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I am upgrading my studio condenser mic. I have been using a cheap Apex 435 which costs me around $60 from I use the mic for vocal recording as I plug acoustic guitars to the amp. Now I have my eye on 2 mics. Both are under US$200. The first one is:

MXL V87 Condenser Microphone
MXL V87 Condenser Microphone - find the largest selection of the hottest music gear at music123

One thing that I like with this mic is it has a custom metal pop filter. The downside it hasn't got a case not even a soft bag but then again I don't use it for travel so I won't be carrying this around. It will remain on the mic stand all the time.

The second one is:

New AKG Perception 220 Condenser Mic +Shockmount + Case | eBay

The goo side is it has a hard shell case.

Can anyone give me any advice which one to get or any other mic under US$200?


BobRogers Sat, 07/16/2011 - 04:58

The only mics that I can recommend as long term investments under $200 are dynamics, e.g. the Shure SM57 and SM58. Yes, there are a lot of large diaphragm condenser microphones at low prices now, but I have not heard one that I would recommend. They have more response in the high frequencies than the dynamics and that can make them seem "crisper" than the dynamics when you first hear them. But those high frequencies are not the same quality as those produced by more expensive condensers. They are more ragged and hyped. This can make the cheap mics seem more exciting to an inexperienced listener especially on an individual track. (This is a reason that cheap mics often win shootouts against more expensive mics.) But those aggressive highs can build up when you layer multiple tracks (which can definitely happen when you only have one condenser mic). I think you are even taking a gamble in the $200-$400 range with condenser mics like the Audio Technica 20 series and the lower price Rodes. I admit that a lot of people find these mics useful, but there are as many people who find their sound annoying. Once you get up to the $400-$500 range you find mics that have much broader support: the AT 40 series, Shure KSM32, etc. My advice would be to save your pennies until you can get something in this range.

audiokid Sat, 07/16/2011 - 07:02

sabathiel, post: 374113 wrote: I am upgrading my studio condenser mic. I have been using a cheap Apex 435 which costs me around $60 from I use the mic for vocal recording as I plug acoustic guitars to the amp. Now I have my eye on 2 mics. Both are under US$200. The first one is:

MXL V87 Condenser Microphone
MXL V87 Condenser Microphone - find the largest selection of the hottest music gear at music123

One thing that I like with this mic is it has a custom metal pop filter. The downside it hasn't got a case not even a soft bag but then again I don't use it for travel so I won't be carrying this around. It will remain on the mic stand all the time.

The second one is:

New AKG Perception 220 Condenser Mic +Shcokmount + Case | eBay

The goo side is it has a hard shell case.

Can anyone give me any advice which one to get or any other mic under US$200?

Great advise from Bob.

If the OP looks over his post, you'll see you are more impressed by the cosmetics of these microphones than how they actually perform (custom metal pop filter and case). MXL microphones are all about, "looks", not sound quality. As Bob said, save your pennies and keep reading the forums.

Davedog Sat, 07/16/2011 - 08:49

You already have a mic under $200 that is as good as any that you have listed. In fact if you do your research, you'll find that more people mod the Apex mics to make them better. Perhaps our member, Link will chime in on this as he does mod upgrades.

I'm with audiokid, that case and the custom metal pop filter have nothing to do with the sound. And here's something you obviously dont know....Leaving a charged condenser on the stand without a proper cover will allow air-borne particles to attach themselves to the diaphram which eventually lead to the mic becoming inoperable.

sabathiel Sat, 07/16/2011 - 09:05

I am no pro so I don't expect professional level sound recording that costs lots of money. I record songs to post on Youtube. At the moment I use my Apex 435 with a Behringer 1202FX mixer and a Boss Pro CL-50 limiter/compressor/gate connected to the line in input of my desktop. Here is an example of my recent recording after using the mic for around a year:

What do you mean leave the mic on the stand "charged". I switch off my equipment does that mean I still leave the mic on the stand "charged"?

sabathiel Sat, 07/16/2011 - 09:36

Well I guess now if my Apex 435 is dusted and not in good working condition which I wouldn't know or can detect anyway I need to get a new mic and look after it properly like cover it when not using it with a cloth or something. That means I need a new mic anyway or maybe even get the AKG Perception that has a hard shell case so I can put the mic in the case when not using it for long term. Yes I mainly use a studio condenser mic for show because it looks really professional when I post videos of me singing on Youtube and these mics are really sensitive to the tiniest sounds. Also those mics that I mentioned above are on sale and their real price are more around the $400 figure. So next mic I buy I will look after as it is probably to late to look after the Apex 435.

Davedog Sat, 07/16/2011 - 13:40

I doubt that theres any 'dusting' involved with your mic to the point that it doesnt work properly. My point was about leaving any condenser on the stand without a cover while its not being used. If you research what I'm talking about you will learn something.

In short, a condenser mic has a capacitor that charges a plate that creates the mics ability to move its diaphram to capture sound vibrations. This charge disappates slowly after you turn off the mic and it attracts all kinds of crap floating around in the air which attaches to the diaphram creating added weight and restricting its ability to move properly.

So caring for any mic no matter the price is imperative to it staying 'new'. However, if looks and price are the only requirements you seek in a mic then by all means buy the ones with the highest retail that are on sale for the best savings. BTW, 'retail' has little to do with 'performance'.

BobRogers Sat, 07/16/2011 - 16:32

For what you are doing on YouTube the aesthetics of the mic are important and any subtle nuances in sound quality will be lost. The Aphex is cool looking and - as has been said - sounds as good as any of the mics in the price range you are considering. If you are doing live gigs you should have an SM58 and know how to work with it. (Anyone running a sound board will know exactly how to mix it and make it sound its best.)

Don't sweat the dust on your mic. I've played enough gigs on bandstands next to the kitchen door and come home smelling like cigarettes and fried chicken that I stopped worrying about the damage to my equipment long ago. Unless you are a heavy smoker recording in the kitchen you should be OK for several years. It doesn't hurt to cover the mic with a cloth or put it in a closet, though.

And speaking of aesthetics, dynamics like the SM7 and R20 are used all the time in radio and have a definite "pro" vibe to them. They would be pro quality mics that are great looking and distinctive as well.

audiokid Sat, 07/16/2011 - 17:50

BobRogers, post: 374137 wrote:
Don't sweat the dust on your mic. I've played enough gigs on bandstands next to the kitchen door and come home smelling like cigarettes and fried chicken that I stopped worrying about the damage to my equipment long ago. Unless you are a heavy smoker recording in the kitchen you should be OK for several years. It doesn't hurt to cover the mic with a cloth or put it in a closet, though.


To add some humor... I been playing when dance floor fight broke out and someone grab the entire mic stand and used it as a weapon. When he couldn't swing it because the mic cable got all pulled out of shape, the other guy grabbed it and took the mic out the clip and start beating on the other guy. The SM78 had dents but it sounded the same. Smoke only makes them sound better lol. Those things are hammers.

