Two Valuable Vocal Microphone Techniques

Here are two vocal microphone techniques that will turn you into an expert performer.

Vocal microphone technique no1.

Realize that the purpose of good microphone technique is to help the mix engineer. It’s purpose is not to mix the show yourself.

All you need to do is balance out the extreme volume changes. The mix engineer will have equipment such as compressors and volume controls that he/she will be using to balance your voice in the mix. Your job is to get your performance to him at a reasonable level so he can do his job.

Rule Number 1.

For quiet to medium level passages in the song, you need to sing right up to the microphone. Also you need to sing directly into the center of the microphone.

If you don’t have your mouth right up to the microphone, there is a noticeable drop in level at the mixing desk, which can cause problems.

Also, the further away you are from the microphone, the more likely that the background music could “spill” into the microphone and cause problems.

The reason you need to sing directly into the microphone is this: The microphone has it’s best frequency response in the middle. If you sing to the side of it, a lot of the high-mid frequencies and treble frequencies will not be captured by the microphone.

The microphone is very much like shining a torch in the darkness. You can only see things in the small circle of light that the torch produces. In the same way, the microphone picks up best what it is directly pointing at. So you must sing directly into the center at all times.

Vocal Microphone Technique No.2

When you sing a medium to loud note, you can “pull the microphone back” by around 10cm. When you are doing this though, you must still focus your sound directly into the middle of the microphone.

This “slight pullback” will help even out the levels for the mixing engineer.

You don’t want to pull back too much further than this because the mixing engineer will loose too much level. Have you ever heard a performance when suddenly you couldn’t hear the singer?

This sometimes happens because the singer pulls the microphone too far back.

A great thing to do (if you can persuade someone to let you) is to plug some headphones into the desk and hear for yourself the difference it makes to “pull back” the microphone. If you do this exercise, it will be easy to know how far to pull back when you perform.

If you can’t do this though, 10cm should be fine. Try that for one performance, and get someone to record the performance. Watch and see if the singing levels were good. Also, don’t be scared to talk to the audio engineer. Ask if your vocal microphone technique was giving what was needed.

I hope this article has given you some valuable advice on how to hand the microphone onstage.


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