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Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

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Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby audioartist » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:26 pm

Hi SoundonSound afficiandos, I'm wondering if you could help me...

I recently found a bloody horrific vocal sound that I want to use on my new record, it sounds lethal as the day is long and I kind of don't mind that you can't hear the words at all...

Basically what I did was used my 7 year old macbook's inbuilt mic in a room with glass panelled doors that I sang towards to give it a really raspy horrific sound that I hope will tear ear drums out of their socket...I'll post you a link to the sound that I got, there's no FX on this, it's purely created through glass and the inbuilt mic cranked to the maximum, so digital distortion all over it...I tried different mics, different rooms, went for quality more than once, but it's this cheap horrific sound that I rather LOVE for my record, I know, hard to understand right? Where's my question...

Is there any microphone I could use in a live setting to recreate this horrible sound I found on my laptop?

I might have to put it through a noise gate so the intro's to the songs are not overwhelmed with background static and fan whir, but when the vocal comes in I'd really like it to sound as horrible as this...

https://soundcloud.com/lewis-james-mortimer/04baba

I experimented in a rehearsal room with a dynamic mic put through an Electroharmonix Big Muff distortion pedal, which sounded rather good, but I've ordered a reverb pedal to put before the distortion pedal to really give it that grotesque sound I'm after :D

yes I realise my record is going to be practically impossible to perform live unless I can get a similar mic to the one built into my laptop from somewhere? Do you know where I might find one? As I say a noise gate, followed by extremely cranking up the mic onstage, or distortion? Not sure, plus a reverb box, should hopefully do the trick...not sure, hoping you can help a poor lad who wants to torture his audience with pure audio violence on a stick LOL

Regards,

Lewstar
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:37 pm

I agree entirely, it is truly 'orrible. :bouncy: you might try getting a carbon mic from an old telephone and setting that up along with your distortion and reverb pedals. But I'm sure you can get close enough with some radical eq and distortion if you have a digital desk.

Either way, let me know where you are playing so I can remember not to come...... ;)
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby audioartist » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:57 pm

Thankyou for the eloquent put down sir, I was hoping to have more frequency bandwidth than an old telephone though, I'm really at a loss of how to get the sound live, it's the only sound I've been happy with and I've tried everything under the sun in the 17 or so years I've been recording my voice, I need it to be really vicious and that's what I've got here, so rather proud of my achievement...I played it to a few friends in the know and they told me it made Dani from Cradle of Filth sound positively polite on the microphone, so I think I achieved my heaven with this sound...That's art, as my friend in the know said :D

My first gig is in January at a pub that won't have the functions of a full blown digital desk but a PA all in one job, will have to find out the brand...so yea, I think I've got to get the sound all on my todd with FX pedals and literally just give them a stereo to RCA from Ipod and an XLR input from my soon to be expanding mic setup...

thanks for the tip, but I'm really not sure that's the answer as after analyzing the vocal frequency spectrum it does contain frequencies all the way up to 20khz, and well, the old telephone would be slightly thinner I believe...not the right sound I don't believe, I've played with that before and I'm pretty certain that's not it...

Thanks for the insult sir, it was well loved...but the folk I'm sending my alb too when it's done are rather Metal obsessed and are looking more impressed the more extreme my sound is...it's orrible I know, but that's what I like, hope you don't mind :) <3
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby Wonks » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:02 pm

A ring modulator would probably help as it sounds rather Dalek-like (well, Daleks on speed maybe).

You could try a cheap crystal harmonica mic as they are already pretty distorted and bandwidth limited. Try Amazon or eBay.

Be careful with distortion live as the gain the pedal adds makes it very easy to get feedback. I'd try a bit reduction pedal/device to get some distortion without needing extra gain.

You'll probably find that the high frequencies you are seeing are created by the distortion (as your voice won't be putting out much, if anything, way up there), so the mic doesn't have to be particularly hi-fi.
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby audioartist » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:15 pm

I haven't tried a ring modulator yet, willing to give it a go, Daleks on speed would be a good name for the band, except there isn't one, so might have to scrap the name, great comparison though :D

I'll purchase a crystal harmonica mic on the morrow and see how I get on...

there was no distortion added to the vocal stem, I just cranked up the recording level to the max... I realise I'm going to struggle to do that live without some sort of noise gating device.

