Signal Chain and Microphones
Hear, hear um no whenever you choose gear it's not just like I have here uh it's choose your gear based on your vision, not your price tag they have to understand about every piece of gear that exists it's kind of hard to really know what you like until you physically try it I mean there's places where you can rent stuff I encourage you if if you do have a local place to go like just rent things that you never thought you'd use before just go ahead and you know try it out because the more information you have the better um and sometimes even if you thought you didn't like something, you might want to go back to that thing later and, uh and try it out because it might have different functions like maybe something is good for vocals. Maybe something is good for something else like drums or something like that but you just wanna try these different things and see what you think. So anyway, um having great gear okay, this is something that anybody that's recorded anyone will know having gr...
eat gear does not mean that you're going to get a good recording at all. Now, just like we talked about in the last segment with acoustic treatment and stuff you could have uh the best mike in the world and your room is set up wrong and you're not getting a good sound like we're talking about on the break you had a room that wasn't treated properly and after you did that you know this huge results um but the main change was the acoustic environment so it's really important to keep in mind you know you could spend ten thousand dollars on a microphone doesn't mean that anything good is gonna come out of it so you can also take one hundred dollars microphone and make something incredible so, uh let's talk about uh the signal thing that we got going here this is my basic signal chain that I have at my studio and then I've always used um so first you got the microphone than a pre amp and the out my favorite outboard gear to use before recording is any q and a compressor then that goes with converters into an interface into the computer into the headphones whatever so let's talk about let's talk about each piece of this chain the microphone first and foremost so I'll be going back to this every once in a while so microphone first and foremost we have a few microphones here uh some of my favorites actually show lift off now you got dynamic mike's you got condenser mikes you got ribbon mike's we don't have any rhythm mike's here in this uh uh segment but uh okay, so first off I'm going to try to try teo give you guys the basic feel of each mike and why and when you would use each mike now the best thing to do and we're going to do this in the next segment is actually do a little microphone shootout and see exactly what the microphone sound like with our vocalist because everybody's voice sounds different everybody uh uh there you know they might sound muffled or too thin whatever so you got it choose based on that now first we got dynamic mike's here we have fifty seven uh we got some seven this one looks pretty old pretty spit on uh this is an already twenty by electro voice this is another really good one similar to the s um seven this is also used for some people like to use this for kick drums also uh because of the large die frame the low frequency response and essam fifty eight now these are all mike's that I've used during recording I do have a go to mike uh and that is called uh it's a brand pollux so which does clones of norman mikes and they're really mean they're not cheap they're still it's still a few thousand bucks but uh my go to mike is usually this the police so twenty to forty seven ellie I used at nine percent of the time unless I'm doing certain special things um but in the style of music that I do recently this's this's my go to mike for singing and screaming um so that mike is a clone of you forty seven which is to mike and if you want to buy one now good luck they don't make them anymore and if you find one you'll probably be spending around twelve thousand dollars for the power supply in the microphone and chances are it has if you get one with original parts um they'll probably be pretty beat up and spit on and you don't know what condition is it sin so um I'm a big fan of this company pollux so they make tons of different norman clones for ah great price and you're probably you're spending less and you're probably actually going to get a better sounding microphone because it's brand new it doesn't have a bunch of damage to the to the diaphragm and stuff this microphone I think is around two three thousand dollars but you forty seven ism round you know, ten, twelve thousand dollars so it's a good good uh savings there um now that that particular microphone uh if I have to choose one of these actually we go back to dynamic for a second I'm getting out of order here okay? So dynamics uh let's say uh this one the sm seven this is one of my favorite ones I've used this for screaming a lot uh the pop filter comes off and you have some cool uh e q settings on the back which is a cool feature of this microphone but these dynamic microphones usually run at lower volumes so they can handle higher espy els like like screaming some people will use this for screaming I also would use this for singing the quality that I've noticed that most dynamic mike's have is they the high end is a little more rolled off um and obviously they're not a sensitive so when I would use one of these is usually in like some heavy rock music where you know you're not hearing a lot of details um but sometimes it's kind of cool if you are doing uh if you're doing an acoustic track but we'll