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AURAN STUDIO

TIPS AND TRICKS

You have made a song and want to share it with the world around you. You search on google, YouTube or similar and are overwhelmed with tips and tricks for how to get the best possible song out of your microphone. You also come across myths such as "you have to have a condenser microphone to get good vocal sound", or "you have to sound-absorb the acoustics in the room you are recording in".

 

And although most of the tips you are looking for may have a touch of truth in them, you will find yourself in a situation where you feel overwhelmed by all the information. Where do you really start? Are you going to buy a new microphone, buy a new sound card, buy a preamp or other hardware that you see the pros have because you do not make it sound like you envision?

 

The truth is that you don't have to do any of that!

No microphone can ever make up for a bad performance. If you do not know the song well, then there is nothing that can save that recording.

 

When you know the song inside out, the next question is how to capture this performance. Don't be fooled into thinking you need a condenser microphone. A dynamic microphone, such as the Shure SM57 or Shure SM58, will last for a long time. Here are some things to keep in mind when using these two different microphones.

Dynamic microphone:

  • Very suitable in rooms with "bad" sound, or a lot of unmanageable acoustics.

  • You can have your mouth close up to the microphone and sing with a high volume without having to worry about distorting the sound from the microphone.

  • A dynamic microphone often needs a little more input gain on the sound card than a condenser microphone.

  • The further away from the microphone you get, the thinner the sound will be, due to something called the "proximity effect". Ergo, the closer to the microphone the more bass you will get from your voice, or sound. Dynamic microphones are often more sensitive to changes in sound based on the distance from the sound source (i.e. the mouth) to the microphone. This can be an advantage because you have alot of opportunities to shape the sound the way you want. 

  • If you are afraid of distorting the sound at too high volume, it may be appropriate to turn your head slightly to the side of the microphone at the strongest tones. So that the mouth points away from the microphone. When doin so, the volume becomes smoother while taking into account the "proximity" effect.

 

Condenser microphone:

  • Very suitable in rooms with a good and warm sound. An ordinary living room does not usually have a desired sound. If you are struggling with getting a good sound of your vocals in the mixing process, this may be a sign that you are getting too much unwanted sound of the acoustics into the microphone. This can especially be the case if your voice sounds "boomy" and with lots of unwanted mid-range frequencies. It may then be worthwhile to turn the input gain of your sound card, or preamp, a bit down. Record the vocals again and sing closer to the microphone. Possibly find a more suitable place in the house with less sound. You can also get a reflection filter that should be placed behind the microphone and in theory ensure better control of the sound in the room, but this is often an expensive investment, and should never replace your focus on microphone placement.

  • Condensers are not as sensitive to change in sound regarding the "proximity" effect in the same way as the dynamic. But it does not remove the fact that the sound becomes thinner the greater the distance you introduce.

  • Should use a "pop filter" to remove popping. Sounds like "P" and "B" and other plosives, make a pop sound that is unwanted in the mix and is difficult to control after a recording.

  • Condenser microphones are more sensitive to distortion at high volume from the sound source. Here it can be especially wise to turn your head to the side at the highest and strongest tones.

 

Many an artist has used a dynamic microphone on iconic songs, including Michael Jackson on "Thriller". The most important thing isn't what kind of microphone you use but how you use it. Therefore, spend a little extra time getting to know the microphone you already have. Try to record your own voice in different rooms, different places in the room and at different distances to the microphone to become better acquainted with what it takes to promote the qualities of your voice. The most important thing is that you should capture an experience by your own voice and song. And if, for example, it means holding the microphone in your hand instead of holding it on a tripod, then hold it in your hand.

 

The more time you spend getting the sound right at the source, the easier it will be for you when it's time to mix the song later.

On this page, there will come more tips and tricks for how to make your music sound the best possible!

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RECORDING VOCAL - VOCAL RECORDING

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