I think Dave was talking about higher end studio mics, right Dave?

sabathiel Sat, 07/16/2011 - 18:38

I don't know if anyone notices but I have for awhile now turn the mic upside down now so that means I guess dust will not be able to float around and land on the mic. The mic and my studio equipment which I use to record is located in a very clean room and no one smokes in the house.

Well I am having doubts buying a new mic now for sound reasons if there is absolutely no difference in sound (not even very little difference?). The thing is that I am a member of an online karaoke community called Singsnap where people record and post their karaoke performances. Some members are insane that they get Neumann mics just for this. I often here how some people say how much difference they sound after getting a new mic when the new mics are low or middle end of the range studio mics. One person I know was raving about how great his new mic is compared to the older one he had. This is his new mic which has a a pre-amp phantom power inside the mic:

[[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.proaudio…"]R102 Figure 8 Active Pressure Gradient Electro-Magnetic Low Mass 2.5 Micron Aluminum Ribbon Microphone, Superlux[/]="http://www.proaudio…"]R102 Figure 8 Active Pressure Gradient Electro-Magnetic Low Mass 2.5 Micron Aluminum Ribbon Microphone, Superlux[/]

I am now attracted to get the MXL V87 for aesthetic reasons because it includes a custom metal pop filter. If I want to get the AKG Perception 220 I need to get the KAM PF-1 Metal Micro Mesh Studio Microphone Pop Filter

KAM PF-1 Metal Micro Mesh Studio Microphone Pop Filter | eBay

However this costs around $50-60 (including shipping to Australia) alone just for this special pop filter and alternatively I can just get this pop filter and attach it to the shock mount of my Apex 435 and that will look extra cool for Youtube. I don't perform anywhere else apart from the regular karaoke bar and that doesn't require my equipment and uses simple dynamic mics or radio mics. I am kinda glad I posted at forums to get opinions from people who have knowledge about this issue before simply jumping and buying based on my lack of expertise and impulse on this matter.

BobRogers Sat, 07/16/2011 - 20:21

sabathiel, post: 374141 wrote: ...Well I am having doubts buying a new mic now for sound reasons if there is absolutely no difference in sound (not even very little difference?)...

I don't think anyone said that cheap mics all sound the same. They all (at least the ones I have heard) have flaws. Many of the flaws are similar (a hyped, harsh high end). But there are probably bigger differences between them than there are between better mics. Now one of these mics might fit your voice very well. But I doubt that there is any "cheap condenser expert" out there who can hear your voice and say that "Mic X will be great for you."

Again, as far as the sound goes almost any of these pop filters will work the same and are really not much different than panty hose stretched over a coat hanger or a fry pan splatter guard. The apex pop filter looks good and seems to work for you, so just stick with it.

GZsound Sun, 07/17/2011 - 13:13

I highly recommend a CAD M179 for a great all around studio mic. It works on just about everything and costs less than $200. Highly professional recordings can be made with that mic.

And yes, getting a professional interface can make a big difference in the sound. Most built in soundcards are pure junk.

RemyRAD Sat, 07/23/2011 - 08:30

You are making some very basic but simple mistakes here. Let me try to lead you down the correct path otherwise everything you do will sound like sushi.

Your video was cute but you know, the microphone in the video was not the microphone we heard in the video. The microphone on your video was on your camcorder/from your camcorder i.e. the camcorder microphone. If you truly believe that the microphone were singing into was the one we all heard on the recording, then you have your microphone turned around 180° backwards and you're singing on the back side of the cardioid capsule. This will not do.

It is absolutely imperative that is, absolutely necessary that you stop using the poor quality soundcard that came with your computer. That sound device is basically a toy and sounds like one, works like one and provides quality like all of the other toys being imported into the USA from China. So, junk and I'm not talking boats. A $150 US USB sound device with built-in 3 pin XLR microphone inputs with +48 V phantom supply is absolutely a mandatory purchase. You cannot do without this.

If you like that Sammy Davis Junior/Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin classic big band stuff, that active ribbon microphone is probably just the ticket! These active ribbons have similar advantages to condenser microphones with the lush acoustic quality of many of the classic RCA ribbon microphones these guys originally sang into. It will also be less offensive sounding in a small room such as the one you are using. This is a handy electronic way to improve your room acoustics without improving your room acoustics. In fact a non-active version from a company like Cascades with their Fat Head for $160 US might even be a better microphone for you. But to play it real safe with those, get yourself a large foam pop filter and not those filters everybody thinks you should be using. Like you are currently using.

If you knew sushi like I knew sushi...
Mx. Remy Ann David

sabathiel Sat, 07/23/2011 - 13:52

No I am definitely sure the webcam mic is turned off and the line in input microphone is activated. I turned the webcam mic all the way down and there is an option to select the line in microphone on. I have done both on my webcam recording software. I never knew that the studio condenser mic has two sides, the front and the back side. Both sides look exactly the same to me except that one side has the brand name which is the same that faces me when I sing always.

Yes I just purchases on eBay a new Creative Sound Blaster xi-fi xtreme music sound card which has an audio creation function and also a comprehensive mixer control panel in one of its audio softwares. So I am hoping there will be a noticeable improvement in sound quality after I install that sound card. Also until now I didn't know and didn't use the "stereo mix" or "what-u-can hear" function to record songs for Youtube. I always use the "line in mic" function. The "stereo mix" function apparently gives a much louder sound and boomy as well bassy audio with all the effects from the mixer being noticeable on the earphones monitor which boost one's confidence when singing.

No I don't always record big band swing karaoke songs. Mostly I sing rock/pop/pop rock/folk rock mainstream Top 100 songs. So far I've only recorded 3 big band swing songs on my Youtube channel. So that Ribbon mic is not absolutely imperative although I wanted to upgrade that cheap studio condenser mic of mine but after getting advice from people on this thread which says any mic under $600 won't make any real noticeable difference to my Youtube videos I've changed strategy to getting a new sound card instead. If I don get a new studio condenser mic now my eyes is set on AKG Perception 220 or Rode NT 1A. Probably the AKG because it is cheaper.

RemyRAD Mon, 07/25/2011 - 21:01

I don't know how you're dealing with these microphones that require +48 V phantom with an onboard soundcard? And you are not getting the sound from a microphone you are singing into. Near the end of your video, you lean right into that microphone and it's not you on that microphone. You don't quite understand the operation of the onboard mixer applet. There is both the recording and playback section. And your lovely new SoundBlaster isn't an improvement nor an upgrade. You need a professional USB audio interface with XLR connectors on it. Or you are utilizing a standalone mixer that has +48 V phantom taking the line output from your mixer into the input of your sound card line in? But I know what I'm hearing and I'm not hearing you on that microphone. You need some better wiring theory & application. Your mere misunderstanding of what you hear selection in your software mixer and such indicates you do not understand the proper operation. Any onboard soundcard including your new Sound Blaster, all can utilize the Microsoft windows mixer applet. In fact they are all tied together. So the SoundBlaster gives you their mixer but it parallels the Microsoft one. Only when you step into a different device altogether may you find or even not find a mixer applet. You will find routing but not necessarily the toys like environment in which you are currently working. So get with the program and get a real soundcard not a SoundBlaster. It's no better than what you currently have. It doesn't matter if it costs more, it ain't professional working or sounding. That's why God created professional audio magazines so you could read all of the advertisements and learn.

