Microphone for vocals - advice needed

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joeyluck
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Post 05 Jun 2017

O1B wrote:"Would likely not do you any good".... Respectfully, my testing - with an even closer mic (H6) - shows otherwise..
That's why Id like input from someone who has actual experience trying the setup.
The shure sounds deeper/fuller than the H6 (without warming) so I'd like to make the switch from single to dual.

Thanks for the Presidential mic info, though...
joeyluck wrote: This is what used to be the US Presidential mic setup. It had been that way since the 60's. The current president changed it. He wanted one mic on a gooseneck so he could constantly play with it and adjust it. The two mics this way were mostly to have one for the room and the other for broadcast. I'm not sure if the current setup just sends the same mic to both of if they use a lav in addition. But this setup would likely not do you any good.

However, you can use a pair for recording instruments up close. Just not with that mic clip. I know 2 Beta 57A's are great on piano. Although you may still want condensers on a piano.
Well what I'm saying is that particular setup (VIP) that is in the picture won't do much good for other applications. And I don't think that clip will adjust to accommodate. I did go on to say that two Beta 57A's or SM57's do work great for close applications. But easier to work with when they are on separate stands or a dual mic clip that offers more adjustment.

I do recording of instruments and field recording and have also done live sound for a US President a few times. So have used that setup and the Shure VIP setup. Again, just saying the Shure VIP package wouldn't be the right fit.

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joeyluck
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Post 05 Jun 2017

I do highly recommend the Shure A55M isolation/shockmount clip which fits most any dynamic mic. You can get those separately. They do a great job.

Here is my setup today with the Beta 57A with locking windscreen on an A55M:
Beta57A+A55M.png
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ejanuska
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Post 05 Jun 2017

joeyluck wrote:
selig wrote:
joeyluck wrote:
Kombucha wrote:
joeyluck wrote: This is what used to be the US Presidential mic setup. It had been that way since the 60's. The current president changed it. He wanted one mic on a gooseneck so he could constantly play with it and adjust it.
While you are correct about the dual Shures in this instance, it should be stated that there's nothing particularly 'Presidential' about a matched pair of mics. Acoustic guitar is often mic'd with more than one. There's even a dirt cheap matched pair of mini condensers under $100 from Behringer that even come with a dual-mount clip array, that they market specifically as a pair.

Image
Condensers are indeed much better suited as a stereo pair. As spoken about in this thread; the broader pickup pattern and frequency response. Also, a clip (unlike the Shure VIP) that allows for adjustment for XY setups in addition to a wider AB might also be desired.
And don't forget ORTF, probably my favorite over A/B and X/Y for most near-field recording (A/B for wide field, as in orchestral recordings). Also, there's the Blumlein Pair setup with ribbons (figure 8 pattern) is also pretty cool for room mics such as those from Royer etc. :)


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Yes definitely! And mid-side as well I guess.
I don't think this would work good for mid-side, unless you can move them into the X-Y position. The mics are too far apart and may introduce phasing issues a polarity flip won't correct. For mid-side the mics should be in the X-Y configuration, which are right next to each other, or one mic facing the source and the other mic right on top of it facing the reflections.

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selig
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Post 05 Jun 2017

ejanuska wrote:
joeyluck wrote:
selig wrote:
joeyluck wrote:
Kombucha wrote:
joeyluck wrote: This is what used to be the US Presidential mic setup. It had been that way since the 60's. The current president changed it. He wanted one mic on a gooseneck so he could constantly play with it and adjust it.
While you are correct about the dual Shures in this instance, it should be stated that there's nothing particularly 'Presidential' about a matched pair of mics. Acoustic guitar is often mic'd with more than one. There's even a dirt cheap matched pair of mini condensers under $100 from Behringer that even come with a dual-mount clip array, that they market specifically as a pair.

Image
Condensers are indeed much better suited as a stereo pair. As spoken about in this thread; the broader pickup pattern and frequency response. Also, a clip (unlike the Shure VIP) that allows for adjustment for XY setups in addition to a wider AB might also be desired.
And don't forget ORTF, probably my favorite over A/B and X/Y for most near-field recording (A/B for wide field, as in orchestral recordings). Also, there's the Blumlein Pair setup with ribbons (figure 8 pattern) is also pretty cool for room mics such as those from Royer etc. :)


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Yes definitely! And mid-side as well I guess.
I don't think this would work good for mid-side, unless you can move them into the X-Y position. The mics are too far apart and may introduce phasing issues a polarity flip won't correct. For mid-side the mics should be in the X-Y configuration, which are right next to each other, or one mic facing the source and the other mic right on top of it facing the reflections.
Correct, however…
We were talking about condensers, having strayed from the subject of the included photo!



