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Rode NT1A surprisingly too muddy.

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Rode NT1A surprisingly too muddy.

Postby Faizan Shakeel » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:05 pm

Yesterday I recorded and used RODE NT1A first time but the vocals recorded are too muddy, I always read about NT1A that its too bright. I am using the same pre amp I have used before for vocals with neumann u87.
Its also first time recording in apartment I moved in. Do you guys think its the room or there can be other factors?
Thank you.
Faizan Shakeel
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Re: Rode NT1A surprisingly too muddy.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:24 pm

In my experience, the most common problem encountered with Rode mics is not using them the right way around -- and that would certainly produce a 'muddy sound'!

So, apologies if this seems a little patronising, but can you confirm that the mic is vertical (not end-on) and that you are singing into the side with the gold dot just below the capsule?

Are you using anything in the form of a windshield? The fabric ones can sometimes dull the sound a little (or though not usually enough to be described as muddy!)

When singing, what's the distance between mouth and mic, and is the mic level with the mouth or higher/lower?

Finally, to answer your question about the room -- yes, the room acoustics can make a huge difference to the quality of recorded sound.

A fairly reliable technique to control the room acoustics for vocal recording is to hang up a couple of thick duvets behind and extending to the sides of the vocalist. This arrangement traps any sounds that would otherwise bounce off the walls behind the singer straight back into the front of the mic. You can supplement this acoustic screen with one of the 'Reflexion Filter' devices behind the mic to minimise sounds getting out into the room in the first place -- but the duvets behind the vocalists make the most important improvement!

Also, don't place the vocalist in the corner of the room -- that can give a rather bassy sound character, and in small rooms, avoid the exact centre of the room to, as that can often sound rather thin.

Hope that helps

H
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Re: Rode NT1A surprisingly too muddy.

Postby Faizan Shakeel » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:27 pm

No need for apology, thats really good how in detail u went and covered every aspect, thanks for that.

Mic is vertical

Sung into the golden dot.

By windshield u mean pop filter? I am using the one came with the complete kit, I've opened the box yesterday and it has mic shock mount with a pop filter, I connected it to the mic stand also came with the package.

Distance between mic and mouth would be like 6 to 8 inches exactly same height of capsule.

About the room I would say yes thats the only thing so far I think is the reason because its not done. Two corners behind the singer are missing bass trap (I am using these).

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00U4A ... UTF8&psc=1

I have three walls covered, left and front wall has

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B006I1 ... UTF8&psc=1

24 panels both walls and back wall has 12 of these

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B007RD ... UTF8&psc=1

right wall has many windows, not enough curtains yet to cover it all.

I didn't sing in the middle of room, i stood on right side close to window not covered by curtains yet, because of cable length and mainly because of pc noise.

This weekend is my plan to do the things left for acoustics.

I know what a normal bassy or dull sound is, I have recorded and mixed a lot, this is my first experience of such a recording for which when I tried EQ actually only then I realised how muddy it is, I have never had to cut or boost so much to end up with vocals still not usable. Its like some parts of vocals are simply not correctable.

After completing the room and recording again I'll post about the result.

Have a nice day
Faizan Shakeel
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:48 pm

Re: Rode NT1A surprisingly too muddy.

Postby Sam Inglis » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:57 pm

Faizan Shakeel wrote:Two corners behind the singer are missing bass trap (I am using these).

"https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00U4ACT8M/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1".

Two things spring to mind here. First, those foam 'bass traps' are usually nothing of the sort. If you have too much of that sort of treatment in your room, you will be over-damping the mid and high frequencies without really achieving anything at the low end, and that will certainly make things sound muddy.

Second, if your singer is actually in or near a corner, you will typically get a bass build-up there, so better to move away from the walls.
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Re: Rode NT1A surprisingly too muddy.

Postby Faizan Shakeel » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:25 pm

What do you mean by "nothing of the sort" about bass trap? I have only 4 of them one for each corner and as i meantioned currently i dont have them in 2 corners.

And I stood not in the corner but in the middle of room but on the right side close to right wall.
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Re: Rode NT1A surprisingly too muddy.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:41 pm

Faizan Shakeel wrote:What do you mean by "nothing of the sort" about bass trap?

He means that this style of 'bass trap' are generally much too small and too shallow to provide much useful absorption at typical room-mode frequencies. Instead, they tend to suck out a lot of high-end and midrange -- much like your other foam panels -- leaving the bass largely uncontrolled and the room being over-damped at higher frequencies, so sounding 'boxy'.

Having said that, if these are the only bass traps you have, placing them in the room corners is the best place for them -- but you really need to cover the full length of the wall-wall or wall-ceiling corners to have any useful beneficial effect at all... and even then the acoustic benefit will only ever be moderate.

H
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Re: Rode NT1A surprisingly too muddy.

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:35 pm

Faizan Shakeel wrote:...Distance between mic and mouth would be like 6 to 8 inches ...

6 to 8" is well within the proximity effect (bass boost) zone of the NT1a. I believe the U87, being a dual capsule design has less proximity effect but even it will probably still exaggerate bass at that distance.
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