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record vocal in the control room

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by fajajar, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. fajajar

    fajajar Active Member

    hi guys,
    i'm new at this so all your help will be appreciated
    i'm an indonesian so forgive me if my english is bad :D

    i've been running my home studio for 6 months now and record,mixing,mastering all in my bedroom.
    Here's the situation. I'm planning to treat the room so i can record vocal properly.what's the best i can do with 50 buck?i can't afford more than that and i can't afford a vocal booth too.thanks
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I specialize in live on location recordings. In those situations, acoustics are something I can't even worry about. In your situation, neither should you. When recording in your situation, I sure as heck would not use, that is WOULD NOT use a sensitive condenser microphone. No I wouldn't. I'd use what is frequently used onstage for vocals which is frequently the American-made Shure SM58 or any SM57 with a foam pop filter. The reason for this is because of its character. You see, a dynamic microphone like this has a somewhat restricted frequency response. It doesn't go 20-20,000 Hz, the 58 is more like 50-16,000 Hz. Plus, it has a rather tight cardioid response and is quite insensitive to a lot of external noise. Another reason why it is so popular onstage. Now if you think this is not good enough for recording, you probably don't realize that many platinum albums and their associated stars actually utilized the SM58 for the vocals on their hit records. They didn't use it for the above reasons I'm suggesting. They used them because that's how everybody knows they sound. So this $100 US microphone can actually perform better for your application down the famous, German-made Neumann U87 that is probably the next most famous vocal recording microphone. So the idea here is to match the microphone to the environment rather than trying to change the environment for the microphone. And this comes down to choosing the right equipment for your application. Of course, you will be able to hear the difference between a condenser microphone and this inexpensive dynamic microphone. You're supposed to hear the difference. That doesn't mean you need to have the difference and that is the difference. So instead of trying to correct your room I would just suggest correcting the room by using the proper microphone the SM58 or something similar such as somebody else's dynamic microphone that is comparable. Those condenser microphones while they sound good can actually accentuate or enhance everything you don't like to hear. Because they can be perceived as being so much better they let you hear what is so much worse much better. So while this might be a lesson in microphones and recording technology, it's also a lesson in confusing English with English. We have a bunch of British & Canadian blokes here that know how to use their English much better than I, I mean me? Well, I hope you get the message? Someday, I'd like to visit Indonesia but there is so many Indonesians I don't know which Indonesia to visit? Thank goodness my brother married a Filipino which I think is in Indonesia?? I'm better at audio.

    I live on the right coast of the United States and not the wrong coast
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. fajajar

    fajajar Active Member

    hey,i have that sm58,what a coincident!
    I guess you're right, and yes i understand what you said. I remember back when i had this 200 buck and planned to buy a condenser.thanks god i didn't! And your post made me glad i didn't!
    You see,i'm having that 'cant sit in the mix vocal' problem.i thought that fixing the acoustic will solve the problem.i tried everything but acoustic.that's why i'm frustated. I had this session where i recorded my voc with sm58,the technique was right,and there was just a little bit of bleed from the monitor.everything was fine except that when i mix the song,the vocal sounded so different from the rest of the song.
    I don't know. Maybe it's the technique?
    By the way thanks for the post,it's such a guiding light!

    Ps: if you visit indonesia,pay a trip to bandung!there's a lot of potential engineer and musician here. I live in bandung,too
  4. TDMS

    TDMS Guest

    fajajar, with that type of budget you still have options. 1.) You can definitely go with RemyRAD example and use a dynamic mic, which does work. 2.) Another option is to take a thick blanket and hang it on a mic stand to create an area in the control room for the vocalist. 3.) Try not to record in a corner but out in the room, using the blanket method and point the mic away from sounds that you don't want picked up in your recording. 4.) Use a closet. open the doors (a doubled door closet) and place the blankets over each door, and have clothes hanging in the closet. Place the mic between the 2 doors facing back out into the room and record away, as long as the mic is not pointing at a noise you don't want. If you already have blankets and a mic stand or closet these setups are Free! No, they are not ideal but they are work arounds. That is one of the recording engineer's job, use your knowledge to get the best possible recording captured. I hope it works out for you!
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Ya, great minds think alike and TDMS is right on the money or the savings. Using your imagination to make everything happen is what it's all about. I guess it's almost pointless to remind people that the proverbial pop filter was originally called a wind sock. That's because, it was a sock. Probably wool? Thankfully not your gym socks. But since most recordings these days have become " homegrown" like never before, there is a plethora of acoustic possibilities at your disposal. God knows I've disposed of acoustics years ago. Don't get me wrong. When you have a beautiful acoustic environment it makes everything sound incredible. Just think of your situation as an on location job. When you start to think out of the studio box you'll learn what the possibilities are at home. A lot of people make acoustic gizmos for use in your home. It's certainly an easier road to take if you have extra money burning in your pockets. But us old-time professional guys remember how much fun it was when we actually had to create our recordings.

