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Hey guys, I’m just gonna lay out my situation here... So I just picked up the AKG C414 XLII for recording some vocals at home. I run directly into a Scarlett 18i20 interface. Pretty unexperienced with most technical stuff. I pretty much exclusively go direct line in for keyboards and mics, just find good levels before recording to get it sounding good at the source,, don’t know what else i’d really do? So anyways, as I’ve been trying to record with the C414 and it seems to only bring out the worst qualities in my voice. It’s been a struggle to find the right levels off the bat, either it’s too quiet or it picks up too much, and of course I’ve tried all kinds of different variations with the bass cut filter and the preattenuation pad. The absolute BIGGEST problem I’ve been having is the mic picking up all this rasp and throaty qualities and I’m dying to cut that out in some way (especially the raspiness), whether it be mic placement, setting levels differently or any kind of plugins (I record with Cubase) Might I add, Id rather not, and I try not to do too much to any tracks I record outside of a little eq, as I don’t mix and master myself. I typically record all instrumental tracks at home and then bring the stems into a studio to record the vocals and have it all mastered there. Of course, I never hear much raspiness in the monitoring or finals takes at the studios. I never hear it while recording on phone, and it wasn’t there in the past when I’ve recorded vocals myself with a 35 dollar Tascam condenser, completely dry into the DAW. My goal is to get rid of this raspiness and high detail of throaty qualities while also getting a crystal clear recording of the voice, as if I was in the room singing upon listening back. I wanna get a great recording right at the source, without much processing, and little to no post-processing. As I’m sure many of you know how important the recording stage is when it comes to the sound of the finished product. Not reaaaallly looking for compression solutions and I have no idea how to use compressors in the slightest, but STILL I would appreciate literally any advice on something like that... And hey, maybe the C414, just isn’t the best fit for my voice? I’m at such a loss...


paulears Wed, 03/30/2022 - 12:23

The trouble with 414s is that the capsule is pretty exposed so it's very sensitive to air movement, which is where the raspiness comes from when you get close. The thinner pop shields do a fine job on the pops, but they allow that harshness to come through on some, not all, voices. Raising the mic and tilting it down work, or moving further away works - but the mic is very responsive to the sound of the room - so in a hard surface space, moving further away can sound a bit thin and boxy. I don't know if you go one, but AKG in some packages supply a velvet covered foam windshield and with this on the mics you can get close without so much harshness.


Let's hear a clip - it will be obvious.