give it a really warm like, cozy feel almost if that makes sense because, uh there's nothing harsh about it there's no brittleness it's just really um it's just it's really it's a really warm microphone it sounds you could almost get a loaf I sound out of it sort of if you do it right and that's whenever I've I've used these uh like I've used in assam fifty seven for main vocals um on some indie projects that I did back in the day and it was pretty cool to use on the main vocal because it just give it a really raw organic sound you know is not not polished if that's what you're going for I mean that's really cool and the best way to get that is to do it for real uh, you know, not using effects like so I would choose you know, one of these dynamic mikes to get that kind of sound so when you are using these though um you're going to set him up just like any other microphone uh when you when you use an sm seven, you're gonna want to take off the pop filter and use a regular um, pop filter if you don't mind, I'm gonna take this pop filter off really quick and just just bring it over to me so yeah, what you would want to do is take the pot filter off off of the microphone if it has one on there like the sm seven uh and you and you would use this so you can position it just how you want and sometimes these actually well, usually thes sound better they don't block these block more high end so you would just, you know, do it like this and keep in mind that the diaphragm is a little bit further away from the the friendly capsules so you can hear from this little metal grill so you can go right up to the pot filter there so that's how you that's how you would use one of these mikes if you're tracking you could also hold these, um that causes a few problems uh I think when we do screaming will probably demo that a little bit um but sometimes there's a sound when you're when you're moving around or you know, some people cut the microphone and it kind of messes up the sound of it so uh and you can also with an s m fifty eight you khun this is also a pop filter you khun take this often you know you do the same thing, but if I'm going to do that I would probably use a fifty seven because it's already ready to go isn't the capsule on that basically the same capsule is on a fifty seven a little bit different on it like from a fifty eight two fifty seven I know that they have I mean, they have different frequency responses and I don't know if that includes that the top so I technically do not know the answer that question it may be the exact same, but um yeah, if you if you don't have a lot of money, this is cool because it does have a pop filter built in if you can't afford to buy pantyhose in a wire uh hangar but you can afford this this already has this built in so and you know these are pretty sure like this way from goes for like a hundred bucks now or something it's pretty cheap pretty versatile mike my favorite mike on guitar cabinets I'm not talking about that but I did have a class where I did talk about guitars uh you might want to check that out comes with a free impulse response and learn about that in the class if you watch all right anyway uh shameless plug okay, so um if you can choose if you're at the level or you can choose you have a bunch of different microphones uh if you do want to try something a little bit different like for on acoustic uh you could throw one of these dynamic mike on the acoustic to give it that lo fi sound doing on vocals or whatever. So that's what I mean when I talk about fishing uh what do you want from the final sound? Do you want to sound super polished or not? Sometimes it's cool to not have it sound polished if somebody wants that raw natural sound um so let's talk about condensers really quick uh this is one that I have also it's a norman you eighty seven this one looks kind of this one looks a lot different than mine looks like it may have been ma did in some way uh but this has a bunch of different polar patterns on it or does it yes I don't know if they took that function out of it okay, so it looks like this one may uh okay sorry this's a little bit weird anyway, we got I'm going to talk about these different color patterns we have figure eight pattern the most popular sze cardio I'd also like super cardio and hyper cardio aid but this does not have that the pollux so does though for those of you interested uh an omni directional let's go let's talk about figure eight really quick so figure it out I don't know if you could see this just looks like a little eight but what's really cool about this pattern is it picks up in front of and behind the microphone um and the area that it actually picks up in front of the microphone is a tighter area. So sometimes if you have a singer that is maybe playing a guitar and singing if you angle the microphone correctly at them where the front is you know aimed at their mouth in the back is away from the guitar. You could have more isolation than uh then cardio. So if you are doing some some kind of weird set up like that it's good to know that information because it's it does pick up the back yet you have to think about that but the part that it picks up is a lot tighter so it's like you know right around here and then the cardio it is almost like halfway and cardio it is the most popular that's actually something we're about to work on in the studio is doing a take of acoustic guitar and vocal performance simultaneously yeah so um we would already have a couple mikes on the guitar um now if you have ah you were saying the figure eight pattern yeah for for the vocal performance uh how do you do you have to