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Thread: What would be the best microphone to record opera?

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    I've tried before using backing tracks of songs that you can find on the internet, but I think eventually I'll probably make my own using piano. The acoustic environment varies depending on where in my house I record. Downstairs there's high ceilings, not as much fabric and carpet, and I generally sound better there when singing so I'll probably record there. Thanks for the advice.

    Alyvia

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    Rob, I don't think we know how our OP lady is recording her voice in terms of music tracks, unless I missed that?

    She is also rather "quiet" and not engaging with our responses. There could be many reasons for that but I strongly suspect it could be the "gob smacked" factor! She has entered a pit of techincal vipers who are chucking all sorts of strange concepts and jargon at her and I am as guilty of that
    as anyone. So, if that is the case let me try to explain?

    Alyvia, as with any "hobby" or activity there is technical jargon. Photography, cars, cooking, knitting! Audio is no different and it is almost impossible to explain the equipment, their properties and the processes involved without the technical shorthand. My advice, fwiiw, is to bite the bullet, buy an AI and a mic (plus stand and cable) and face the fact that this will set you back about 200-300. Going cheaper or a different route will just confuse you, make our job helping you much more difficult and is bound to lead to poor results. Believe me, any of the microphones suggested so far and a 100 ish AI will make CD quality recording, the limit being your room's acoustic qualities.

    Rob mentions Sound on Sound and on their site is an audio glossary, have a look. I am off to see if I can find it. (starting with Google!).

    Glossary Of Technical Terms |

    Dave.

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  4. #23
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    Thank you so much! I'll do what you said. I'm sorry if I'm not giving enough information, I'm not very good at technical stuff. I took music tech for a few months at A level but my teacher bullied me into quitting bc he thought I was going to fail. I understand there's lots of jargon because my friends really into photography, but I was still a little taken aback! I'll let you guys know how it all goes. Thanks for all your help,

    Alyvia

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    Quote Originally Posted by alyvia View Post
    I've tried before using backing tracks of songs that you can find on the internet, but I think eventually I'll probably make my own using piano. The acoustic environment varies depending on where in my house I record. Downstairs there's high ceilings, not as much fabric and carpet, and I generally sound better there when singing so I'll probably record there. Thanks for the advice.

    Alyvia
    Is that a proper, acoustic piano? If so you are going to have fun getting good recordings of that!

    If it is electronic then let us have the make and model because it can probably be connected to an AI. If it has MIDI capability* DEFFO get the Tascam because it also has MIDI ports.

    *There I go with the technicals again! You won't escape it.

    Dave.

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    The piano says yamaha clavinova on it. Its electric but sounds very like an acoustic piano. There might be more to the model but I can't find it right now. Theres lots of places to plug things in, ones a speaker, one headphones and at the back theres some I don't understand and they're called aux out, aux in, midi-out, in, thru, and some usb ones called to device and to host. Thanks,

    Alyvia

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    Quote Originally Posted by alyvia View Post
    The piano says yamaha clavinova on it. Its electric but sounds very like an acoustic piano. There might be more to the model but I can't find it right now. Theres lots of places to plug things in, ones a speaker, one headphones and at the back theres some I don't understand and they're called aux out, aux in, midi-out, in, thru, and some usb ones called to device and to host. Thanks,

    Alyvia
    Wonderful! We can do a lot with that.

    Oil be bek!

    Dave.

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    I was the Principal Examiner for Edexcel (Pearson) for music technology A Level, before I packed in the teaching lark - we had a small team who initially were having schools and colleges using cassette multitrack, that rapidly turned into computers. We tweaked and updated the spec every year, and the team who do it now carried on the good work. Teacher HATE it because they want exam rules that remain static. Music Tec never stays the same, constantly moving the goalposts because the subject is rapidly changing. They have long guitar strap metal merchants and at the other end folk who study figured bass and Bach chorals.

    Alyvia - what is it exactly that you want to do. You mention backing tracks. You have the track presumably on your computer or phone, but how are you planning to record yourself singing with it? One of the drawbacks to USB mics is that they kind of take over the computer, routing their output to your Audacity software. Now normally, you would bring your backing track as an audio file, into audacity on another track. This then plays and you hear it in headphones, and sing along. Trouble is this means you need to get that sound back to your headphones. This means you need to get to grip with how this works, and there is a thing called latency - in effect, a short delay while your computer processes the ins and the outs and it's horrible if it's big. It messes with your brain and ruins your performance. It's a very short delay we are talking about, measured in milliseconds. Most people can work with latency of maybe 7-12ms, but above that your brain detects it as a distinct delay. The USB mics tend to not be very good at this kind of thing, and returning the tracks to the headphones also has the latency, making it even worse. Proper interfaces have well designed drivers that make latency figures not an issue - but the usual solution is a kind of one size fits all driver asioforall - which works but has a big latency, so not good. The other snag is the piano - you need to get that into the computer too. You can record from one of the sockets - but you don't have the interface for this. Look at gizmos like the Scarlet 2i2 if you google. This has sockets for microphones, and keyboards, guitars etc. It also comes with software if you search about - better than audacity for what you do. However - you need to spend more money. A cheapish real mic with an XLR socket and the 2i2. Cheapest package I could find on Amazon is this one. Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface and recording bundle with Pro Tools | First: Amazon.co.uk: Amazon.co.uk:

    Itr comes with protools software, which I personally don't use, but it's a capable product and has the interface, the mic, the headphones and software. Maybe then sell the USB mic on Ebay??

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  10. #28
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    Sorry Rob (and I tremble at my cheek to such a professional!) but the 2i2 is the last AI I would suggest for this particular application.

    Alyvia has said she is loud! The 2i2 has good, low noise mic pres but not noted for high headroom. I suggested the Tascam 2x2 mainly because it has a +8dBu max mic capability. It also has MIDI as does her keyboard*. Ok, I am certain she will not want to get into that particular can of worms at the moment but if she does not have the capability? The 2x2 also comes with the much more useful Cubase (IMHO) plus it might be "iThing" friendly and is cheaper!

    *We need the exact model number, there are various Yammy Clavolinas, some can even go on the internet!

    Dave.

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  12. #29
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    Actually! MIDI could be very handy when recording the piano tracks since a piece can be recorded as MIDI and played back exactly the same way, ad inf. while you just finnagle the recording kit.

    Although I suppose the piano has a built in sequencer anyway?

    Dave.

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    Some do, but they're pretty limited. I like your suggestion, and the MIDI is a sensible way to proceed. Good suggestion. As for me? I've always said I can do lots of things averagely, which makes me useful - but I'm not an expert and anything. Works for me. I'll have a look at the Tascam, but sounds a good move. I too - love cubase, so that would be my choice for this kind of thing.

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