Vocal Mic Shootout


Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp


Lesson Info

Vocal Mic Shootout

We're gonna be checking three mics, the U87, RE20 and SM7B through three different sets of pre's. I mean, through three different pre's, API's, and then through three different Neves to hear what they sound like. We're gonna be sending each one of these pre's through a distressor into an 1176. As you can see, we've got three distressors and three 1176's so, they're all gonna be set the same and this'll give us a really, really good idea of what the differences are between the mics. And again, we're just gonna go for what sounds best on his voice. As far as the settings on the distressors go, I'm gonna figure that out as we do this but more than likely I'm gonna start in a somewhat neutral setting as far as attack and release which is kinda like, down the middle, five and five. Probably gonna go ten to one like they're set right now and I'm gonna get above 10 dB of gain reduction on the distressor and then we'll see what happens, maybe even more, sometimes it sounds better when it's hig...

her than that, so let's see what happens. Hey, hey, hey. (deep scream) Alright, so, yeah, go into the SM7B and just kinda like check it a little and see what's going on, alright? Alright. I'm gonna record you, I just wanna see what level's coming in first. Okie dokie. Hey hey, check, one two. (Monuments track plays) Hey, check, one two. ♫ I would be wise to lay in ♫ Parents or planets sublime Alrighty then. Alrighty, so real quick, what I ended up settling on with the distressors is actually a super fast attack and a medium release, just because I wanna clamp down (clears throat) 'scuse me. I wanna clamp down on his vocals immediately. I've also got a pretty fast attack on the and a pretty fast release as well and I like it, I want his vocals to be super compressed. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. So, we've go the U67, the RE20, and the SM7B through the three API's as well as the three Neves and we will check them out. Yes we will. So here's what we got with the U67 Okay. Let's do it. Let's hear it against the music actually. Let's check it out. Check it out. (laughs) Yeah, yeah. (Monuments track plays) Sounds nice. Nice shitty take. (laughs) What, are you just warming up? (Monuments track plays) Sorry, 20, I kinda like you but I feel like it's kinda boring. Yeah, the RE20 through the API, is that what that was? Yeah. That was actually nicer than the U67. Here's the SM7B through the API. (Monuments track plays) It just hits harder It's what we used on the record. Yeah, I mean, we wanted to try different things just because that's what you do in the studio but on the record, we shot out, what, like five different mics? Big time. And ended up with SM7 through an API And we basically were like, it seems like it's going to be the same case. Yeah. It's, as you heard, it's not like there's anything wrong with the other ones through the API. Not at all. I'll solo them. It's just that Characteristics of the mic. And my voice. (Chris Barretto's vocals) That's the U67. I mean, it sounds nice. (Chris Barretto's vocals) I don't like the RE20 at all. (Chris Barretto's vocals) that just gives so much more. Let's just check the Neves too. It's just go that perfect combination of body and crunch slash cut. And attitude. Yeah, the attitude is there. So, the U67 through the Neve I actually had to de-ess it a little bit 'cause it was super ess-y. (hisses) Yeah. It wasn't through the API but it certainly was through the Neve. So this is the-- Does the Neve have the tendency to be super ess-y, or is it just me? I think it's just you, and it wasn't on the other mic. So this is the U67 through the Neve. (Chris Barretto's vocals) I don't like it at all. SM7 through the Neve. (Chris Barretto's vocals) I don't like that. I don't like it either. It just doesn't have the attitude. The presence, yeah. It's an attitude thing. Here's the RE20 through the Neve. (Chris Barretto's vocals) I dunno, I feel like the Neve colors your voice too much in the wrong way. I believe you are correct. Yeah, I feel like the API just captures you very, very well. We'll play it against the music too. Do you have a reason you think why the API and my voice go so well hand in hand? API is a much more full-frequency, punchy sounding pre-amp when you drive it harder and a Neve is more, people think that it's got better low-end, but it doesn't. What it does is, it shaves off some at the top, some at the bottom, and you get more low-mid presence in it. It adds a little bit more coloration, so a lot of people like them for whatever reasons, but on your voice, I just think we need something that just captures you, doesn't color it too much and just pushes you in front, 'cause I want it to sound exactly like you do in the room, we don't need to mess with the character of your voice. Fair enough. That's what I think, that's my opinion on the why. What kind of vocal type do you think that I have that works so well with the API, just out of curiosity? Like, if any other vocalists are out there that are kinda like me in that respect, is that something that they could use too? It tends to be a really good choice for this style of music, for heavier music, 'cause it's so punchy that it does help push vocals to the front. I feel like if I was recording some sultry jazz singer, Probably not. Probably not. Something a little more body, a little bit rounder. Darker, yeah. We need the brightness to punch through. And I feel like my voice isn't that bright naturally anyway, so I feel like it gives it a little bit of an edge. That's what I personally think, but you tell me. Well, yeah, it definitely does. I mean, even against the other microphones via the API, those definitely have more edge than the Neve ones, but the SM7B just wins. Let's hear it against the music though. Let's do it. No. Just kidding. Alright, so here's the SM7B Neve against the music. (Monuments track plays) SM7B API now against the music. (Monuments track plays) Just a world of difference. Night and day. Here's the U67 Neve against the music. (Monuments track plays) It's like, that sounds nice, but we would need-- It's just missing that little something. Yeah, it might be good for a different genre. Here's U67 API. (Monuments track plays) Again, it sounds nice. Smoother, a lot smoother though. Man, this SM7B wins. (Monuments track plays) It naturally sits in where it should be. Yeah, so let's roll with that. Cool. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Alright, let's get a screaming tone and a finish this. Yeah!

