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Author Topic: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?  (Read 5650 times)

Kevinc

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2006, 07:53:39 am »

Did you try simply backing up off the mic a bit ?

If the vocalist is on the loud side I tend to give them a bit of extra breathing room just in case.
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- Kev

Lone Arranger

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2006, 11:52:47 am »

bacon skin wrote on Mon, 01 May 2006 02:39

Lone Arranger wrote on Fri, 28 April 2006 20:36

then to a 1968 (attack - 1,
release -1, moving the needle about half way on loud stuff).


The 1968 is almost certainly the problem. Those attack and release times are WAAAY too fast and are sure to be the source of the problem. Loosen those up a bit, and I'll bet you're golden.

[EDIT: I used to use attack and release times like this to acheive distortion on the drum bus.]

DF


I plead ignorance on the finer aspects of setting up the 1968
and all compressors. I have been using only that setting for
all tracking, assuming that a faster attack and quick release would act to "catch anything big then get out of the way".

If I back the 1968 down to slower attack/release, am I getting it to dig in later and deeper, or is it that the unit won't release the signal and that is what catches the distortion?
I'm confused.

I have a Distressor which I use in Opto mode on some voices with great success, but isn't the Opto mode really quick attack and slow release?

I am going to test the HM-1 unit to see if certain freqs are problem areas, and then work the 1968 back to slower parameters
and see if that helps. I could switch to api 312s, the TG2, or
the GTQ2 if the Demeter unit is the problem.

Thanks to all for their suggestions....
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Ted Arbogast
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Fibes

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2006, 05:23:13 pm »

The GTQ-2 is a great pre.

Fast releases will distort if the (rule of thumb) time is shorter than the waveform ie. 40Hz-40ms or below...

Do keep an eye on the HM-1 i have one and it's funky sometimes.

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ted nightshade

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2006, 09:06:17 pm »

My voice is like that.

It's distorted right outta my mouth.

Trick is capturing it so it's pleasant.
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Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

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Lone Arranger

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2006, 01:05:56 pm »

ted nightshade wrote on Mon, 01 May 2006 20:06

My voice is like that.

It's distorted right outta my mouth.

Trick is capturing it so it's pleasant.


I gotta say I don't agree. For me all distortion must be related
to equipment, never inherent in the voice. For instance, Tom Waits voice is not distorted, but the gear I put in front of him may distort his voice.

I hope I'm not beating this to death, but,
My original post had to do with putting up mic after mic, and finding distortion no matter what.

I have learned from the comments here that the distortion MUST have come from a heavy blow of sonic wave against the diaphragm, etc, that my gear did not treat correctly. (whew)

Which gear? culprits are the diaphragm, mic circuitry, pre circuitry, compressor circuitry, etc and I am now looking at the pre and settings on the 1968.

My question was, are there voices that distort any mic?

The answer must be, has to be, NO. Smile
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Ted Arbogast
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wwittman

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2006, 01:40:07 pm »

well then "no", but I think it's semantic to some degree.

I mean in that, that if you can stick a mic an inch from a snare drum or from a screaming guitar amp and hvae it not distort, then no vocal should distort it.

but I'll say again that some singers SOUND distorted anyway, and if you put your ear there (and can take it) right in front of their mouths, it sounds like that.

the ISSUE, it seems to ME, is that if you don't like, or cannot accept, that 'distorted' sound, you need to find a way to minimize it, even if it's really there at the source.
For me, distance is the only answer.

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William Wittman
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Vertigo

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2006, 02:10:28 pm »

What about going the other route and attempting to enhance the distortion rather than eliminate it? Maybe put her up close on a tube mic, nuke her at the comp, or even throw a tube screamer into the signal path with a bit of gain?

If life hands you lemons...

-Lance
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ted nightshade

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2006, 07:57:09 pm »

It's not that my voice distorts the mic (although it will distort mics that can't handle the SPL), it really does sound distorted just acoustically.

Not sure what the story would be in your case, but do bear in mind that our ears compensate for a lot of things. It takes a lot to learn to hear like a microphone- most times it is not a very pleasant way to hear! Just like most places are not nice places to put a mic, and most sound sources sound like hell.
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Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

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Kurt Foster

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2006, 06:18:57 pm »


Quote:

I gotta say I don't agree. For me all distortion must be related to equipment, never inherent in the voice.


What about Howlin' Wolf?

Quote:

I'll say again that some singers SOUND distorted


I concur,

I watched a PBS special on the Blues with lots of footage of Wolf, Muddy, Willie Dixon. Very cool.

Wolfs in the CHESS studio at 2120 South Michigan sitting in front of a U67 talking and it's not distorted all all. The minute he started singing, there was that signature distortion that's on all his cuts.

all distortion must be related to equipment, never inherent in the voice, NOT!
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skygod

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2006, 01:19:17 pm »

Because they suck?
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Etch-A-Sketch

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2006, 05:17:15 pm »

I agree with William.  It's the singer.  I've had this happen to me several times.  Most recently with a male singer.

For the most part it's poor vocal technique.  It probably happens right at the top of her chest voice range.  I've noticed some singer really try to push a lot of air to get the notes out up at the top of that range which causes them to get "throaty" and it gives a certain type of distortion to the sound.  If she can blend her chest voice and head voice (falsetto) this distortion sound will go away and also if she doesn't push so hard it will help tame it... but it's easier said than done.  Try getting your voice to do the same thing...you'll notice there's a spot at the top of your range before you switch to falsetto where you'll hear it start to get really throaty and nasal at the same time and it will sound like there is some sort of harmonic distortion going on.

Sometimes you can minimize it with EQ.  But the best bet is mic placement.  Move the mic back, and off axis from the singers mouth (I usually drop the mic down an inch or two... or three).

Like William said, if you don't hear it in the room with her, it's probably because you're not putting your ear right where the mic is.  I've found that the "distortion" sound is somewhat directional, so unless you are right in front of her mouth you won't notice it.  That's why I drop the mic and move it back... it seems to help.

Also, mic choice can help as well.  With this male singer, i noticed darker mics seemed to minimize the distortion sound.  I ended up using an old, NOT in great condition, Sony C37p.  Out of all the mics I tried it was the least noticeable on that mic.

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Derek Jones
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thedoc

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2006, 09:30:29 pm »

Assuming that no equipment is broken or or hooked up wrong...

WW's  comment about a mic not distorting on drums so therefore it would not distort on a vocal makes total sense and is consistant with my experience...

What I have usually found to be the cause is poor gain staging or failure to pad when necessary.  Something somewhere is adjusted to clip.  Typically it is the pre-amp gain being set too high.  Pre-amps that lower negative feedback to achieve higher gain can easily cause this but any pre can do it.  Fast release times on compression can also get you there and certainly do not contribute to a "natural sound"....whatever that is...

Learning to get your chain to work properly without unintended distortion and QUICKLY is key to not frustrating singers or anyone else.  This relates to using an existing chain that was recently used on basic tracks for overdubs.....this takes us right back to "The Wittman Method"....

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Doc

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Re: Are there vocalists that distort any mic?
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2006, 05:51:46 pm »

lets also not forget the room, you said that is sounded like a resonant sine wave? mabey it was, it may have been that her voice resonated with the room at that point, just one the thouse freak accustic acuransses. i get this doin live recordings usualy, it wont matter whats happening but when the guitarist, singer, drummer does this one thing it spikes. this can some times be leveled out with a two mic technique. also, if i give the singer a mic to hold there is always a second mic backing that one up.
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