You are here

LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 12:45 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
John Willett wrote:So 'narrow cardioids' do exist in reality, even if not officially in the academic text books, and I think the OP's quest to identify them informally is worthwhile. Although understanding the theory is always a good thing too! ;-)

Thanks!

I do observe significant differences between mics described as cardioid, and not just the ones described as cardioid for marketing reasons.

I wonder - is the reason perhaps a matter of diameter or mic casing? Based on very few samples, my observation is that smaller capsules have what seem to be wider pickup patterns, in effect.

I remember painfully little physics and no maths at all from my university days, but this is what I'd have guessed at.

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Watchmaker » Fri May 17, 2019 1:13 pm

Fascinating thread!

Weirdly, my recording experience is that I tend to have really big rooms with no treatment and they sound terrible so I've learnt to sing very close to my mics. Embrace the proximity effect.

I don't get a sense from this dialectic about your perception of your voice coming from a speaker versus the voice in your head. Two totally separate realities. It took years of pain learning to critique my performance based on what's coming out of the speaker and putting aside the sounds in my head whilst singing. During this process, I bought a lot of very nice mics that I hope to use at some point. Generally I stick with the C414xls 'cause that puppy's worth every penny - and you can select any of the polar patterns mentioned so it's very versatile. Long story short - the performance matters more than anything else. Then comes the room, then the "engineering", then the mic.
User avatar
Watchmaker
Frequent Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:00 am
Location: Upstate NY, USA
Take my advice, I'm not using it.

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri May 17, 2019 1:17 pm

I favour capacitor mics for most live vocals, my choice is the SE-H1 as I mentioned in another thread today. It's a budget SDC mic that works for me and my preference is for a natural sound rather than the high-mid bump (nightclub singer sound) that many stage vocal mics exhibit. The H1 works well with female vocals and anything 'not-rock', some, with better ears than me, have commented that the high end can be a little harsh but it's a £100 mic..... FWIW I don't find that the case and like the H1 on my own voice. It's a cardioid, and not an especially narrow one so may not suit your needs except that getting closer increases the balance of wanted to unwanted sound and mics designed for live vocals need to be used close as Bob B said earlier.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9519
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 1:29 pm

Watchmaker wrote:Fascinating thread!

...

I don't get a sense from this dialectic about your perception of your voice coming from a speaker versus the voice in your head.

I agree with the first point but I'm baffled by the second. I'm sure we all listen to our stuff... And doubtless listen for and notice different things.

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 1:38 pm

Sam:

The H1 seems to be discontinued, sadly.

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri May 17, 2019 1:48 pm

Looks like you are right, sorry for the bum steer.....
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9519
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 1:59 pm

's life Sam!

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri May 17, 2019 2:16 pm

Indeed it is.......
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9519
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 2:24 pm

Thinking a little more about that mic proximity thing. I guess we're all most comfortable with things we're used to - and while we often play dance music using PA, the environments in which we sing or listen to singing rarely have PA systems. They're small rooms and corners of pubs, typically. So we're accustomed to voices at a distance, not close-to.

That might explain why close micing makes us uncomfortable in a way it would not be for performers operating in other genres and sub genres.

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby blinddrew » Fri May 17, 2019 2:37 pm

Yep, it affects things in lots of little ways. If you're doing a fully mic'd up set on a big stage with lots of monitors, a lot of folkies / acoustic acts will want something very similar to the FOH mix in their monitors. They're used to hearing how their part interacts with all the other music and find it very disconcerting not to have that.
Rock musicians, by contrast, will frequently want a much more personalised mix.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7014
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 3:17 pm

I think that's probably right.

I think though that wind and horn players (including folkie ones) like a personalised foldback in particular, to help them with their pitched.

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Watchmaker » Fri May 17, 2019 4:07 pm

forumuser915213 wrote:I agree with the first point but I'm baffled by the second. I'm sure we all listen to our stuff... And doubtless listen for and notice different things. Gavin

This happens to me a lot. I think I have a slightly damaged brain (for reasons we won't go into here).

