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Microphone Question

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

  1. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Hey everyone,

    I record a lot of voice over/vocals and I want to know what you guys do when you get a high-pitched voice like a character actor or singer who screeches - like Billy Corgan or similar voice.

    Is there a default microphone you reach for when you get a screechy voice in the studio?

    Do you deaden the room more so there is less slap back for louder singers?

    How do you go about making a kermit the frog sound good?

    This is something I have battled with for many years. I have access to some of the best mics in the world but sometimes a high voice just sounds horrible.

    Maybe it's just simply the fact that you can't make a chain-saw sound like anything but a chain-saw in the booth if that's what you've got?

    - Ryan
  2. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    Have you tried a good dynamic mic like an sm58?
  3. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Thanks for replying!

    Yeah I've been through each high-end one that I could get my hands on,

    I own a C5 and a D5 from AKG,
    got Beta 58s, SM58/57s,
    even tried a Telefunken M-80,

    The problem I run into is that they are too susceptible to plosives which sometimes for Narration it's too out in the open (no music under it etc.) and I can't have that.

    If there was a trick that I could get a 58 or something similar close enough to sound good without popping that would be the ticket.
  4. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    Are you using a pop filter with the 58? The internal one it has was only designed for live applications.
  5. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Yeah I've got the Steadman metal mesh one.
  6. llatht

    llatht Active Member

    I've never recorded spoken word before....but when I use my 58 to record vocals, I get pretty darn close and it's probably the least plosive prone mic I have. You could try using one of those foam windscreens. It might take a little more off the high's, but you could pretty much smother the mic and not have any issues with one of those.
  7. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Ok cool - I'll try that for my next recording of a screechy voice.

  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The mic of choice for cartoon characterizations has been the the Neumann U87 for many many years.Before that it was the U67 and before that usually a ribbon.
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    If the SM58 does not do the job, try an EV RE20.
  10. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    A Heil PR40 is another mic with a top roll-off, I believe originally designed to combat wind and rain noise in outdoor broadcast, latterly its become a popular go-to mic for bass and kick drum but it does retain a midrange peak which allows clarity. I do own one but I've only ever thrown it up on live sessions drunk, its yet to hit tape. Very cheap though.
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Jeemy.....Yer missing something by NOT doing that very thing. That Heil will surprise the hell outta ya.
  12. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Thanks for the replies everyone,

    I have yet to try an RE-20. Is it similar to an SM7B?

    Does anyone have any experience with a TLM 103 with the dip around 3K? Think that would smooth out a peaky voice?
  13. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    i gotta try that.
    i bought a pr-40 a year ago and shoved it in my bass drum and it's been there ever since.(love it for that) but i never tried it on anything else.
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    You dont want a TLM103 around anything peaky or squeaky. You want a mic with a very smooth and prominant proximity effect that you can use for this kind of voice-over. It is why the 87 is go to mic for the cartoons and has been for so long.

    The RE20 is a smoother mic than the SM7b (maybe 'flatter' is a better discription....flatter and with more range) and has more output. Both are excellent and as a general type of mic of this ilk, the PR40 is right there with them in all aspects except one.........It is more 'high-fi' sounding than either. I'm sure its due to its little peak in that upper mids area. An Audio Technica ATM25 has an interesting vocal performance character.

    I think you should throw up any mic you have and rehearse them all till you find what you need. It could be right in front of you.
  15. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Thanks and yeah,

    The other day I used my C12A on a guy who has literally NO bass in his voice at all and squawks like a crow and it worked brilliantly.

    I have also used a 414 EB on people like that (especially Spanish voice overs) because it smooths them out more than a U87.

    In all my experience of U87s, though (hours and hours and hours, trust me) I cannot figure out how to handle the little 3K "shing" that is added either by the mic or something - I don't think it's my preamp because I have tweaked it in within an inch of it's life.

    What do you think?

    Also, are solid state pres better than tubes for cartoony voices? (high pitched, screechy?)

    Also, how do you guys deal with the SM58's honky 400-800 on a voice?
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I guess it all depends on the mic itself. I like that 3K shimmer. It means that no matter how close and personal the vocalist gets to the mic and therefore accentuates the added bass hump, its still going to be clear as a bell.

    I have an older 87 and its not as 'toppy' as the newer ones seem to be. Age does mellow things...........

    I like pres that are fast for any odd voices....cartoon voices would fit in that catagory.

    Quality EQ fixes all those humps and bumps if you dont want them. Pultec.
  17. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Ah - I come from a school of thought that the 2.5K and 3K resonance of a U87 is objectionable and was taught to rid it wherever it popped up.

    I also have an older U87 and I think it sounds smoother than the new ones.

    What I am referring to is more Narration work and not so much vocal tracks for music - which might be what you mean and I can understand that-
  18. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I AM talking spoken word, cartoon voice over, announcer, product endorser, TV shill....etc.
  19. Utopia

    Utopia Guest

    Ah okay - my apologies.

    Now what sort of compression do you use if any on a voice to make it less peaky if you have someone like Kermit the frog?
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I not saying I wouldnt use compression on something like that, but generally speaking after rehearsing a part and a couple of run throughs I wind up riding the fader more than anything else.

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