Microphone Volume / Distance

Discussion in 'Audio Help & Tips' started by L.e.g.a.c.y., Apr 14, 2009.

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  1. L.e.g.a.c.y.

    L.e.g.a.c.y. Legacy Recordz

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    Dec 5, 2005
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    Alright .. so I have a pretty good setup, I know my way around the plugins and vocal processes, but there's one thing I'm wondering. When it comes to condenser mics, you can either turn up the input volume and stand at a comfortable distance from the mic (with a good mic you can actually be quite far away, three, four, even five feet) and have it still sound good, or, you can turn down the input volume, and then put your face right into the pop filter and record a couple inches from the mic. I'm guessing the ideal would be some kinda middle ground, but I dunno... what do you guys think about balancing this equation?

    Holla.
    test
  2. Stash

    Stash R.I.P Point Game

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    I don't think it's as confusing as you make it sound. If you stand far away and turn the input up - then your sound is going to sound distant and the room ambience will be a bit dominant. However, if you stand TOO close and you turn the input down, you;re going to probably face some peaking and distortion due to the surely ups and downs in a song. A good distance would be about 15-20 CM I from the mic with a pop filter I guess. Just keep a reasonable distance from the mic but not alot. A little bit of both is always good.
    test
  3. Pete Wurthy

    Pete Wurthy The Rap Mechanic

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    I would say it depends on the vocalist and the volume they produce. A louder singer/rapper would most likely be a little further away to 'neutralize' the stronger power of the waveforms. The opposite for a quieter performer. As far as the gain level, it's more about timbre (the color of the sound) rather than the volume. Distance from the mic more of a volume factor and gain more of a sound quality factor. You can always turn the volume of the vocal up or down in the mixing process.
    test
  4. R3NEGADE

    R3NEGADE [Of The Future]

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    I read somewhere that 6 in. from the mic is about ideal. Set your volume according to that.
    test
  5. slvicick

    slvicick New Member

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    Thats usually right. You can just adjust the popfilter 6 inches from the mic, and they can get right up on it, and you won't have to worry about a bad proximity effect coming in and out
    test
  6. Mr. ROUSH

    Mr. ROUSH WWW.SOUNDCLICK.COM/ROUSH

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    Ok, here are some important things to consider.. #1 you shouldn't be adjusting the input based on how far you are standing from the mic.. the idea is that you'll get different results at the same input level by standing closer to or farther away from the mic.. if you step back from the mic and turn up the input higher then you are basically compesating for the distance by turning up the gain.. this is not a common practice at all.. what you want is a proximity effect.. the point of standing back from the mic is to layer the vocals or to do background vocals.. so what is common is to set your input and leave it the same for lead vocals (approx six inches from the mic +/-).. and also leave it the same for background vocals.. only back away farther fromt he mic.. (several feet depending on the desired effect).. by cranking up the input gain to compensate for the distance you are only negating the proximity effect.. also you are leaving yourself less flexibility in what you can do in the mix to the vocals.. if you crank the input too hot.. then compression and EQ will never fix them.. you've got to leave enough headroom for the processors to work effectively.. a good rule of thumb is meter your input gain and make sure it is peaking somewhere between -12 to -6 db on the preamp's meter.. Don't use your ears as much looking for "that sound" right from the source.. "that sound" is very much accomplished in the mix.. what sounds good real time in your headphones from the source sound doesn't automatically translate to good end results.. most people will find that cranking the input brings out more of the nuances and seems to define more of the frequency range.. however you will find when you do that after your mix is complete the vocals will sound harsh.. try out the rule of thumb I mentioned and you'll save yourself hours of wondering.. if you need further help just hit me up on email. Roushy1@gmail.com
    test
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