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Microphones

Counterfeit Shure SM7B Microphone

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We've known that counterfeit mics are available for years - the SM57 and SM58 dodgy mics being well known, but a friend sent me an SM7B to try.

Things didn't go that well, to be honest - but not in the way you might imagine. One thing is clear, you do need to be on the ball. In the video, I've run through what I found, and you can hear the genuine SM7B against the fake.

Stereo Recording - the Decca Tree technique

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I've done my first Decca Tree recording

In all the years I've been recording, Decca Trees have been a mystery to me. I've been at sessions where they were used and the amount of hardware up in the air was daunting, but with a bit of effort, I've done one - in a venue with less that wonderful acoustics, and the effort was worth it!

Commentator's Microphones - the Coles 4104

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Not really our type of microphone, but worthy of a quick look, maybe?

A ribbon mic you can put on your lips and shout into without damage, or can even whisper into.

In fairness, if you are going to record quiet commentary, then it needs a cloudlifter - but this was recorded straight into a Zoom H6, before I levelled out the clips. No brain work for this one - just a rather neat mic that could come in really handy if you ever need to record clean audio in a crazily loud environment.

M/S and mixing ribbons and condensers - possible phase issues?

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I posted recently about a job coming up where I was going to use a condenser mid mic, and a ribbon side mic, and useful piece of information emerged. There was some evidence that as ribbons use a different operational mode there would be a 45 degree phase shift, and this could wreck M/S recordings which use combining channels to produce the stereo channel that can then be adjusted in width after the recording - a useful technique.

  • Guitar Condenser (Mid)
  • Guitar Condenser (Side)
  • Guitar Ribbon (Side)

Recording Choirs

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Here is the latest video on recording choirs, and follows on from the video from earlier this week where I talked about different stereo techniques.

The back story is that I had a project (actually 2 - I have another today) with choirs. I've recorded them before so asked if they'd mind me using some clips for a video. They were quite happy, so I changed the plan.

Is my SM7b defective?

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Hello!

I recently got a Shure SM7b but I suspect it's defective. I've only recorded vocals for one song with it but felt there was something off with the sibilance so I analyzed it with Voxengo Span and noticed that there is a weird dip at 6500 Hz. It looks exactly like if there was an EQ with a very narrow bell with a pretty large decrease in dB at 6500 Hz.

This is an average measurement using Voxengo Span. The audio is completely dry, the SM7b set to flat (i.e. no bass roll off or presence boost).

sm7b spectrum

Recording in stereo - Real Acoustic Performances

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It seemed sensible, before starting to do the video on recording choirs, to explain a little about the differing techniques you can use to record 'real' stereo - as in recording the placement of individual sound sources within a stereo soundfield. Quite different from our usual multitrack method of panning the various tracks to their proper location. Recording with just a pair of microphones means we have to do the job in particular ways - and many of these have 'labels' - X/Y, A/B, ORTF, Blumlein, M/S and many others.

Recording Vocals - Microphone choices

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In the videos I have been producing, we've listened to a number of microphones and how they respond to voice and instruments, but for completeness, we'd not heard them on voices. I'd been working on a little job where I'm creating a stage track for a person I've worked with for years and I always send him the stems, and a guide vocal. He then replaces that with his voice, and does another of just the track which he uses live with a real voice and the tracks. I thought it an opportunity to put out an array of mics and record my vocals on the different mics.

Shure SM 61

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Alright, I was given a Shure SM 61 by my stepfather who is a professional musician and retired college music director. I have a live stream video podcast from my home studio. I run my audio through a Rodecaster Pro and I use Sterling SP 150 SMK condenser mics, of which I have three. I'm not well versed in audio. when I started the show, I had a producer who assured me I didn't need to learn any of the production or post. Well, he went through aa divorce and began taking two weeks to finish post, so I told him to get lost and decided to figure out how to live stream.

Recording Choir and Organ in a Church

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I've got a recording to do in a church on Saturday - it's a public event, and I'm going to record it for them. Not a church I have been to before, so I'm going to put up a heavy duty stand centre and am thinking maybe a chance to try out some more microphone experiments. As I think I can get up quite high I might be able to rig a pair of the 414s, in fig-8 for a Blumlein stereo pair and squeeze in M/S - with the ribbon I didn't destroy the other day and maybe the U87? I've not tried M/S with it, but I think I can make the 4 mics fit in the right places with a bit of 'bracketry'.

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