Mx. Remy Ann David

sabathiel Mon, 07/25/2011 - 22:06

Trust me the vocal sound that I am getting IS from the condenser mic because the webcam mic is muted and as well not selected as a mic source. The studio mic that I am using is connected to Behringer 1202FX mixer and when I am singing or testing the studio mic during sound check or during the recording I can hear the various sound effects used such as delay, reverb and echo. This would be impossible if I was using the webcam mic as source of my vocals. There is a massive difference in vocal quality between the webcam mic and the studio condenser mic (even if this mic is only a cheap $60 studio mic). I have tested and played around using different mic sources. Phantom power is provided from the Behringer mixer where you can turn on or turn off but since I am using the studio condenser mic it is always turned on. However since studio condenser mics are very sensitive and the mixer has no compressor function I use an extra device called Boss Pro CL-50 compresor/limiter/gate which I use as a compressor to get rid of the vocal distortions when hitting the high or loud notes. This device is no longer needed when I get the Sound Blaster sound card because the sound card comes with an audio console software (GUI) which has mixer like capabilities including a compressor function. I get my advice regarding my set up from this guy here which uses the same mixer and sound blaster sound card except he uses an AKG Perception 200 studio condenser mic. He is a recording support technician at an online karaoke site. He doesn't use my Boss Pro CL-50 compressor and doesn't experience vocal distortion because the sound blaster sound card which he uses has an audio mixer console has a vocal compressor function. Here is an example of his recording:

I understand quite well there is a playback and recording function on the on board sound card and setting are adjusted accordingly based on my friends advice. So far all my recordings have used the line in input on the PC but my friend uses the "stereo mix' or "what-u-hear" function. I will be using this function from now on either with my on board sound card or after I disable my on board sound card and uses the sound blaster sound card. What do you mean when you say "near the end of your video, you lean right into that microphone and it's not you on that microphone". It is me on that microphone both visually and vocally so I don't know what you are talking about there. And once again the vocals DOES come from the studio condenser mic through the Behringer mixer using phantom power connected to the Boss compressor into the line in input of the PC. You may not think so but I know so because I have tested how I sound with the webcam mic.

As for professional working or sounding what do you expect from people who only records for Youtube postings. How many Youtube videos have professional working or sounding recordings. If anyone wants professional sounds then go to a real music studio or be prepared to pay thousands of dollars like buying Neumann mics. Then you'll get truly professional sounds. You get what you pay for just like anything else in life.

Here is an example of a recent recording of mine where I accidentally turned off the compressor function on the Boss Pro CL-50 and you can hear the vocals slightly distorted towards the end when the vocals picked up and began to kick in harder. This is not as bad as singing rock songs when you started belting the vocals where you can really hear the distortion.

RemyRAD Tue, 07/26/2011 - 13:52

Look dudeleiedude, there are a few Of us here than have been doing this for over 40 years. I'm one of them. I know when people are on microphone. I know when they're not on microphone. The microphone I'm listening to is your multimedia microphone. Yes, you have it muted for output. But you've not adjusted the recording section of the mixer. It is still selected as the recording source. You're moving in and away from the microphone and there is no change in the proximity of your sound. All cardioid directional microphones exhibit proximity effect as you change your distance and as you turn your head and face away from the capsule, the sound would change monumentally. It's not changing at all as you go off axis. It's coming from your multimedia microphone sitting on the desk. I'm not the stupid one here. You're listening to your microphone perhaps in your headphones but it's not the one you are recording. Now having been a troubleshooter for NBC television, for nearly 20 years,, I know what I'm talking about. You don't quite know what you're doing even though you're having fun doing it. Bottom line is, I'm not sure if you're here to ask for help or you're trying to impress us with your technical ineptitude? I'm not impressed. If in fact you were recording this microphone, you'd sound a heckuva lot better than you do in these videos. But that's because you're not doing it right. If you're not going to listen to us then, go away because we are here to help you and you think you don't need help because you think you know what you're doing and you don't. I'm a specialist in vocal recording and I know this better than anybody else. How many major award nominations do you have? None? Do you own a quarter million dollar studio? No. You are a hobbyist/enthusiast and we can make you better if you listen to what we're telling you. So what are you really here for? I've been troubleshooting junk like this for my entire +40 year career. And when you do it at a big hit recording studio in New York City or for major television network, that's basically because you know what you're doing. You don't. Really, I think you're giving good performances but you're not recording what you think you're recording. It has nothing to do with your little compressor gizmo either. Now If you'd like to give me a call, I can walk you through it. You call me and I'll call you right back so it doesn't cost you anything. 202-239-7412 and leave a message with your number and the best time to call. I'm trying to help you.

You can't fix things for people that don't listen
Mx. Remy Ann David

sabathiel Tue, 07/26/2011 - 16:25

OK now I know what you mean with certain things that you've said. First, let's clarify a few things. You can boast all you want about your technical proficiency and here they mean nothing because anyone can say anything they want. I can for example say I am a Professor of Law at Harvard University. So? Having said that however I do believe you anyway. You don't have to be so defensive and sprout out your technical achievements or what you have done about recording because you are only dealing with someone who in essence knows nothing at all about recording issues. So even if you are none of what you say you are you are still far better than me and what I know about sound gear and recording. So is that clear now?

Second, who are the "we" your talking about? You said "we are here to help you and you don't think you need any help". You are yourself and you don't speak for others so what's with this "we" part? I listen to others here and I took their advice when they tell me don't get a new microphone if I am only going to use it for Youtube or want to get another mic under $600 because basically it is not a good investment. So yes I do listen when I think what they say have merit. I make my own judgment as to the merit of the advise I get. I wouldn't be here if I don't need any help. Do I know what I am doing with my gear? Probably not! Do I set my own gear up? No! I get help from that recording technician whose Youtube video I posted here. But one thing that I know is that my Youtube videos WERE recorded with my studio condenser mic. How do I know that? That's because I just checked. After hearing how confident you are in what you are saying I began to doubt if I was in fact recording with the mic I thought I was recording with. So what did I do? I checked again. I checked the settings of my webcam mic. What is muted is the input recording of the webcam mic. So when you said I have it muted for output you are wrong! Input is muted. That's what it says on the preference settings of the webcam mic. Now OK this still didn't give me absolute confidence that I am still recording from my junk studio condenser mic. So what did I do? I try recording me singing with the exact same settings as I did with my Youtube videos except with one major big difference. I unplugged the studio condenser mic cable from the mixer and started recording with the webcam. Guess what? Wait for it.................THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO VOCALS IN THE VIDEO RECORDING! Now I am absolutely convinced that I have been recording my videos with my studio condenser mic. OK maybe not absolutely convinced as I still am no expert on this issue but dare I say I am 99% convinced!!!