Just trying to point out that some folks dislike what's coming out of the speaker for perceptual reasons, not technical ones, and in my case, it took a "eureka!" moment to see the distinction.
User avatar
Watchmaker
Frequent Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:00 am
Location: Upstate NY, USA
Take my advice, I'm not using it.

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 6:46 pm

What did you differently as a result?

I'm still trying to understand what you think I may be missing by thinking about this stuff in the wrong way...

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby blinddrew » Fri May 17, 2019 9:16 pm

I could be wrong, but I think Watchmaker is saying that many people struggle when recording their own voice because they're trying replicate what they hear in their head - rather than what their voice actually sounds like.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7014
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 10:09 pm

Oh I see...

Thanks.

That possibility hadn't occurred to me. I was thinking about other possibilities - that I might for example feel I should sound like someone I admire, or perhaps that I might be disatissfied because I don't own the equipment the professionals use. Either could be true, but I think I'm too old and wierd to worry.

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby blinddrew » Fri May 17, 2019 10:18 pm

I could be wrong of course, i've been wrong before...
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7014
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Bob Bickerton » Fri May 17, 2019 10:39 pm

forumuser915213 wrote:Panels for the window is a good idea. I hadn't thought of that.

Closer micing would have advantages and you're quite right about most folkies.

But (i) I'm basically a traddie rather than a more contemporary performer, which makes a difference in my mind, and (ii) with my wife's formally trained voice the 'nightclub' close-miced approach feels all wrong also.

We've both tried it repeatedly, both intentionally and by accident.

Are there affordable mics that don't produce that unnatural 'night club close miced' effect when close-to? Might an omni combined with a reflection filter do it?

Gavin

There’s some great concepts coming up in this thread. First up though, the Omni/Reflection Filter would not help in your room.

What we’ve touched on here a number of times is perception - from the performer’s point of view. How we perceive our own voice is largely based on what we hear in our heads when we sing - not what the listener hears. Often singers struggle when they hear their own voices recorded, simply because it sounds so different to what they’re used to.

Regarding monitoring, similar issues apply. The on-stage sound is usually very different to what the audience hears or what the singer would hear without amplification. Personally, and especially for solo work, I don’t much like monitors at all. I’d much rather tune into what’s happening in the room. (Yes, I’m a traditional musician too).

But let’s assume an acoustic gig. Again there’s a big difference to the sound in terms of the acoustics of the room, where a listener is sitting relative to the singer and what the singer is hearing themselves. Compare for instance a solo voice in a cathedral versus a solo voice in a noisy pub, or a cupboard for that matter.

Another important factor in all of this is that in a room our ears are very adept at ‘adjusting’ to the room sound. Microphones don’t do this and for some reason we’re less able to process out room sound from recorded material.

Generally speaking if we’re recording in difficult spaces we’ll either treat the room or close mic, or probably both and then add some artificial reverb to create a sense of space. There is no difference in vocal technique required but it can challenge our perception of how we sound!

If you do want to stick with more distant recording you’ll need to find a very good live space and do it there.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3763
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
http://www.bickerton.co.nz

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 10:51 pm

It's still all true.

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri May 17, 2019 10:54 pm

This really is as close as I want to get. https://youtu.be/hKP6W_JrBBQ

Gavin
forumuser915213
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Re: LDC mic pickup patterns for home recording

Postby Bob Bickerton » Fri May 17, 2019 11:16 pm

There’s good deal of intimacy with that recording, but with a room sound or artificial reverb, which would not be my first choice. (But that’s purely one view)

Just for fun I did a search for English Traditional Music on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/thesoundsofspotify/playlist/3Tqsr2oxmvcAecCQ4CKXyK?si=8VT5MGgQTLKkh9JFzPyoGg.

What’s interesting is that there’s a different production value for every artist - which is to be expected. So you can either take the view they’re all correct or all incorrect!

At the end of the day it’s personal choice.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3763
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
http://www.bickerton.co.nz

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users