but even the budget mics I use (and I'd classify the NT1A as a budget mic) display differing characteristics that are far more complex than just what their frequency-response plot indicates. So even though I'm on a tight budget I still have a range of mics that I'll use for vocals - seeking to suit mic and voice.

... there's more to it than 'fixing it in the mix'.




I'd stop insinuating, Mike...

We were discussing sibilance and frequency response, or at least Bob and the OP were. Sure, there are other characteristics in a mic other than just its frequency response. So what do you see as the other characteristics which would have a noticeable impact on the vocalist's recorded sound here when using the NT1a? Please be specific.

Of course there's more to it than "fixing it in the mix" but how many even know how to "fix it in the mix" even when the very best gear and technique has been used in tracking? I suspect many home recordists for example not only record flat, as do many skilled people also, but leave it flat in the mix, even when, for example, there is a huge bass boost on a vocal due to proximity effect. Perhaps they mistakenly believe that having bought their "gold standard" vocal mic, or the one which they are convinced suits their voice perfectly that there's nothing else to do. The fact is most unidirectional mic's bass responses change wildly depending on how close the source is to the diaphragm. If either at the recording stage or the mixing stage we are not allowing for that, especially by using our ears, we still have some things to learn.

Last night I recorded a vocalist who had a quite weak, muffled voice, but his sibilants were at normal level. Hence in relation to the rest of his voice his sibilants were very prominent. I quickly became aware of this but chose not to do anything about it, knowing I could indeed "fix it in the mix" with some carefully applied EQ.

If it had been 70 years ago, recording to media with limited dynamic range especially in the highs, I would probably have had to take action at the time just to get a clean undistorted recording. But it was not 70 years ago but today with good modern gear. Good mid priced mics, pre's and converters and mixing software make that possible. There's usually oodles of wiggle room without creating excessive noise or distortion. (BTW you can tell I'm not a youngster when I make that comment)

I'm sorry but often you can fix it in the mix,at least EQ issues like this, and of this order if you have the skills to do so.
Sure, I'd start with a good mic with substantially flat response but that's just the starting point. I'd go so far as to say that if someone claiming to have good audio engineering skills cant get a simple vocal track to sound excellent using a mic such as an NT1a, they have some learning still to do in that department.

Tim


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Dynamic Mike



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048501 - 16/05/13 01:07 PM
If you record an electro-acoustic guitar with 2 different mics & DI it, then run all 3 tracks through a spectrum analyser the Eq curves are virtually indistinguishable. But no amount of Eq matching or tweaking will make those tracks give you the same timbre.

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Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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Tim Gillett



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #1048524 - 16/05/13 03:07 PM
Quote Dynamic Mike:

If you record an electro-acoustic guitar with 2 different mics & DI it, then run all 3 tracks through a spectrum analyser the Eq curves are virtually indistinguishable. But no amount of Eq matching or tweaking will make those tracks give you the same timbre.




A bit off topic perhaps but since you mentioned it... I'm a guitarist too. Of course the inbuilt pickup of the guitar, be it the magnetic induction type or a piezo type mechanically coupled to the strings will sound very different from any mic placed in the normal position in front of the guitar. The sound is being transmitted very differently.

I also very much doubt that the spectrum plots would look the same because a spectrum analyzer does not display the true waveform. It's just a graphical representation in terms of amplitude and frequency which can be very handy for analysis.

But if the actual waveforms were identical then the sounds would also be identical.


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LeeJamieHayes



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048532 - 16/05/13 04:09 PM
+1 on the SM7

Im going to get myself one at the end of the month to have a play around with as Im loving the sound they produce. They're also good for tracking guides or recording live as they have a really impressive off axis rejection!


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Dynamic Mike



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048603 - 16/05/13 11:14 PM
Quote Tim Gillett:

But if the actual waveforms were identical then the sounds would also be identical.




This is only true for a pure sine wave.

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Tim Gillett



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #1048611 - 17/05/13 12:55 AM
Quote Dynamic Mike:

Quote Tim Gillett:

But if the actual waveforms were identical then the sounds would also be identical.




This is only true for a pure sine wave.




How so?


