Schoeps V4 U presentation at our studio

Hi,

last tuesday june 03, 2014 Te.De.S. (Schoeps, Millenia, DAD and others brands importer) presented Schoeps V4 U, studio vocal microphone at our studio. The participants were many and the event was very positive feedback.

Shoeps V4 U presentation

Shoeps V4 U presentation

I contributed with them to prepare a session to compare it with Neumann U87ai (worldwide vocal microphone reference) and Schoeps Colette series CMC6 MK4 (classic Shoeps small diaphragm).

Schoeps V4 U capsule has a new small-diaphragm capsule architecture, with bevelled collar for controlling the polar response.

Shoeps V4 U capsule

Shoeps V4 U capsule

The look of the V4 U is based on the Schoeps CM51/3 from 1951, finished in a elegant blue or grey color. They are available two kind of suspension: SGV stand clamp and USM-V4 elastic suspension (by Rycote).

I recorded a female singer with all microphones together with the same preamplifier Millenia HV-3R and converter DAD AX32 and after I compared each response.

Three microphones cluster

Three microphones cluster

Schoeps V4 U showed a smoothed response with an openness high frequency and a solid low end with a very natural image.

All participants liked it!

I’ll post a Schoeps V4 U test soon.

Bye,

Lorenzo

 

 

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I’m back

Hi,

the last four months I worked hard on myself and I left this blog.

Today I’m back!

I’ll restart to write new posts on technical stuff, gear test and others.

 

Stay tuned,

Lorenzo

Opening night concert

Sunday February 09, I recorded two melodramas (orchestral composition with actress), an opening night concert, commissioned by Milano Classica to authors Pippo Molino and Clemente Rebora (Una segreta domanda / A secret question) and Carlo Galante and Gabriela Fantato (Il patto d’amore / The love contract) .

The event took place in a wonderful context, a beautiful Liberty Palace, whose design dates back to 1908.

Milano Classica Ensemble, under Maestro Gianluca Capuano’s careful direction and Mrs. Pamela Ricucci’s performing voice, had a great success and took a round of applause.

A pic from concert

A pic from concert

For recording I used high quality tools like Shoeps Microphones. (series Colette) and Millenia HV-3C microphone preamplifier. Joeco BlackBox BBR1U recorder confirmed its great reliability and high sound quality.

IUATWEST: Exhibitions in Milan

Last week I visited the Kandinsky exhibit in Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) at Milan .

Kandinsky exhibiotion billboard (image credit: www.solosapere.it)

Kandinsky exhibiotion billboard (image credit: http://www.solosapere.it)

It was a beautiful experience: I filled my eyes of beautiful paintings.

In Milan you can find many exhibitions and after recording sessions I’ll be glad to organize your visits.

Here’s a list of scheduled exhibitions

– Kandinsky

at Royal Palace until april, 27 2014

– Wahrol

at Royal Palace until march, 9 2014

– Giuseppe Verdi and the Arts

at Modern Gallery of Art until february, 23 2014

– Brain (from American Museum of Natural History of New York)

a travel into brain at Museum of Natural History of Milan until april, 13 2014

Very interesting city museum

Museo di Storia naturale (Museum of Natural History)

Acquarium

Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica “L. Da Vinci” (Museum of Science and Technical)

Pinacoteca di Brera (Art gallery of Brera)

Planetario “U. Hoepli” (Planetarium)

Tourist attractions

Duomo (Cathedral of Milan), a wonderful gothic architectural opera

Cenacolo (Last supper), a wonderful DaVinci fresco

Castello Sforzesco (The Castle)

Navigli (navigable canals of Milan), DaVinci gates and city’s nightlife

Cheers,

Lorenzo

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Technical backstage: Recording vox

It’s not a didactic section (when needed I’ll link related pages on manufacturer site) but so as to explain my approach to recording.


Capture and recording at the best, vocals is a basic work for a sound engineer.

When you list a radio program or a song with a speaker/singer you must understand speech/lyrics and every nuance and dynamic of their voices. Here’s why when I record a singer I pay great attention to capture his perfomance at the best. But, check it out, it’s not just a matter of microphone tipology.

Sometimes vocals recording session become an album cover

Sometimes vocals recording session become an album cover

I draw up a list by five points.

1) Let him hair down

A good perfomance need a quiet environment in a comfortable feel with a warm half-light and with a presence of few people (better a trusted person or none) to realize a relaxed situation without any kind of embarassament. For me it’s important to create an empathy with the singer.

Generally, lead and back vocals need two hours to record. I consider some breaks to listen takes or simply to drink a cup of coffee.

My live room with a warm and diffuse half-light

My live room with a warm and diffuse half-light

2) Suitable acoustic environment

It’s basical working into a room with a flat and balanced response and with a small reverberation. The top is a room with variable acoustic (from absorber to diffusive).

My room is made with double side panels on the walls, one absorbent and one reflective. By this way I can change room response quickly. Generally, I use all panels with absorbent face to record vocals or half-share panels reverse when recording drums, strings or acoustic guitar.

I projected a quadratic diffuser panel, Acoustic Environment DRQ13, to balance my control room’s acoustic response and sometimes I use they on my live room.

Quadratic diffuser panel Acoustic Environment DRQ13 on my control room

Quadratic diffuser panel Acoustic Environment DRQ13 on my control room

3) Setting up a good level monitoring

Obviously monitoring is a main step.

I prefer create a customized mix for singer with a separate sub-master for pre-recorded accompaniment (musical base). I use my SPL MTC 2381 CUE Mix controls to balance vocals and sub-master.

SPL MTC 2381 (pic from web)

SPL MTC 2381 (pic from web)

My monitoring phones are Sennheiser HD 25 sp (closed with 75Ω impedance) or AKG K240 (semi-open with 600Ω impedance). The latter has a superior sound quality but it has a low sensibility and some interference troubles.

Once occasion a singer used my monitor speakers to listen base because he found a live perfomance feel.

Generally, I use a light, short reverb like large room.

4) How choosing the best way to record…

Drop verse and chorus one by one or at once?

I usually ask to the singer to perform two or three times at once to create a right feel and to facilitate his focus. After I record all verses at first and all chorus to follow meaning not to lose his feeling and to find a better perfomance.

I choose in real time better takes and edit they to listen an almost definitly compilation of session.

5) …and the better microphone for his perfomance

Be careful: I wrote “to record his perfomance” not just his voice.

I generally use a Neumann U87ai (I bought two of it) but I always check if the nuances and the sound are linked with the essence of the song.

I tried Cloud JRS-34, a beautiful ribbon microphone, to record a youth singer and to add a warm and mellow presence.

Sometimes I use Electrovoice RE-20, a typical dynamic broadcast microphone, which it’s perfect to record speech on intro or bridge to create a deep, in-face sound.

I use two matched microphones with different gain to record very wide dynamic session like growl or scream voice.

About explosive consonant or breath, obviously, I use pops filter to minimize them but, sometimes, I turn capsule by 90° and I switch the microphone polar pattern to omnidirectional. Air flux overtake microphone without noisy effect.

FAQ

– Do you add an equalizer or compressor during recording? No, I don’t

– Do you add automation on vocal track during mix? Yes, I do (if  needed)

– Can you record my song in your studio? Yes, with pleasure 😉  Contact me

If you got a question, please tell me 🙂

Cheers,

Lorenzo


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