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is it ok to scream or yell into a condenser mic?

scream/yell into a condenser mic? I recall reading somewhere not to do that. True or not? If so, what if I stand back a bit?



Profile picture for user moonbaby

moonbaby Sun, 02/26/2006 - 06:33

Give a screaming vocalist a ribbon mic is like giving Dick Cheney an Ouzi !! Ya don't do it unless you want the end result to be something dead!
I've screamed at a lot of mics in my life, especially the ones that didn't behave the way I thought that they should.
Seriously, Remy's right, you have to have a switchable pad ON the mic (LDC) to avoid overloading the internal preamp. I have used the Shure SM58 and tha Audix OM-6 many times in the studio to handle a screamer. If they're good enough for Steven Tyler in the studio, they're good enough for you...

RemyRAD Sun, 02/26/2006 - 16:57

WOW moonbaby! I didn't know Steve Tyler was another SM58 studio user! It makes total sense! And unlike many people here think, it's not a compromise. It's smart engineering. I love good studio condenser microphones but not all the time. I love lobster but most of the time I go for the tacos!

Please pass the jalapeno peppers.
Ms. Remy Ann David
put that in your lobster and smoke it!

Profile picture for user ccool

ccool Wed, 02/22/2006 - 21:01

Actually, it really depends on the mic. From experience: I did VO work on a video game project. Major studio. Believe me, there was screaming and all sorts of sounds. You know, the death curding scream upon bludgeoning by a super monster. Pop filter? For sure.


Profile picture for user atlasproaudio

atlasproaudio Fri, 04/14/2006 - 21:37

saemskin wrote: scream/yell into a condenser mic? I recall reading somewhere not to do that. True or not? If so, what if I stand back a bit?

1) It depends on the condenser mic.

2) There is the SPL and input headroom to consider.
Some people confuse the headroom of the preamp with the headroom of the microphone. Often times, the mic has more headroom than the pre.

3) Take into account the microphones output. Some condensers are already too "hot", TLM103 case in point.

You can't damage the condenser mic by screaming into it, it's not like a ribbon. The worst that will happen is that you clip your preamp. Standing back will sound distant, probably less like the sound you want, unless you want to sound like it's 1967.

P.S. Always use a pop filter, it's just plain nasty to have people spit onto your microphones.

Profile picture for user moonbaby

moonbaby Mon, 02/27/2006 - 06:56

Yeah, I read a MIX interview with some producer up in the Boston area that did an Aerosmith album. He said they had problems with getting the vocal tracks down with a "nice" studio mic. It seems that all of the wild thrashing and screaming Mr. Tyler is known for wasn't coming across when he had to behave himself in front of a Neumann. So they handed him a 58 and let him rip! Whatever floats the boat, baby!

RemyRAD Thu, 02/23/2006 - 12:51

I'm not completely sure if that Rode microphone has a built in pad/attenuator switch, I don't think it does? You would definitely need that to avoid overloading the internal circuit on the microphone. I think you will certainly need that? Otherwise I would put your screamer on a SM58 with perhaps an additional piece of foam for proper distance spacing. The 58 won't overload and you may still need the microphone preamplifier attenuator pad on your console even with its lower output as compared to the higher output of the condenser microphone. Is a wonderful microphone and very well suited for recording especially in your application as described.

If you get overloaded, you'll end up fat like myself!
Ms. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Thu, 02/23/2006 - 21:59

Please use a substatial Foam pop filter if you want to use a ribbon like the Beyer M160 otherwise you'll (he'll she'll) kill it and that would be a costly stupid mistake. AND REMEMBER NEVER, NEVER LET ANYONE GIVE YOUR MIC A BLOW JOB!! iT'S THE ONLY BLOW JOB THAT REALLY SUX!

Vary lady like
Ms. Remy Ann David