distortion with an isa 430 mk2

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by theSOUNDofTRAGEDYstudio, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. im working on a full length with a singer who sings very loud. the problem i am having is that i can not find a proper setting on my focusrite isa 430 mk2. he sings with a lot of dynamic changes in his voice. so he will hit a loud part and the isa distorts, then when he sings soft after it you can barley hear it...and there is that pumping dropping out sound...it sounds as if there is no compressor on his voice at all. i have to turn the pre off, he sings so loud i have to record his voice very low because the loud notes will shoot close to peaking on the vu. any tips o how to fix the distortion aspect and setting for singers like this?? im set up is as follows:

    pro tools le
    blue baby bottle mic
    2:1 ratio
    50ms attack
    .1 release
    -8 threshold
    soft knee
    mix (peak and compress) is set at 1:1

    thanks for your time, i apologize if i jumbled my words im in a rush. thank you again. eric
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Have you tried a different mic? The reason that I asked this is because I tested the Baby Bottle out when it first was introduced. Way too much sensitivity, and I have subsequently read reviews finding the same problem. If this singer really does belt it out, try a dynamic mic (even an SM58 ) and let him "eat it" on the softer passages. It is much harder to overdrive a pre with a dynamic than a condenser.
    I might also suggest that you check out the "stickies" on the "Vocal Booth" portion of this site. There are many good ideas to get the best from your vocalist. To be honest, your question sounds like it is more of a problem with talent and voice control than gear.
  3. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    it may be that a single setting can't capture the whole performance

    and apart from and voice control and/or technique

    a second signal chain or a second pass could do the trick.

    if you do want a single pass then set up a second signal chain to suit either the soft or the loud and then tweek the existing chain for the reverse
    as moonbaby said ... try the Baby Bottle on the soft stuff

    record two tracks at once
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    A couple things -

    First - your release time is way too fast. Try bumping it up a notch.

    Second - try an in-line pad. The distortion you're getting is the overloading of the input stage - the Blue mics are very sensitive - a pad is a requisite for loud vox recording.


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