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Thread: Vocal recording levels

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    All great advice in here, but I'd have put this first, at the very top of the list!
    If it's an operatic performance miked at distance then fair enough, but if she's close to the mic it will go a very long way learning how to 'work' the mic.
    +1 ^ Also some form of fold back can help, a single "bud"? Many singers benefit from a bit of confidence boosting reverb, this can be tricky to provide from a computer based recording setup with sufficiently low latency but there are plenty of small, cheap mixer about with FX that are quite good enough for this purpose.

    There is also vocal training. Almost any singer can be improved and prolong their working life with some expert voice coaching and I really have no idea but I would guess most coaches would include mic technique in their programs these days?

    Dave.

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    We work lots in theatre style venues, and the smaller music venues and some of the things you hear and see are simply crazy misunderstandings of what should really happen, and very often why they get it wrong is easy. There appear to be rules.
    1. Microphones are magic, and always work for everyone.
    2. You can spot a singing microphone because it looks like an ice cream cone, and the golf ball on the end must touch your lips to work properly.
    3. Ignore 2. above at the end of every sentence. To work properly, pull the microphone away from your mouth at the end of each line.
    4. If you drum your fingers on it in time with the music this helps.
    5. If there is a compressor fitted, turn it up full, and insist the sound operator does not adjust the fader, as this guarantees you will be loud continually, even when you follow rule 3.
    6. During sound check, if there is time for one, sing quietly so the sound operator can hear the nuances in your voice. This will help them know how good a singer you are. Don't forget that during the set you MUST sing as loudly as possible. The operator will need you to do this.
    7. If you have stage monitors, you will want to sing quietly, because that is what monitors are for.
    8. If you did your sound check with your lips touching the microphone, remember to pull away a little for the set especially if you wear lipstick. You don't what the microphone to smudge it.
    9. It is vital you insist on a radio microphone if at all possible. If you never remove it from the microphone stand, having a cable-less microphone is critical because cables look so bad.
    10. Always bang the microphone to test it. If you do not hear a very loud bang through the sound system, it is faulty. Double check if you do not hear the bang, by blowing very hard into the microphone. This is doubly important if the microphone says 'ribbon' on it.

    Remember, if you want to be a professional singer, you need to watch a Maria Carey video. Study the hand movements very carefully and copy them for your performance. The movements look wonderful on stage. Sometimes sound operators will tell you this spoils your sound. Ignore this, it shows they are incompetent.

  3. #13
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    You forgot one Rob!

    Never 'cup' the rear ports of a directional microphone at a sound check. ALWAYS cup the ports at show time, the resultant feedback is the fault of the sound tech.

    Dave.

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