You are absolutely right when you say:

"All cardioid directional microphones exhibit proximity effect as you change your distance and as you turn your head and face away from the capsule, the sound would change monumentally".

That is what happens when I don't use my Boss Pro CL-50 compressor/limiter/gate. This is an example of that recording without using the Boss compressor and you can see as I turn away from the mic the vocal sound changes monumentally:

SingSnap | Stairway To Heaven by sabathiel

So I am thinking maybe, just maybe this little device called the Boss Pro CL-50 compressor is making this change that affects the operation of the junk studio condenser mic I am using as it changes the dynamics of how it actually operates on its own. However having said that I do still notice that when I am recording the vocal sound gets slightly weaker when I pull away from the mic. That's why when I pull away from the mic I raise the volume of my vocals to compensate for lost of volume in the vocals. Without the Boss compressor there will be much more volume lost of the vocals. Another example is when I sing falsetto which has less vocal power I move closer to the mic to get more vocal volume and power. When the falsetto is over I pull back from the mic. So yes there is still vocal changes as you change your distance or singing direction from the mic but not as monumentally as without the Boss compressor being used. However to minimise this vocal variation in volume or vocal power I adjust my vocals accordingly by singing in a certain way so that difference is not so noticeable in the final recording result.

Now no one is actually stupid here (and yes I read your original unedited post in my email notification which has not been toned down) Having said that just because you are some recording expert doesn't mean that you are infallible and never or won't make any mistakes (stupid mistakes even) or make a wrong judgment or erroneous analysis without possessing the full facts such as being at the actual place where the recording was done and having access to all the data which I have here where I record. Sometimes when an expert jumps into conclusion without actually making sure he/she has the full facts and full knowledge of what was actually done he/she makes a less than proper judgment to put it mildly.

Now as for your invitation for me to call you and you will call me back. I won't waste my money making an international call from Australia until I know I am dealing with a sound recording expert with proper common sense as well as objectivity who does not claim infallibility without knowing all the facts regardless of what impression he/she gets from watching the video based on his/her own professional expertise in this field which may be subjective and not fit as a final conclusion or final analysis on this issue. Do I think you can advise me as to sound better with my video recordings? Absolutely. Do I think you can do a better job if you were in fact in my house dealing and checking the equipment first hand rather than watching my videos online or advising me through the phone? Definitely as well. Do I really want to based on your rushed judgment and lack of humility as well as your clear insults (in your unedited post)? I am not so sure.

RemyRAD Tue, 07/26/2011 - 17:18

I didn't realize you were in Australia. No wonder you sound off axis. No wonder it sounds like you're not on the mic. You're down under. So I stand corrected. As to the " we", we, here at are a community of professional audio experts and we are all freely wasting our time with people like you because you don't get it, never will. It's okay, it's only for fun for you. If you're going to charge money to do this, you've got to become a little more proficient and " we" are.

May I sit down now?
Mx. Remy Ann David

sabathiel Tue, 07/26/2011 - 20:23

No, you may not sit down yet. I am not done with you. LOL

OK I know what you mean when you say "we" now. I have no idea what you mean "sound off axis" and I didn't know that being in Australia changes the sound of my recordings or my vocals on Youtube. My untrained ears do not pick up anything different from any Youtube recordings from the USA. Maybe that is because you guys are not so near the axis of the earth us being near the south pole and all. LOL Is that what you mean by "axis"? I have no clue.

I did listen to "we" here. I listened attentively to Bob Rogers and others on their advice about mics. I was so keen in getting a new studio mic and I had my eyes on some mics like the MXL and AKG or even the Rode NT 1A mics. I already have the money set aside for it. However since I am such a "great" listener here I abandoned my plans on getting a new studio mic and settle for my $60 Apex 435 as Bob said that is the best course of action. I also listened attentively to you except for one point. That is when you said I am not recording from my Apex 435. I have played around recording with different mics before such as using a dynamic mic and even tested recording using the webcam mic. None are as good as recording from the studio mic even though I must admit I am still not happy with the sound of this studio mic. That is why I wanted to get a new and a slightly more expensive studio mic. But after getting advice from the "we" people now I am getting a new sound card instead with better audio functions and effects because the advice I get about on board PC sound cards is that these things are essentially junk. Your confidence and technical expertise made me doubt I was in fact recording from my studio mic but after a thorough check and simply disconnecting the mic from the mixer and found I was miming in the final video result I was sure I am right and you are wrong. I reserved a 1% doubt just in case there are something supernatural about sound recording which negates the fact that I disconnected the studio mic from the external mixer.

Gee I even took the advice of another poster here who told me not covering my studio mic whilst not being used could damage the mic in the long run because of dust piling up. Then others seem to question this advise. So it looks like the "we" people also seem to be in some disagreement on recording or sound matters which is not uncommon in any area of technical expertise or field of knowledge. Opinions vary even amongst experts on many issues. That is why there are different experts called in court with different and varying opinions in the same field of knowledge to testify on behalf of different sides to support each side's case. Some things they may agree on, some things they may disagree on. A fact of life even amongst experts.

What makes you say "if you are going to charge money to do this"? You mean you guys charge money to provide advise? You are not charging me so don't worry. You can make all the mistakes you want as long as you don't make mistakes to the extent you blow up my system. Then you'll find yourself in a law suit. ;)

Now you can sit down after you stand in the corner of the class and repeat 1000 times "I shall not jump into conclusion before knowing all the relevant facts in the circumstances and waste Uncle Sab's time on something that should never be a matter of debate at the first place such as saying Uncle Sab did not record his vocals from his studio mic and waste HIS time with careless and negligent expert recording technicians like me". Consider that a lenient punishment or would you rather say "Hail Mary full of grace forgive me for my sins" a million times which should really happen to "people like you" because you just don't get what people are trying to say in simple plain English. ;)

RemyRAD Tue, 07/26/2011 - 21:07

LOL now you understand about the passion we all have regarding audio. It's a passionate lifestyle.

Okay here's the deal on being off axis as opposed to on axis. When you're right in front of that capsule diaphragm and you're aiming directly at it with your mouth, you are on axis. As soon as you turn your head or move off-center, the microphone will still pick you up but off axis. Large diaphragm condenser microphones suffer more from bad sound off axis then do small diaphragm condenser microphones which suffer less. It becomes a rather clouded cardboard box like tonality when you are off axis from a large diaphragm condenser microphone.

