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do you guys use a pop screen when recording vocals with a dynamic microphone?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by hubertfilbert, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. such as the sm57? got a friend coming in who insists on using the sm57 for recording his voice and i've never recorded vocals with it before. should i let him sing right on top of the mic with his lips touching the grill like he does at live shows? or should i try to get him to back off 6 inches or so like with condensers ? should i use a pop screen? any tips or general rules for recording vocals with this microphone?
     
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Generally I have found 57s pretty sensitive to both plosives and breath noises, these generally go unnoticed live but are very apparent in recordings. I like to use a foam windscreen for the 57 and let them get up close on the mic if that is what they are used to doing live. The reason being that often they are used to using the proximity effect to get their vocal sound. A 57 with the right singer can sound really great but if you have a 58 it is pretty much the same thing with a pop filter built in.
     
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    The 57 comes w/ foam a windscreen. Use it, if he stay's close enough for p's, s's. I've had good results w/ out it, on a recording where the bassist (who figured) sang lead a couple inches away. He didn't have explosive p's, or hurtful s's when we recroded to tape ( a 4-track). The result was fairly clean.
    I recently watched some 70's era live stuff and they had 2-57's duct taped to the stand for the backup singers, w/ no screen. i was surprised how far away they were from the mics. and no feedback(live rant over)
    You could consider SM57, regular popscreen, maybe 2in off w/ the singer touching it.
    A good condenser will likely compound your problems, since he's used to "hugging" the mic, those capsules usually don't work right at such close proximity, w/out windscreen.
    In my most recent vocal recording i used : singer-popscreen (shure brand)-Akg (windscreened) 414- ART Mpa pro- Interface. He wanted to play guitar and sing at once. i used an SM57 on guitar, and AT 3035 for room, 414 vocals. Sounded ok to me.
    The reason i say this is i hardly use the windscreen on 414, but the guy need to be close to be comfortable, and it still sounded good.
    Use the 57 and screen, let him do his thing,(even Handheld) and just get the best take...It will sound good w/ the Shure.
    -Kyle
     
  4. planet10

    planet10 Active Member

    always use a pop screen in fact put two of them up there spaced about an inch apart form each other. better safe than sorry
     
  5. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

  6. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Just curious two condoms, belt and suspenders, kinda guy or just pop screens?
     
  7. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Assuming you mean me: Because I still get big audible pops on dynamics and pop screens prevent them. Even the grille and foam of a "ball" mic doesn't really guarantee plosive-free tracks. I recently tracked a bunch of vocals on an MD421 Mk II, and a pop screen was essential.

    That said, in live rock 'n' roll mixing there's a whole different thing going on. In my experience what causes plosive is a jet of air from the mouth. Unlike sound, which obeys the inverse square law, that jet keeps a lot of its energy for several inches before starting to dissipate. Moving away from the mic lowers the source signal way more than the plosive, so when you gain up the channel to get your signal back you end up with way louder plosives. If instead you keep a singer on the grill you get only a little more plosive but lots more signal, and proximity effect lets/makes you turn down the LF further subduing the plosive, and bleed is lowered as well. It's a rare win/win/win situation. It also goes counter to the conventional wisdom.
     
  8. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    It wasn't particulary aimed at you but both of youse, definitely agree that most good singers don't seem to have much problem with their "p"s or "s"ssssssssss what I hear is the exhale after a phrase as a popping. Though for me and my lowly 57 a foam windscreen seems to take that away, and I don't notice it all with a 58. Wasn't trying to imply that there is anything wrong with belts and suspenders. I suppose it is different with different vocalists.
     
  9. planet10

    planet10 Active Member

    its essential to use pop screens when recording. a plosive can completely F up a great take. if they are there then surgical EQ is needed to reduce the effect of the plosive, trying not to F up the vocal track sound wise.
    so its best to position the mic properly, educate the singer as to vocal to mic technique, and dont keep it if its there and try to fix it in the mix. remember a quality condenser mic will work just as well a few inches ABOVE the singers mouth (more towards the nose) and a pop filter will really take away the plosive as its pattern when leaving the mouth is not a straight shot its like a sawed of shotgun blast it immediately spreads widely.
    SO BE CAREFUL, MIC POSITION, POP FILTER OR 2, AND EDUCATE THE SINGER. have fun!!
     

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