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Desperately need a Mic suggestion/help...

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Desperately need a Mic suggestion/help...

Postby pax-eterna » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:30 am

I do a one man thing playing live basslines and keys with vocals.

Trouble is my voice (which is probs average or slightly above at best haha) really sounds dull and flat, even "woolly" and I need to source a mic that can help with this.

I have tried EQ, but the desk (A&H ZEDi10fx) only has a three band EQ, and I really don't want to have to try and fit an outboard EQ into the lineup, if at all possible.

Mics I have tried so far:

AKG D880 (which is close but lacks just a little bit of bottom)
AKG D5
Shure Beta 58A
Shure Sm58
Sennheiser E865
EV N/767a which wasn't too bad except it just stopped working one day (which I later found via research they are prone to doing, ergo I'd like to avoid another one of them)

Can you good folks here make any recommendations? Budget up to about $350 (AUD not USD) I can probs sell the ones I have to help offset the cost.

Thanks, any and all help/comments appreciated!
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby resistorman » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:19 am

Seeing as how you’re in oz, you might have a look through the Rode catalog?
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby pax-eterna » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:28 am

Thanks for the tip - I thought they only did condensers but I'll check em out!

Do you know if Rode (if they make a dynamic) have that bit of "lift" I was asking about in the OP?
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:46 am

Both the e865 and Beta 58 have plenty of cut, so I’m thinking the problem may lie elsewhere. The EQ on the Allen and Heath, whilst basic, is normally workable.

What speaker system are you using?

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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby CS70 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:09 am

Agree with Bob, it’s unlikely that the mic is the problem. Hard to say without hearing a sample, but how do you monitor your performance? Do you sing behind or on front of the main speaker? If you’re behind, you won’t hear what the audience hears. If you’re in front, the configuration may force you to keep levels too low. It can be the bass as well, if you use a regular speaker (without subwoofer) you may be using a timbre with enough midrange to get the bass line out, that it interferes with your vocals. Or do you get the ‘dull’ impression also with only vocals?
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby pax-eterna » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:22 pm

thanks guys....Using EV system...ELX200 tops and EKX15 sub.

I have just been doing a bit of recording and it is here that I have really noticed the "flatness". It's got me thinking, "gee, is that how I REALLY sound live?"

The A&H settings I need are to crank Hi to about 4 o'clock, mid to 11 and low to about 9. This makes feedback a bit more of an issue, particularly when I need to ramp it up as the floor fills up later in the gigs.

As I wrote I am getting the same result from all of the above mentioned mics, so I do think it is an issue with my voice, hence the reason to seek a mic that was perhaps better suited and had gains in the frequencies that I need.

A full multi-band EQ would probably sort it, but I don't run an rack systems anymore as I do try and keep it all as compact as possible.
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby CS70 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:32 pm

Well a better way to hear how you sound would be to simply bring the mic out in the audience space (with the null towards the speakers) and speak/sing. So long you keep the volume reasonable and the space is not minuscule you won’t have feedback issue and you avoid the variables inherent in a live recording.

That said, if you really sound dull, I don’t know if any mic would help much - there may be bumps at certain frequency ranges but doubt they’re so big to make a hige difference. An EQ, even the A&H, can boodt better and higher. The ‘dull singer fix’ is generally a boost at 8K but of course there’s no replacing a knob sweep with a small Q.
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby pax-eterna » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:23 pm

Thanks CS70 - yeah the term "silk purse from a sows ear" springs to mind hahaha!

I'll see again what the specs are on the EQ for the A&H and see if there is something close to that band you are talking about.

Been checking the Rode S1 and looking at the frequency response of it compared to those in my OP, it might just have that added presence on that area.
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:32 am

A couple of thoughts, you mention Rode only doing capacitor mics, capacitor mics are generally brighter than dynamics (though that's not necessarily what you need to solve your problem, maybe a presence peak is what is required but the mics you have tried do have that). Also, you mention noticing the 'dullness' issue on recordings you have done, could that be due to the room you recorded in? Does it have acoustic treatment and is it very small? A small, over-treated room can sound dull and boxy which may be what you are hearing.
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby pax-eterna » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:03 pm

Thanks Sam - the room is about 8 metres by 5 metres so it's not small.

