fireside chat

Discussion in 'Vocalists' started by frogman, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. frogman

    frogman Guest

    Hi all,

    I'm recording my voice in a sort of "fireside chat" style. I'm looking for tips on how to speak/breathe correctly, keep a soft clean sound, etc. In particular, how to speak over long periods of time without tiring my voice and how to nurse my voice after I've strained it, which happens often (I usually record for 2-3 hours at a time). Also what kind of digital tools can I use in post-processing to soften and clean the sound. All tips appreciated!


  2. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Liquids,liquids, liquids-

    keep the mechanism moist and most importantly BEFORE you start recording. It will take at least an hour, more likely 2 to get the liquid you drink to the vocal mechanism. Hard candy, water, clear liquids are best. Many people like warm tea but there is no signifcant benefit other than the placebo and mental effects that warm liquids can create.

    You will also need to breathe correctly, if you don't know how to do this, I would recommend a vocal coach (singing or acting) to make sure you are in alignment and not straining the muscles that surround your neck, shoulders and face.

    In processing, you will likely need a compressor, D-esser and a nice reverb to make the vocal sound natural. For VO many programs are passable but assume you will need to spend $ for great sound. That goes for mics and pres as well. I'm sure others will chime in with their recommendations

  3. frogman

    frogman Guest

    Thanks for the tips. I don't quite follow the hard candy business though. What's that all about? Also a question related to my current condition: what's the relation between sore/sick throat and vocal chords? Obviously sometimes when you're sick your voice is weak. Is that vocal chords or something else? Should I lay off if I'm sick to my throat?

    Regarding gear: what would be a good mic in the 200$-600$ range for what I'm doing? (I guess I'm looking at something similar to a radio announce mic, right?) Need a warm sound. Software-wise, I'm looking at this thing called Sound Forge, because it handles video codecs which I also need for what I'm doing. Any opinions on Sound Forge?


  4. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    The general rule I tell all my vocal students is -- If it hurts... don't speak or sing. Listen to your body - it knows a lot. If it just feels/sounds weird to your ears don't sweat it. When you're congested your listening mechanism is greatly affected by the congestion- They are attached remember - ears,nose and throat. Don't trust your ears when you're sick, or even for tone when you're not. When speaking/singing the bones, muscles and cartilage in the ears are vibrating too. They're subject to the same kinds of audio issues that people treat rooms with acoustic material for. Trust the recording.

    A Standard mic for VO for male voices is an EV RE-20 and its in your price range. It may not be perfect for your voice, but its usually the first one I pull out of the mic cabinet in this situation. It really depends on the voice, the room and the preamp however.

    RE: Hard candy - its a liquid in a solid form, as you suck on it, it creates liquid that your body can use. I never go to a gig without it. I advise all my students to use hard candy as opposed to cough drops. What most people don't realize (but singers do) is that cough drops are medicine. And too much of anything is not a good thing. The medicine in cough drops, while minimizing the cough, also often dries out the vocal mechanism. So you may not be coughing, but you aren't singing well either.
  5. frogman

    frogman Guest

    OK, seems to make sense. I was already looking at the EV RE20 anyway. Seems to be a pretty standard mic for radio. One thing is: I'm plugging my mic directly into the audio jack of a camcorder, which is itself outputing right onto my computer hard drive. No pre-amp for me. Will this work with an EV RE20? What microphones require a pre-amp? Do pro microphones have a different type of jack?



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