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General recodording question - vocal mics

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So not really a helix question, but so many people here do home recordings that I figure it's a good place to ask anyway.

I'm looking to try and do some decent quality home demo's in late spring/summer.  I can get the guitar/bass tones I like with the helix no problem, but I struggle a bit with getting a good quality vocal recording.  

What would be your go to mic for someone with a very dynamic voice?  Meaning I sometimes go from relatively quiet to really really loud when I belt it out.    Let's say 2 picks:   1) price doesn't matter/top pro equipment just for kicks.  2)  best bang for your buck option.
 

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It depends on your vocal style and how important it is for you to be able to 'work the mic'.

 

Albeit, any mic needs to be 'worked' to some degree, but a live vocal singer that is used to a handheld dynamic mic will have many varied techniques to adjust tonality based on mic angle and proximity.  Whereas a large diaphragm condenser can't really be 'worked' in the same way, even though a bit of proximity awareness is still usually necessary if you go from whisper quiet to all out belting.

 

As you get close to the mic the proximity effect tends to enhance the bass creating a more personal 'in your ear' tone. While as you get further away (or move off-axis) the voice sounds thinner and more distant. A good vocalist will use this to their benefit to create appropriate tonality based on the emotions they are trying to convey. Proximity combined with voice tone adjustment (ie. going from gentle low tones and soft head voice for intimate passages, and then moving up into full voice or belt for more energy) can work to great effect. Too close when belting sounds too harsh, back off and it thins it out a little making it sound more natural. The best way to think of it is, in the real world, loud sounds tend to come from further away, and softer sounds (that you want to hear) come from closer.

 

My go-to for live handheld vocal mic is a Sennheiser e935 or e945 (e835 is good it too for cheaper), and sometimes a Rode S1 handheld condenser for more intimate environments. These mics have good frequency response curves and are easy to hold and work. No handling noise, and good off axis rejection, and they don't break the bank. They can be used for both live and recording environments.

 

For recording I have a Rode NT1 large diaphragm condenser with a pop screen that is great for low noise recording environments. Very 'detailed' and sounds a little more 'open' than the handhelds, but I've recorded with all of the above mics and there isn't much between them once you've tweaked the EQ if you just stay 6 inches away and sing. The lower noise floor of the large diaphragm mics is handy, but not a deal breaker if you sing at a decent volume anyway. OTOH it's really useful if you have a quiet singer that stands miles away from the mic. I avoid LDCs for live use.

 

IMO, a handheld dynamic mic (Sennheiser e935, e945, e835, Shure SM58, etc) is always a useful tool to have in your box. So even if you branch out from there, a dynamic will act as an indispensable backup for recording, or as your primary mic for live performances (even if it's not you singing into it). Dynamic mics also don't require phantom power and don't have to be babied to make sure you don't damage the element or blow up a phantom powered channel input by hot-plugging them. And in a pinch, you can point it at your (or someone else's guitar speaker to mic the amp/cabinet.

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The Blue enCore 200 is an Active Dynamic Mic that sounds exceptionally good. They are on sale through the end of the year. Buy one for $149, and you get Two. Many dealers are selling them for this price, such as B&H, Sweetwater, and others. They run on 48v Phantom Power, so it works great with the Helix Floor. The Active electronics in the mic yield approx an additional 4db of gain as compared to the same cartridge enCore 100 Dynamic Mic. Neither of these are Condenser mics, nonetheless they sound really good. If you do not need nor want the Active electronics the enCore 100 are also sold at the 2 for 1 price of $99. Check them out on the Blue website, or numerous YouTube vid comparisons.

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I find the AKG Perception series to be a very versatile and true studio mic.  The Perception P120 would be the low end which I commonly use, and the P220 on up to the P440 are on the higher end.  Very easy to work with and adaptable to a range of vocals.

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The Rode NT1 jnysen mentioned above is a really good all round mic. I use mine for all sorts, including recording acoustic instruments. In fact, I keep mine plugged in and on all the time, even for Skype calls and such. I occasionally have to do down-the-line interviews for my day job - radio, podcasts, even occasional TV - and it's great for that.

 

And yes, a decent dynamic mic is also useful to have around.

 

Correction: Mine's actually an NT1A, which is a more modern sounding mic, where the NT1 has a more vintage character.

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...Meaning I sometimes go from relatively quiet to really really loud when I belt it out...

 

 

 

You don't need a new mic, you need to learn technique most likely. Need to learn exactly when to back off the mic when getting really loud and how to get in close when you aren't.

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