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Help me! Scripts.

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Utopia, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Hello everyone,

    I have a problem when I record vocals and voice overs and it's where the talent places the script.

    Mainly I get paper to record with and some talent wear glasses and have to have the script like 10 inches from their face which is death on early reflections.


    The best recording I have ever done was a voice over using a teleprompter set-up on a screen about 10 feet away from the talent. I WISH I COULD DO ALL MY VOICE OVERS LIKE THAT!!

    But, mainly I use paper. Are there any tricks that you guys use to get the script away from the talent or to stop the killer first reflection?

    Thanks!!!

    - Ryan
     
  2. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    I do this frequently. Just be sure that the mic/talent/script are positioned such that the script is adjacent the null of the mic.

    I often record two voices at once using a ribbon mic, one person on each side of the figure eight pattern. I set up music stands to the null sides of the mic for each person to use. No problems with reflections or paper rustle.

    Jeff
     
  3. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Jeff thanks for the reply,

    So if I wanted to use Cardioid, you would put the script to the left or right of the mic and leave the back of it open or with baffling behind it?

    I've tried this and the talent is constantly going off-mic to read the script. Do you ever encounter wandering talent away from the "sweet spot"?

    Thanks - Ryan
     
  4. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Yeah, that can be a problem. With a cardioid the null is to the rear, so sometimes I'll have them hold the script behind the mic sort of, so they can read it without going off mic. I record in sound-treated rooms which helps with unwanted reflections. Also, with most condenser mics I find they will pick up okay even if the talent turns their head. I tweak the tracks with compression during mixing to even things out.

    Jeff
     
  5. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Okay and in terms of ADR, any good deadening techniques you use to get the room completely free of first refs and just 100% pure voice?
     
  6. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Well, in my case I have a studio with two completely dead iso booths. Double wall construction to prevent migration from outside noise, and 100% covered inside with Auralex acoustic foam. There is a glass window in each, but the mic null is always pointed there, so no reflection problems at all.

    Your choice of mic and preamp will have a big impact on your results as well... what are you using?

    Jeff

    Jeff
     
  7. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    COS-11 Lapel
    Neumann KMR81 Shotgun
    Schoeps MK41
    I rent an MKH50 if they used this on set.
    Neumann U87, 67, or 47

    Manley reference pre.

    How large are your booths?
     
  8. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    The booth I use most is about 6' X 7'. The other is just the size of a phone booth (remember those?).

    In addition, I have an acoustically tuned "live room" that I have also used for this type of recording with good results.

    Your equipment is good, I suspect that taming ambient room sound will be the key to getting a great result. My recording quality soared 1000% when I moved from the living room to the studio! The double-wall construction plus the acoustic wall treatment really create a super quiet environment... plus I am situated in a rural area, so not a lot of noise sources to deal with.

    Jeff
     
  9. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Ah I get it.

    Yeah - my room is about 10 by 13 with about 10 ceiling.

    Do you ever record much ADR?
     
  10. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    No, no ADR at all. Mostly I record acoustic music, but also record a monthly radio show involving two voices reading from scripts.

    Jeff
     
  11. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Ahh. That's what the ribbon you spoke of is for.

    Is it a Royer? I have always wanted to use one on a voice but I find them too dull and I'd rather not introduce too much EQ in my mixes.
     
  12. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    It's a Cascade Fathead. Most ribbons sound duller than condensers as their frequency response falls off at the upper end. The Fatheads are no exception, but they take EQ very nicely... just a little upper end boost and the voice comes out full and smooth. For the price I think the Fatheads are a bargain. I own a pair. I use them in conjunction with a little in-line preamp that boosts the signal 20 dB, made by Rode called a "D-PowerPlug" it's little bigger than an XLR connector. Plugs right in to the bottom of the mic and the mic cable plugs into the bottom of it. It's powered by 48v phantom power.
    Don't be afraid of properly applied EQ, this is just the type of thing it's best suited for. You're not adding anything to the voice that isn't there, just boosting it up to normal level to compensate for the character of the mic.

    Jeff
     
  13. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    That's great.

    Yeah - EQ and I have had a love/hate relationship the 8 years I've been doing this. I finally just found that getting as much as you can with the mic is the better way to go rather than "fixing it in the mix".

    What's the radio show? Can I download and listen to a sample?
     
  14. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    I just tested out a voice on a Royer 121 and it was quite good.

    The backside of the mic is brighter and fits the voice better IMO and the mic takes EQ really well (sonnox Oxford EQ).

    It's got the closeness of a dynamic mic without the weird midrange - but the lower mids are too boomy I think. Might be good on one of the screechy talent i was talking about earlier.
     
  15. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    The radio show is just a 20 minute bulletin for our local community radio station and plays only on a very limited 5 watt AM transmitter to alert people of travel/commuter/ferry notices and local community events on our island community. I record it pro bono as a community service and use the sessions as an opportunity to experiment with mics, placements, preamps, etc. No two bulletins are ever recorded with the same setup, this keeps me familiar with all my mics.
    I'd be interested in trying out a Royer but right now have my eye on a Mojave MA-200 as I need a new Tube LDC since selling my Rode NTK.

    Jeff
     
  16. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Genius. That's an awesome way to experiment etc. Hah!

    Note for all you aspiring recordists out there:

    When I met Tony Maserati he told me the best way to learn recording is to get a music student to come play in your studio for hours.

    Don't try to record a band to learn recording because the band is going to want to be recorded a certain way and they will complain about their sound etc. etc.


    What are you going to use the LDC on? I have some suggestions..
     
  17. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    I already have several LDCs (U87; C-414; TLM 103) but want the tube coloration available in my cabinet. I have about 30 mics right now but suffer from mic addiction I'm afraid! I love experimenting and learning the characteristics of the mics on different sources, it's part of the fun of this business.

    I regularly do pro bono work and feel free to experiment more in those situations, since I'm donating my time I can take the time to try out different things. I got my start recording my own music... plenty of time for experimenting when you do that! These days I don't do much of my own music and am carving out a niche for my studio by specializing in acoustic music here in the Pacific Northwest.

    There are examples of my work up on my website.

    Jeff
     
  18. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Very nice.

    What mic did you use and in what position on Ana Rose Warren?

    And also what board? The music sounds good.
     
  19. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Anna Rose... boy, that was five years ago!

    If I recall correctly (chances are slim!) I used my TLM 103 on the vocal and either my Rode NT-4 stereo mic (likely) or one of my Rode NT-3s on the guitar.

    Vocal positioning was 6" to 8" in front of mic with pop screen, guitar position would be 4" - 6" from guitar pointed at twelfth fret or so. All done inside my iso booth.

    Okay, just found a photo from that session and yes, the vocal mic was the TLM 103. No photo of the guitar setup as it was me playing!

    Jeff
     
  20. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    BTW, the photo I found can be seen on my "Artists" page, though small it shows mic, position, pop screen.

    My board is a Tascam DM-24. It's a digital board and I record using the Direct outs which feed the converted signal directly into my RME RayDAT sound card. At the time of the Anna Rose recording it was the DM-24 Directs into an RME 9256 Hammerfall sound card. No preamp was involved in that recording.

    Jeff
     
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