Correct microphone placement
Microphone placement is a very important part of the recording of the human voice. If you are not trying to achieve a special effect, the microphones should be paced between 4 ‘and 12’ away from the singer and just slightly above the mouth to reduce unwanted mouth sounds. A pop filter – a mountable mesh screen designed to block unwanted sounds from air leaving the mouth – is placed two to three inches in front of the microphone.
Large membrane capacitors
Large diaphragm condenser microphones are usually the first choice of most engineers because they can pick up many of the small details of the human voice. Artists such as Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney and James Taylor have recorded most of their vocal tracks using large diaphragm condenser microphones. However, large diaphragm condenser microphones are very sensitive and may not be suitable for singers who are extremely loud or where parts of the song scream like in some heavy metal and punk music due to possible distortion.
Dynamic microphones are sometimes used in the recording studio for very loud singers because they can accept a very high decibel level without distorting the sound. Dynamic microphones generally do not have the same frequency range as other types of microphones and often do not address all the nuances and details produced by the human voice. However, good results can be achieved with dynamic microphones. Bono by U2 recorded many of his most famous early vocal tracks with a Shure SM-58, a dynamic microphone that costs less than $ 100. Dynamic microphones are often used to support singing because their lack of details allows them to be easily mixed into a recorded track.
Tape microphones are used to record many singers performing a soft volume. Bass singers often use band microphones, as the band element tends to pick up more bass frequencies than high frequencies. Elvis Presley, Billie Holliday and Count Basie recorded many of their most famous vocal tracks with tape microphones. Tape microphones are sometimes said to be closest to capturing sound in the same way as our ears because they use a carbon tape to receive and project sound. Most are very sensitive and should not be used to record extremely loud singers.
Study microphones commonly used to record human voice have a wide range of sound characteristics and retrieval patterns. Some microphones work well for some vocalists while others do not. Experiment with different microphones for each singer and actively listen to the sound being captured, helping you achieve the best results every time. Taking a tonal quality and character of a person’s singing voice can be a difficult task, even for veteran sound engineers with long experience and practical knowledge. However, there are some general tips and tricks used by engineers based on the type of microphone being paired with the singer and the type of material being recorded that will help you produce a quality recording in a timely manner.