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Singing Vocals and Instruments

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Dux Bellorum, May 29, 2011.

  1. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    Hi all I am new to both the sound industry and to sound effects. The people I work with are more experienced and have given me some recommendations, but wanted to get some advice from this board as well.

    I am planning on recording a song. First we'll be recording all the instruments, and then we'll be recording the sung vocals.

    I understand specific mics work best for their specific purposes, but at the moment I am tied for cash. I was looking at purchasing this microphone, the Neumann Condensor.

    TLM 102 Amazon Link

    Any advice and thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Thats a really good mic. Its better than most in its price range. It has that Neumann polish to the sound. As with ALL Neumann mics, it is an investment that you will keep for a long time. Its also an outstanding mic for acoustic instruments. Whether it will work for your particular vocal sound will be determined only by using it. If you are in an area where there are rental facilities for recording gear, I recommend renting either this mic you plan on purchasing or even a higher end vocal mic of proven caliber for your project. Buying something unheard that will be such an important factor in the completion of your project is a crap-shoot at best. Even with the Neumann badge, it doesnt guarantee that it will be the right mic for your own individual vocal prowess. Its one of the reasons pro studios have a number of vocal oriented mics......that and the gear-slut factor.
  3. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    I have never heard of this term, but I am intrigued. :p What does that refer to?

    In regards to the rest of your post, thanks, I appreciate the feedback. I know it won't turn me into Clay Aiken (although maybe that's a good thing) but like you said, I'm just trying to go for something as good and as well-rounded as I can.

    I think I might buy it, because I plan on using this mic immediately after this project for a new one.
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Gear-slut factor is also refered to as G.A.S. Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Its a disease. Its uncurable. Be careful. I have it. So does most of the people posting here.
  5. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    So I understand the TLM-102 which I seek to buy also requires a preamp. I understand this Phantom Power packin 48 volts is the one to get.

    Is there anything more I need (excluding peripherals like pop foam cover, shockmount, etc)? I guess my big (noob) question at this point is how do I transfer the recorded sound into the computer?
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I do not know anything about the piece you linked to. It doesnt appear to be directly music recording related. That doesnt mean it wont work, I think you need some guidance there. You should be looking at an interface and a preamp to do what you're trying to do. All of this will depend on the level of quality you're trying to achieve as well as your budget. Another factor will be what you're recording into. You said 'computer' but that doesnt tell the whole story. You have to have a program thats a recording program effectively turning your computer into a DAW or Digital Audio Workstation. And THEN we get into which one of those to use. This, too, will depend on the project itself, your skills at computer work, plus a lot of other factors necessary to reproduce a performance of a song. And then theres monitoring what you're doing while recording as well as playback for mixing.

    Its not simply plug in a mic and go at it.

    Consider these things and we'll see how we can help.
  7. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    Thank you for the feedback.

    The Phantom I linked to in a previous post is a preamp.
    The condensor Neumann I originally linked to needs that preamp (48 volts)

    edit: Posted my proposed mixers & interface below.

    Recording Computer: 2011 Macbook Pro
    Recording Software: Adobe Soundbooth
  8. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    Here's one of the Proposed Mixers and Interface: Alesis MultiMix 8 USB 2.0 Mixer

    Here's the other: Alesis MultiMix 6 USB Integrated USB 2.0 Audio Interface And Mixer

  9. jimmys69

    jimmys69 Active Member

    The USB one will only record two tracks at once. The USB 2.0 one will record 8. I am not sure what the 'integrated' thing is all about. It seems very misleading.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Again, I think you need to specifically lay out how you expect your workflow to progress and what you expect out of your project.
  11. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    Ok, here's what I plan for the immediate project:

    1. Assemble group of musicians

    2. Have mic and accessories all set up (e.g. computer is one, pre-amp turned on, mixer on and adjusted)

    3. Press recording button

    4. Musician 1 plays his instrument til piece ends. Recording ends.

    5. Hit recording button. Musician 2 plays his instrument til piece ends. Recording ends.

    6. Et al.

    7. Three singers all gather around microphone. Main singer is in middle. All have headphones on so they sync with music. Press record button. Singers sing til piece ends. End recording.

    Post Work: Have composer mesh all the recordings together to create one piece.

