Microphone Placement When recording your vocals did you know there are seven types of pickup patterns? These are -
Omnidirectional - Mic is sensitive to sound from all different angles, this is ideal for choirs/bands.
Subcardioid - Pattern between a cardioid and omnidirectional patterns
Cardioid - Most effective to sound at the front and least sensitive at the back, this is ideal for live performances.
Supercardioid - Picks up small amounts of sound from behind, this is idea for loud stage performances.
Hypercardioid - Directional sound however has less sensitivity at the sides of the microphone.
Bi-directional - This microhpone picks up sounds from the front and the back however not the sides, this is known as figure of eight patterns.
Shotgun - Microphone needs to be placed directly in front of its recorder, this is a highly directional microphone.
It is important and helpful to know the range of pickup patterns that will best suit your vocals when producing recordings, for example if you are part of a band or choir the best two pickup patterns for this vocal group would be Omnidirectional — allowing all sound to be heard regardless of what angle.
The microphone also blends and combines various voices together successfully and identifying every individuals tone and pitch. Secondly it is suggested that by placing two cardioid microphones back to back, otherwise known as a coincident pair then creates a well rounded stereo with majority coverage. In order to capture an excellent quality vocal recording, you will need to stand closer to the microphone – to ensure a sharper sound. Having an isolation booth such as the Vocal Booth Pro increases the quality of the vocal recording.
Isolation booths can create a surround sound like recording, which also helps cut out reflected sounds around the room, for example playing music in the background can interfere with the recording and can be an example of a reflective sound. So what are the best techniques when choosing the position of your microphone?
The best place to place a microphone would be to firstly place the axis between the nose and mouth should be about 10-15cm iIn order to produce the best possible recordings. Some vocalists prefer to have the microphone slightly off axis in order to prevent any unwanted sounds picked up through the sound of consonants used such as P', 'B' and 'T'.
It is also highly recommended in order to filter out and edit vocals the best software and programmes that can be used to do this would be Pro Tools, Final Cut, Cubase and Logic Pro X. This might seem like you are being bombarded with information however its quite pure and simple, microphone technique is based on personal taste and what quality recordings you want. Experimenting with various microphones can then help you to discover you personal preferences, it will allow you to see what is best suited for your projects.
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