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Bob Bickerton
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048620 - 17/05/13 05:04 AM
At the risk of labouring the point I think it's important to resolve this discussion.

This is all to do with 'Best Practice' and fixing it in the mix is not best practice, whichever way you look at it and whatever stage you're at in the recording career path.

What you perhaps don't realise Tim is that published frequency responses are often a poor representation of the actual response of a microphone and indeed there can be considerable variation between microphones with the same model number. The NT1a (despite your assertion) is nothing like a flat response mic. You'd need to apply at least a nine band parametric EQ to it (according to its published specs) to iron it out, but that's not the point, because cheap mics tend to have a lot more going on frequency wise than you're lead to believe in the media spin.

Having said that, if it sounds good on a certain source, then it is good. But if you have a mic that sounds better, it's nonsense to suggest using the poorer mic and fixing it in the mix.

You imply that professional engineers can fix anything in the mix, but whilst they're no doubt better at it than amateurs, there's a very good reason they use a range of microphones, simply because it better practice to sort it out at source. There's an old saying that says you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - it applies here too!

Having owned a range of Rode mics I can assure you it is easier and one achieves better outcomes by using a range of quality microphones.

Oh and a hint: Next time you're recording a sibilant singer with your NT1a, trying working the mic off axis. Whilst the published polar pattern plot gives little detail, it seems to indicate that the mic is very directional at higher frequencies, so working off axis would attenuate the frequencies you're trying to fix inthe mix.

Bob

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Tim Gillett



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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Bob Bickerton]
      #1048636 - 17/05/13 08:13 AM
Bob,

Of course it's easier to use quality mics to start with, so long as you know what you are doing.

I would love to be able to afford expensive mics which come with their own individualised test results, but I cant justify the expense. Often there's a cost/benefit issue, unless money is no object.

I'm sorry but one good quality mic such as the two you have suggested ( and I agree that the NT1a is definitely not at the top of the LDC tree) can be used to record perfectly well, any vocal on the planet.

Is the S/N ratio on our current preamps and recording rigs so dreadful that we have to "master" the feed from the mic to the pre, on the way in, by swapping mics beforehand, according to the spectral content of the vocalist? Of course it isnt, at least not these days. But that would be the only technically valid reason to select from a range of vocal mics as sort of Mastering EQ presets, as if we were cutting a vinyl record live and had no EQ facilities upstream of the recorder.
OTOH, as an artistic choice for effect of course, anything goes when it comes to mics.


Bob, you also insinuated I was saying that if someone has a cheaper mic such as the NT1a and a more expensive one such as the TLM193, that they should use the cheaper one. You know very well I didnt say that. And when we were discussing the issue, the OP hadnt bought that other mic.

Of course if the OP buys the better mic he should use it, at least for the technical reasons we discussed. But he hadnt bought it, was undecided even whether to buy a condenser or a dynamic, and obviously posted a sample for our opinions on the vocal in the mix, which is where the rubber hits the road.

In the case of the OP, is the real bottleck in his recordings and mixes the lack of a better quality vocal mic? You seem to think so. I am undecided because I dont feel I have enough information to make such a confident call.


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Bob Bickerton
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Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048658 - 17/05/13 10:10 AM
Quote Tim Gillett:

I'm sorry but one good quality mic such as the two you have suggested ( and I agree that the NT1a is definitely not at the top of the LDC tree) can be used to record perfectly well, any vocal on the planet.




Perfectly well? Have a listen to the variations in the mics used in this article and see if you still agree with your assertion above! There's a huge difference, which implies that even a good mic isn't a fix all.


Quote Tim Gillett:

Is the S/N ratio on our current preamps and recording rigs so dreadful that we have to "master" the feed from the mic to the pre, on the way in, by swapping mics beforehand, according to the spectral content of the vocalist? Of course it isnt, at least not these days. But that would be the only technically valid reason to select from a range of vocal mics as sort of Mastering EQ presets, as if we were cutting a vinyl record live and had no EQ facilities upstream of the recorder.




Nothing to do with mastering or S/N ratios I'm afraid. It's simply about good practice.......

Quote Tim Gillett:

In the case of the OP, is the real bottleck in his recordings and mixes the lack of a better quality vocal mic? You seem to think so. I am undecided because I dont feel I have enough information to make such a confident call.