experiment and try and find a sweet spot so that the backside of that you're amazing issues yeah because it depends what wanted depends on your room and also that's a good question because um if your room isn't properly set up acoustically like we were talking about you are just going to pick up weird things in the room and whatever you're doing is gonna be bouncing around and it might end up sounding weird but if it's treated correctly uh your sound of whatever you're playing is getting absorbed right away so it's not like bouncing back into them like but yes you would want to mess with it figure out the perfect position for it um so it blocks out the guitar as much as possible yeah I just thought that's a that's a pretty cool technique that's not really a common thing for me at least in what I do but I do know about that and uh so school share ok? Yeah, so you're not actually getting a lot of the guitar performance on the vocal track out of the back of the mike just kind of think about it think about it, linda sound think about it like this so you have the microphone here and you're singing into it? Er it's not just like this it's like a ball think of it as like a aa ball of where it picks up the sound. So all this area on the side of the microphone here and here is all blank space where as if it was cardio oid this is all filled in here, so whatever you have, whenever you have one of you angle it to walk out the guitar, you have to turn it downwards if that makes sense. So this big ball, this cardio and yeah sphere is ah is out of the range of the guitar. So that's a really weird position to sing it. So if you have the figure eight this ball, the sphere, if you will, is tighter and you're not, you're not having to turn it in such a strange that such a strange angle to actually block of the guitar so it would be really good cardio cardio is going is like, yeah, you know, like this also, so the, um the guitar is getting picked up because picking up down there but the ball the sphere of the figure eight is tighter and that allows the performer to actually so you can keep their chest expanded and a good good actually having a man in a decent spot an mri and have the guitar like in a blind spot of the microphone a lot easier understand yeah so but yes if you do have a room where the guitar is kind of like bouncing back into the mic it could be weird but hopefully um you have the room set up so the because it is just kind of getting absorbed into you know, whatever is in front I think there's just enough room inside of our vocal booth room tto be ableto perform it inside there if you weren't able to do it inside of a vocal booth though would it be good too? Yeah, possibly play in front of a diffuser or at least like some foam or something that'll yayuk absorb you could make river bs I mean after you guys I mean explain the basic concept of absorption if you understand that and and you could just make a ah panel you know, without a back to it that's just on ly absorbing sound that hits it from every angle uh you could just put that in front of the guitar and just so that sound is somewhere to go because if you are in an open room I mean that's what we're going to be doing when we're tracking vocals in here like it's an open room but the sound is getting absorbed immediately and that's what you want you don't want it to bounce around and then get absorbed for these like these really tight uh you know, detailed performances you want to be absorbed right away so you would put some kind of absorption right in front of you that can take care of all those for great thank you yeah so um pretty cool function of figure eight so cardio oid looks like kind of like an upside down heart rounded heart is probably the most popular one it's the one that usually always used uh I usually have everything tracked separately so I don't have to worry about that stuff but uh the last one that I want to talk about omni directional and this is a pretty cool a little fact about omni directional is it does pick up every in every direction obviously that's what omni directional means and it has a lot more high end teo has a lot more presence than the other than the other patterns why that is I have no idea, but if you're you're working with the vocalist and this is your only mike and you're having a problem with presence you can actually switch it to this if your acoustic environment is set up properly, you can switch it to this and you have no problem making it sound a lot brighter and it'll cut through the mix a lot better so uh then this is another one see, four fourteen uh made by a k g is these type of microphones are really popular is a bunch of different styles I don't have this exact one, but I have ah, similar ones and this has all the different patterns on the front and then it's cool because some of these have the, uh, abase roll off on the back er and then a d b cut but let's, talk about the bass roll off really quick that's one of the things that I actually really like about having a unique you tow work with in in the signal chain because not every mike has this on the back like, uh, a lot of these dynamic mike still have any kind of option for that that one does thiss one does fifty seven fifty eight do not um they're kind of naturally rolled off the uh but some of these don't have any option for you to roll that off, and if you're using an actual tube microphone, those pick up a lot of the low frequencies and when you're singing, I mean you don't. You're not tryingto make the vocal super duper basie or anything that'll just muddy up the mix. Er, so it's, good to kind of get it right there at the source.