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That trick for tracking vocals without headphones, in front of monitors? How?
Old 28th January 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
That trick for tracking vocals without headphones, in front of monitors? How?

I read somewhere about a trick for tracking vocals without headphones, by doing it in the control room, and setting up the mic and the monitors in some kind of triangle. Then there was something about switching the monitors out of phase with each other, so that you can cancel 'em out later?

1) Is there any good info/explanations/directions for doing this?

2) Does it work? What effect does this have on the vocal track. Seems like something would be goofy about this, or everyone would be doing it. What's the deal here?

thanks guys

halcyo
Old 28th January 2006
  #2
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max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I do this pretty often; but the caveat is that it's probably best to use a dynamic like an SM7 or an RE20.

If you look at the response pattern of the mic you're using, you can see where the most rejection is.

I don't usually worry about monitor bleed if I'm doing this kind of thing.

If you put two of the same mic up so that one picks up the monitor reflections + vocals and the other one hears the monitor reflections virtually the same way but without vocals, you can flip the polarity of the non-vocal mic and get rid of a lot of the monitor stuff.

I sometimes have a bit of my own vocals in the monitors, sometimes not. No probls with feedback if you watch the levels. Just don't forget to mute the signal in the monitors if you put a condenser up or BWEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
(I have a one-room setup, so I'm always in the room with the monitors)

I think Sheryl Crow tracks in the control room, and maybe Chris Cornell.

I'm sure others do, but I can't remember off the top of my head.
Old 28th January 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
whoa, I thought it had to do with the monitors, not the mics. I'm also fuzzy on what you mean by one mic that picks up vocals+monitor and one that's just monitor. Is there some kind of diagram? Where is the vocal mic 'facing' in relation to the monitors? Is the singer facing TOWARD the monitors, or away? Aww, crap, I need some clarification! Maybe some step by step instructions.

P.S. Why does mic selection matter? Why a dynamic vs. a condensor? Just because it's better to own two of the same mic, whatever that might be? It seems like I must have heard another version of this trick, but this way intrigues me as well.


halcyo
Old 28th January 2006 | Show parent
  #4
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No4PCs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
GOOD WAY

Once i did record my voice listen the monitors playback.
The result "artistically"speaking is the best, because you sing better listening the song "live". My problem was the "phase" sound which comes together the voice, i did use a condenser mic...
Old 28th January 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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Matti's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I just tryed this for curiosity:
I put a condenser mic at my monitoring position for convinience
and set levels for the voc. and listening level of the tracs
and recorded twice with the mic open, with the voc.
and without. Just flipped the phase of the track
without voc. and this worked fine.
Just don´t change anything between these two recordings,
link them and create a group for them for example.
I´ve heard worse bleeding from phones so this is really usable,
-old trick but I never tryed.
Matti
Old 28th January 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Do you guys think that this would affect the vocal tone? It seems like theoretically it would, but that last idea seems to have more merit. Since you record a track of ONLY the monitors as well, the vocals wouldn't get phased out. I guess I will have to try it all these ideas out.

If it works great, why the hell wouldn't ALL vocalists record this way? Seems like we might be missing a part of the science here.

halcyo
Old 29th January 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Some engineers can get freaked out if there is bleed from the monitor mix at all
Some remixers hate ANY bleed at all
Some folks dont give a sh!t about the above and like the improved vocal feel & pitching (that sometimes can only be attained using this method)
Some vocalists can only sing on pitch this way

Whatever works! - WORKS!
Old 21st January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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FadersmakmeHappy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I do this all the time with a SM7 and like it. I don't have a RE20, but I am sure it works well also. Sometimes the ambience of the monitors is a cool.
Gives the track a more live vibe.

It is a great way to work out scratch vocals too. Does not work with condensor mics except with strings. I once recorded a vocalist is a nice room with the monitors playing back a synth string part. It just get it the feel I was looking for. It was a great room though.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
Rob C's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've never done it with two mics, that seems like a bad way to do it to me, but hell, I won't knock it since I've never tried it.

Set up your two monitors and the vocal mic in a perfect triangle (same distance between monitor to monitor and monitor to mic) then flip the leads on one of the monitors, knocking it out of phase. Send a mono mix out the monitors and when the bleed from the monitors hit the mic they'll null.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Need a clear explanation for a noobie please. thanks.

hi, I am new to recording, and am very interested in trying this as I record and mix all in the same room. I got the triangle part where you place the two monitors and mic at equal distances in a triangle. Lost me after that.lol
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Here for the gear
 
KUTCH 1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I heard about this trick a while ago, tried it as an experiment, and yes it does work in that it mostly cancels what leaks from the monitors. But (big surprise) it sounds all out-of-phase to the vocalist. Am I missing something? Don't mean to sound like a smart-ass, but isn't the point of tracking a vocal in the control room to avoid having to sing with headphones, which are uncomfortable and unnatural? Monitoring something out-of-phase seems worse. Like I said I haven't actually used this trick is an actual session, and I don't sing myself. Am I not understanding the method correctly?

I would like to add that I've seen vocals tracked in the control room many times without triangulating or flipping any phase. It works out just fine, especially with more aggressive music. (and yes use a dynamic!)
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Rob C's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's going to absolutely sound weird in the room.

kenshi0203, just take the two wires on the back of one of the monitors and flip them around.

If the two monitors are giving out the same information, but are exact phase-opposite (one monitor sending a -1 and the other a +1, summing to 0... or however you want to visualize it in your head) when combined, they null.

Personally, if the talent can't record with headphones, and no amount of convincing, or getting them to wear phones on just one ear will work, then I usually just switch to an SM7 or a 441 and try to monitor at a reasonably low volume for the performer. No phase flipping required.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
One more idea:

The Beatles always recorded with a giant monitor instead of headphones, and they prevented bleed by putting the monitor to the side of a figure 8 mic so the mic would pick up very little bleed. Often they recorded backup vocals at the same time with the backup-singing Beatles singing into the rear of the figure 8 mic.

IMO, a little bit of bleed is really not a big deal.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
First obtain a White Elephant for the studio

Second read the chapter in Recording the Beatles concerning monitoring on the studio floor... good ideas , just a good book anyway
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Matti's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Jea, didn´t think clearly. Just some mics boost overly around 3-7K or what ever, when in 8 mode. So use your ears as usually...

Matti
Old 6th October 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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chrisdee's Avatar
 
9 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matti ➡️
I just tryed this for curiosity:
I put a condenser mic at my monitoring position for convinience
and set levels for the voc. and listening level of the tracs
and recorded twice with the mic open, with the voc.
and without. Just flipped the phase of the track
without voc. and this worked fine.
Just don´t change anything between these two recordings,
link them and create a group for them for example.
I´ve heard worse bleeding from phones so this is really usable,
-old trick but I never tryed.
Matti
I guess this method of recording twice and inverting the audio without vocals would be a great method also for tracking with open headphones ?
Old 7th October 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
This is the main way I do this when using an SM7. I don't flip the phase, I just turn the monitors down to a listenable level, and many would be surprised at how much the SM7 rejects what isn't right in front of it.

I was playing guitar for a session once and caught the vocalist doing some takes, and she was using a Neumann KMS105 in the control room with the monitors on. Seemed to be OK.
Old 7th October 2011
  #18
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I heard this is how Metallica did one of their albums. Believe I saw a video on it. YOUTUBE IT!
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