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What's your current "A" channel for vocals?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by BobRogers, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Of course, the best thing to do is to fit the individual components to the individual vocalist, but there are a lot of us who have a favorite combination that's the first try for vocals. What's yours? Mic, pre, any outboard units or plugins. This isn't about what you dream about, but what you actually use.

    My gear is limited enough that I'd try the same mic/pre combination for both male and female vocals: Mojave 200 into a Langevin DVC. I'll use the optical compressor on the DVC sparingly. In the box I'll use a pretty wide variety of plugins, but a "default" combination would be all UAD - Studer 800 tape emulation, LA2A compressor, Manley Massive EQ, EMT 140 plate reverb.
  2. lostindundee

    lostindundee Active Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Hi Bob

    It's great to find out what everyone uses. Nice idea.

    I was using my Sm7b as my main mic until Wednesday there. However, my upgraded current chain is:

    U87ai >>> Portico 5012 >>> MoFET76 >>> RME MultifaceII >>> UAD2 LA2A >>> UAD2 Cambridge >>> UAD2 EMT 140 Plate

    Sounds absolutely marvelous so far. I will, however, drift back to the SM7b from time to time and choose different comps if I feel there could be more suitable ones to use, depending on the source.

    The only future dream or equally nice chain would be for me to try a Bock 251 or Wunder CM7 as my mic and substitute my UAD2 LA2A for a hardware one, or perhaps a Distressor.


  3. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Mine's rather modest and a little unorthodox:

    421+414 (diaphragms aligned) > Focusrite ISA > dbx 166 (just hitting it enough to keep signals manageable) > FF800

    From there, it's a gamut - the reason I take the two mics.
    I'll pick one or the other, or a balance, and then...

    Typically a plug-in compressor on the group channel (accounting for doubles, comps, etc) like the API 2500, LA-2A, or one of a couple channel strips that fits the character/needs of the song.
    From there, a send to an aux/fx reverb channel, usually a Lexicon plug (Room, Plate, Chamber, etc).
    Because I tend to work w/ fringe "rock", it's not unusual for me to add an EQ or saturator on the main vox bus, and/or some phasing/chorus/delay on the aux send. Or multiple aux sends.

    The core outboard chain remains the same usually, though I'll reach for a ribbon mic for female vocalists, and a 57 or 58 if it sounds right (whoever is singing).
  4. MadMax

    MadMax Distinguished Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    Currently, I'm getting pretty good mileage out of Peluso 2247 -> BAE 1073 -> dbx160XT -> Converter... (I also substitute the 2247 with a Peluso P12 for the right voice) with an AEA R84 -> BAE 1073 -> Converter as my room mic.

    My other "go to" chain is the 2247 -> Quad8 -> dbx 160XT -> Converter, with the R84 -> BAE 1073 -> Converter as room mic.

    The R84 -> Great River MP2mh -> Distressor -> Converter, setup also gets a lot of usage... with a Royer SF12 -> BAE 1073's -> Converter as room... This set up gives me a lot of nice room sound for a real earthy ambiance.

    My DVC gets more usage for guitars that it does for vox, any more... but I do use it with the SF12 a lot for group BGV's. I really like the fact that I get instant stereo separation/spread with the SF12... and it's silky smooth.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I have a couple...

    U87>> ADK AD-2 with John Hardy 990C OpAmp and Jensen JT-110 trans>> PT9.2>> UA 1176 comp>> EMT 140 plate.

    ADK TT Tube mic>> Focusrite ISA>> PT>> UA Neve 88RS strip.

    This one works well also...

    Avantone CR14 ribbon mic and Octava MK319 condenser >>either two channels of the ISA, two channels of the ADK pre with combinations of OpAmps and trannies for the voice at hand, and sometimes for a bit of grit both channels of the ART MPA with a pair of Telefunken tubes>> Aphex Compellor>>PT9>> UA LA2A >> UA CS channel strip.
    I tend to have the voice through the ribbon and move the condenser around to capture chest tone, head tone of whatever is needed.

    Sometimes I'll match the OpAmps and trannies in the ADK and put both TT mics up as a stereo pair and gobo the hell out the area behind the mics so it gets that seriously dead booth sound.

    I also record to the HD24 recorder and do tracks through the Soundcraft. Demos usually get done like that and the vocal chain will be very simply a mic and a channel. When I'm doing this I will usually use the Presonus Eureka as my channel and the mic could be anything including SM57's.
  6. Cleanpants

    Cleanpants Active Member

    Jun 23, 2011
    Sherman Oaks, California, United States
    Like you've mentioned, this setup changes depending on the vocalist, and I'm extremely lucky in that the studio that I work for has an incredible mic locker, but for most singers, I'll usually start off with a U47 -> Brent Averill mod 1073 -> LA2A (very light compression) -> into ProTools via Apogee converters. For Hip Hop vocals/rappers I'll usually start off with a Sony C800G -> Brent Averill mod 1073 -> Tubetech CL1B -> into ProTools via Apogee converters. Seems to work pretty well for me. Depending on the singer I might switch over to a U67, and with some singers I absolutely love the SM7.

    If I'm in somebody else's studio (who doesn't have the tube mics), I've had real good luck with a U87 and even a Shure KSM32

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