preamp for vocals?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by kiwinz, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. kiwinz

    kiwinz Guest

    Im using a Rhode NT1a into 002 rack for female vocalist with
    powerful voice .
    Any opinions on whether a preamp would be worth using and why,
    which models are suited.
    In the past we have used shure 57 mics with quite good results,
    but are looking for better sounding tracks.

    Also having trouble finding the right room , because most rooms
    seem to overfill with vocal reverb and the resulting tracks seem
    thin in timbre and nothing like what should be captured.
    Any ideas on the sort of room , dimensions etc would be very
    helpful before we have another crack at the vocal tracks again.

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    You are describing an improper use of the NI1a. You realize this is a "side address" capsule in this microphone? And it has only a single directional pattern pickup? You're not aiming it lengthwise are you? You're 002 device should be adequate with that microphone regardless of powerful voice. You might want to turn on that microphones "- 20" DB pad so as to prevent her from overloading the microphones internal electronics before it ever gets to the 002. I consider the 57/58 as a lovely vocal microphone. One that certainly does not have that condenser/capacitor sound. Women can get a bit wispy more so on condenser microphones than on dynamic microphones like the 57/58. It all depends what kind of sound you are after. This because one has more high-frequency response that seems to be apparent more so than another, doesn't make it better. It's only better if you consider it to be better for the application.

    Application oriented
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    The Rode NT1-A also has a front side and a backside. Make sure the vocals are aimed at the front side. In contrast, the backside is where a lot of people's vocals emanate from when it comes to microphones.
  4. kiwinz

    kiwinz Guest

    Thanx Remy and Boswell , I,ve used the NT1a backwards forwards and sideways and I must admit that front on seems to be my favoured position , I will work out the click audio site so
    I can get samples for your closer inspection and advice,

    cheers :)
  5. kiwinz

    kiwinz Guest

    OK joined up with soundclick , just gonna try this and make
    sure the url works , a song we have been working ,still gotta get the BVs and then start mixing proper ,fingers xed , hope it works
  6. kiwinz

    kiwinz Guest

    hmmm OK X-Orcism
  7. kiwinz

    kiwinz Guest

    Yaeaah in business , that wasnt so hard , time for a coffee
  8. kiwinz

    kiwinz Guest

    interesting bout the side address for the nt1a mi,
    I actually thought you were taking the piss Remy ,
    I havent heard of that b4 so will set it sideways from now on.
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I've got to tell you, I really liked that cut! That's my kind of music. And you're recording was superb. I liked that nice big fat thumpin' bass. The vocalist sounded terrific if not a little too ambient?

    Let me just make this "side address" pick up issue a little clearer. Most of our modern-day,typical consumer microphones, which most rock and rollers use along with most PA applications typically have there capsule mounted at the end of the length of the body. Much of the same way as the connector is positioned at the opposite end. For many it's a natural mistake to assume that the capsule and those larger capsule condenser microphones would be positioned the same way. They are not. Microphones such as the Neumann U87 and others with a similar design such as your NT1A have the capsules facing the slanted flat grill. And because yours is a single directional pattern microphone the front is generally indicated with a cardioid insignia and/or company name/logo. Now these are referred to as "side address" in their design. That is not to say that the entire microphone must be mounted parallel to the floor. In fact, it's quite common to have the microphone connector facing straight down to the floor. Then it is a simple deal to just stand in front of the microphone and perform. Distance to capsule is generally 3 in. to 3 ft. on average for vocal applications.

    Looking at the world sideways
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  10. JohnSpence

    JohnSpence Guest

    Recording female singers with a powerful voice is always a tricky one. There can be such a high concentration of energy in the sound that a mic can go into a kind of self-compression in such a way that the louder bits actually seem to get quieter before any compression is applied to the recording chain (some of this is happening in the singer's throat as well). It's the kind of sound which peaks your PPMs to zero but drives your VUs hard over into the red! Sometimes a bit of recording technique advice has to be used with a singer. Concentrating on the beauty and tone of the vocal delivery will give better recorded results than simply belting it out as on stage.
    A more forgiving signal path may help too. I've had good results using a tube or ribbon mic in these instances along with a preamp which has some character. For me the 02 pres are ok, clean enough and plenty of gain but not capable of absorbing sound as well as some others.
    If you're doing a lot of this work it may be worth hiring in some different mic/pre combinations to try out before you make any decisions.
    Room size and influence is harder to judge without actually being there.
    A loud sound source needs space to develop and dissipate naturally so that the close mic does'nt hear a lot of close reflections which is what happens in a small room.
    Experimentation is the key.
  11. kiwinz

    kiwinz Guest

    Thanx Remy for clarifying the side on issue .
    and John thanx for the response, what yopu explained about
    the louder more energized passages not translating is what we have been
    experiencing. Its seems as if someone with a wimpy voice with
    not as much dynamic range translates so easily , and 90 percent
    of what I hear today is just that, luckily video came to the
    If we can get our hands on a ribbon mic we shall try it out.
    We shall keep experimenting , in search of better results.

    Peace to you all and have a Merry Christmas .

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