Now the bit about the dust. It doesn't matter whether it's right side up, upside down or on its side. The diaphragm is polarized by the +48 V phantom supply. The single transistor in the microphone doesn't need +48 V. But the diaphragm in order to be polarized needs that much on a non-polarized, condenser microphone diaphragm. There are other condenser microphones that have a permanent charge on the diaphragm and can be operated from as little as 15 V Phantom. But, true non-polarized condenser microphones require a full +48 V. Now when the voltages on the microphone, it effectively is acting like a statically charged (electrostatic) air cleaner. With the voltage on it it attracts all sorts of pollutants that are airborne. After a number of years all of these diaphragms end up looking something like chocolate chip cookies as opposed to nice shiny 24 karat goldplated mylar film. A lot of people like these nylon stocking pop filters. They offer a certain amount of better clarity than a big old foam pop filter. But the phone pop filter is actually a good thing to have on your microphone. It protects the microphone better from airborne particulate contaminants. Unfortunately, you'll lose about -.5 DB at 15 kHz. And although it is supposed to be technically transparent from a sonic standpoint, it's shape alone does influence the character of the sound of the microphone. If you can't live with it, you need the nylon stocking type. I use both been quite frankly, I frequently prefer the foam.

Now talking about studio microphones, even the lowly USA Shure SM58 has successfully been used as the primary vocal microphone, in the studio, for people like Bono, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Michael Jackson on the SM 7 which is like a luxury 58 but costs $300 US instead of $100 US. And these kinds of microphones actually can make you sound better than those " studio condenser microphones" made in China and elsewhere to be bargain devices. It's true. When you can't get the vocal to sound right, that's when you use an SM58.

And of course I was only joking about the Australian down under stuff. Since you're in Australia, perhaps you can answer a question for me? Everybody tells me the water goes down the toilet clockwise instead of counterclockwise like it does in the USA? Maybe you can clear some things up for me? A lot of people tell me I am into potty humor. It's true. But if I'm going to work in potty humor, I really need to know this. And by the way, I think your microphone is perfectly fine. Believe it or not here is what might seem to be a ridiculous tip. One of the few things people don't quite realize about setting levels properly is that you generally want to see everything set in pretty much the same position. If you think of it as hands on a clock, two o'clock and is generally where you want to be in your level setting. You can always accomplish this with every audio device but it's generally a ruler from that this is a part of the operational curve of most electronics that we refer to as the unity gain position. On the long linear straight faders that spot is 12 DB down from full up. And then we use what they call audio taper as opposed to linear taper. Either one can actually be used in either position but, the audiotape or one is more of a logarithmic curve making it easier to adjust volume levels over a larger space than lower volume levels on the fader position. If you use a linear taper for adjusting volume, fine adjustments are more difficult in any " riding the volume" control scenario as in live stuff. Although frequently our trim controls are linear taper. This little bit of advice will take you further into making better sounding recordings for YouTube. Okay okay, so I might have to post my Michael Jackson impersonation that was mistakenly aired on NBC's #1 station in DC, WKYS. This was in 1983. Even back then, there are those of us with extensive studios at home. I did it for a joke where I cussed, In the middle of the song and asked if we could do that again. It sounded too believable to Donnie Simpson. I told them it was Michael Jackson, live, on the radio network, on a bad day. Knowing what a smartass I am, I figured you would just get a good laugh out of it. But I didn't hear anything about it until two days later. Another engineer passed me in the hallway and stopped me. He told me Donnie made him play it. I asked him if he got a good laugh? Then he looked kind of sick and told me Donnie made him play it on the air. Now I couldn't quite believe this? It wasn't Michael I told him. Donnie is an African-American and the color just washed out of his face when I told him it was me, in my bedroom. Nobody even knew what karaoke was in 1983 in the USA. I just had to take Michael off the record myself. And if you do it right, you don't lose any low-end. So all the bass guitar and bass drums stay intact. You can also try this. This is possible because vocal frequencies lie predominately between 300 & 3000 Hz. So all you have to do is take one channel at about 150 Hz and cut the low-end off. The difference in phase between the two channels allows everything below 150 Hz now to pass. If you use the preset in your software, you'll lose all the bass. Try my way. Now you can also do this in stereo by crossing left & right channels, out of phase. But you have to combine them to Mono first before you add them back into the stereo mix. It's a lot of fun to listen to your recordings this way. You hear all sorts of things you never heard before. It's the secret hidden third channel on everything. This technique was popular back in the days of quadraphonics. But that's before you were born.

Hope this helps?
Mx. Remy Ann David

Davedog Tue, 07/26/2011 - 22:08

"We" are still watching this.

Orientation of the mic will have nothing to do with it gathering airborne particles.
And for all you live music rough riders (of which I am one) a dynamic gathers less crap even by the kitchen than a polarized condenser cap will in a seemingly clean space over time. Since I'm a lot older than most of you and still play almost every weekend and have forever, you can take that to the bank. It still requires some care to keep CONDENSERS in working order.

FYI. Mics that you see in pictures being used in an inverted setup are set up this way for a reason. Originally it was because of the mics being TUBE mics which create a lot of heat from the tube in the body. Heat rises so in order to have the heat dissapate somewhere other than through the capsule, the mics were inverted. Not all the mics you see being set-up this way are tube mics. Another reason for this is , in the studio when you are tracking a vocalist, at times they need to be able to see their notes and lyrics so inverting the mic clears a sight path below the level of the mic.

"We" only know these things cause 'we've' been doing this for 30 years or so.


BTW. No matter what you may think, the recording primer you're getting for free here is really quite expensive at University. Remy can speak for me whenever. Remember also that theres a LOT of tongue in cheek going on at all times.

sabathiel Wed, 07/27/2011 - 21:54

That's a lot of tips and information to remember as well as knowledge to learn. I will try and digest all that as I know they are valuable information. I have to read it a few times even to let it sink in as they are filled with all sorts of technical jargons.

Since you really want to know about how the water going down the toilet clockwise or anti-clockwise. I observed my toilet but didn't see anything that either goes clockwise or anti-clockwise. It just goes down! LOL But in science class we are taught that in the N. Hemisphere - winds primarily go west to east, and low pressure systems (like hurricanes/tornados) spin counterclockwise (like your drain in your toilet or sink). In the S. Hemisphere they are all the opposite. Maybe it is my toilet that is not very clear on this because of the way it flushes. I will observe other toilets when I go out and get back to ya!

