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I Need Critique + Advice On My Condenser Mic

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Kuroneku, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    Hi everyone!

    So, for once in my life I went like "Alright, I will use my equipment, record a little sample without warming up the voice, thinking about it, or caring too much about the outcome, and I will present it to recording.org for a thread", and it is happening. I picked a simple to-go song and put it on YouTube for y'all to judge. The YouTube link will have a short intro to Crazy Little Thing Called Love by me. I slightly eqed it for a cleaner sound and put on a bit of compression, but here is what I need to know:

    A) How does my voice sound considering it was not warmed up and just laid out without too much thought or care
    B) Why is it that the mic "thins" my voice when it goes to the F#4 (she drives me crazYYYY)? Even without EQ and compression, it seems that my mic "thins" the force of my voice. Am I doing something wrong in terms of positioning towards the mic? Is it the mic itself? I'm using the Rode NT1-A. I'm starting to believe that this mic is just not suited for me.

    Thanks in advance

    Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Rode NT1-A Test - YouTube
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    The biggest thing I heard was the room ur in. I think the mic sounds ok, but there are certainly better ones out there.
  3. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    What exactly is it about the room?

    And what would you recommend for (hard) Rock vocals?
  4. bouldersound

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

    For hard rock vocals I would experiment with dynamic mics: SM7, SM57, SM58, RE20, RE15, RE16, MD421, D1000E. If your technique is good you can get right up to one of those and reduce the amount of room bleed. For most of them, excepting the RE mics, you'll need to be aware of compensate for proximity effect.

    I know this is just a mic test and you weren't warmed up, but it sounds like you need to open up and sing out more. Maybe turn up the backing tracks and back your voice off in the headphones during tracking to inspire you to sing like it's rock & roll. Some slapback on your voice in the monitor mix might also help.
  5. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    Thanks for the critique, I truly appreciate it! I do have an SM58. Now, I would not need the phantom power since it is not a condenser mic, correct? Would a dynamic mic work better since the room I am recording in is not that quiet?

    And what exactly did you mean with "some slapback on your voice"?

    Lots of thanks!
  6. bouldersound

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

    Slapback is a short single echo of approximately 100-200ms. You can hear it on Freddy's voice in the original, on Zep's Hot Dog, Stray Cats, Blasters, early Elvis recordings and pretty much on any rockabilly song made. As a side benefit it might help you hear yourself better in headphones regardless of the style. If there's a way to get the effect in your monitor mix without recording it that would be ideal.
  7. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    I just listened to the Acapella of Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and yes Sir! I hear that echo.
    So you are suggesting to use to slight echo effect for monitoring purpose only, I understand. Hey thank you so much. I will give that a shot!
  8. bouldersound

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

    Of course there are no guarantees. One ear cup off might work better.

    I see your location is listed as OC. Does that mean Orange County, CA? I grew up there, behind the "Orange Curtain".
  9. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    Well, it's a long story! I was born and raised in Germany by Mediterranean/Middle Eastern parents, and in 2008 part of my family and I moved to LA, then to South OC since many people suggested it. How I think about it today? I am disgusted. There are certain advantages of being in this area (Laguna Niguel/Aliso Viejo), but at the same time the common culture is extremely young/ignorant. I'm not judging, but that is just my observation. So do you like Colorado better or CA ;) ?
  10. bouldersound

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

    Well, I certainly prefer the culture in Boulder. There's a lot of pretty smart and relatively worldly people by American standards. But the liberal reputation draws a lot of superficially liberal types, "trustafarians" and career activists, and the local government likes to wrap itself in progressive colors while passing socially restrictive laws. And it's an island of overcompensating liberalism in a sea of rural conservatives on the defensive. The weather is "interesting" and frequently sunny, but the cold is wearing on me.

    On the other hand the mindless, frantic drive to succeed in southern California took its toll on me. I like the weather and the beaches, but I was working so much I didn't get to take much advantage of them. When I was growing up all of that area from Lake Forest down to Dana Point went from open fields of cattle and wildlife to gargantuan tracts of indistinguishable red tile roofed houses, neighborhoods named for what used to be there.

    If I ever go back it will be because I'm tired of the compromises here and my memory of the compromises there has faded.
  11. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    I think we both are no the same page there. I am glad you found an area that is suited better for yourself in terms of culture. Once I earn my degree I would prefer to move away from here as well...

    As far as music goes, today I will try out the SM58 and record some something. I'd love you to be the judge!
  12. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    So I am now using the SM58, and I added some Reverb/Echo. This time I also tried to sound more like the actual recording of the song. Sorry about the low volume. I tried to do it all quick since I'm having one of those busy days where you even forget if you've eaten or not.

    Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Slight Echo With SM58 - YouTube

    I am noticing that the lower I put the mic, the more powerfully the outcome will sound. The higher up I have the mic, the more nasally it sounds, which I hate.

    PS: I was sucking on some menthol candy, you might hear it and be like what the

    Thanks again for all the advice etc.
  13. bouldersound

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

    That seems better. I think I hear less room effect, a sort of a phasey sound in the first sample, and the mic seems to suit your voice a little better. The echo sounds cool. Are you about the same distance from the 58 as you were from the condenser?

    Do you mean physically lower or lower signal level? If signal level, lower recording level or in the monitors? Either way, I still feel like I want to hear you sing out stronger. A good strong backing track level and just enough of your mic in the headphones might get you to sing like it's rock & roll.
  14. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    With the SM58 it was both physically lower and the signal was lower. I was about the width away from the mic I'd say, but I used this pop filter :: Sterling Audio :: whereas I was using the Rode NT1A standard pop filter that comes with it.

    I think I should record with the signal somewhat higher and maybe that will solve the "lower strength" sound. The backing track was put to a lower volume on purpose so you could hear the vocals louder. And I did try to sound smoother/more relaxed on the SM58 to imitate Freddie's CLTCL sound.

    Once again thanks for all the tips/support. I will probably try another set up and upload again

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