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soft vocals good loud vocals bad

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by stupidfatandugly, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. when i sing quietly, really close to the mic, i get a good warm/rich sound

    but when i move away to belt-out the vocals it sounds tinny.

    is this all about the room and treatment?
  2. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I think it has more to do with the proximity effect.
  3. will you elaborate on that?

    does that mean I need to stay closer to the mic and turn down the input?
  4. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Distance from the mic will affect tonality.

    "The proximity effect in audio refers to a change in the frequency response of a directional microphone as the sound source is brought close to the microphone. The result of the change is a disproportionate increase in the bass response of the microphone. The effect is found in directional microphones due to the particulars of their construction" Wkipdia

    What mic? What distance? What type of vocal? Same song different passage? Jeez the ???? are endless
  5. so if i understand you get proximity effect, which is an increase in boomy bassiness, when up close and when you are 6 inches or more away and using a pop filter, you have no proximity effect.

    if so, how do i get more boom when i'm farther away? i guess i like the proximity effect

    or is the answer to not get far away?
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Just a guess. I'd say you have some problems with your room, but on quiet songs where you eat the mic they don't show up so much. A basic recommendation is to treat your room. But while you are working on that, try eating the mic when you are singing loud.

    As was said above - info on the mic, the room, the pre, the DAW, and the type of music might help us.
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Some folks can use Proximity Effect to good effect. Other folks can't. It all depends upon the microphone you're using. Proximity effect generally sounds better to you when you have headphones on. Otherwise, it frequently comes out too muddy. However when combined with some presence & high frequency boost along with some dynamic range limiting can present you with a more polished & rounded sound. This is recording engineer 101. Natural ain't natural unless you make it sound natural. So natural is really a misnomer when dealing with audio. You have to fool people into believing you're recordings sound natural. Whatever that means? There's nothing natural about recording other than turning on the power. Which you have to do, naturally.

    You were correctly "working" the microphone when you pulled away from it for that high note. But without intimate familiarity both with your microphone and its Proximity Effect, in conjunction with your dynamics range processing, your final results will frequently be disappointing. Some of this can be compensated for in software provided you know how to use it & provided you are software has provisions for this. Most have some kind of rudimentary dynamics range processing & equalization capabilities. Just add that to your recorded microphone track. Experimentation is the key.

    Do you have the key to the restroom?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  8. DAW - protools le 7.3

    mic - baby bottle LDC

    mbox2 - pre/interface

    room is approx 7'x11' small and maybe 1/3 of it is treated

    after reading I was thinking maybe I should use a dynamic mic for the shouting vox to take more of the room out of it. i only have an sm57 though what do ya think?
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I think the SM57 is just the ticket, provided you include an extra foam pop filter. I like foam better than I like a nylon stocking lollipop. I like that 1/2 DB down at 15kHz. And your vocalist won't be overloading the microphone, only the microphone preamp, which you want to avoid. So engage the pad & increase the gain. You'll get maximum headroom that way, at a small cost of increased noise but I have my doubts he's whispering. So, not a problem. And for your own safety, always remember to rap it well.

    Remember foaming at the mouth can be good
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  10. I have a steadman pop filter will that be alright?

    engage the pad? foam pop filter? I'm not following you but thanks for the reply
  11. you were right Remy the sm57 sounds alot better for the high pitched loud stuff.

    is there another dynamic that you know of that would be even better?
  12. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    A couple of common suggestions

    EV RE20
    Senn MD 421
    Shure SM7
  13. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

    I also use a Vactrol tube leveling amplifier. A light compression from it and a light leveling helps
  14. what is that?
  15. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    A compressor. Compressors, limiters, limiting amplifiers all amplify quiet sounds more than loud ones. They do the job in different ways, but if you understand what a basic compressor does, a limiting amplifier is just a variation on that.
  16. I don't know anything about compressors that are not plug-ins

    but I think the answer for me is the sm7, which Incubus, U2 and Metallica use on their loud vox
  17. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Hmm, this thread is very interesting. So what if you use a 58 for vocals, is this thread saying that you should switch to the 57 for the loud passages, or are they similar enough beasts?
  18. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    They're the same mic... (well, same as in 12 and 6*2 - once evaluated, both are equal)

    However, for louder passages you may wish to switch to another microphone (one with more proximity effect may be desirable, but back off from it).
  19. recordingwiz

    recordingwiz Guest

    In my humble opinion, much of your problem may depend upon the note you're belting out. If it's one that's way high in your vocal register, close to the vocal breaking point, it could be that it's just too loud or even shrill sounding. If you're singing in head voice and it's of good timbre and quality, then maybe you should stick to a more heady sound when recording. I suppose much of it just depends on the overall effect you're going for.
  20. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Just a quick note but in his last post StupidFat said SM7, which is another beast altogether. This may have been a typo but the SM7 is a more expensive dynamic mic which is not as frequently used live as the SM57/58s. I would think that this next part has been beaten to death but 57/ no wind screen, 58 windscreen. If you study the response charts for these two there is a very tiny difference in the response curve mostly likely caused by the addition of the windscreen. I could never tell them apart by ear.

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