OK here is some news to you all. I just did an impulse buying thing on eBay. I saw a brand new studio condenser mic, AKG Perception 420 which was sold for $249 plus free express international shipping. It has a "make an offer" function and this was the cheapest price I found on eBay. So I couldn't resist but make an offer. I offered the seller $220 and told him he can save his money by not sending it express post to Oz. So he counter offered by saying $230 is the lowest he can do me with USPS Priority international mail. He cannot get any lower. I told him why not send it USPS First Class international mail. He replied that's because Paypal insists on a mail service with a tracking number for the purpose of proving the item has in fact been sent for proof when either seller or buyer makes a claim if anything goes wrong with the item during shipping or fraud from the buyer or seller. I told him my eyes is not really set on this expensive mic because my advise is that my mic is good enough for what I am doing and if I do want to get a mic it will be the $179 plus free international shipping of the AKG Perception 220. I made an offer out of impulse and wanting to know if the seller would go down to $220. If he won't go down that far then no sweat as that means it wasn't meant to be for me to get a new and more expensive mic and is in fact a blessing in disguise to save my money. Then he buckled and accepted my $220 offer which means I am now obliged to buy it. This is $200 Oz dollars. Well now with this mic I will take good care of it and follow the "we" people advice here. I will cover the mic with a cloth or maybe even with a pouch when not using it. Something I have never done with the $60 Apex 435 ever. I guess when using my AKG Perception 420 on Youtube some people will know it is an AKG Perception because of its distinct design and colour. So that is something to show off compared to my Apex 435. As I said one of the reasons to get a new mic is for show. Apparently this Perception 420 has a switchable bass cut filter and has a 3 selectable polar patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional and figure-eight whatever they may mean. It is a back to back large diaphragm multi pattern transducer which allow a wide range of stereo miking techniques and ambient recording. In Australia they retail in the shops for around $500 Oz although the street price is more like around $400. So $200 is a good price for me I guess. It is also a High sensitivity mic with a 155 dB maximum SPL capability. My Apex 435 is only 140 db. So there ya go I had nothing better to do and haggled with a eBay seller without expecting getting the price that I was offering and got the mic.

Well that was all before I actually checked my email and looked for the recent replies here. I don't know if I would have playfully bother make an offer for the Perception 420 if I actually read these recent replies here first. Well I guess it's meant to be that I upgrade my mic. After selling my Apex 435 for half price at $25-30 I guess the Perception 420 will only cost me 170 Oz dollars or if I can't sell it it will act as a spare mic. I just hope I will detect an improvement in vocal sound using this more expensive mic. As someone kinda told me here "not all cheap or middle of the range mics are equal".

That's the story so far.

sabathiel Wed, 07/27/2011 - 21:57

Oh by the way can anyone solve one of the mysteries of my singing?

This is one thing I cannot figure out. When I sing some songs without any proper sound system such as during a live performance at a karaoke bar I struggle singing some songs in the original key. But when I sing using a mic and hear my boomy voice at the bar's loud speakers singing becomes much easier and high notes can be hit with relative ease. Somewhat that extra boost from the sound system from the time you say "test test test" into the mic gives you confidence and you don't seem to strain your vocal chords when hitting the high notes. Is that because with a proper sound system the loud volume coming from the mic, mixer, amp and speakers makes your job of singing easier. At home when practicing without any sound system and just with your natural voice it is harder hitting the high notes because you always want to sound as loud as with a sound system and that's why you seem to try to pump up more vocals and end up straining your vocals or not being able to hit the high notes cleanly. I found this out when at home practicing I cannot sing in the original key of the karaoke backing track and had to lower the key 2 half steps. Then I performed the song at the karaoke bar and thought this is a walk in the park. So the next week I sang the same song in the original key which I struggled practicing at home and didn't find any difficulty singing the song. The high notes were hit cleanly and comfortably. Is this just me or is this a common thing amongst singers. Another thing also is if the DJ don't give you generous volume at the karaoke bar then the problem happens again and that means struggling to hit certain high notes on certain songs. But if you cue the DJ to turn the vocal volume up then your job as a singer becomes easier again.

I also notice that bands always sing acoustic versions or their songs in a lower key than the original recording like a half step or a full step lower. Is that because they have the same problem as I do when singing acapella?

RemyRAD Fri, 07/29/2011 - 13:18

Everybody likes to cheat. Cheat on your taxes. Cheat on your lover. Cheat on your values. Cheat on the key you sing things in. The Beatles did this frequently. And they would write songs in a key that was actually too high for them to comfortably hit the notes. So while tracking vocals, the master multitrack tape was slowed down a bit. They could then hit their high notes. And the tapes were played back at normal speed. They didn't sound like Alvin and the chipmunks except that radio stations that had a tendency to speed up all of their music. Not just the Beatles. The stations were called a " Much More Music" station format. They were able to play more top 40 songs than the other radio stations did because they were running faster. And so those Beatles recordings sometimes made them sound like it was Alvin & the Beatles. LOL Because of shifting things a couple of half steps and then shifting them again up a couple more half steps, the vocal then became more than 2 steps higher, thus producing Alvin.

Singing has a lot to do with proper support, breath control, placement. That takes more vocal technique than passion. You're a passionate singer and so you're vocal performances are largely based upon your passion and not so much a part of vocal technique. The PA system allows you to hear yourself better. And I think in that instance, it automatically puts your brain into more technique mode as opposed to passion? When you just perform without the use of adequate sound reinforcement, you're singing may in fact be more compromised? But also being in performance mode as opposed to living room mode also makes for a different value of performance level. Your brain is an incredible automatic processor. This is where you learn your technique of how to kick it in when you want it. And that only comes from experience & practice along with theory. Doing karaoke is for personal enjoyment along with fun for all. But when you are a performer on stage and people are spending money to hear you, it's a whole different ballgame. It's a different mind space.

Dealing with too much space in my mind
Mx. Remy Ann David

sabathiel Fri, 07/29/2011 - 17:18

Yeah that makes sense. Thanks. I posted the same exact post and question at a singing lessons forum and there were plenty of views of the post but no one answered that question. I guess the vocal details that come from a proper sound system makes you more conscious of your vocals on the PA system and allows you to make all sorts of adjustments of your vocals as well as boost your confidence psychologically. I have never had any singing lessons so I just go and give it all I got without any regard for vocal technique. I guess in my case passion makes up for my lack of vocal training. Anyway it's all for fun anyway but that doesn't mean one cannot learn in the process. I just am not prepared to fork out the dough for proper vocal lessons because this is not something that has a prospect of having a career in. Mind you I am in a band (2 bands even) but I play bass guitar and not sing. I put more effort in bass practice as well as acoustic guitar practice than my singing.

I've been doing a little research about the different polar patterns on studio mics. And I found this article.

[[url=http://[/URL]="http://homerecordin…"]A Guide to Microphone Patterns | Home Recording[/]="http://homerecordin…"]A Guide to Microphone Patterns | Home Recording[/]

I guess when I get my new mic the polar pattern that I should use is the cardioid pattern which makes the other 2 polar pattern options on my mic rather redundant. However I will try and play around with different polar patterns when singing and see what their recording results are.

