[Newbie!] To make it sound like...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Robert Biehn, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Robert Biehn

    Robert Biehn Active Member

    Hey there everyone!

    Thank you for taking time to read this. Here's the situation. I want to have this quality of sound for my videos:

    Christina Grimmie singing "Titanium" - David Guetta feat. Sia - YouTube

    All the equipment in the video, except for the Mac Desktop(I have a Macbook Pro) I own and use. The equipment is as follows:

    Interface: M-Audio Fast Track
    Mic: AKG 420 Perception
    Computer: Macbook Pro
    Software: Pro Tools SE

    What I'd like to know is if anyone could help me to understand maybe the settings or approach to take on getting a sound like what the girl in the video has. I know her quality isn't perfect, but it is really good to mine ears and the high notes don't really crack or blow out the speakers, nor does it seem lose the richness of her beautiful voice.

    What I see in the video is her using the same equipment that I listed above, and it seems like she didn't do multiple takes, but instead just did one take straight through of her singing and playing the piano at once and recording her doing so on video.

    Anyway, thanks again for your time! Any advice, I MEAN ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely & Respectfully,

    Robert Biehn(Mr. Sunlight)
  2. havana

    havana Active Member

    Fiji Islands.
    My guess is the mics about 2-2.5 feet away. With your pre-amps set right it would be very hard to get distortion. Also sound like she's using compression and a reverb which could have been added after the take.
  3. Robert Biehn

    Robert Biehn Active Member

    (THANK YOU!)
    What are the "pre-amps"? Are those the knobs on the interface(the M-Audio Fast Track)? If so, there are 3 knobs on top: Mic Gain, Guitar Gain, and Output. What should those be set at for vocals?
    Luckily I've learned a little already, like how to add Compression and Reverb onto the tracks, so at least I'm not entirely ignorant! Haha.
  4. havana

    havana Active Member

    Fiji Islands.
    Mic Gain for Mic and Guitar gain for you........ guessed it. Although you could plug in keyboards, bass guitar etc.

    Try and set the highest amount of gain without driving your pre-amps into the "red" (distortion) This is assuming that your in a fairly quite room. Otherwise you could pick up noise from outside with your gain set high.
  5. Robert Biehn

    Robert Biehn Active Member

    Thanks again for the reply!

    I'll go for that. Also, I had another question, if you wouldn't mind explaining to me what this means:
    "Switchable 20 dB preattenuation pad" there is a switch on the back of the mic that switches to the "20 db", but what does that mean? What does that do? Should I use it for vocals?

    Also on the back is "Switchable bass cut filter" which, like above, I have no clue what that means. Once more, do I use that for vocals?

    I'm reading the User's manual to learn, but some of the words or phrasing is very confusing. I'm still learning.

    Thank you!
  6. havana

    havana Active Member

    Fiji Islands.
    Type Dual-capsule,1-inch large-diaphragm, true condenser pressure-gradient microphone
    Polar pattern Cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-eight
    Frequency range 20 to 20,000 Hz
    Sensitivity 28 mV/Pa (-31 dBV)
    Max. SPL 135/155 dB SPL (0/-20 dB) for 0.5% THD
    Equivalent noise level 16 dB-A (IEC 60268-4)
    Signal/noise ratio (A-weighted) 78 dB
    Preattenuation pad 0 dB, -20 dB
    Bass filter 12 dB/octave, 300 Hz
    Impedance <=200 ohms
    Recommended load impedance >=1000 ohms
    Current consumption <=2 mA

    Notice that your mic has a 135 db Maximum SPL capability. In simple terms it means that can only record signals as loud as 135 db. Anything beyond that usually results in distortion.
    This is where the 20db pad comes in.The switch adds an extra 20db that give the mic a 155 db Maximum spl. You'll find this switch on certain pre-amps as well.

    The mic is capable of recording in the 20 to 20,000 Hz frequency range. The human voice will probably go as low as 85 Hz.(Unless you're a freak.) This where the Switchable bass filter comes in handy and allows you to cut off signals below 75Hz just so you don't record unnecessary "noise" below 75 Hz. Of course you don't want to use it if your recording something that has a wider frequency range.( a frequency range that extends below 75 Hz)
  7. Robert Biehn

    Robert Biehn Active Member

    That makes so much sense! Looking forward to recording all day tomorrow!

    Thank you and thank you!

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