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joeyluck
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Post 05 Jun 2017

ejanuska wrote:
joeyluck wrote:
selig wrote:
joeyluck wrote:
Kombucha wrote:
joeyluck wrote: This is what used to be the US Presidential mic setup. It had been that way since the 60's. The current president changed it. He wanted one mic on a gooseneck so he could constantly play with it and adjust it.
While you are correct about the dual Shures in this instance, it should be stated that there's nothing particularly 'Presidential' about a matched pair of mics. Acoustic guitar is often mic'd with more than one. There's even a dirt cheap matched pair of mini condensers under $100 from Behringer that even come with a dual-mount clip array, that they market specifically as a pair.

Image
Condensers are indeed much better suited as a stereo pair. As spoken about in this thread; the broader pickup pattern and frequency response. Also, a clip (unlike the Shure VIP) that allows for adjustment for XY setups in addition to a wider AB might also be desired.
And don't forget ORTF, probably my favorite over A/B and X/Y for most near-field recording (A/B for wide field, as in orchestral recordings). Also, there's the Blumlein Pair setup with ribbons (figure 8 pattern) is also pretty cool for room mics such as those from Royer etc. :)


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Yes definitely! And mid-side as well I guess.
I don't think this would work good for mid-side, unless you can move them into the X-Y position. The mics are too far apart and may introduce phasing issues a polarity flip won't correct. For mid-side the mics should be in the X-Y configuration, which are right next to each other, or one mic facing the source and the other mic right on top of it facing the reflections.
Well I was talking about mic'ing with condensers in general. But that clip in the picture also allows for adjustment horizontally. So you could move the mics closer if you wanted.

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selig
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Post 05 Jun 2017

joeyluck wrote:
ejanuska wrote:
joeyluck wrote:
selig wrote:
joeyluck wrote:
Kombucha wrote:
joeyluck wrote: This is what used to be the US Presidential mic setup. It had been that way since the 60's. The current president changed it. He wanted one mic on a gooseneck so he could constantly play with it and adjust it.
While you are correct about the dual Shures in this instance, it should be stated that there's nothing particularly 'Presidential' about a matched pair of mics. Acoustic guitar is often mic'd with more than one. There's even a dirt cheap matched pair of mini condensers under $100 from Behringer that even come with a dual-mount clip array, that they market specifically as a pair.

Image
Condensers are indeed much better suited as a stereo pair. As spoken about in this thread; the broader pickup pattern and frequency response. Also, a clip (unlike the Shure VIP) that allows for adjustment for XY setups in addition to a wider AB might also be desired.
And don't forget ORTF, probably my favorite over A/B and X/Y for most near-field recording (A/B for wide field, as in orchestral recordings). Also, there's the Blumlein Pair setup with ribbons (figure 8 pattern) is also pretty cool for room mics such as those from Royer etc. :)


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Yes definitely! And mid-side as well I guess.
I don't think this would work good for mid-side, unless you can move them into the X-Y position. The mics are too far apart and may introduce phasing issues a polarity flip won't correct. For mid-side the mics should be in the X-Y configuration, which are right next to each other, or one mic facing the source and the other mic right on top of it facing the reflections.
Well I was talking about mic'ing with condensers in general. But that clip in the picture also allows for adjustment horizontally. So you could move the mics closer if you wanted.
I consider a dual mic clip like that to be an essential studio tool, btw! I use them for piano and drum overheads, typically with a ORTH configuration, and sometimes for solo acoustic guitar if I want to record in stereo (usually X/Y because of the closer position to the source).


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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 06 Jun 2017

One of the mics I never see mentioned is one of the mics I own and which I love: Joemeek JM47. It is super cheap but sounds like a super expensive condensor.
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dmcghee
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Post 06 Jun 2017

Check out Warm Audio WA87. It is a great mic for the money.

drloop
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Post 06 Jun 2017

Choosing vocal microphone is very much depending on your voice and your room. I find this article really refreshing becuase SOS took the time to try out mics for several different kind of voices. Don´t look at what type of music they make, it is more about what your voice sound like and sometimes it depends on type of music... :)
http://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/vocal-mics

Currently I use a MXL 1006 for my own voice, works ok for my voice. I am looking for a AKG C3000 because it looks like it have the right measures for my voice, I have a lot of energy around 2.5kHz.
But since I learned to compensate with my current microphone I get a good sound. It is not the price of the mic that matters, it is how it works with your voice and your capablity to work with EQ and other stuff that really make a big difference.