    The End?
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Okay. Simple enough. You do NOT need a mixer for this. It is a waste of money. You DO need a micpre and an interface. These can be one and the same unit. You need a recording program. There are lots to choose from. If you are using a Mac then ProTools or Logic is the most common on these. You WILL need a headphone amp of some sort. Three sets of phones will need some sort of distribution that allows for different levels for individual needs.....not everyone hears things the same. The recording program will contain all that you need to mix your songs. It will have abuilt-in mixer and plenty of tools like editing tools, effects, compressors etc to do the job. A lot of two channel interfaces have not only the two mic pres and instrument level inputs, but they also come with a recording program of some sort. Whatever you choose, be sure it is approved for use on the computer you're using. It will make life much easier.

    Again, I dont know your budget, but if you're spending that kind of money on a mic then you should seriously research the different interfaces available. A lot of people start on the M-box. The pres are ....meh...but they do work. And you get a current issue of ProTools LE which is a very easy program to learn.

    BTW. It looks and sounds easy on paper............
  13. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    Hey Dave, thanks for the reply. yes, My Composer has an electronic mixer on his computer, and it's a good one too. I'm not sure which one it is, but I know it is more than adequate.

    As far as the interface goes...what would an interface independent of a mixer look like?

    P.s. I believe I still need a preamp such as The Phantom 48V correct?
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The Phantom appears to be a preamp for camcorder mics. Its not what you need. Google computer recording interface. Look at brands such as RME, Lexicon, Focusrite, Mackie, M-Audio......Be sure that anything you purchase is recommended by Apple if thats the computer you'll be using. There will be a list of manufacturer approved computers for any software and hardware you want for your project. Pay strict attention to this detail. It will make things easier if the computer isnt crashing while you're working.

    Or spend your money on a real studio.

    Also....theres a LOT of information on the other forums here. Go to recording computers and look for posts and answers to others questions. Also DAW Pro Audio... You may find all you need to know right here.

    Again, its not going to be as easy as you think to make this a high quality project. Experience is mostly everything when it comes to that part.
  15. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    Yes, I have definitely been finding that out. I am working with more experienced people, I'm just providing the parts and making it happen.

    I've been reading up on preamps and the Sound World is pretty fascinating, and foreign at the same time.

    From what I've been reading up on, the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra USB/MID seems pretty reasonable--again, I'm not going for uber quality just yet. I realize you can spend thousands of dollars.
    I just want something that works that we can tinker with.
    I know this option is less desirable, but it is cheaper, the Midman M-Audio DMP3 micpre

    I've been reading that the Midman M-Audio has been a decent combination with the TLM-102.
    At this point with my range, decent is all I can really ask for.

    p.s. headphone amps are pretty straight forward right? I've been reading good reviews about this Behringer
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Since you are considering M-Audio, I think your best value is going to be the M-Audio Profire 610. It has everything you need to simply plug into your firewire port on your laptop or whatever computer you are using and it is supported by a large number of software programs especially the Apple based ones....ie: Logic, Garageband, ProTools, etc... It has the preamps and the interface as well as line level inputs and the ability to build a monitoring interface to the headphones amp for several different phone mixes. Its really a decent unit and is the latest in their line at this price point. The DMP3 preamp is decent but it has no interface capability as it is only a preamp. The fast trak has an interface but I believe it is only USB. If you can get something that works in firewire your track counts at recording will increase to the number of inputs available allowing you to track several instruments at a time. The USB will only allow 2 tracks at once.

    As for the headphone amp.....I do NOT recommend ANY Ber*$#@!&er products.....except this one. Its actually quite okay. I have one in my drum room as a remote phone distribution amp. It has a decent gain and can be patched a number of ways to configure as you need. My main headphone distro amp is an OZ Audio which is much cleaner and louder than the Be#2%$!ger and much more expensive.
  17. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    I can't thank you enough for putting up with my (I'm sure) banal questions.

    I'm just confused about the power situation for the TLM-102. If I don't need the Phantom preAmp, how is the TLM powered? Batteries?
  18. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Most mic preamps have a phantom power feature. The M-Audio most certainly does. Condenser mics need phantom power. Dynamic mics dont 'need' it and arent effected by its presence. Ribbon mics, however, suffer a poor death when hooked to a 48v source. The TLM-102 is a condenser mic.
  19. Dux Bellorum

    Dux Bellorum Active Member

    Awesome. So all I'll need to do is plug that the XLR cable from the condensor into the M-Audio and I will be good to go in that department.
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    You might have to push the 'phantom power' button...........

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