Class Description

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp will give you access to one of metal’s most in-demand producers and educators. You’ll also get to watch the talented and seasoned performers of Monuments show you how to record flawless takes and how to prepare to enter the studio.

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp is the definitive guide to recording and producing metal. From soup to nuts, start to finish, A to Z, you will learn everything you need to know about recording and producing a metal song.

Eyal Levi will take you inside the studio with Monuments as they record a song from scratch at Clear Lake Recording in Los Angeles. In this bootcamp you will learn how to:

  • Prepare for a session in preproduction by choosing tempos and organizing the session
  • Record flawless drums from selection and reheading/tuning to mic choice and placement to editing
  • Record rhythm guitars
  • Record clean and lead guitars
  • Record bass guitar
  • Record, edit and tune lead vocals, harmonies, and screams
  • Mix and master from session setup to final bounce

What comes with purchase of the class?


1Intro to Bootcamp 2Purpose of Pre-Production 3Technical Side of Preproduction 4Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map 5Pre-Production: Importing Stems 6Pre-Production: Click Track 7Creating Tracking Templates 8Intro and the Tone Pie 9Drums - Lay of the Land 10Bearing Edges 11Wood Types 12Depths and Sizes 13Hoops 14Sticks and Beaters 15Drum Heads 16Drum Tuning 17Drum Mic Placement Intro 18Basic Drum Mic Setup 19Cymbal Mic Setup 20Touch Up Tuning 21Microphone Choice and Placement 22Drum Tracking Intro 23Getting Tones and Final Placement 24Primary Tracking 25Punching In and Comping Takes 26Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking 27Amplifiers - Lay of the Land 28Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out 29Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement 30Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain 31Finalizing Amplifier Tone 32Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin 33Intro to Rhythm Tracking 34Setting Up Guitars 35Working with a Guitarist 36Final Guitar Tone and Recap 37Guitar Tracking with John 38Guitar Tracking with Ollie 39Final Tracking 40Tracking Quads 41Intro to Bass Tone 42Bass Tone Setup 43Bass Tone Mic Placement 44Bass Tracking 45Intro to Clean and Lead Tones 46Clean Guitar Tones 47Lead Tones 48Vocal Setup for Tracking 49Vocal Mic Selection and Setup 50Vocal Mic Shootout 51Lead Vocal Tracking 52Writing Harmonies 53Harmony Vocal Tracking 54Vocal Warm Ups 55Scream Vocal Tracking 56Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction 57Vocal Tuning and Editing 58Routing and Bussing 59Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels 60Setting Up Parallel Compression 61Setting Up Drum Triggers 62Gain Staging and Trim 63Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ 64Drum Mixing - Snare 65Drum Mixing - Kick 66Drum Mixing - Toms 67Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms 68Drum Mixing Recap 69Mixing Bass Guitar 70Mixing Rhythm Guitars 71Basic Vocal Mix 72Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars 73Mixing - Automation 74Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek



I'm just part way though and I'm blown away by the quality approach Eyal takes to getting the best out of the sessions. I love how well everything is explained and Eyals calm manner is just awesome it really makes you want to listen to the gems of wisdom he offers.


Amazing knowledge is being presented here. If you want to start out recording, this should be your first step, it'll save you lots of time and get you awesome results. Highly recommended class.


Wow is all I can say. This bootcamp goes in so much depth from tuning drums, setting up guitars, to recording and mixing. I have learned so much by participating in this bootcamp. It has taught me some new recording techniques and signal routing for my mixes. I just want to thank Eyal, Monuments, and Creative Live for taking the time to do this. It has been amazing and I will keep going back to these videos.