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Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

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Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby armans » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:51 am

Is it true that if you record vocals with a dynamic mis, you can have the singer closer to the mic and get a more "in-your-face" sound?
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Re: Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:41 pm

A capacitor and a dynamic with the same polar pattern will respond similarly to source distance. But, usually, the capacitor will have a more extended frequency response and a faster response to transients so they will sound different (as, to a lesser degree, would two dynamics or two capacitors).

That said it is common in the studio to use dynamics (Shure SM7B or SM58) much closer than you might use a U87 or other LDC.
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Re: Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:58 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:That said it is common in the studio to use dynamics (Shure SM7B or SM58) much closer than you might use a U87 or other LDC.

... because they have very effective pop-screens built in, and a reduced bass response which is corrected by the proximity effect.
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Re: Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:56 pm

:thumbup: I get that but isn't that is a factor in the specific mic design (i.e. designed for close up, usually, stage or broadcast use) rather than because they are dynamic as opposed to capacitor? Maybe my choice of examples could have been better, say between an M201 and a KM185 (there don't seem to be many hyper dynamic 'pencil condensers' around)?
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Re: Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby CS70 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:34 pm

armans wrote:Is it true that if you record vocals with a dynamic mis, you can have the singer closer to the mic and get a more "in-your-face" sound?

Don't try that with a ribbon mic! :D

Jokes apart, "more in your face".. not particularly, I'd say. Not sure of what exactly you put in the term, but if you mean appearing nearer to the listener, i.e. in front of the other instrument in the sound stage... it's mostly HF that does it, while the midrange balance determines what sticks out overall (or not, as it were, when the mix is a muddy mess).

Even microphones in the same "class", while generally sharing some common rough traits, are all quite different, so there's no general rule.. certain dynamic mics for example are voiced so that they _expect_ the singer to eat the mic and use strong proximity effect to compensate; other strive to reduce that effect as much as possible..

The only thing about being able to mix a vocal "in your face" is that the mid-highs and highs of the microphone be smooth enough, so you can boost them a little without things starting to sound nasty,
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Re: Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:31 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I get that but isn't that is a factor in the specific mic design (i.e. designed for close up, usually, stage or broadcast use) rather than because they are dynamic as opposed to capacitor?

Yes... I just wanted to make it clear that the mics you listed are used closer than a U87 because they're designed to be used that way, not because they are dynamics.

If someone tried to use my beloved AKG D224es dynamics as close as an SM58 I'd evict them from the studio... :-)

Maybe my choice of examples could have been better, say between an M201 and a KM185...

Perhaps I can help with this example: We used to use Beyer M201 dynamics or AKG C414 B-ULS capacitor mics in typical BBC Radio 4 talks studio, and they would both be used at exactly the same distance from the presenter/guest!
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Re: Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:38 pm

Thanks Hugh :thumbup:
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Re: Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby armans » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:38 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
... because they have very effective pop-screens built in, and a reduced bass response which is corrected by the proximity effect.

Oh ok, so you can get away with singing much closer to the microphone than with a LDC because of this internal pop screen? I often find it easier singing close to my SM58, it seems more forgiving at close distances than any of my LDC microphones, which is why I am asking... I am actually considering my SM58 to be my standard vocal mic in the studio because of this.
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Re: Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby armans » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:41 am

CS70 wrote:
Don't try that with a ribbon mic! :D

Jokes apart, "more in your face".. not particularly, I'd say. Not sure of what exactly you put in the term, but if you mean appearing nearer to the listener,


Yes this is what I meant... having the vocal very close, like singing very softly intimate in your ear
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Re: Is a dynamic mic better for capturing vocals that sound more upfront?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:01 pm

If you want to work close then any 'stage' vocal mic will allow you to do so. There are lots of stage capacitors* that will let you work very close to the mic while giving you the extra 'air' and detail of a capacitor. I favour capacitor mics for my own voice live and have several SE-H1s (now discontinued).

*And at a range of prices, Rode M2 £75, Shure SM86 £133, Sennheiser E965 £248, Neumann KMS104 £477. https://www.thomann.de/gb/vocal_microphones_condenser_microphones.html?ls=25&oa=pra
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