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Old 10-01-2008, 06:23 PM
Remnant4J Remnant4J is offline
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Question Vocal Mic-ing recording questions ****

What's the difference between putting tip of the large-diaphragm condenser up or down? Some people have the grill point to the neck and tilt the mic. What's the difference?

Last edited by Remnant4J; 10-01-2008 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:09 AM
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What's the difference between putting tip of the large-diaphragm condenser up or down?
In vocal recording, it is purely convenience. I've gotten in the habit of placing the mic body up and grille down because many of the people I'm working with use a music stand for the words and the body would block the stand or cast shadows. Some vocalistas need to see the mic the other way around. It's pretty much a comfort thing.
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Some people have the grill point to the neck and tilt the mic. What's the difference?
Erm, uh, might need a little more detail to answer this one. I'll take a stab and tell you that I start my mono mic placement with one mic placed at the joint between the neck and body. I'll tilt it towards the sound hole for more boom and toward the neck for more rasp and squeekies.

Bob

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Old 10-02-2008, 05:22 AM
Bob1131 Bob1131 is offline
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Yep, what Bob said!
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:06 PM
Remnant4J Remnant4J is offline
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When I was asking about tilting the mic, I was asking about recording vocal.

I heard one person saying that pointing the grill of the condenser mic towards "human neck" would give us more warmth and depth to sound opposed to just pointing the mic up and singing straight into the mic
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:22 PM
Bob1131 Bob1131 is offline
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Originally Posted by Remnant4J View Post
When I was asking about tilting the mic, I was asking about recording vocal.

I heard one person saying that pointing the grill of the condenser mic towards "human neck" would give us more warmth and depth to sound opposed to just pointing the mic up and singing straight into the mic
It really depends on the mic. I have a Rode NT1-A that sounds pretty much the same no matter where I sing. However, I have come to find that Sss are a little less evident when my wife sings across it rather than directly into it. That doesn't happen with my vocals but it does with hers, so it is evidently frequency dependent. So, trial and error is called for to find the best mic position for each mic, singer, and room!
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:51 PM
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I will sometime hang a mic upside-down with the capsule a little above where I would normally place it in relation to a singer's mouth. This can encourage a singer to tilt their head slightly and helps with singing on pitch and can lessen sibilants. I used to do that when recording my own vocals until I found a method that suits me a bit better.

Also, my default setup for ADR/voiceover is to set the microphone upside down, as Bob described, slightly lower than the VO's head and tilted upwards. That way I get a direct line from the VO's mouth to the capsule when they're looking down and reading from a script on the stand.

I quickly found out that a lot of VO artists have some strict preferences when it comes to recording, though - one guy could only get the "voice" he was after if he talked out of the side of his mouth, so that's where we put the mic.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:34 AM
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My standard position is based upon years of fighting pops. There is a cone of air that exits the mouth as a person forms his plosives or palatals ("T"s) that you need to keep the mic out of for most applications. To help in placement, I think in terms of the vocal talent having an old acoustic bullhorn attached to his mouth. I have the person stand as he intends to stand and perform as he intends to perform, and watch the way he points his face. I then extend this imaginary bullhorn out from the mouth, and place the mic just outside the cone of the bullhorn, facing the mouth. A typical location is upside down with the bottom of the grille in line with the nose and about 10-12" out. With this placement, you can avoid the majority of pops unless the vocalist tosses his/her head like a horse. This is great for a new or difficult vocalist who can't handle a lot of coaching without getting distracted, flustered, or angry.

That's a great starting technique. If you've got a real professional on your hands, you can do much more. If you are looking for an intimate sound, you can ask an experienced talent to "blow" his plosives and palatals to the side or down if you pull the mic right down to his/her mouth. For Enya-esque breathy stuff, find a cardioid that is bright and rejects more mids than highs when it is off-axis. Turn it 90 degrees off axis and sing across it. A Neumann U-47 is very nice for this. If you can get the talent to aim the plosives and palatals off-mic and sing quietly, you can draw in that off-axis mic extremely close so that you hear an unnatural amount of close lip and tongue sound. When you blend that with a long reverb and roll off the bass generated by the proximity effect, it has a interesting spacey-yet-very-intimate sound.

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Last edited by Bob Womack; 10-03-2008 at 07:47 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:42 AM
Bob1131 Bob1131 is offline
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Bob, thanks for these tips! I'm going to try this tonight when I get home!
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:02 PM
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Bob, great post!

I'm going to try that off-axis trick for sure; funny enough, we're tracking for an artist that needs some real lush 'n spacy stereo harmonies...AND there just so happens to be a tube U-47 in the closet!
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:09 PM
sarNz sarNz is offline
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I also read somewhere that in the 'old days' they would have the microphones upside down so that heat generated by the microphone would not float upwards towards the capsule. I don't know if it's true, just throwing it in there!
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:22 PM
Remnant4J Remnant4J is offline
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i think that makes sense, especially for my tubed condenser
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:54 PM
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I also read somewhere that in the 'old days' they would have the microphones upside down so that heat generated by the microphone would not float upwards towards the capsule. I don't know if it's true, just throwing it in there!
Hi sarNz...
Even if it were true, my motivation in hanging them is it keep the pops, s-s-s-s-ses, Tuhs, and whooofs out of the mix, and lets singers tape lyrics on the boom coming in from the top (behind the mic) so they can see them easily.
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