The question to ask is, apart from performance, what are the main variables when recording the vocals and they most certainly will be microphone choice, position and room acoustics, with everything else coming quite a long way behind. Given the OP wants to improve his vocal sound, then the obvious response is to suggest a different microphone (and you can hear that there's a huge difference in possible microphones by listening to the samples in the article referred above). He notes his room acoustics are not perfect, so an obvious candidate would be the SM7 which can be worked close and effectively attenuates the sound of the room. Consequently I would have a great deal of confidence in recommending a mic such as the SM7.

This conversation is about recording 'best at source' versus 'fixing in the mix', if you truly believe you can fix everything in the mix, then I have nothing further to add, apart from sympathy

Bob

--------------------
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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 1841
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048666 - 17/05/13 11:08 AM
Quote Tim Gillett:

Quote Dynamic Mike:

Quote Tim Gillett:

But if the actual waveforms were identical then the sounds would also be identical.




This is only true for a pure sine wave.




How so?




Because frequency is a compound value. You don't have enough axes of information to recreate a sound.

However, if you could make two mics sound identical using Eq, then by inference you could apply the same principles of physics to speakers. So with a little Eq tweaking my Tannoys should sound like ATC's. I wish.

--------------------
Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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Tim Gillett



Joined: 30/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #1048679 - 17/05/13 12:02 PM
Quote Dynamic Mike:

Quote Tim Gillett:

Quote Dynamic Mike:

Quote Tim Gillett:

But if the actual waveforms were identical then the sounds would also be identical.




This is only true for a pure sine wave.




How so?




Because frequency is a compound value. You don't have enough axes of information to recreate a sound.

However, if you could make two mics sound identical using Eq, then by inference you could apply the same principles of physics to speakers. So with a little Eq tweaking my Tannoys should sound like ATC's. I wish.




Your inference, not mine. For a start the design of a mic and a speaker with power are very different exercises. It's that much harder to make a good loudspeaker than a good mic because of those nasty things called the principles of physics. How many quality mics need to have two diaphragms? How many good quality speakers can use a single full range driver and have any useable power? And isofar as they do work reasonably well, how many of them can do so without serious corrective EQ applied?


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Tim Gillett



Joined: 30/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Bob Bickerton]
      #1048681 - 17/05/13 12:08 PM
Quote Bob Bickerton:

Quote Tim Gillett:

I'm sorry but one good quality mic such as the two you have suggested ( and I agree that the NT1a is definitely not at the top of the LDC tree) can be used to record perfectly well, any vocal on the planet.




Perfectly well? Have a listen to the variations in the mics used in <a href="/sos/jul10/articles/vocalmics.htm" target="_blank">this article</a> and see if you still agree with your assertion above! There's a huge difference, which implies that even a good mic isn't a fix all.


Quote Tim Gillett:

Is the S/N ratio on our current preamps and recording rigs so dreadful that we have to "master" the feed from the mic to the pre, on the way in, by swapping mics beforehand, according to the spectral content of the vocalist? Of course it isnt, at least not these days. But that would be the only technically valid reason to select from a range of vocal mics as sort of Mastering EQ presets, as if we were cutting a vinyl record live and had no EQ facilities upstream of the recorder.




Nothing to do with mastering or S/N ratios I'm afraid. It's simply about good practice.......

Quote Tim Gillett:

In the case of the OP, is the real bottleck in his recordings and mixes the lack of a better quality vocal mic? You seem to think so. I am undecided because I dont feel I have enough information to make such a confident call.




The question to ask is, apart from performance, what are the main variables when recording the vocals and they most certainly will be microphone choice, position and room acoustics, with everything else coming quite a long way behind. Given the OP wants to improve his vocal sound, then the obvious response is to suggest a different microphone (and you can hear that there's a huge difference in possible microphones by listening to the samples in the article referred above). He notes his room acoustics are not perfect, so an obvious candidate would be the SM7 which can be worked close and effectively attenuates the sound of the room. Consequently I would have a great deal of confidence in recommending a mic such as the SM7.

