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Two microphones for lead vocal better than one?
Old 13th March 2003
  #1
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Two microphones for lead vocal better than one?

Read that Peter McIan miked Colin Hay's vocal on the "Men At Work" album by using an U89 and AKG 414 at the same time.
Been using a couple of different combo's myself, like a EV 635a and a Beyer M88TG at the same time, tracking with no EQ.

It's definitely superior to using just one microphone and the semi-pro parametric EQ I have (Aphex 109).

Does anyone else like to use more than one microphone at a time? Seems like you get a lot more options that way.

Chris

P.S. I know the old "hand the singer a dynamic" and track them
with an omni trick BTW.
Old 13th March 2003
  #2
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Re: Two microphones for lead vocal better than one?

Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov
Read that Peter McIan miked Colin Hay's vocal on the "Men At Work" album by using an U89 and AKG 414 at the same time.
Been using a couple of different combo's myself, like a EV 635a and a Beyer M88TG at the same time, tracking with no EQ.

It's definitely superior to using just one microphone and the semi-pro parametric EQ I have (Aphex 109).

Does anyone else like to use more than one microphone at a time? Seems like you get a lot more options that way.

Chris

P.S. I know the old "hand the singer a dynamic" and track them
with an omni trick BTW.

I don't think people do it because its superior(it introduces all kinds of phase problems). I think sometimes they do it out of neccessity(if the singer's dynamic range is too strong for one sensitive mic). Sometimes you have to move that mic further back, which may take away some of the vocal nuances. A shotgun mic(pointed at the vocalist) with the sensitive one helps fix that.

I like recording vocals in omni. In a small room, if i did this with two mics it would be suicide.

I also like recording vocalist sometimes in the control room(they feel more comfortable and the feedback is immediate). Two mics again in this situation is asking for trouble.

Hey if two mics work for you, than go for it.

I prefer in the mix to strengthen he vocals in other ways.
Old 13th March 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Thrill, about how often do you track vocals in the control room w/ monitors on? I've often thought that this is the best way to record myself, since I really can't stand wearing headphones when I sing.
Old 13th March 2003
  #4
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PlugHead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
FWIW,

I often track female vocals (and sometimes male) with 2 mics: U99/KSM44/or some tube or condenser flavour, and a Royer R-121 beside it. The Royer is usually blended to taste - if the vocals are anemic, it really adds roundness to an often too bright mic, and is wayyyy better for sibilence.

YMMV,
Old 13th March 2003
  #5
Gear Addict
 
muddy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
of course, you know that this was a technique of tony visconti's with david bowie. he used 3 mics, but the intent was a different one. i believe he had the mic's gated & placed at various distances, so that as he sang louder, the mic's placed further away would open. obviously, this was meant for effect, rather than as a means of creating 2 alternative tracks destined for mixing together. cool though, huh?


ml
Old 13th March 2003
  #6
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
That was supercool muddy, I learned about that in "Behind The Glass", a great book.

Battle, if and when I pay someone else to record me in a "real"
studio, definitely prefer singing without headphones too.

Thrill (and anyone else), if the 3:1 rule is obeyed, wouldn't any
phase problems be minimal? (so asks grasshopper)

Chris
Old 13th March 2003
  #7
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by chessparov
That was supercool muddy, I learned about that in "Behind The Glass", a great book.

Battle, if and when I pay someone else to record me in a "real"
studio, definitely prefer singing without headphones too.

Thrill (and anyone else), if the 3:1 rule is obeyed, wouldn't any
phase problems be minimal? (so asks grasshopper)

Chris
Chris,

It depends on the room.

Most vocals nowadays are recorded in Vocal booths.

3:1 or not you are bound to get leakage from different sources(headphones,airconditioner vents,reflections from music stands, floor, or looking glass, vibratrions from mic stands).

If you have a big enough room it might work.

Its just I am very picky(anal) about phase issues. My motto is "if you can do it great with one, why introduce the uncertainties of two".

But like I said if it works for you, by all means do it.
Old 13th March 2003
  #8
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by BattleAngel
Thrill, about how often do you track vocals in the control room w/ monitors on? I've often thought that this is the best way to record myself, since I really can't stand wearing headphones when I sing.

How often?

It depends on the singer.

Some people can only record this way.

I have no problems giving the singer what they need for a great performance.heh

By the way, this is how Chris Cornell(Soundgarden) recorded Superunknown.
Old 13th March 2003
  #9
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Thrill for the explanation.

