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  • Index
  •  » Microphones
  •  » Low, smoky Lead Vocals w/ overly loud backup singers :(

#1 2012-07-09 19:35:25

heartofglasses
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2012-07-09
Posts: 2
Reputation :   

Low, smoky Lead Vocals w/ overly loud backup singers :(

I'm having trouble finding the right live mic for my lead vocals. I tend to sing contralto and have a warm, smoky voice, with a really unique quality to it. But even when I'm really shouting and belting it out, when the rest of the band sings backup over me they just completely drown me out, because not only are they singing in a higher pitch, they're REEEEEALLY belting it out. So everything sounds like it's mixed terribly no matter what I do. I wrote the songs to be sung in a certain way, and the rest of the band all really likes to sing backup, which is fine, but they are SO LOUD.

Even with my mic turned up ALL the way, I'm still sort of buried in the live mix, and then when the backup vocals come in, there's suddenly this ultra-loud, shrieking vocal over me and everything else. It's really jarring. I can't get them to turn down their mics (we're ALL divas, I guess), so I'm trying to see what would be a good mic for someone who sings low like I do, to be equal in volume to them? It just sounds terribly sloppy right now, with the lead vocals so much quieter than the backups. Help me out, people!! What would Cat Power or Grace Slick do if they had really loud sopranos backing them up????

So, to reiterate: I can't turn the backup vocals DOWN, but I don't want to get buried under them because the lyric I'm singing is supposed to be heard, and I'm singing in a more dynamic way - but what's the point of doing vocal gymnastics if your backups are completely drowning you out? Do I need a condenser mic??

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2012-07-09 19:35:25

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#2 2012-07-15 12:24:41

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Low, smoky Lead Vocals w/ overly loud backup singers :(

The site here recommends the Rode M-1 and M-2, which are comparable to the Shure SM-58, a mic that captures well the medium and low ranges.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#3 2012-07-21 08:11:06

TimmyP1955
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-12-03
Posts: 58
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Re: Low, smoky Lead Vocals w/ overly loud backup singers :(

If the problem is in the house mix, possible solutions are:

Compression on yourself and/or the backup singers.

More competent mixperson.


If the problem is in the monitors, possible solutions are:

Separate monitor mixes for you and the backup singers.

Compression on the backup singers in your mix (but NOT in their mix(es).

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#4 2012-07-28 14:16:58

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
Reputation :   139 

Re: Low, smoky Lead Vocals w/ overly loud backup singers :(

I'd say high and tight compression on the back up singers, since they are already too loud, maybe limiter function, as well.

Wide, low ramp compression on the lead mic to give your voice a fighting chance.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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