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Thread: Vocal Mic Invitational 2013: Panel Discussion about Vocal Mics and Techniques

  1. #1
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    Default Vocal Mic Invitational 2013: Panel Discussion about Vocal Mics and Techniques

    Last weekend in Music City, the Nashville Section of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) held its Vocal Microphone Invitational at Belmont University’s Ocean Way Nashville, Studio A. This free event focused on capturing vocals in the studio and live on stage, and included live a cappella vocal performances by male and female vocalists through a wide variety of studio and live vocal microphones. The daylong event was capped off by a discussion with an all-star panel of studio and live engineers that was moderated by Lynn Fuston, Pro Audio Review technical editor and engineer (Kathy Troccoli, Michael W. Smith, DC Talk).

    Fuston was joined by three studio pros with voluminous discographies: 1. Michael Wagener (Ozzy Osbourne, Kings X, Skid Row, Dokken, Stryker, Lordi), who is the owner and operator of WireWorld Studios and Double Trouble Productions (he also conducts a series of educational workshops); 2. Jeff Balding, a long-time Nashville veteran with an amazingly diverse discography (Shania Twain, Megadeth, Giant, Lionel Ritchie, Kelly Pickler); and 3. Producer/Engineer Neal Cappellino, who is also a 20+-year Nashville veteran that built his career on working with a broad swath of artists (Alison Krauss & Union Station, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Darius Rucker). Cappellino also operates The DogHouse recording studio.

    Joining the panel from the post-production and live event recording camp was Michael Davis, owner and chief engineer of Digital Audio Post. Michael is a musician and composer who has toured as keyboard player and programmer with Dolly Parton. He’s also provided audio for numerous TV and film projects, and provided post-production services for CMT’s Summerfest concert series and other programs. From the front-of-house world came a pair of live sound professionals: Jonathan Loeser, who currently serves at FOH for Rascal Flatts, in addition to work for Colbie Caillat, Olivia Newton-John and Prince; and Brett Blanden, a longtime veteran in studio and live sound, currently working at FOH for Lady Antebellum.

    The Vocal Microphone Invitational 2013 was produced by the AES Nashville section (aesnashville.org), Pro Sound News and Pro Audio Review. Blue Microphones, byerdynamic, Royer Labs, Mojave Audio and Vintage King sponsored the event.

    Presented here with permission are recordings of the panel discussion from the Vocal Mic Invitational.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________

    Introduction and "What's your desert island mic(s)?" [Length: 11:04]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...tislandmic.mp3
    ----------------------------
    How do you get the best performance from a singer? [8:31]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...romasinger.mp3
    ----------------------------
    What are your techniques for making the singer comfortable? How important is that? [5:21]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...omfortable.mp3
    ----------------------------
    How do you choose a vocal microphone? Shootouts? [7:43]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...icrophones.mp3
    ----------------------------
    What are the most important characteristics of a microphone to you? [12:11]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...cteristics.mp3
    ----------------------------
    Talk about vocal recording spaces? Are there ways you can make a space better for recording? [12:48]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...dingspaces.mp3
    ----------------------------
    What about some unique recording techniques for vocal recording? [11:31]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...techniques.mp3
    ----------------------------
    Talk about impedance and phantom power. [7:13]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...eimpedance.mp3
    ----------------------------
    What does the future hold for microphones and microphone designs? [7:03]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...tureofmics.mp3
    ----------------------------
    * Tell us about the favorite vocal recording you've ever done. [10:01]

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/vmi2013/vm...lrecording.mp3
    ----------------------------

    Panelists: [left to right] Jeff Balding, Michael Wagener, Michael Davis, moderator Lynn Fuston, Brett Blanden, Neal Cappellino, Jonathan Loeser.



    Story: http://www.aes.org/press/?ID=226
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  2. #2
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    Thanks to Frank Wells for making this possible. To Oceanway Nashville for hosting this event. And to Prentice Tyndall for editing this recording.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for coordinating all this so we could get a taste of what went on. Did you guys get a chance to do any mic listening? If so, any observations?
    Henry Grimmius
    Fresno, CA

  4. #4
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    Listened to lots of mics. Unfortunately all *I* heard was the singer's live voice bouncing off the control room glass. So no pertinent feedback from me!

    Maybe someone else who went could share.

  5. #5
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    The playback in the room was through some JBL MI line 15"/2way PA speakers (the carpet-covered kind…) on the wall… I hope the actual "into the desk" sounds will be available at some point. Listening to the sounds through "trusted" near fields or a "known quantity/quality" PA would be, for me, much more informative.

    That said, I'm definitely gonna add a BeyerDynamic M88 or two to my kit at my checking account's earliest convenience. And I'm really glad I kept the three BeyerDynamic M500s I bought in the '70s. The newly released version just didn't have what the classic design brought to the party… even discounting the boxy nature of the JBLs, it still sounded, well, boxy. The BLUE handhelds were interesting, but not enough for me to dump the SM57/58s and Beta57/58s in my location/PA case. I'm covered in the LD/MD condenser arena… nothing for me that my TLM193s, Gefell M296 and Joly-modded RODE NT1 can't handle.

    One old guy's opinions.

    HB
    Harry Butler Photography, Videography and AV Production
    www.harrybutlerphotoav.com

    "I'm CDO. That's like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order. As they should be." Seen on a T-Shirt.

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