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Question about mic patterns
Old 24th June 2002
Gear Head
🎧 15 years
Question about mic patterns

Hey all, recently was told that an omni pattern for vocals was best choice for most transparent sound?? Tried it last night, certainly less boxy than cardiod or hypercardiod responses... what do you guys prefer for lead vocals....
While we are on about lead vocals, do you instruct your singers to sing directly into the middle of the diapragm or under it or above it etc... and how far away...
Used to tell them to sing just below it to help with dynamics and pops (yes I do use a pop shield) but now recently have converted to 12-8 incheas away directly at the gold plate.

any suggestions?
Old 24th June 2002
Jules's Avatar
Less boxy eh?

Man I gotta expirement more!

I am VERY bad with polar patterns..


Old 24th June 2002
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I really like Omni for vocals. I also like it for overheads, and room, single Leslie mic, gtr distance mic etc.

Old 24th June 2002
Lives for gear
e-cue's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Wow... What an incredible question... There are no true 'rules' to recording (cept for physics) so take this with a grain of salt (There's my disclaimer so people like VSL666 can't disagree- JK heh ) :

Most engineers use the Cardiod pattern for vocals (1 vocal at a time anyway)in the studio... Supercardiod is used a lot on remote recording (although keep in mind SOME people use it in the studio) Omni is used a lot on 'room' recordings (so, you'll pick up the vocal booth too). Figure 8 patten is often used on duets with people singing into the mic from different angles. I have an artist that refuses to work with headphones, so I place 2 genelecs at the mic wired out of phase with a ribbon mic (which rejects almost all side material) or a bipolar mic pattern.

I usually prefer cardiod because it's easier for the vocalist the 'work' the mic by fading out long notes singing off to the side...etc...

If I'm doing rap vocals, I ask them to bark right into the diaphram with about 2 fingers distance between the pop filter & mic... "Real" singers, I usually have back off from the mic a bit. A lot of these singers learn how to 'project' their vocals incredibly, and if I don't catch that, then I'm doing doing my job as an engineer. As a very simple frame to check: Have the vocalist sing, then move your head around in the booth until you find the 'sweet mic spot' and that's were to put the mic. Never let your assistant adjust the mic, do it yourself... It shows that you care & that it's done right...
Old 24th June 2002
Gear Addict
cymatics's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Re: Question about mic patterns

Originally posted by lnd
Hey all, recently was told that an omni pattern for vocals was best choice for most transparent sound??

any suggestions?
Whoever advised you of this may have been getting at the fact that an omni (or a multi-pattern set to omni) mike will exhibit little or no proximity effect. This may or may not be a good thing. A thin sounding vocalist who can work a cardioid mike for proximity effect can be a very good thing.

- Jon
Old 25th June 2002
Lives for gear
5down1up's Avatar
🎧 15 years
what do u do if a singer is " REAL LOUD " ???
i mean over the edge . this is kinda unbelievable , but i am working with a singer , she can blow all your gear ...
the problem , nobody could ever capture it ( and a lot of experienced people tried that , too ) .
they change the songs and tell her to sing in a different way , but thats the wrong way imho .
the problem is ... even my old u87 falls on its knees if shes going off . it starts sounding thin and distorted . i know lower the gain , but thats not the problem ( -10 db pad doesnt change it , too ... replacing mics , same result ) . it doesnt sound that way if u listen to it when shes singing . if u try to record it , it does ...
i know a singer has to work with the dynamics , but she would have to run 1 mile away from the mic for her loud stuff . and shes not that fast ... hehe
the only way i had success with it , is doing part by part , but ...
the flow is gone . this need to be recorded in 1 take otherwise it loses its magic .

i dont know if i am wrong , but my ears are telling me , that as " softer " you record ( either drums , acguit , vox , etc ) the bigger it sounds in the end .
but , playing live is the opposite .
if she screams right in your ear , your dead ... hehe

any tips would be helpful .

your turn , thx
Old 25th June 2002
Gear Maniac
vsl666's Avatar
🎧 15 years
who me ??

eq ....

There's my disclaimer so people like VSL666 can't disagree- JK ) :

fuuck fuuck who me ? as if i wouldyuktyy

im a bit with jules in the lazy camp heremadd must try harder

ecue ...

A lot of these singers learn how to 'project' their vocals incredibly, and if I don't catch that, then I'm doing doing my job as an engineer...

*LOL* now we know why u get paid so much !

intresting leslie omni tip .. thanks will try thaT ONE
Old 26th June 2002
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
chessparov's Avatar
🎧 15 years
As a singer I also prefer the more transparent sound of an omni to cardiod, etc. Since my voice is naturally LOUD, it took some time
to learn how far back to be. 5" or more for dynamic mikes, and
9" or more for a Studio Projects C1. The cardiod patterns are used
simply because of the mediocre rooms used at home.

Wouldn't a good solution for a REAL LOUD singer is to record
them in a large studio room, or a good sounding church-especially
if you want to use an omni pattern?

Old 26th June 2002
Lives for gear
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
🎧 15 years
all depends on how the room or hall you record in sounds IMHO.

In classical recordings in a big hall I definately go for omni ... in a small , dry sounding room I allways use cardio ... don't see any advantage in using omni unless you want to use the room acoustics to add to the sound. In a typical vocal booth omni doesn't make sence. But if it sounds better for you .... ok ....

hyper cardio I hardly ever use. have a couple of schoeps with hyper cardio heads which I will use in specific situations (classical music recordings) as aditional mic's to the startup setup which is allways a stereo omni couple and some cardio presence mic's in the ensemble or orchestra. Hypers come in to pinpoint something in very specific sections of the musical piece and nothing else.
And only if anything else fails ....
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