This conversation is about recording 'best at source' versus 'fixing in the mix', if you truly believe you can fix everything in the mix, then I have nothing further to add, apart from sympathy

Bob




Bob, I'm glad you referred me to the 2010 SOS "mic shootout" article. Shall we make the article a topic for another thread? IMO lots of things in it to talk about. I suspect the discussion has barely begun...

Tim


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 1841
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048690 - 17/05/13 12:34 PM
Quote Tim Gillett:

It's that much harder to make a good loudspeaker than a good mic because of those nasty things called the principles of physics. How many quality mics need to have two diaphragms? How many good quality speakers can use a single full range driver and have any useable power?




The principles of physics are identical, you convert sound to a signal, you convert a signal back to sound. It's just a question of scale. Compromises in speaker design are due to material properties not physics. It's entirely possible that once consumer grade graphene becomes affordable single driver speakers will become the norm.

--------------------
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Tim Gillett



Joined: 30/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #1048743 - 17/05/13 03:52 PM
Quote Dynamic Mike:

Quote Tim Gillett:

It's that much harder to make a good loudspeaker than a good mic because of those nasty things called the principles of physics. How many quality mics need to have two diaphragms? How many good quality speakers can use a single full range driver and have any useable power?




The principles of physics are identical, you convert sound to a signal, you convert a signal back to sound. It's just a question of scale. Compromises in speaker design are due to material properties not physics. It's entirely possible that once consumer grade graphene becomes affordable single driver speakers will become the norm.




You are right. The compromises are due to "material properties". I think the correct term is "mass". Does the mass of materials have nothing to do with physics?

Strange that only now do you admit by implication that getting a speaker to sound as good as a mic is a much harder exercise, my point all along, whereas in your earlier post you implied that there was no difference, such that since EQing a speaker was so hard it would be equally hard with a mic.
You were also talking about present day product reality, not about possible developments in graphene or whatever. Now the mention of graphene. OK, lets assume the graphene single driver speaker becomes a reality one day. Then EQing it would start to approach the facility we have right now to effectively EQ a mic which has only ever needed one diaphragm for its good fidelity.

Graphene or no graphene, it will always be harder to make a speaker with comparable fidelity to a mic. At least so long as we live in a world where materials have mass...

Edited by Tim Gillett (17/05/13 04:05 PM)


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 1841
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048798 - 17/05/13 11:51 PM
Quote Tim Gillett:

You are right.




I usually am. It's a curse I've learned to live with.

--------------------
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Tim Gillett



Joined: 30/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #1048804 - 18/05/13 01:16 AM
Quote Dynamic Mike:

Quote Tim Gillett:

You are right.




I usually am. It's a curse I've learned to live with.




On this rare occasion it seems the curse was temporarily lifted.


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Tim Gillett



Joined: 30/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Bob Bickerton]
      #1048832 - 18/05/13 10:18 AM
Quote Bob BickertonThis conversation is about recording 'best at source' versus 'fixing in the mix', if you truly believe you can fix everything in the mix, then I have nothing further to add, apart from sympathy

ttp://www.soundonsound.com/images/forum/graemlins/winker.gif" alt="" />

Bob




Bob, you have come down hard on me, a relative newcomer to this forum. I think it's reasonable to expect you to give more than generalised answers but rather give detailed reasons in the light of such a strong stand.

Let's say I have recorded a vocal track. For whatever reason, for personal taste or something else, I decide to boost or cut a portion of the vocal's spectrum by 6db. For the benefit of all on this forum, explain exactly what this will do to the sound, how it will compromise the sound and why.

I'm not saying it's a compromise or that it isnt. Naturally, a vocal that has been recorded with exactly the right EQ is easier as it's already done and dusted EQ wise at the tracking stage. But that's not what we're talking about here.

Please dont resort to generalised truisms such as "it's best practice" or "you cant fix it in the mix". You've already said that. Back yourself. Explain what actually happens and why.

Over to you.

Tim


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4426
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048857 - 18/05/13 01:25 PM
I think the SM7 is extremely useful for snares, and rock vocals where you want the vocal to be quite contained, and especially when the vocal is loud. It will probably require some eq as part of the equation in a way that many good condensors don't. If you're sibilant you will still be sibilant if you want the vocal to be bright. There are various ways to deal with it. As much as possible, try to reduce it at source.

