The Importance Of Mic In Music

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Here is a classic mic that is a favorite the world over. This mic is used on a lot of other things besides vocals, but it is hard to not think of vocals and the RE20 together. One of the well known characteristics that this mic is known for is the fact that is has virtually no proximity effect. The proximity effect is a boost in bass response associated with directional microphones when you come within roughly 12” of the mic. The proximity effect can be used to your advantage, but it needs to be kept in check when you have a vocalist with the habit of bobbing his head closer and further from the mic.

Earthworks SR20
This unique looking mic is also known for having very little proximity effect. Its flat frequency response, wonderful off axis
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If your recordings are distorting with that awful digital clipping that sounds like a garden rake scraped across a chalkboard, I am not likely to your recording skills very seriously.

When initially setting the input gain to your recorder, keep in mind that most vocalists get a bit more excited as they warm up, and they begin to sing louder. Be ready for this.

Inversely, don’t leave too much unused headroom in your recordings. I realize that you can normalize the track after it is recorded, but recording a low level signal and compensating for it later only boosts noise and neglects to take advantage of your full bit depth.

Record dry
The main point here is to keep in mind that any effect you record to the track with your vocals is something that you are going to have to live with eternally. If the singer wants to hear some reverb while singing, provide her with reverb that will not be recorded.

Compression, limiting and de-essing also fall into this category. It is OK to use a bit of these effects while tracking to keep things under control, but leave the bulk of dynamic manipulation for later when you can change your
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They shuffle around and generally do their best to make you crazy while you try to capture that perfect performance minus thumps, coughs and headphone bleed-through. Although you will try your best to curb the toe tapping and floor noises, you may have to take matters into your own hands.

Grab a set of Auralex Platfeet isolation pads and slip them on the feet of your mic stand. This really helps isolate the mic stand from the floor. Quieter recordings generally make everyone happy.

The proximity effect
As mentioned above, the proximity effect is caused by the ports used to achieve directionality in mics. This effect results in a significant boost in bass frequencies once the singer comes within 12” of the microphone. When a singer is bobbing his head in and out of this proximity zone, it can cause the bass response on your recording to undulate up and down as well. This can be difficult to remove from the track using an EQ or a multiband compressor.

The first step in preventing this from being a problem is to be listening for it. If you have an active singer who likes to move around a lot, try to ensure that he either stays in the zone or out of it, not constantly going between the

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