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TECHNOLOGY Microphone Placement Recording vocals on your microphone sounds like an easy job, but making sure you use the correct techniques and appropriate placement is essential. Today we’ll take a look at some of the industry standard techniques as well as some more weird wonderful recording solutions along the way. by Beth Zarkhosh I t’s important to know the range of pickup pattern you need when recording vocals. For example, If you are a choir or part of a vocal group, the best choice would be to gather around an omnidirectional microphone, the large coverage of this type of microphone enables vocalists in groups to sing and record together live. This technique allows a blend of voices by adapting their different singing levels and tones. Another way of recording a group of performers would be to place two cardioid microphones back to back - this is known as a ‘coincident pair’ and creates an extremely well rounded stereo sound with maximum coverage. If you want to record yourself in a room with obvious reverb and ambience that add to the vocals, the omnidirectional microphone will pick up the sound of the room along with the vocalists also. By adapting the distance of the singers to the microphone, there is an option to change the balance of voice to the ambience. Stand closer to the microphone to get a sharper sound and in most standard vocal recording environments the voice will be the only thing you’ll want to be captured. This can be achieved with isolation booths such as the Vocal Booth Pro and using a unidirectional or condenser microphones. These type of recordings with isolation can be created with material surrounding the microphone in a ‘surround like form’ This helps to cut refl ected sounds in the room. (Even having a music stand can create refl ections back to the recording on the microphone so remember to be aware.) 46 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 107 NOVEMBER 2015 Did you know there are 7 types of pickup patterns? Omnidirectional A mic that is sensitive to sound from all angles, perfect for choirs/bands Subcardioid A pattern that is between a cardioid and omnidirectional pattern Cardioid Most sensitive to sound at the front and least sensitive at the back. Perfect for live mic performance Supercardioid Suitable for very loud stage performances, have a narrower pickup than cardioids but pick up small amounts of sound from behind Hypercardioid Considered more directional than cardioid mics, but have less sensitivity at the sides Bi - directional Usually referred to as fi gure of eight patterns, this mic picks up sound from the front and back but not the sides Shotgun A microphone that needs to be placed directly in front of it’s recorder, a highly directional microphone