RemyRAD Fri, 07/29/2011 - 18:30

Yeah, polar patterns can be fun. While for a solo vocalist, there isn't any real practical applications. If however, you have a group of people singing, you put the microphone into Omni. Then the 2 capsules (which are back-to-back) are then both electrically connected together, in phase. This way the microphone is live, in the front, in the back and on the sides in equal value. However, let's say, there is only 2 vocalists. You can then put the microphone into figure 8. In this position, the capsules are electrically connected together out of phase. Basically what you get is a directional microphone in the front. A directional microphone in the back. And it's extremely dead at 90° & 270° on the sides. The sides could face the band reducing interference into the microphone capsule. Now this figure 8 pattern & the cardioid pattern are both directional. And with directional patterns you get the base built up known as Proximity Effect. This simply means that as you get closer the bass frequencies increases, the closer you get. And that's the reason for that bass roll off filter. Omni does not suffer from Proximity Effect and so the tonality of your vocal will change regardless of how close or far you are from the microphone. Of course it will also pick up more sound of the room since it is no longer directional. These kinds of microphones are also utilized for certain kinds of stereo microphone techniques such as MS (Middle-Side). And this requires 2 microphones that are closely matched (generally identical). Although it is still possible to create stereo effects with this technique with non-similar microphones. This technique requires a cardioid microphone to face the direction of the sound and the figure of 8 microphone to be placed perpendicular to the cardioid i.e. it is facing sideways left to right. When the two are combined with a special technique, you get incredible stereo that can be varied from wide to narrow. You can't get that with XY or ORTF. And with those types of stereo microphones, you rarely have a solid center image as you get with Middle-Side. You may not notice that much of a difference between the microphone you currently have and the cardioid directional position of your new microphone. Your new microphone is more expensive because it has 2 capsules, which doesn't necessarily make it better, just more versatile for folks like myself. So I hope you won't be disappointed with it when you get it? That's why we were suggesting different types of single capsule cardioid condenser microphones. So if you think about your new microphone at half its price, that's basically what you have. That's because it takes twice as much stuff inside to make it multi-pattern which doesn't make it twice as good but perhaps twice as versatile. Many of these different microphones by different manufacturers are in fact utilizing the same capsules from a single Chinese manufacturing supplier.

A lot of the real difference sounds between condenser microphones are more the size (small diaphragms & large diaphragms) that makes for perceptual & noticeable differences. Also the thickness of the Mylar film utilized. The older classic condenser microphones by Neumann such as their 67/87 LDC microphones had a 6 mil thickness. Microphones by other manufacturers that seem to have a better high-frequency response frequently have 3 mil or even 1 1/2 mil thickness diaphragms. But not everybody wants the crispier brighter sound that comes from those thinner mylar films. A lot of people still love the lush smoky darkness of the 6 mil diaphragms. Many of the peoples whose songs you are singing sang into those thicker diaphragms providing a warmer quality to their voice. Basically, the microphones that you eventually gather over time are the different palates of color that you utilized for specific instruments & singers. For instance, I get a singer in the studio, I'll frequently set up at least 3 very different microphones at the same time. We'll cut a track and then play it back, trying to establish which one is most appropriate. Sometimes, certain singers require/insist on certain microphones for their vocals. Over time, they've gotten to know what they sound best on, especially when you've had the luxury of trying all of the world's best to all of the world's cheapest microphones. A lot of folks actually don't sound good on really fine microphones. For those people, simpler, less expensive dynamic microphones such as the Shure SM58 (approximately $100 US) can actually make folks sound better than the $3000 + U 87. Examples are, Bono, Steven Tyler & even Michael Jackson whose lead vocals were cut on Shure SM 7's (approximately $325 US). It's not that it's that much better than a 58 but it has other features and a different design criteria. But it's essentially nearly identical to an SM58. You should really purchase one of those cheap SM58's if you don't already have one in your band. You might find that you like the way you sound better on it for recordings as well and even better than your more expensive condenser microphone. It will be lush & warmer and rarely has the ability to overdrive your microphone preamp which the condenser microphones frequently do. So with condenser microphones, you also have to deal with the proper padding. Frequently, the microphone will have its own pad. This is a different kind of pad than if the microphone preamp has a pad. And you have to understand when and how to use those so as to prevent overloading the microphones own internal electronics or, the downstream microphone input electronics a.k.a. the preamp. Sometimes you use one or the other or both depending upon the application.

So basically, those of us in this for the business, rarely ever sell off any of our microphones. We want as many different ones as we can get our hands on and hopefully in matched pairs (they don't have to be precisely matched as in sequential serial numbered). But coming from Australia, you have a really fine microphones manufacturer right there that will cost you anything but local postage or trip to your local music store and that's Rode. And those aren't exactly made in China as they are made in Australia. Even Austrian microphone manufacturers are utilizing Chinese capsules in their lower cost microphones. So even if you get a Austrian or German microphone, you may be surprised to find that it came from a place closer to you than Germany or Austria. Not looking at a map, I believe China is closer to Australia. (Giggle giggle).

So how is winter in Australia right now? It topped out here at over 100°F in Washington DC today. You see, I think it's all of the politicians contributing to global warming through all their constant babble & bickering that's doing more harm than the use of any incandescent light bulbs. But then again, I guess anything more than 100 years old should be replaced with something more modern and economical. That's certainly a contradiction for me since I love all of the equipment from the 1970s instead of what I'm hearing in the 21st century.

Mary had a Little amp, whose squeak was light as pitch. And everywhere that Mary sang all she did was bitch.
Mr. Watson come in here I need you.
Mx. Remy Ann David

sabathiel Fri, 07/29/2011 - 19:36

Too bad my eyes was set on a Rode NT 1A first but eventually I got the AKG Perception 420 because it was a a good deal on eBay. If I could get the Rode NT 1A for the same price I would have gotten this mic instead but I had to fork out at least another $100 for this mic and I was on a tight budget. I knew Rode is made in Oz but I was told by the person at the local music shop that the AKG Perception was only assembled in China and the parts are from Austria. I was happy with that and that probably tipped me to get the AKG instead of the Rode.

I might at a later stage, once I have the money, get that Bono's dynamic mic called the Shure SM58 which can be grabbed from eBay for a bit over $100. I actually don't sing that many big band jazz swing type songs although I am a fan of this style of music. I've only recorded 3 songs of this genre so far for Youtube. "It Had To Be You" by Harry Connick Jr, "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" by Sinatra and that Sammy Davis Jr song I posted here. Examples of other genre of songs I record are U2, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones/Mick Jagger solo stuff, Dire Straits, Sting, Oasis, Johnny Cash, Genesis, Ben Harper etc.

Just to show you that my vocals vary from song to song depending on the genre I sing or the style of the original singer. Here are examples of some songs I recorded which are vastly of different tones from my big band/swing/jazz kind of songs.

If you listen to those example of different kinds of songs I sing you will notice the different singing style and different vocal tone that I use for different songs which may mean different types of mics suitable for those different styles. I also have posted a song where I don't sing to a backing track but simply do an acoustic cover version of a song playing my acoustic guitar. But since I am really a bass guitarist my guitar playing is only adequate for certain songs that's why I don't post many acoustic guitar cover songs yet. But once I improve on my guitar playing I will be posting more videos of this kind in the future. But I don't use the studio mic for recroding the guitar part as I plug in my guitar to the Behringer mixer. But it would be interesting to record the acoustic guitar using my multi-pattern studio mic when it comes to see what the sound would be like. Someone told me the sound produced from plugging the acoustic guitar direct to the mixer and recording using a studio mic is different and is a matter of taste as to which one is better.