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EnochLight
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Post 06 Jun 2017

Kombucha wrote:What was the brand of mic that Obama dropped ? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Don't think it was a presidential Shure.
It's hard to keep up with, since he dropped so many mics during his run (and rightfully so). ;) :D
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selig
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Post 06 Jun 2017

Kombucha wrote:Hey Selig, you seem like a guy who's been around enough pro-level stuff to know what's going on. For the home studio person who has a limited budget but still might wish to score some gear for the odd jobs, what do you think of those Behringer pairings, as a sub $100 product ? I have them myself, and use them at times, but am not qualified to say how they perform as an 'all-rounder'.
The only Behringer mic I've used is their Omni for running tests. They make decent stuff with minor trade offs. In the case of the mic, it was as flat as more expensive choices, but notably noisier (no free lunch!).

Another issue with some of their stuff is reliability. This affects the Pro user more than the casual user, and pros are willing to pay for reliability and durability because ANY down time is SUPER expensive at that level!

So sometimes the cheeper alternative isn't so much about sound quality alone, but other 'quality' issues that would not typically bother the casual user.

I've heard good things about many Chinese microphones, but my only experience (good) is with prototype mics from China that my girl friend got when she lived there, so I have no idea how you would purchase them! But they sound as good as any multi-thousand dollar microphone I've heard, just maybe a bit more noise/distortion and may not last as long. Maybe others can chime in on specific Chinese models.

For a long time now, my two absolute favorites (which have won many a mic shoot out against some great mics) are the Lawson L47 ($2k USD - http://www.lawsonmicrophones.com/product/L47MP.html) and the Shure SM7b. I've had the Lawson since 1991, and it's amazingly beat some expensive and custom microphones on a variety of voices over the years! I know you are asking about cheep microphones, but just wanted to share my experience of finding one vocal mic that sounds great on many voices - so I know it's possible to do, and it could just as well be a $200 mic that does this for you as a $2000 mic!


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mcatalao
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Post 06 Jun 2017

The_G wrote:I'm going to record vocals at home for an upcoming album, and so am in the market for a microphone. My budget is not big; I am currently looking at the AT2035 (condenser) and the Shure Beta SM58.

So my questions for those of you who are more experienced with this stuff:

1. Where do you stand on condenser vs. dynamic for a home studio, given that I'd be recording in an apartment and not a properly soundproofed room?

2. Where do you stand on these specific two microphones?

3. Are there any other microphones in the sub-$200USD price range you would recommend I look at?

Thanks in advance!
Most if not all bedroom or small home studios lack acoustic threatment and control of ambience is very important for condensers, event the budjet ones.

Imho, the best entry mic you can get is a sure beta 57 as it will set you up recording out of the box, whereas other options will record a lot of crap thst you are not controlling, like computer noize, room ambience, cars passing, dogs barking, etc. sm57, 58 and betas, are hyper cardioid mics, that need proximity, and are very directional. the beta has the advantage of using a smaller head than the sm58, and the sm 57's head is awkward and unstable compared to the full grids. oh and tjeir sturdy as hell so you will still be using them when you have your full cabinet, for stuff like snares or guitar monitors.

jlgrimes
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Post 06 Jun 2017

Plenty of nice cheap mics

AT2020 (Nice clean/Clear sound. Don't have many gripes here but it does have a slight bass cut.) $99
Blue Spark (Also clean sounding but a little more fuller sounding than the former) A little under $200
Shure SM57 (more lo-fi sounding but not in a bad way. Generally sounds cuts through the mix but the highs aren't as bright as the former two more mid rangy and colored. Also works great on drums/guitars. Requires a high gain preamp to get the most out of it. You can buy a cloudlifter CL-1 to increase the gain without getting another preamp but this would put you over the $200 mark). Probably not a 1st choice mic for vocals especially if you want a modern sound but great if you record a wide variety of stuff. Popular for some rock vocals. $99
Behringer B1 (bright. Maybe too bright for many cases but might be perfect.)

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EnochLight
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Post 07 Jun 2017

I've got a Cloudlifter CL-1 - absolutely love it. Can't use it with mics that require phantom voltage, though (such as the 2020).
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The_G
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Post 08 Jun 2017

So I'm mainly decided on the Shure Beta SM58. Question: do I *need* a pre-amp, beyond what I've got in my interface (Komplete Audio 6)?
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joeyluck
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Post 08 Jun 2017

The_G wrote:So I'm mainly decided on the Shure Beta SM58. Question: do I *need* a pre-amp, beyond what I've got in my interface (Komplete Audio 6)?
That should be good enough. As others have suggested, there's Cloudlifter which seems to get great reviews and something I've considered. But that's something you can pickup later after you try a new dynamic mic with your current setup. I get great results using my Beta 57A with my Zoom H5 and Focusrite interface.