Thanks again for the tip Wonks!
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby Wonks » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:49 pm

Cranking the input level right up would almost certainly have added some digital distortion as you've mentioned (which is still distortion but non-harmonic, which is probably why it sounds so nasty) . The non-harmonic elements are why it then sounds rather Dalek-like, and why a ring modulator (which creates non-harmonic frequencies) will help get you into that same area.
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby audioartist » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:16 pm

Thankyou Wonks sir :) <3
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:19 pm

audioartist wrote:Thankyou for the eloquent put down sir, I was hoping to have more frequency bandwidth than an old telephone though, I'm really at a loss of how to get the sound live, it's the only sound I've been happy with and I've tried everything under the sun in the 17 or so years I've been recording my voice, I need it to be really vicious and that's what I've got here, so rather proud of my achievement...I played it to a few friends in the know and they told me it made Dani from Cradle of Filth sound positively polite on the microphone, so I think I achieved my heaven with this sound...That's art, as my friend in the know said :D

My first gig is in January at a pub that won't have the functions of a full blown digital desk but a PA all in one job, will have to find out the brand...so yea, I think I've got to get the sound all on my todd with FX pedals and literally just give them a stereo to RCA from Ipod and an XLR input from my soon to be expanding mic setup...

thanks for the tip, but I'm really not sure that's the answer as after analyzing the vocal frequency spectrum it does contain frequencies all the way up to 20khz, and well, the old telephone would be slightly thinner I believe...not the right sound I don't believe, I've played with that before and I'm pretty certain that's not it...

Thanks for the insult sir, it was well loved...but the folk I'm sending my alb too when it's done are rather Metal obsessed and are looking more impressed the more extreme my sound is...it's orrible I know, but that's what I like, hope you don't mind :) <3

I don't mind in the slightest and hope you took my 'insult' in the light hearted way it was meant. What you are doing is not for me but it is definitely creative and that is what this game is all about. I wish you well with it. :thumbup:
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby grhamo » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:41 pm

audioartist wrote:I haven't tried a ring modulator yet, willing to give it a go, Daleks on speed would be a good name for the band, except there isn't one, so might have to scrap the name, great comparison though :D

I'll purchase a crystal harmonica mic on the morrow and see how I get on...

there was no distortion added to the vocal stem, I just cranked up the recording level to the max... I realise I'm going to struggle to do that live without some sort of noise gating device.

Thanks again for the tip Wonks!

I would recommend trying out Wonks' other suggestion also - the bit reducer / decimator effect pedal. Try a microphone that has a tight pickup pattern (to reject bleed, and reduce feedback), and a good amount of high end to it (the more to mangle!)

The bit reducers are distortion devices that use digital-to-analog circuits the "wrong" way to produce all kinds of weird and harsh artifacts.

I once worked with an artist that used a battery powered condenser mic for his vocal. At some point the battery started to die and the mic gradually turned into it's own fuzz pedal. Luckily he was of an experimental temperament and was pleasantly surprised with newfound grit.
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:36 am

If I were aiming for that effect I might try finding a cheap computer speaker, cutting the back off and reversing the diaphragm, so I'd be singing into the cheap plastic box to help mangle the signal before it even reached the diaphragm.
Then see the above suggestions... :)
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:26 am

grhamo wrote:The bit reducers are distortion devices that use digital-to-analog circuits the "wrong" way to produce all kinds of weird and harsh artifacts.

Not really. 'Bit-reducers' are exactly that -- they reduce the word-length of the digital signal (say from 24-bits to 8- or 6-bits, or whatever), without re-dithering* the signal in the process.

As a result, there will be gross quantising distortion, and the more severe the bit-reduction' the more obvious and nasty the quantisation artefacts which manifest as programme-level related distortions.

There is no D-A conversion involved in the process itself, in either direction!

*If the word-length was reduced with dithering, the result would be distortion-free, but with a much higher noise floor. This article explains the concept (in the Quantisation section): https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/digital-problems-practical-solutions ...and there are some audio clips that demonstrate the effect with and without re-dithering here: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/digital-problems-practical-solutions-media

The crude bit-reduced piano tracks (to 8 and 3 bits) are labelled as piano8.mp3 and piano3.mp3, while the dithered versions are ditheredpiano8.mp3 and ditheredpiano3.mp3 (there are also some examples with simple noise-shaped dither too)

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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:09 pm

You could try one of these:-

Image

The BM-88, it says, "Makes everything sound like a bastard". I've got one and it does.

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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:14 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:You could try one of these:-

Image

The BM-88, it says, "Makes everything sound like a bastard". I've got one and it does.

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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:55 pm

It still sounds a little polite compared to the OP's sample.....
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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:35 pm

They must have caught it on a good day :D

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Re: Horrible mic sound I LOVE, how to get it live?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:47 pm

:clap:
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