I reckon if I added a multi EQ to the chain it would enable me to use existing mikes, but I'd rather not as I then need to add a rack unit, more cabling yada yada yada....I guess looking a mixer with a sweepable mid section might help, but those are not cheap and the A&H does a great job as an audio interface as well.

Hence looking at a change in mic as the most efficient and "cleanest" way to get around this.
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby dickiefunk » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:37 pm

I'm very surprised to hear you're stilling having this issue using the Beta 58 and E865 as well!? Something doesn't sound quite right somewhere!
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby Tim Gillett » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:33 pm

I suspect it's common for vocalists to feel insecure about their voice when recording or before an audience, and to wish for a magic fix. But it may be all in their minds. What does the audience think of the sound? What do we on this forum think of the sound? We have no idea. As someone has already pointed out, an audio sample would help.
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby Aptorian » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:46 pm

When I want to avoid low end muddiness and have plenty of clarity my go to is an Audix OM7. I find it far superior to an SM58/B58 for this.
It also has the advantage of being VERY directional and as such doesn't like to feed back. This does however mean you have to sing straight into the end of it all the time as going even a few degrees off-axis causes level to drop significantly.
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby pax-eterna » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:37 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:I suspect it's common for vocalists to feel insecure about their voice when recording or before an audience, and to wish for a magic fix. But it may be all in their minds. What does the audience think of the sound? What do we on this forum think of the sound? We have no idea. As someone has already pointed out, an audio sample would help.

Thanks- I'll try and post a sample, but I'll need to set up something external first as I do not believe one can post that sort of thing here?
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Re: Desperately need a MIc suggestion/help...

Postby Terrible.dee » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:48 am

Bro, you are wasting your time trying to get the gear to do your job for you.

There is no EQ that will fix your issue, jacking all the bands on the A&H amount to just turning up the overall volume, its an illusion.

This is your fix, believe me or not, that will not change a thing, it will remain your problem until you do something about it.

YOU NEED TO GET VOCAL LESSONS!!!!

It's bizarre how people these days consider "Thier voice" to be the result of some godly lottery, where some were born winners and other losers, but what you are born with is all you will ever have...

B.S!!! It's an INSTRUMENT (A Reed instrument I believe...or is it wind? whatever)

I can't tell you the difference proper training made in my career, I made my first major label record with the attitude you now have...to be brief its embarrassing, and I can't listen to it.

Don't act like an amateur, be a pro, invest in YOURSELF...GET TRAINED
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Re: Desperately need a Mic suggestion/help...

Postby pax-eterna » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:32 pm

Funny you should say that, I was just thinking that same thing a couple of days ago!
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Re: Desperately need a Mic suggestion/help...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:52 pm

I haven’t yet heard a singer who would not benefit/has not benefited from having singing lessons.

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Re: Desperately need a Mic suggestion/help...

Postby Kutsen Burns » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:20 am

The first time I sang live years ago I was a bit rattled by the amount of sound coming off the back of the mains (PA speakers), which are of course pointing away from you. The sound behind the mains is as you describe: dull and wooly, and I would add bloated and muffled. There's a resonant kind of low/low-mid "woof" that's even more discomfiting by virtue of being -- or seeming -- slightly delayed.

Even if you have stage monitors fleshing out the higher frequencies you're still hearing a combination of the monitors and the back of the mains, so I would second CS70's advice about taking a stroll in front of the mains to get an idea of what the audience is hearing.

As for your recorded voice sounding muffled or wooly, I strongly recommend that before you buy different mics or look for an EQ solution you should try giving the mic more breathing room: Back away from the mic, turn up the gain on the mic pre (you might need more than you think to bring the level back up) and project more across the room rather than singing "to" the mic.

This works best (or better) if you're singing in a relative "dead zone" (say, surrounded by packing blankets) so you're not bringing up room modes or getting phase cancellation and boxiness, etc., but in my experience it's the best and most natural-sounding way to deal with dull, wooly-sounding vocals, and to un-muffle them and make them "pop".

Just my two cents!
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