A nerdy way to find the right mic for your singer
I made a nice little discovery on finding the right microphone for the job the other day.
You see, I record my singer a lot, and I’ve tried multiple different microphones on her.
Everything from cheap dynamic mics to expensive ribbon microphones.
I usually end up with some sort of condenser on her because I want that nice high-end on her voice.
But I always run into problems with them sounding too nasally.
So I end up EQ’ing out around the 1 kHz region very frequently in the mix.
But it got me thinking, it’s annoying to have to always try to fix it in the mix when I should just be able to find a mic that complements her voice.
So I was in the studio the other day going through their mic locker and figuring out which mic to use on her vocals.
We were recording scratch vocal tracks so it wasn’t a big deal if the mic wasn’t the “perfect choice for the job.”
But I ended up with a few mics on the table and then decided to do some research.
I wanted to see the frequency response of the microphones to see if I could pick one based on their specs.
And as you might think many condenser microphones have a pronounced boost in the upper-mids, specifically around the 1 kHz region.
That in itself doesn’t surprise me because that’s exactly what I had been fighting.
But there was one mic that has a nice little cut in that exact region, the AKG 414 (I can’t remember the exact model).
This intrigued me so I set it up in front of here and voilá!
No nasal sounding vocals. Just warmth and brilliance.
I probably won’t use the actual scratch vocals on the finished record but I know exactly which mic to use on her next time!
That’s one of the good things about having a few microphones to choose from.
You can actually pick the one that works the best on the individual instrument, whether that’s voice, acoustic guitar or kick drum.
If you can find the right one for the job, it makes the mixing process easier because you’ve already got the sound you want and you don’t need to fix it in the mix with EQ. That’s what I talk about in-depth in my Recording & Mixing Strategies package here:
However, if you only have a couple mics lying around and you do need to EQ them in the mix, that’s also something I help out with in my EQ Strategies guide here:
Whether you need advice at the source or after the fact, the information within is guaranteed to help you out.