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The_G
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Post 13 Jun 2017

Just want to let you guys know that I got the Shure Beta 58M, and am very happy with it so far. Thanks for all the help!
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EnochLight
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Post 13 Jun 2017

The_G wrote:Just want to let you guys know that I got the Shure Beta 58M, and am very happy with it so far. Thanks for all the help!
Congrats! That's a nice mic. That said, it's made specifically for live vocal performances. I assumed you wanted a studio mic?
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joeyluck
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Post 13 Jun 2017

EnochLight wrote:
The_G wrote:Just want to let you guys know that I got the Shure Beta 58M, and am very happy with it so far. Thanks for all the help!
Congrats! That's a nice mic. That said, it's made specifically for live vocal performances. I assumed you wanted a studio mic?
It's great in the studio as well :thumbs_up:
Congrats on the new mic!

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The_G
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Post 13 Jun 2017

Here was my thought process:

1. I needed a reasonably sensitive mic, but my building complex also has a lot of ambient noises (kids, nearby tennis courts, upstairs neighbors who seem to always be moving furniture, etc.). So I also needed a mic that wasn't going to pick up absolutely everything.

2. I'm currently on a short-term work contract abroad, so I needed something that was easy to carry in luggage without being worried that it would get ruined. Also impervious to the whims of children.

3. I wanted to get something at the shop, rather than mail order, in case there was a problem--and not everything is available here (Singapore).

4. Enough people (with much more experience than me) assured me that the Beta SM58 would work great in a home studio.

So it just felt like the right mic for me! I'm sure other options people suggested would have been great too. But I'm definitely happy with how things turned out.

Thanks again!
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The_G
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Post 13 Jun 2017

Now the real work begins...singing with confidence haha
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stratatonic
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Post 13 Jun 2017

EnochLight wrote:
The_G wrote:Just want to let you guys know that I got the Shure Beta 58M, and am very happy with it so far. Thanks for all the help!
Congrats! That's a nice mic. That said, it's made specifically for live vocal performances. I assumed you wanted a studio mic?
"The Shure BETA 58A® is a high-output supercardioid dynamic vocal microphone designed for professional sound reinforcement and project studio recording. "

http://blog.shure.com/10-things-might-not-know-sm58/
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stratatonic
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Post 13 Jun 2017

The_G wrote:Here was my thought process:

1. I needed a reasonably sensitive mic, but my building complex also has a lot of ambient noises (kids, nearby tennis courts, upstairs neighbors who seem to always be moving furniture, etc.). So I also needed a mic that wasn't going to pick up absolutely everything.

2. I'm currently on a short-term work contract abroad, so I needed something that was easy to carry in luggage without being worried that it would get ruined. Also impervious to the whims of children.

3. I wanted to get something at the shop, rather than mail order, in case there was a problem--and not everything is available here (Singapore).

4. Enough people (with much more experience than me) assured me that the Beta SM58 would work great in a home studio.

So it just felt like the right mic for me! I'm sure other options people suggested would have been great too. But I'm definitely happy with how things turned out.

Thanks again!
I think you made a great choice.
The_G wrote:Now the real work begins...singing with confidence haha
Loads of fun. :puf_bigsmile: Just practice your parts before recording. At the volume you'll be recording.
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EnochLight
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Post 14 Jun 2017

The_G wrote:Now the real work begins...singing with confidence haha
Heheh - go forth and sing! ;)

Slightly related: what are you using for vocal de-essing? For the record, I strongly suggest Selig's DeEsser Rack Extension if you want to stay ITB with Reason. Even with VST available, Selig's DeEsser is probably one of the best de-essers on the market. It's quick and effective, yet extremely simple.
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The_G
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Post 16 Jun 2017

EnochLight wrote:
The_G wrote:Now the real work begins...singing with confidence haha
Heheh - go forth and sing! ;)

Slightly related: what are you using for vocal de-essing? For the record, I strongly suggest Selig's DeEsser Rack Extension if you want to stay ITB with Reason. Even with VST available, Selig's DeEsser is probably one of the best de-essers on the market. It's quick and effective, yet extremely simple.
I use Tone Boosters Sibilance, but I do have Selig DeEsser, so I'll try that as well.
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