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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
treewind Tech: Recording Solo Unaccompanied Voice (31) RE: Tech: Recording Solo Unaccompanied Voice 21 Dec 15

"several of the posts here seem to focus on the idea of minimising or eliminating the sound or reverberance of the space in which the sound is happening - whereas I personally like that, depending on the space."

"Depending on the space" is the crucial part of that. Most homes don't have a space big enough to sound good. A small room with a long reverberation time ('bathroom acoustic') is full of huge resonances compared with a large room with the same reverberation time, and a small room with a short reverb time just sounds boxy. For most of us, a good artificial reverb added carefully to a dry recording will make a better sound.

If you can find a place like a village hall with a nice acoustic, you could make a great recording there, and if it's only solo voice you can walk in carrying all the recording equipment you need. But that option might cost you, or need friends in the right places...

Joe's point is well made too - you don't realize how much background noise there is till you try recording something, and a solo unaccompanied voice leaves a LOT of space for background noise to be audible on a recording.

My only large diaphragm mic is a Röde NT2A which is a lovely vocal mic. I took it down to WildGoose records last time I was there and compared it with Doug Bailey's main vocal mics, which are very different sounding, one being quite bright and the other much darker sounding (usually one or the other suits a particular voice/song well) - mine has a sound that was somewhere in between but also sounded very smooth and neutral to me. I'd guess it's less shrill sounding than the NT1 or NT1A, which are both known to be quite toppy. Also it's a multi pattern mic, and the figure-of-8 response with a sound absorbing panel behind it is a great way to cut out background noise.

For solo voice, you might find a portable device makes a recording of good tonal quality but high background noise (i.e. electronic hiss, after you've eliminated actual sound like traffic/neighbours etc.) It's an application that particularly benefits from a proper condenser mic and good preamp.

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