Chris
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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soundseeker's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead ➑️
FWIW,

I often track female vocals (and sometimes male) with 2 mics: U99/KSM44/or some tube or condenser flavour, and a Royer R-121 beside it. The Royer is usually blended to taste - if the vocals are anemic, it really adds roundness to an often too bright mic, and is wayyyy better for sibilence.

YMMV,
Currently trying Wagner 47 alongside a Coles 4040. The wagner captures the performance 100%. The coles seems still to add some bassy rounded substance. Yes I sense a phase thing going on, but it actually sounds quite fresh. double tracked, but unhearably so.

as you can see from the photo, the SE reflexion filter cuts off room sound creeping up on the backside of the coles. but it doesnt inhibit the openness of the W47 coz it is facing the side of the singer's face. does anyone think this line of exploration is a good idea???????
Two microphones for lead vocal better than one?-photo-218.jpg
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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badboymusic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
......
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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drBill's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I love using an 87 with a ribbon for it's round warm bottom. Killer sound. Especially for R&B vocals. Feels like a conjured sound from 40 years ago.
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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deve's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill ➑️
I love using an 87 with a ribbon for it's round warm bottom. Killer sound. Especially for R&B vocals. Feels like a conjured sound from 40 years ago.
How do you place the mics? One top of another or different distances from the vocalist?
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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rocksure's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by muddy ➑️
of course, you know that this was a technique of tony visconti's with david bowie. he used 3 mics, but the intent was a different one. i believe he had the mic's gated & placed at various distances, so that as he sang louder, the mic's placed further away would open. obviously, this was meant for effect, rather than as a means of creating 2 alternative tracks destined for mixing together. cool though, huh?


ml
I have read about that recording of "Heroes". An interesting idea for sure. Something I have done that can work on certain songs if the mix is not too dense is to have a main mic close to the singer's mouth and then a pair of mics in stereo further away from them, below mouth level and phase reversed from the main mic and panned L-R. When they sing quietly the two mics pick up little of the vocal ie in a verse, but when they sing louder in the chorus the pair of mics pick up more voice and you get a kind of burgeoning widening effect that makes the singer sound bigger. It's kind of cool in the right setting. Not something I would recoomend most of the time as it can mean a loss of focus, but as an effect it can be interesting in the right song.
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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mexicola's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I prefer using two mics for vox as well (when I have the trackspace). I usually run my MD1 through my LA2A, and my Lomo through either an 1176 or a 7110. I place the mics side by side as close as I can get them without letting them touch, so that the capsules are parallel in the same plane.
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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asagaai's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Its just I am very picky(anal) about phase issues. My motto is "if you can do it great with one, why introduce the uncertainties of two".
Bit like medicine-cost benefit.

I mean-like drums-why use multiple mikes cause of the phasing- cause we weigh up the cost versus the benefit.

The Cost-phasing

I place 1 LDC above the other-carefully aligning the front capsules to be in a vertical alignment with one another. Both bodies very close separated by a rubber spacer. I have not heard discernable phasing issues although I obviously do not discount very minor phasing issues.

Benefit-Depth and tone

I generally use a Pearlman TM1 with Sneesby K47 single backplate - has a huge dynamic punch and really cuts up high-on a female singer with a bright voice can be a bit aggressive up high.

So- I love using TM1 in conjunction with a Beez Neez James-more mellow and darker up high-but gives a nice smoky body.

Combined together -I get the edge and headroom up high of the TM1, and the smoky body of the James, mixed to taste.

For me-without a shadow of doubt for a singer who is dynamic and has heaps up high but needs a little body -pendulum swings way over to the benefit side of the equation. IME.

GJ
Newcastle/OZ
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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soundseeker's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by badboymusic ➑️
Never mind
do i sense you think I'm a clown? No offense taken if so, but id luv to know why - might help me
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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badboymusic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Oh, of course not.
I just deleted my post, it had absolutely nothing to do with you.

I think your idea is a great one and I do it all the time myself. The two mikes you are using will work together very well, both stellar mikes. It's just a matter of getting the phase dialed in right.

Cheers!
Old 10th September 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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andychamp's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
When I'm not sure how a certain singer's voice will sound in different situations, I often start out with this combo:
- Brauner Phanthera -> GR500NV -> distressor
- Sennheiser 441 -> API 512 -> UA1176 LN
Usually after the 1st runthrough the decision is made which one will be THE mic for the session.

Sometimes I have singers alternating between the two (intimate, melodic singing into the Brauner, screamo parts into the 441)
I never mix the 2 signals (= no phase weirdness), it's always one OR the other.
πŸ“ Reply

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