I'd demo the DAV BG1 and the ISA1 and pick one of the two.

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Bob Bickerton
active member


Joined: 20/12/02
Posts: 2955
Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Tim Gillett]
      #1048863 - 18/05/13 01:50 PM
Quote Tim Gillett:

Bob, you have come down hard on me, a relative newcomer to this forum. I think it's reasonable to expect you to give more than generalised answers but rather give detailed reasons in the light of such a strong stand.

Let's say I have recorded a vocal track. For whatever reason, for personal taste or something else, I decide to boost or cut a portion of the vocal's spectrum by 6db. For the benefit of all on this forum, explain exactly what this will do to the sound, how it will compromise the sound and why.

I'm not saying it's a compromise or that it isnt. Naturally, a vocal that has been recorded with exactly the right EQ is easier as it's already done and dusted EQ wise at the tracking stage. But that's not what we're talking about here.

Please dont resort to generalised truisms such as "it's best practice" or "you cant fix it in the mix". You've already said that. Back yourself. Explain what actually happens and why.

Over to you.

Tim




I have nothing further to add. You can choose to accept the above advice or not.

Bob

--------------------
www.bickerton.co.nz


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Tim Gillett



Joined: 30/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Bob Bickerton]
      #1048875 - 18/05/13 03:14 PM
Quote Bob Bickerton:

Quote Tim Gillett:

Bob, you have come down hard on me, a relative newcomer to this forum. I think it's reasonable to expect you to give more than generalised answers but rather give detailed reasons in the light of such a strong stand.

Let's say I have recorded a vocal track. For whatever reason, for personal taste or something else, I decide to boost or cut a portion of the vocal's spectrum by 6db. For the benefit of all on this forum, explain exactly what this will do to the sound, how it will compromise the sound and why.

I'm not saying it's a compromise or that it isnt. Naturally, a vocal that has been recorded with exactly the right EQ is easier as it's already done and dusted EQ wise at the tracking stage. But that's not what we're talking about here.

Please dont resort to generalised truisms such as "it's best practice" or "you cant fix it in the mix". You've already said that. Back yourself. Explain what actually happens and why.

Over to you.

Tim




I have nothing further to add. You can choose to accept the above advice or not.

Bob




Bob, I offered you a free kick and you wouldnt take it. From that, people can draw their own conclusions...

Tim


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Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3609
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048937 - 19/05/13 08:09 AM
Bob Bickerton is a long-standing member of this forum who is a professional performer and owns a studio and live-sound business. He does know what he's talking about....

On the other hand Tim - and not intending to insinuate anything - you have just appeared on the forum. The regulars here know nothing about you - where you are, what you do and, particularly, your credentials for making the assertions that you have.

Given that you are making suggestions which those of us who've responded to believe not only are flawed, but could lead those with comparative little experience to make wrong purchasing decisions, you've been challenged. You have been robust in your assertions and defence of your position. You are clearly not going to yield from your position which some us believe is simply wrong. Sorry to be blunt on that, but that's the way it is. Given that, there's little point in pursuing a 'discussion' which is going nowhere.


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shufflebeat



Joined: 09/12/07
Posts: 2961
Loc: Manchester, UK
Re: Do I really need an LDC? new [Re: Jonny DiBergi]
      #1048957 - 19/05/13 10:42 AM
It's been said so there's nothing sensible to add except:

Quote:


Let's say I have recorded a vocal track. For whatever reason, for personal taste or something else, I decide to boost or cut a portion of the vocal's spectrum by 6db. For the benefit of all on this forum, explain exactly what this will do to the sound, how it will compromise the sound and why.




Should this question be bothering any future newcomer to recording the truth is this discussion has been a bit paper-bound. When you hear a voice recorded by the mic that is best matched to that voice in that particular scenario (need not be the most expensive and may in fact turn out to be the nt1a) it's bloody obvious. It just sounds right. Tweaking of EQ will be a useful tool for matching into a composite "picture" with other instruments but will not make a silk purse out of a pig's arse.

If it were the case that a decent recording could be made with any mic then people would only buy one mic.

Edited by shufflebeat (19/05/13 10:47 AM)


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