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Vocal mic placement issues

I have a low budget Proj studio and am using a cheaper Oktava MC312 and a Presounus preamp. The problem I have is If I record quiet vocals they sound great (considering a cheap Mic and PreSonus Preamp).
When I record anything with loud vocals the mic sounds overloaded (kind of like an older Motown tune ex: the song "Reachout" when he hits the hard notes you hear the clipping). The waveform looks OK.

I have tried many diferent Mic placements(Point away-slightly above the mouth-below the mouth- 9" away). It seems to happen mainly with certain words like -more-my- certains sylables.

If I go too far away it sounds just like that. I dont have a vcal booth etc... Do you think maybe I am picking up vibrations from the mike stand when I hit those words?
Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks as always I appreciate the pro opinions.
Rich O


AudioGaff Wed, 11/12/2003 - 11:35
I don't know about that mic or preamp but in order to fix this you need to know where the overload is occuring. It is quite possible and likely that the mic just simply can not handle the amount of SPL (level) being fed into it. The mic preamp may also not be able handle the output level of the mic. If there is a pad switch on the preamp and/or the mic, try that. If there is no pad on the mic or preamp, you can buy an in-line pad like from Shure Bro. and insert inbetween the mic and preamp. If the problem is the mic, then you need to use another mic that can handle the SPL.

Not all singers will work well with the same mic. This is even more true if using a cheaper mic. If the overload is just on certain constants like "s, p or t", this can somewhat be fixed with better vocal technique by the singer or using a pop filter, but it is also a clue that the mic is not a good match for that singer.


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