View Full Version : Help & tips recording a jazz/blues lead vox

07-16-2013, 03:27 AM
What mike? What pre-amp? Any other tips? Stand her on a box? Open a window? Grease the mixer...?

I will be recording a great female jazz/blues/soul singer fairly soon. Last time I recorded her, I think used a U87 and can't remember the pre.

Is this mike better than the U47? What pre should I use? Are there any new kids on the vocal recording block. tips tips tips

She has a smoky, warm, rounded, powerful & expressive voice and I really want to capture that character. I want it to feel like she's gently kissing the back of my neck...

I would love any of you old pros out there to throw a few tips my way. I humbly await your pearls of wisdom.......

07-16-2013, 09:49 AM
Last week I recorded a jazz session with a great vocalist. I lined up 4 microphones to find the "perfect one" for her voice. The line-up was U87,
AKG 414, EV-RE20, Audio Technica 4060. Interestingly enough, the RE-20 was amazing on her voice but we also really liked the AT4060. So I put BOTH mics together (almost touching) and recorded each mic on separate tracks (naturally!) Found the perfect spot to get proper pick-up from both. One of the best vocal sounds I've ever achieved. Then, I dimmed the lights, lit a candle and got an amazing performance!!

07-16-2013, 10:39 AM
Here's another 2 cents:D If the song calls for serious dynamics make SURE you don't record too hot and let her clip the track. If you have enough preamps, maybe use a "Y" cable on the mic and feed 2 preamps(separate tracks) and set one preamp about 10db lower in gain(leave it muted while tracking). I also will often track with 2 or 3 mics. I put 3 audio tracks up and group them(after I mute 2 of them) and record a tube mic(Miktek CV4) and FET(Miktek C7) and a Shure SM-7. Since her voice is already "smoky, warm, rounded", then I would probably grab a preamp with a forward and clean flavor like an API(or my FiveFishAudio X-12). A Vintech(Neve clone) could be nice, but I would not hit it too hard(of course, you may have totally different preamps as you never mentioned what you own).

Which mic is better is something only you can decide. Try everything and be open to surprises(like the RE20 was for mixmama):D

BTW, always(as in ALWAYS) record at 24 bit(never 16 bit) for the extra headroom. I shoot for levels just into the yellow and will insert the BF76 plugin to make it louder(helps the singer with the phones mix) and add a touch of verb. Having my audio tracks grouped allows for new playlist selection and comping to happen on all the tracks as I pay attention to the 1 track that is being monitored(the other 1 or 2 being muted during tracking. Sometimes 1 track will be the obvious "winner" when you compare on playback. While you CAN use a combination of tracks, be careful of phasing as the singer just moving there head some while tracking, can cause some shift between tracks.