Recommendations for Hip Hop Vocal mics?

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Kel
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Recommendations for Hip Hop Vocal mics?

Post by Kel » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:35 am

Now I know this could be perceived as a stupid question, but I don't really care.
What do you guys like for Hip Hop Vocals?
I'm used to recording mainly rock, but have a session coming up for a hip hop band with live instrumentation.(It's gonna be fun!) Anywhoo I know my standard vocal mic selections(87's, 47's, 414's, SM7,) But I'd like to try out something different for this one just for experimentation's sake. I've heard that an RE20 for spoken word and some vox sounds pretty cool? Anyone have any horror stories?

-K

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Post by junomat » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:18 am

My go-to mic for hip-hop MCs is the SM7. I've also had great luck with a 441 or a 421 - but more so for female MCs. And if the sibilance isn't horrible and you aren't stacking the vocals, a U87.

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:18 am

SM7 is my favorite. For most vocals actually, but I think it works well, up close, with extra pop-filtering.

My friend who produces a lot of hip hop really digs the Charter Oak 538.
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Post by CurtZHP » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:31 am

Don't be afraid to just hand the guy an SM-58. Some guys have a mic technique that's as much a part of their "sound" as the mic they're holding.

Try it. If it sounds good, it is good.
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Post by MASSIVE Mastering » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:26 am

+1 on the SM7b. One of the greatest vocal mics ever (at any price).
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Post by the finger genius » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:32 am

I used to work on a lot of hip hop sessions, and I think there's as much, if not more variety in vocal sounds as there are for rock singers, so I don't know that there's one catch all vocal mic.

A lot of guys where I worked automatically would request something like a U67, U87, or even C800G, because they knew it was the most expensive. When I had free range to make a suggestion, a U87 or SM7 usually worked best. I also had good luck with a Neumann KMS105 (handheld condensor.)

Can you ask the vocalist for some reference songs where they like the vocal sound? Also, is it a male vocalist?
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Re: Recommendations for Hip Hop Vocal mics?

Post by drumsound » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:44 am

Kel wrote:Now I know this could be perceived as a stupid question, but I don't really care.
What do you guys like for Hip Hop Vocals?
I'm used to recording mainly rock, but have a session coming up for a hip hop band with live instrumentation.(It's gonna be fun!) Anywhoo I know my standard vocal mic selections(87's, 47's, 414's, SM7,) But I'd like to try out something different for this one just for experimentation's sake. I've heard that an RE20 for spoken word and some vox sounds pretty cool? Anyone have any horror stories?

-K
The RE20 was design to have little proximity effect, and thus I wouldn't think it's a great choice for hip hop, but I've never tried either.

Kel
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Post by Kel » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:38 am

Yeah the vocalist is male. I kinda figured on using the SM7, just because I end up usually using it quite a bit. I'm curious about the RE20 just because a friend reco'd it, but who the hell knows. Thanks for the suggestions so far and I always appreciate more.

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Post by ott0bot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:45 am

I've done a few sessions with some hip hop/rap/spoken vocals and I found the re20 works pretty well, the lack of proxity effect actually kept it from getting too boomy with a few of the guys. We combined with a ldc (i'm thinking we used a akg c414 XLII) about 2 feet back with some heavy compression, and that worked pretty stellar. Also, we swapped out the re20 for a sm7 for a dude with a deeper voice, and it seemed to pair up a bit better. Placement and distance is key to keep siblance at a minimum.

Hand held condensors work pretty decent too if you can get them to keep from cupping it and the mic has extremely low handling noise.

I'd experiment with a couple and see what works best for the persons voice.

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Post by eeldip » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:48 pm

i've had really good luck with the earthworks sr69 for people who prefer to grasp a mic. virtually pop and handling noise free. light and designed for stage use, so you don't have to worry so much if someone drops it a few times.

the tone of the mic is totally unsuited for vocals out of the box, AN ODD DESIGN FOR A VOCAL MIC, but it takes to eq and overall fussing well. generally, after the vocal track i would stick something in there that thickens up the bottom (eq or a saturation thingy) and something else that adds pixie dust to the top.

then maybe a parametric to normalize whatever strange nasal passage resonances the singer has if needed.

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Post by Kel » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:23 pm

Probably going to go with the SM7 in the end as I thought. SM7 to API to 1176 to LA2 to tools, now thats a vocal chain! Thanks for the words of wisdom.

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Post by ott0bot » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:02 pm

Kel wrote:Probably going to go with the SM7 in the end as I thought. SM7 to API to 1176 to LA2 to tools, now thats a vocal chain! Thanks for the words of wisdom.
But if it ain't sounding right, I'd set up a few other choices and experiment to get the perfect sound for singer.

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Post by Sean Sullivan » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:36 am

U87 would be my choice...with a pop filter.
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Post by MASSIVE Mastering » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:51 am

Anecdotally --

Used to set up the U87-SM7b all the time for the R/HH'ers (well, for most everybody for that matter). They'd always want the U87, I'd always tell them to give it a chance. So I'd have them set up tight together, record both, have them come into the control room and let *them* choose which mic to use.

Easily 8 out of 10 times, it was the SM7b.

Solo'd, they'd consider the U87 to be more "real" sounding (Agreed - It was). But the SM7b version would immediately "fit the mix" right off the bat.

Not trying to argue or anything - Just my own particular findings.
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:59 am

MASSIVE Mastering wrote:Anecdotally --

Used to set up the U87-SM7b all the time for the R/HH'ers (well, for most everybody for that matter). They'd always want the U87, I'd always tell them to give it a chance. So I'd have them set up tight together, record both, have them come into the control room and let *them* choose which mic to use.

Easily 8 out of 10 times, it was the SM7b.

Solo'd, they'd consider the U87 to be more "real" sounding (Agreed - It was). But the SM7b version would immediately "fit the mix" right off the bat.

Not trying to argue or anything - Just my own particular findings.
I have similar experiences with SM7 vs. LDC all the time. The immediate gratification of the more sensitive and detailed sound of the LDC always makes them want it first, but as you've said, once heard in context, they love the SM7 (or 441, as is often a choice as well).
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