Oh also is it true that the XLR studio mic cable type used may also contribute to the overall sound of the vocal recording. What do you think of gold plated mogami XLR mic cables? They cost like around $40 while the current cable I use is like a $20 cable which the person at the local music shop now tells me is designed more for musical instruments rather than mics.

Winter here has been cold this year but in the last few days we have been getting decent weather like yesterday it was around 17 Celsius during the day which was pleasant for winter. On other occasions we may get 8-10 Celsius during the day and around 0-4 Celsius at night or early in the morning. I don't know what they are in Fahrenheit but I do know anything about 90 degrees Fahrenheit is like quite hot. So 100 degrees F must be roasting. Our summer never gets that warm here as I live in the greener part and colder part of Oz down south underneath Melbourne. Summer is generally like under 25 degrees Celsius during the day with the odd over 30 degrees C once in a blue moon. It is up north of Oz where you get tropical weather with high humidity and temperatures around 30 degrees C which is around 90 degrees F. We even get snow here down south up the mountains at times and frost on the grass early in the mornings sometimes.

sabathiel Fri, 08/19/2011 - 12:21

Finally got my multi-pattern AKG Perception 420 studio condenser mic and my Creative sound blaster xtreme music sound card. Here is an example of a recording done with my new equipment.

[[url=http://[/URL]="…"]Misery - acoustic (Maroon 5) karaoke cover - YouTube[/]="…"]Misery - acoustic (Maroon 5) karaoke cover - YouTube[/]

RemyRAD Sun, 08/21/2011 - 22:39

This is an enormous improvement. This microphone is the real deal and you are on axis. The soundcard while not being a professional item, also has its audible benefits from slightly newer technologies. Now you're cooking with gas. This is so much better. Proud of you dude.

Now you add a little more production flair to your video. Take your track and then shoot yourself again (only with the camera) while you lip-synch to yourself. Then you slice those into your current video as additional visual amusements. And you get real music videos. You can play your track back on any portable CD player. You're video sound can then be used to synchronize against your recorded audio track. So you don't actually use the audio on your second B roll video Pass. It's only there to synchronize to your good audio track.

Get to work. What are we paying you for?
Mx. Remy Ann David

sabathiel Sun, 08/21/2011 - 23:27

I am not sure I know how to record my vocals separately and then add it to a video where I am lip synching. I have software where I can simply record pure audio either using the "audio creation" mode of my new sound card or using Sony Acid Music Studio version 8. But then I am lost as to how to combine this audio recording with a silent video taken with my Logitech HD C600 webcam. I am not sure I want to do the Britney Spears miming thing either because singers like this don't get the respect from people who prefer live takes of any performances. But if I know how to do this I might try it to see what it looks and sounds like.

This is my first recording with my new sound gear but for my second performance (Misery) I changed the settings on the mixer and the audio console panel of the sound card (eg effects, equalizer etc) because someone told me with different types of music you change your sound settings. Since my first take was a jazz big band swing song and my second song is a pop rock acoustic take I played around with the sound settings. I am not sure I got it right both times but I am learning to use my ears to adapt to different types of music genre using whatever equipment I got. Hopefully in the long run I will develop a trained technical ear to improve on my recordings. Here is my first take:

[[url=http://[/URL]="…"]Secret Love (Doris Day/George Michael) karaoke cover - YouTube[/]="…"]Secret Love (Doris Day/George Michael) karaoke cover - YouTube[/]

RemyRAD Mon, 08/22/2011 - 03:42

While it's not necessary to change your sound for different musical genres, it certainly heightens interest IMHO. And for that marvelous big-band genre, you're now sounding great! This blows your other crap microphone/soundcard away. What you're doing now is exactly correct. If you said to vary too far off of this norm, misadjust Levels from where they currently are, you may ruin things with improvements. Know when you've hit your mark. You're there man. This was just what the doctor ordered.

Now onto this video thing. So, from what it sounds like, you have no camcorder and/or no way to import any camcorder footage into your computer nor have any rudimentary consumer video editing programs? But the concept is not from bad fake performers. All professional music videos are generally produced in this manner unless it was an actual live concert recording. Well that's what I basically do, music videos are virtually shot like movies. So you would just take this audio track with this video and simply make a recording onto a CD of the music you are singing. Then you play that CD back through a portable boombox while rolling a Camcorder on you. You sing along with the CD. Then you use the audio track from this video to lay over your original video with audio track. You turn off the audio track then from the new camcorder videos shot. It's only used to make sure you're synchronized with your original in your living room recording shot. Most consumer editors can handle 2 streams of video that allow you to have them running in parallel. And then in the software, you get to select one shot and then the other and back and forth, etc.. Once you've done that, you then render out a completed, all encompassing video with you in your studio singing followed by you singing outside sitting behind the steering wheel of your car. Then back to the studio shot. Then you cut away to you singing down at your favorite club/pub/bar (and with your boombox playing your CD, you'll entertain everyone). And you're only using your original singing in the living room as your primary audio track from the original video. New camcorder video audio is simply now muted. And voilà! You'll be working those Las Vegas nightclubs and casinos in no time.

You brat!
Mx. Remy Ann David

sabathiel Mon, 08/22/2011 - 05:14

The thing with changing the settings is that there are different types of preset equalizer settings designed for jazz, rock, pop, acoustic, opera, country or you can customise your own settings. The reverb also has different presets like jazz club, amphitheater, opera hall, theater, concert hall etc. So I use what I think is appropriate for my songs. There is also a feature on the sound card that restores the sound of the music to studio quality that is lost when the mp3 file or CD was compressed. It is called Xi-Fi crystalizer which can be controlled by having more crytslization or less or turning it off completely. Some songs just don't sound too good being to sharp and to crystal clear and some songs sound better. There is also the smart volume management which makes the different sounds on the song more level and equal. I turn this off because I prefer the different sounds in the songs to have their own natural levels and not level everything evenly. Then there is the 3D surround sound system as well as the various speakers mode like 2.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 7.1. Then you can also pan the vocals to the front left and right speakers, or rear left and right speakers or put it in the center. You can even adjust the balance of the volume of where the vocals are either left or right. So I just play around with some of these but not all.

As for the video editing and creating music videos. That is all very well and dandy but at this point they will cost me more bucks and I have spent enough not to mention learning all those skills to create music videos. Maybe sometime in the future.

Dionna Blue Mon, 09/05/2011 - 02:02

Those metal pop filters don't work well from what I've read. I like the Blue Spark with the cool "Blue" custom filter and I like the MXL 4000 because it's blue and my last name is Blue for recording purposes. But I have to think like a professional and not be led into a shallow purchase based on looks. Kinda like a long-term relationship. The prettiest girl might not be the right one for ya. lol
But I still want that MXL 4000!!! lol Maybe I'll have a better mic airbrushed. hmmmm


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