recording vocals in omni

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recording vocals in omni

Post by wearashirt »

I've recently tried to compare cardioid and omni in both of my 3-polarity large diaphragm condenser (100 usd and 350 usd respectively).

I noticed that omni tends to harbor less bass / subbiness. Also, the frequency response sounds "ready to go" and probably more natural (?) in terms of however a condenser might distribute its current / voltage or whatever.

Since we tend to high pass vocals anyway: has anyone tried to record vocals using an omni large diaphragm condenser?
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by Wonks »

Loads of people record vocals with in omni mode. You don't get the proximity boost with the bass end you get with a cardioid. But you do pick up more room sound (probably why it sounds more natural), so you need a good sounding room to record in.

On some vocals you can benefit from a bit more bass, but certainly not all.

If you don't feel the room is colouring the vocals, then just do it.
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by blinddrew »

I record my vocals with an omni more often than not. As you'd expect it sounds a bit more 'natural'. But there are times when you want something a bit more breathy and 'intimate' - in which case the proximity effect of a close mic'd cardiod can get you there quicker.
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by Wonks »

Figure-8 is also useful at times, as is a hyper-cardoid mode in some circumstances.

The more compromised the room sound, the more you have to make use of tighter patterns to block out that room sound.
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

wearashirt wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 4:44 pm...has anyone tried to record vocals using an omni large diaphragm condenser?

Yes. Countless hundreds over the years. There can be several advantages over directional patterns in a multipattern LDC... but the results will depend heavily on the room acoustics and ambient sound.

I noticed that omni tends to harbor less bass / subbiness...

I suspect what you mean is that, when worked very close, the omni mode doesn't suffer from the proximity bass tip-up effect associated with directional polar patterns.
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by wearashirt »

Wonks wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 4:50 pm Loads of people record vocals with in omni mode. You don't get the proximity boost with the bass end you get with a cardioid. But you do pick up more room sound (probably why it sounds more natural), so you need a good sounding room to record in.

On some vocals you can benefit from a bit more bass, but certainly not all.

If you don't feel the room is colouring the vocals, then just do it.

I have it inside a "hut" of acoustic panels, 4 inches thick. So no room to worry about here, as far as I can hear!
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by wearashirt »

If I do go through with tracking in omni, I just wonder with some anxioiusness, what the mix on it would be like.
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by Sam Spoons »

Why not just try it next time you record a vocal? If you record two good takes, one omni and the other cardioid it will be easy to compare. When it all comes down to the mix only your ears can decide.

Just a thought, your 'hut' may be removing too much HF? Small vocal booths usually have some hard surfaces inside to compensate. OTOH if the back of the panels are open then you probably won't get the 'boxy' midrange that solid vocal booths are notorious for.
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by wearashirt »

Sam Spoons wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 9:41 am Why not just try it next time you record a vocal? If you record two good takes, one omni and the other cardioid it will be easy to compare. When it all comes down to the mix only your ears can decide.

Just a thought, your 'hut' may be removing too much HF? Small vocal booths usually have some hard surfaces inside to compensate. OTOH if the back of the panels are open then you probably won't get the 'boxy' midrange that solid vocal booths are notorious for.

- touching the switch on the back of the mic is a pain, earfully, and tedious to manage with duplicate takes per song part

- thanks for pointing that out. The panels indeed are through and the room it's in is glass (i.e., office conference room). 10cm thick Panels are arranged in a U and 5cm panels are put on top; the mic and the back of the singer face the same way, but the nearest wall after it also has a panel.
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by Sam Spoons »

wearashirt wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:52 pm - touching the switch on the back of the mic is a pain, earfully, and tedious to manage with duplicate takes per song part

Fair enough but the only way to arrive at a sensible conclusion as to which is best for your needs is to compare two similar performances. Why can't you allocate a couple of hours and record a short piece or section firstly using cardioid mode and then again in omni mode (so that you only have to switch modes once)*. Then if you want a second opinion post links and somebody will be happy to comment/advise I'm sure.

* Or borrow/hire another mic and record with one in omni and the other in cardioid?
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by blinddrew »

Sam Spoons wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 5:48 pm * Or borrow/hire another mic and record with one in omni and the other in cardioid?

As Sam says, you've got a couple of LDCs, set one to Cardiod and one to Omni and record a take on both, then swap 'em over and do the same.
Whilst you're experimenting, see what happens with the response as you move out of the range of the proximity effect.
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Re: recording vocals in omni

Post by wearashirt »

As a final update:

I AM having some trouble mixing the omni-recorded vocals as I asked the singer to position herself closer to the mic: mouth facing the gold capsule, pop filter in between (like what we see in hiphop / electro pop). I'm unable to carve out that "space" around the vocal like I do with cardioid recordings. In the usual cardioid recording, I have the mic hovering by the nose of the vocalist and pointing toward the mouth.

Now, it just sounds like a super imposed, in-your-face voice.

Regardless, the frequency spectrum indeed is great and I'm not cutting LMF at all, maybe just a hair. However, HMF boosts are not so far working and the vocal is most comfortable sitting more in the woofers than in the tweeters Then again, maybe I just need a break.

Currently thinking of borrowing a friend's tube processor and passing it through there. Welp!
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