Advice needed on a vocal mic

Discussion in 'Studio' started by nmkeraj, Feb 7, 2023.

  1. nmkeraj

    nmkeraj Producer

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    Hi. Could you advise me what mic could suit my voice knowing given details. I used Samson Meteor USB mic and se2200 connected to Focusrite Clarett with AIR switched on. Then I used Sonarworks xref20 measurement mic connected to M-Audio Fast Track Pro. The first two mics recorded my voice thin, I mean thinner comparing to xref20 where my voice got depth, warmth and bass. Xref20 is not a vocal mic but sounded really good. Any suggestions how to pick up a proper mic with similar characteristics? Could switched on AIR in Clarett make my voice thinner?
     
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  3. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    The first thing I would do shopping for a microphone is establish your max $. Your price range might determine what you buy as much as any other single factor. And will help with any comparisons... example the Warm WA87 is double the price of your SE2200.
     
  4. nmkeraj

    nmkeraj Producer

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    The low budget one. £1-£200. Should I look for “warm” mics? The mic per se is a new tool for me.
     
  5. aleksy

    aleksy Kapellmeister

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    Fairly hard to tell what suits your voice best as we haven't heard it and don't know how it reacts with certain mics.
    As Gregory Scott once said (paraphrased): "There isn't a good sounding or a bad sounding microphone. There's only microphones that sound good on what you're recording and ones that don't sound so good on what you're recording."
    The best way to know what suits your voice is by trying out different microphones if you have the possibility e.g. in a shop.

    Apart from that mic-technique (aka. mic distance, placement, angle, the technique of the source (your voice performance)) is also a significant factor to consider.
    In the end, you can also use EQ to fit the frequency response of your recorded audio to your preferred taste (to a certain degree at least).

    As for purchase advice, I can recommend the budget Lewitt mics such as the LCT 240 Pro. Personally using a 440 Pure and am very satisfied with it so far.
     
  6. fishnose

    fishnose Producer

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    se2200 is an excellent mic. Use it the right way and your recordings will be great.
    Accordng to Focusrite's page,
    "Air is easy to use. It’s a single button-push (or click) that makes vocals shine, adds presence to guitars and makes drum overheads shimmer"
    ... which sounds like a REALLY bad idea.
    Adding treble, basically. Which will make your voice sound thin. Turn it off.
     
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  7. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    I meant specifically the Warm Audio WA87, which is a Neumann U87 inspired "clone" that many people are using now because they sound great. They are also 700 bucks... But they and your SE2200 are both Large Diaphragm Condenser microphones. So you can look at specifications between microphones and draw comparisons to see what you really get for your money, like you would with headphones or monitors.
     
  8. nmkeraj

    nmkeraj Producer

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    I had an access to se2200 and Clarett for teo hours. I haven’t dealt with Focusrite before and I didn’t know the option AIR. It was just on. The mic’s low-cut was set to straight line so no low cut I assume.
    As for using EQ, could I use freq matching? Or Mic simulator? AFAIR it was released on sister side recently.
     
  9. nmkeraj

    nmkeraj Producer

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    Should it be placed perpendicular, straight in front of the face? What could happen if the mic were off axis vertically or horizontally?
     
  10. JMOUTTON

    JMOUTTON Audiosexual

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    Electro Voice RE20.

    If you can not get low, clear and warm out of it it's not the microphone unless it is defective. If you've ever listened to the radio or watched broadcast sports you've heard it before.
     
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  11. Trurl

    Trurl Audiosexual

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    Agree but if you can find one for $200... let me know so I can buy it first!
    (edit, pounds not dollars... that'll get you a bit further)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2023
  12. aleksy

    aleksy Kapellmeister

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    The capsule of the microphone should be aimed at the source you are recording for maximum clarity and the best frequency response.
    If you want to imagine it mathematically, if the diaphragm of the capsule is a plane in 3D space then the direction it is pointing to/most sensitive from is the normal (vector) of it.
    If you record off-axis (say 90“ to the capsule) you will not get the optimal frequency response as designed by the manufacturer.
    Good examples of how this might sound can be found in microphone reviews by Podcastage on YouTube.

    As for voice recordings, I suggest pointing the capsule at your mouth at an angle, so that the air coming out while you speak goes a little past the microphone. This reduces unwanted plosive sounds like from the letters P and B.
    In case you have issues with a nasal voice you can also try aiming the microphone down slightly (towards your chest, capsule still pointing approximately at your mouth) so that it picks up more resonance from your chest area instead of the nasal area.
    That might work more or less, but worth a try in case that is an issue that comes up.
     
