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Author Topic: Whistling  (Read 3064 times)

T. Goodwin

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Whistling
« on: December 12, 2008, 08:40:16 PM »

This came up in a recent project of mine; I was wondering if any of you had any special tricks for recording whistling without getting an overly breathy sound. I believe I ended up placing a SDC (I am severely limited in my mic choice) off the side of the shoulder of the artist, pointing slightly away from their mouth into the room. This was fine for the most part, but I track in a poor sounding, untreated room, and would like to have a closer micing trick in my bag if this ever comes up in the future.

This may or may not be a stupid prompt.
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j.hall

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2008, 10:54:25 AM »

i guess i'd just try to match the GnR whistling.......seemed to be fine there.

nothing really to add.  whistling isn't something i've ever been asked to record.
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compasspnt

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2008, 12:58:21 PM »

Whistling can be one of those tricky things to record.

Get right up on the mic, whistle "out," and you may get massive "breath 'plosives" (not technically "P"'plosives, but still air rushing directly into the capsule.

Move farther back (remember that most whistling is pretty quiet relative to most singing), and induce your room more into the picture, with a corresponding lessening of the whistle fundamental, plus potential for increased noise from your preamp chain.

If The Whistler can do so, a great remedy is to whistle "in" rather than out...thusly the breath is directed into the mouth, rather than into the capsule.

Your solution was a pretty good one, but your concerns are valid.

Pop screens, especially the nylon or metal perf ones, may cause some unnatural high frequency excursions, as comb filtering comes into play.

Foam screens will sound more natural, but have less 'plosive-reduction effect.

Listen to some old Gene Pitney records, such as "Only Love Can reak A Heart" to see how whistling is done right. Gene was the NYC "session whistler" for years.

Worst case, a stage microphone might have better inbred wind protection.

Interestingly, just this week I was remembering and discussing the recording of the whistle on "Dock Of The Bay" with Steve Cropper.

Good luck.



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iCombs

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 12:16:42 PM »

What about a shotgun mic?
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Fig

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 04:57:43 PM »

For whistlers and sometimes clean harmonicas (no amp, I mean), I have placed an LDC near the performers ear height, the cardiod diaphragm facing the same way the performer is.

Meaning, if he faced the mic by merely turning his head 90 degrees, he would be blowing into the side of the mic's pickup pattern.  If this introduces too much room sound - um, use a different room? or get closer to a wall to adjust early reflection arrival times? set up baffles?

I still use the Andy Griffith theme as my reference for a good whistler sound.  Anyone know how that was done, where, etc?
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Devin Knutson

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 05:24:05 PM »

I've done whistlers several times over the years, and what has always worked for me is a decent dynamic (not condenser) completely perpendicular to the person's face and mouth.  Almost, but not really, pointing at their cheek.  This way, the air goes straight across the capsule rather than into it, but you're still just a couple of inches from the source on axis.

Pardon my lack of paint skills.

index.php/fa/10699/0/
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NelsonL

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 06:57:20 AM »

Devin Knutson wrote on Tue, 16 December 2008 14:24

I've done whistlers several times over the years, and what has always worked for me is a decent dynamic (not condenser) completely perpendicular to the person's face and mouth.  Almost, but not really, pointing at their cheek.  This way, the air goes straight across the capsule rather than into it, but you're still just a couple of inches from the source on axis.

Pardon my lack of paint skills.

index.php/fa/10699/0/


I like the diagram, although it kind of looks like your whistler should floss more often.
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 07:14:30 AM »

NelsonL wrote on Wed, 17 December 2008 11:57

Devin Knutson wrote on Tue, 16 December 2008 14:24

I've done whistlers several times over the years, and what has always worked for me is a decent dynamic (not condenser) completely perpendicular to the person's face and mouth.  Almost, but not really, pointing at their cheek.  This way, the air goes straight across the capsule rather than into it, but you're still just a couple of inches from the source on axis.

Pardon my lack of paint skills.

index.php/fa/10699/0/


I like the diagram, although it kind of looks like your whistler should floss more often.


Looks like a possible method to mic up Klaatu's gigantic golem as it shoots death rays at the US army.
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organica

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 10:14:33 AM »

I was faced with a similar situation a short while back and started a thread for the same reason . some great ideas were brought forth and you may want to check it out . at one point I remember asking the whistler to try to control his wind tone a little better . he did , it really helped and we got what we hoped for .
anyhow ...  http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/312921/0/?srch= whistler#msg_312921
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JDNelson

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009, 01:36:54 PM »

Devin Knutson wrote on Tue, 16 December 2008 14:24

I've done whistlers several times over the years, and what has always worked for me is a decent dynamic (not condenser) completely perpendicular to the person's face and mouth.  Almost, but not really, pointing at their cheek.  This way, the air goes straight across the capsule rather than into it, but you're still just a couple of inches from the source on axis.

Pardon my lack of paint skills.

index.php/fa/10699/0/



Looks like some diagram from the Warren Commission...

Jesse M

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Re: Whistling
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 02:36:58 AM »

Devin Knutson wrote on Tue, 16 December 2008 16:24



index.php/fa/10699/0/


This worked for me on a recent project.  

You never expect someone to request whistling.  Then it happens.
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