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distortion with an isa 430 mk2

I'm working on a full length with a singer who sings very loud. the problem i am having is that i can not find a proper setting on my Focusrite isa 430 mk2. he sings with a lot of dynamic changes in his voice. so he will hit a loud part and the isa distorts, then when he sings soft after it you can barley hear it...and there is that pumping dropping out sounds as if there is no compressor on his voice at all. i have to turn the pre off, he sings so loud i have to record his voice very low because the loud notes will shoot close to peaking on the vu. any tips o how to fix the distortion aspect and setting for singers like this? I'm set up is as follows:

pro tools le
blue baby bottle mic
2:1 ratio
50ms attack
.1 release
-8 threshold
soft knee
mix (peak and compress) is set at 1:1

thanks for your time, i apologize if i jumbled my words I'm in a rush. thank you again. eric


moonbaby Fri, 09/15/2006 - 13:12

Have you tried a different mic? The reason that I asked this is because I tested the Baby Bottle out when it first was introduced. Way too much sensitivity, and I have subsequently read reviews finding the same problem. If this singer really does belt it out, try a dynamic mic (even an SM58 ) and let him "eat it" on the softer passages. It is much harder to overdrive a pre with a dynamic than a condenser.
I might also suggest that you check out the "stickies" on the "Vocal Booth" portion of this site. There are many good ideas to get the best from your vocalist. To be honest, your question sounds like it is more of a problem with talent and voice control than gear.

Kev Fri, 09/15/2006 - 16:30

it may be that a single setting can't capture the whole performance

and apart from and voice control and/or technique

a second signal chain or a second pass could do the trick.

if you do want a single pass then set up a second signal chain to suit either the soft or the loud and then tweek the existing chain for the reverse
as moonbaby said ... try the Baby Bottle on the soft stuff

record two tracks at once