    Getting a SM58 to sit properly in the mix may require a little high pass filtering, maybe a 2 DB boost at 12 kHz and a little limiting or compression. The presence boost is already built-in to the microphone and doesn't usually require much more, if any. And doing your filtering before or after your compression/limiting will yield a completely different result and both should be tried. So it sounds like you are becoming rather popular because of your superior technique. That's nice to hear. Kind of funny since I can't hear anything in print? But I hear Ya'.

    I don't know, going to Indonesia is like going to New Zealand! I made that trip years ago and it was nearly 24 hours with the stopovers and transfers. I left here on the first day of summer and arrived there on the first day of winter. WTF? I didn't want to spend my summer in winter. It's okay it was only a week. On the trip back a stopover in Hawaii during a full solar eclipse was pretty cool. But I slept through it. Pretty bizarre what happens to you during full solar eclipses. Jet lag? Me? N/A

    I haven't flown since a month before 911 and really don't want to anymore.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  6. fajajar

    fajajar Active Member

    you meant that if i want to enhance the quality of the record i make in my room i have to think like 'hey this is a bedroom,i have to stop treat it like as it's a studio and start to treat it as it's a bedroom!' am i right?
    And i agree with that hipass idea. The sm58 sounds muddy if i don't cut a few dbs at 240 hz and what really annoys me is that this mic is so centered,sometimes i just copy the mono track and pan them about 30 l and r so they sound 'wider'
    what did you mean 'i can't hear anything in print?' i didn't understand.just corious.

    Indonesia is on the other side of the world and yes it takes a looong time to get here from america even with a plane. But i guess after you visit beautiful places like bali,it's worth it.

    The 911 was a tragedy. I think it changed the way of thinking of many american about many things. I'm not surprised that you're afraid to fly to the outside of america after 911. The terrorist issue maybe?

    Anyway it's nice to share with you. You have a wonderful knowledge that you just give it away for free.it's hard to find a generous person like you in my neighbourhood.
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yes, I mean you treat it like a bedroom. Then you make the bedroom sound like a studio. You do that with the judicious capabilities available in most professional multitrack software such as CueBase, Audition, Pro Tools, etc.. I've come up with amazing results with just the included effects packages. Of course after that point, it's fun to start collecting certain plug-ins you feel that are worthwhile.

    When you want those big ambient drums it will be from close miking and judicious use of short ambient room simulation based upon short decay reverb algorithms, is software, after-the-fact, after the tracking. When you get a peculiar sounding acoustic aberration you don't much care for, you change position or change the microphones position. Experiment with the distance to the capsule diaphragm. Stand your couch up on end, stand the microphone up where the back meets the seat. Now you have created a vocal booth that minimizes reflections from the wall. Make a wooden stand that will hold a mattress vertically or horizontally. Now you're cooking with gas.

    That technique of taking the vocal microphone and including some of it split off to 2 other inputs panned 30° left & right doesn't really accomplish anything. Mono Center on your lead vocal microphone means that the microphone is in both channels equally already. Adding extra is just adding extra volume. Of course you could use some time delay on those left right enhancements. Short delays will provide you with a more acoustic sounding quality. Varying the equalization of those delayed channels can also add to better acoustic realism. Think about this, most of us make love in the bedroom. This is just another form of making love and besides, it's cozy. Proper microphone selection, placement, gain settings will have you making lots of recordings you'll be proud of.

    Thank you for the nice complements
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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