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Decisions, decisions... Help please =)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Lowe(UK), Sep 21, 2001.

  1. Lowe(UK)

    Lowe(UK) Guest

    Hi there,

    I'm after some advice and opinions regarding specifying a complete system which will be used to record and analyse some vocal work. I work at a university and we are carrying out a series of experiments.

    The experiment is being set up to discover the effectiveness of some new breathing exercises being developed at the uni. They claim to improve the strength of a vocalists lungs etc, enabling them to hold longer notes etc. A group of vocalists will be used with recordings taken before and after the training.

    The measurements that will be taken are:

    Duration of the note,
    Rate of change of dynamic (amplitude/time),
    Consistency of pitch (frequency),
    Softest note measurement,
    Loudest note.

    So I need a decent mic, a means of recording and then analyzing the data. Budget isn't really an issue, though I've been told to try to keep it under £70,000...

    I'm thinking along the lines of a Mac based Protools system, but I don't have enough experience in this side of pro audio to make a educated decision, hence my posting here. What kind of mic would I be best off using?

    So, if you have any ideas let me know please. :)
     
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    My favorite mic of the moment is a Brauner VM-1 KHE. I have found that it, when coupled with a Great River MP-2NV is without a doubt one of my favorite vocal sounds in most applications, especially solo voice.

    When the vocal has to be in context with a "backing track", then all bets are off on any one mic or chain being "best".

    I've had limited experience with DAW's, but from my experience, I have found that I prefer Digital Performer to Pro-Tools. I've also been using the Lucid 8824 as my A/D-D/A converter rather than the converters in the MOTU unit.

    I would be very interested to learn the results of your tests, as well as the 'breathing technique' you are developing. This sounds fascinating.
     
  3. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    ...You might look at the DPA 3529 stereo system for detail and dynamics as well.

    This is a two microphone kit.

    Capturing the solo voice in stereo will give a true sense of depth an pressure.

    Worth looking into.
     
  4. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Originally posted by Fletcher:
    My favorite mic of the moment is a Brauner VM-1 KHE. I have found that it, when coupled with a Great River MP-2NV is without a doubt one of my favorite vocal sounds in most applications, especially solo voice.


    Fletcher-

    In your opinion, do you like the API better for voice or the MP-2NV now?
     
  5. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    If you need to be able to measure dynamic amplitude accurately, a good portion of the budget should be set aside for acoustic treatment of the room.
     
  6. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    If this is measurement stuff I would strive for a clean, uncolored signal path. The stuff that Fletcher mentioned is bitchin' for music recording but it may be too colored for you.

    After you treat the room I'd get something like a DPA or Earthworks mic. Something desinged for measurement. For a preamp, maybe a Great River or Earthworks. Basicly something really clean. For analyzing stuff I haven't seen anything more complete then Spectra Foo from Metric Halo. It's almost made me switch to a Mac. I think the website is http://www.mhlabs.com
     
  7. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Hi Lowe,

    I'm not sure that you are looking in the right place. Rather than looking at studio recording equipment you should perhaps be looking at laboratory test equipment. For instance in a recording studio with the “after” test the singer’s mouth may only need to be less than an inch away from the position it was in during the “before” test to invalidate your results. There are a whole range of other potential problems that spring to mind due to the fact that recording equipment is basically designed to produce the best quality of sound, which of course is subjective. Laboratory equipment on the other hand is unconcerned with subjective quality but is far more accurate and of course is designed for measurement and analysis.

    My only suggestion is to contact a company like Sheops who manufacture microphones for laboratory use. From the little I know, laboratory spec equipment is very expensive, you maybe better off hiring a laboratory rather than trying to create your own.

    Greg
     
  8. I would take Greg’s sentiment to heart. There are a great number of variables you must account for. If you do decide to proceed, you will need a ruler flat microphone, spaced a fairly good distance from the subject, and a VERY low noise-floor. Be sure to feel out the intentions of your moderators. They may already have the desired results in their head and are seeking “documentation” for their discovery. This is often the case. If you are morally opposed to such behavior, it’s best to make your feelings known now.
     
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Originally posted by atlasproaudio:
    In your opinion, do you like the API better for voice or the MP-2NV now?

    Depends on the day, depends on the voice, depends on the other sounds it has to work with. I don't think I really like any combination "best" more than two days in a row...probably just me, I'm kinda moody and fickle.
     

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