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  13. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    Buy something solid right away - buy what the pros use. It's a lot of money but well spent.

    Sennheiser E 935 - £159
    www.thomann.de/gb/sennheiser_e935_dynamisches_mikrofon.htm?shp=eyJjb3VudHJ5IjoiZ2IiLCJjdXJyZW5jeSI6NCwibGFuZ3VhZ2UiOjJ9&reload=1
    Shure Beta 58 A Mikrofon - £155
    www.thomann.de/gb/shure_beta_58_a.htm?shp=eyJjb3VudHJ5IjoiZ2IiLCJjdXJyZW5jeSI6NCwibGFuZ3VhZ2UiOjJ9&reload=1
     
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  14. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    Although not owning one myself, I've not heard anything bad recorded with an Aston Origin. They are relatively inexpensive, selling at about 200 bucks. The top end is smoother than it's price suggests and it might serve well your need.

    https://www.thomann.de/gb/aston_microphones_origin.htm
     
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  15. Owan

    Owan Kapellmeister

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    Go with a Rode M2, it's a handheld condenser mic which can be used on stage and in the studio.
    Its frequencey response is very flat and the sound is just great for the price, you can't go wrong.
    I also use mine for recording guitar, not only vocals. Flat mics are very versatile and easy to tweak using EQ.
    Here are some usable reviews:

     
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  16. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Audiosexual

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    You have given no basis on which to give you an advice. Your chain is secondary. What does your voice sound like? The choice of microphone depends on your vocal coloration, because the frequency response should balance out your voice qualities. If you have a more subdued voice, then a boost in the highs makes sense. If your voice sounds nasal, then the microphone should have a dip in this frequency range.
    You can also choose a mic that emphasizes certain qualities of your voice. This is then a stylistic decision.

    You say your recording sounds thin. This is probably due to a treble boost. But it can also be due to your room. Combfiltering makes a voice sound thin, and the only way to fix that is to treat the room and/or changing your position in the room.
     
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  17. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Audiosexual

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    I also think that since you can't analyze your voice yourself without a neutral reference, it might be best to seek professional advice. If you have the opportunity (depending on where you live) to get personal advice at a music store, then do so. I know we live in the age of the internet and all that, but some things are best done in personal contact on the spot ;)
     
  18. Tob

    Tob Platinum Record

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    If you do not have a silent and properly treated or good-sounding room, I would use a dynamic mic. Or a handheld condenser. They are less sensitive, most often more forgiving, and take EQng very well. In your price range, I would check out the Beyerdynamic M70 Pro x & the SE electronic dynacaster. These 2 are large diaphragm dynamic mics. They are affordable and from well-known brands. There are lots of options in the live, handheld, small diaphragm category that sound great. I would stay away from the cheaper handheld condenser mics because they have often quite high self-noise, which is fine live but can be a problem for recording. My favorite handheld dynamic mic is the Se electronics v7, a really great and affordable handheld Vocal mic.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2023
  19. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    There was a great video that I cannot seem to find now showing how really good the Aston Halo is to quell the room reflections with a condenser mic, but this one is ok. If the room isn't well well treated this could be a solution.


    .
     
  20. Papidaddy702

    Papidaddy702 Noisemaker

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    I HAVE BEEN ADVISED NOT TO USE MICROPHONES THAT USE USB CONNECTIONS. ONLY MICROPHONES WITH XLR CONNECTIONS SHOULD BE USED IN STUDIO RECORDINGS.

    Not sure if this is still valid since is 2023, and the advice was given to me back in 2010. I retired my usb microphone and purchased a "Blue Bird" (light blue model discontinued) microphone for $300 and my results where beyond "astronomically superior"! After many years of wear and tear, I later purchased the new updated model of the "Blue Bird" (Darker Blue model with HP feature) for $300-$400. I eventually saved up and ultimately purchased a Nuemann, which i would recommend if you have a greater budget.

    BUT A HIGH QUALITY RECORDING MICROPHONE WITH A LOW BUDGET I WOULD RECOMMEND THE "BLUE BIRD". IT IS A GREAT MICROPHONE AND STILL USE IT TO THIS DAY.
     
  21. dondada

    dondada Rock Star

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    Aston hmm arent that the guys who started SE Electronics and then got Kicked to the Curb by
    their Chinese Overlords?
    Anyway, they know what they are doing! Good Mics!

    Not knowing you, for some Voices, the AKG C-1000 worked really well
    + you can fnd it used for 50-70

    AudioTechnica 4040 used, or sometimes with Deals, is in that range.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2023
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