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Author Topic: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix  (Read 12086 times)

Robert Alan

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your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« on: March 22, 2010, 03:17:19 pm »

i know its not generally a preferred trait by most sound guys out there (as its generally a preference to EQ ones own settings for optimal sound with reference to the system being used, vocal in question, music being played etc.) but what are your top 3 vocal mics, that out the box naturally cut through a very loud, dense mix without having to add much/any EQ?


its funny because "cuts through the mix" is a statement that is printed on just about every spec. sheet of every mic out there (along with exceptional feed back rejection, smooth, wide frequency response.....etc.)and yet some do indeed naturally do a much better job than others in this regard. im not sure if presence, articulation or just out right mid frequency boosts all amount to the same thing in terms of "cut" but i have my assumptions of the mics that will be mentioned (though im not going to say haha!)


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Jonathan Wiegratz

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Re: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 03:29:59 pm »

We're quite fond of our Sennheiser e838's and e865 Wireless.  

They definitely cut through better than our Beta87's, which need a little EQ help to get just right.
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Art Welter

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Re: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 03:31:08 pm »

Robert Alan wrote on Mon, 22 March 2010 13:17

i know its not generally a preferred trait by most sound guys out there (as its generally a preference to EQ ones own settings for optimal sound with reference to the system being used, vocal in question, music being played etc.) but what are your top 3 vocal mics, that out the box naturally cut through a very loud, dense mix without having to add much/any EQ?


its funny because "cuts through the mix" is a statement that is printed on just about every spec. sheet of every mic out there (along with exceptional feed back rejection, smooth, wide frequency response.....etc.)and yet some do indeed naturally do a much better job than others in this regard. im not sure if presence, articulation or just out right mid frequency boosts all amount to the same thing in terms of "cut" but i have my assumptions of the mics that will be mentioned (though im not going to say haha!)


The vocal  “cuts through the mix”, not the microphone.

Carving a hole for the vocal depends on the spectral content of the music.

That said, most vocal microphones have a built in presence peak somewhere between 4-8 K.

What frequency do you find most knife like?

One man’s “cut” is another man’s “icepick”.
One mans’ “mud” is another man’s “beef”.

1) Beta 58A
2) SM 58
3) EV PL 80
10) Audix OM 7

Art Welter
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Scott Smith

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Re: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 04:12:23 pm »

Art Welter wrote on Mon, 22 March 2010 15:31

One man’s “cut” is another man’s “icepick”.
One mans’ “mud” is another man’s “beef”.

+1!  That is EXCELLENT!!
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Dick Rees

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Re: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 04:48:52 pm »

Exactamundo.  It's lame to blame the mic when the mix is set up to be an amorphous wash of sound.  This happens when the mixologist mixes with the faders only and doesn't establish a coherent and complimentary blend with individual voice signatures.

#1.......a well tuned PA of capable size
#2.......a decent band
#3.......an operator with decent ears and experience

(and way down the list)

#whatever.......your favorite vocal mic

Edit:

As I've said before, you can't EQ stage wash.  If there's more stage/monitor sound than PA sound, all bets are off.
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Jason Ellis

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Re: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 05:02:31 pm »

I usually approach the "get the vocals through the mix" in this way:

Is the volume appropriate to the music/venue

if not - am I out of gas i.e. not enough rig for the gig...

if so - hrmm not enough vocals - but I've got plenty of signal in and the fader is near unity... perhaps the band is too loud - pull down the "whole band" VCA...ahh vocals now cut through...

I don't pick vocal mics based on cut - I pick based on how well they compliment the voice...
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Tyler Payne

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Re: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 05:30:36 pm »

Quote:

Jason Ellis: Is the volume appropriate to the music/venue

if not - am I out of gas i.e. not enough rig for the gig...



+1!

If you're having trouble with vocals "cutting through", doing exactly what Jason mentioned is the way to go. Typically I tend to handle vocals by mixing them slightly over everything else to taste, excepting instrumental solos or what have you. Obviously you can solve the source of the problem by turning up the amps, or adding more power altogether until you're able to achieve the proper "headroom" for your vocals.

-Payne

Tim Weaver

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Re: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 05:58:06 pm »

1. SM58
2. SM58
3. Anything else that happens to be there to use.



The engineer decides how much vocal there is in the mix, not the microphone. Next time you are having trouble hearing the vocals, try this novel approach. Turn everything else down.
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Chris Diener

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Re: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 06:25:53 pm »




The engineer decides how much vocal there is in the mix, not the microphone. Next time you are having trouble hearing the vocals, try this novel approach. Turn everything else down.[/quote]

+1
On a monthly basis when I am playing and have no control (other than to b*tch about it) I have to deal with "can't you sing louder?" directed at me from less than experienced guys running the p.a. Generally those systems are optimized and mixed for annoyingly loud bass guitar and kick drum,...priorities I guess.  Sounds great during breaks while he DJs though. ha

For my voice I find that an Audix OM5 will add enough mids/upper mids to make my voice sound louder.  I don't particularly like the sound, but it is an easy fix when up against a loud stage.
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Robert Alan

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Re: your top 3 - vocal mics that cut through a loud/dense mix
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 06:57:19 pm »

i understand about the variables and also about the point of building the sound around those variables but i guess i was asking in a general kind of way I.E. im sure you can get a SM58 stable in a loud stage environment by fiddling about but by virtue of its design a OM7 will naturally, out the box do a better job.

i remember some years back when i bought my first mics. singing with a loud heavy metal band where "lets turn down a little shall we?" lasted all of about two seconds any time it was mentioned. i had a sennheiser e845 and a then got a beta58. now IMO the e845 is a "better" mic, sounds smoother, less grainy, more natural etc on close inspection. however i remember the first time i plugged in the B58 and instantly i could hear the vocal that bit more, making my job that bit easier as a vocalist.

i also agree that what makes a vocal stand out from the mix is kind of a matter of opinion/taste. as i said, is it a general presence ?, articulation ?, extra boosted mids ? or sheer volume difference ?
im guessing the answer depends on what you like/want to hear.

i guess its certainly possible for a vocal to sound present, up front, cut through the mix.......   without stabbing the eardrums
just as its possible for the vocal to cut through and sound like crap. an example of that would be the last time i saw Judas Preist live. i could hear the vocal above the din of marshalls etc. but it sounded like it was only about two frequencies bands worth haha
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