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Ultra Mega SuperCardioid Mic?

Member for

1 year 2 months
I'm working on stuff that where I'm shooting "live" performances of just piano, vocals, mic. I use the ADP piano mics. Thing is, I'm about to receive a fantastic Steinway C&A Model D with the sound of 10 Ferraris. I'm trying to figure out a good vocal mic that will not pick up a lot of the piano. I've been singing real close into an AKG 214 but that's not going to cut it. Any recommendations on mics I should investigate in the $500-$1200 range? Of course if it's cheaper that's ok with me. Oh, this is my first post here, so I'll enjoy reading your posts. I'm pretty basic with the equipment though I believe I'm a decent singer and smoking on keys.

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Member for

15 years 7 months

Boswell Fri, 09/25/2020 - 07:09
Warren Peterson, post: 465592, member: 52073 wrote: I'm working on stuff that where I'm shooting "live" performances of just piano, vocals, mic. I use the ADP piano mics. Thing is, I'm about to receive a fantastic Steinway C&A Model D with the sound of 10 Ferraris. I'm trying to figure out a good vocal mic that will not pick up alot of the piano. I've been singing real close into an AKG 214 but that's not going to cut it. Any recommendations on mics I should investigate in the $500-$1200 range? Of course if it's cheaper that's ok with me. Oh, this is my first post here, so I'll enjoy reading your posts. I'm pretty basic with the equipment though I believe I'm a decent singer and smoking on keys.
Firstly, you don't explicitly say this in your first post, but I assume that you are both the singer and the pianist, that you want to capture simultaneous singing and playing, and that microphone appearance (and visibility) is immaterial. Not many venues these days allow smoking while performing.

When faced with a similar situation many years ago, I hired a quality head-mounted microphone. From memory, the one I went for was the Shure SM35, and it worked surprisingly well. It compared favourably with a stand-mounted microphone, and cut out the problem of the sound level varying wildly as the singer rolled her head around. She took the first part of the rehearsal time to get used to it, but the result was that there was negligible leakage from the piano or from the other musicians on stage.

I had a quick look just now for the SM35, and see that it came out well in a (non-professional) survey. There were others there that may be as good or better, once you have got used to the idea of considering a head-worn microphone. I would go for ones that will work as wired (rather than will only connect to a bodypack), and avoid those that come as part of a headphone set, unless, of course, you need foldback.

Member for

1 year 2 months

Warren Peterson Fri, 09/25/2020 - 07:27
Thanks - yeah I could have been clearer. The application is primarily in home filming/audio for a YT channel, not for gigging so the setup would stay pretty much fixed. Me playing and singing is correct. I was hoping for something that had a good aesthetic which I'm not the headset provides. Having said that, I had been considering a countryman or equivalent since I could just hang it over the ear on the far side of my head relative to the cameras and it would be relatively obscure. I also have the Sony wireless lav (similar to the Sennheisers) that can be arranged so it has minimum visibility but, while I've found them good for dialogue, they aren't that hot for actual vocals. I'll re-visit the option you recommended. Thanks.

Member for

7 years 9 months

paulears Fri, 09/25/2020 - 11:58
Are we talking about a classical piece with a light vocal, or are we talking about Elton John? If it's more Elton, then something like a Shure Sm87 should do fine. I do a repeating show with a British comedian who plays the grand piano live on stage and there are tracks. The stage is very loud and separation is fine - he too uses an 87 or sometimes an 86.

Member for

7 years 9 months

paulears Sat, 09/26/2020 - 05:08
Being of a suspicious nature, I’m not totally convinced by this. The side capture of ribbons is indeed very low but grand pianos have stupidly wide sound fields and I find it difficult to see such a wide sound producing area that easy to null out. If you try it on a harp, without the big soundboard, the nulls are quite obvious and getting the plane of the mic to match the plane of the instrument is very hard. The video is a little intriguing as the visuals and the sound don’t sound right. This is on IEMs so I’ll try on speakers later

Member for

16 years 6 months

ronmac Sat, 09/26/2020 - 08:52
I certainly accept that there must be some post work done, but my experience with this mic (I own a pair) informs my belief in the concept. It certainly gives the original poster a visual reference of how to position a Ribbon vocal mic for best rejection advantage.

The NTR have very deep nulls off axis, more so than many other ribbon mics I have used. It is also remarkable in the similarity of polar pattern and frequency responds between front and back sides, almost as good as my MKH30.

Member for

19 years 4 months

Kurt Foster Sat, 09/26/2020 - 13:11
i don't get what the video is supposed to prove. ??? all it demonstrates it that 3 matched mics in phase with each other in a good room with a good singer playing a good piano sounds good. ??? it is not any kind of an indication that there is good isolation. i can guarantee there is vocal all over the piano tracks and vice versa. null or not, no way it couldn't be.

Member for

11 years 10 months

bouldersound Sat, 09/26/2020 - 15:02
Kurt Foster, post: 465611, member: 7836 wrote: i don't get what the video is supposed to prove. ??? all it demonstrates it that 3 matched mics in phase with each other in a good room with a good singer playing a good piano sounds good. ??? it is not any kind of an indication that there is good isolation. i can guarantee there is vocal all over the piano tracks and vice versa. null or not, no way it couldn't be.

They can't possibly be in phase given multiple points of origin and multiple mics. I think it is an example of at least 9dB of isolation via placement and polar pattern, which is enough to make phase effects essentially inaudible.

Member for

1 year 2 months

Warren Peterson Sat, 09/26/2020 - 15:49
paulears, post: 465598, member: 47782 wrote: Are we talking about a classical piece with a light vocal, or are we talking about Elton John? If it's more Elton, then something like a Shure Sm87 should do fine. I do a repeating show with a British comedian who plays the grand piano live on stage and there are tracks. The stage is very loud and separation is fine - he too uses an 87 or sometimes an 86.
The vocals are in the Sinatra type vein. The piano parts range from classical to jazz and can be heavy at times.

Member for

7 years 9 months

paulears Sat, 09/26/2020 - 23:59
I'd think that basket on the lips of practically any of the popular cardioids would give you enough separation. I assume you're not happy with the result? The 50s piano rock and rollers had no problems with singing and banging the hell out of their piano, and some used uprights getting the two sources mega close!

Member for

19 years 4 months

Kurt Foster Thu, 10/08/2020 - 09:04
i think your issue is NOT mics. it's the room. with a 9' ceiling, you will always have reflections from the piano into a vocal mic. there's a reason god made professional recording studios always have at least 16' ceilings. i doubt that treatments would accomplish what you want. you may get some but not significant attenuation.

8' and 9' ceilings are the worst. there's really nothing much you can do about them.

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