Archive for the ‘Vocal Recording’ Category

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The Rode M2 builds on the success of Røde’s TEC Award-winning S1 microphone

April 23, 2009

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The Rode M2 builds on the success of Røde’s TEC Award-winning S1 microphone, the company’s first condenser aimed at performance applications.

Condenser microphones are not generally used in live applications because of their perceived fragility and susceptibility to feedback. And that’s where the M2 is very different from a condenser aimed at studio use. To protect the M2 from the rough treatment it’s likely to encounter on stage, the capsule is suspended within a shockmounting system built into the mic’s heavy-duty metal body. To prevent the microphone picking up signals that might cause feedback, the M2’s capsule has been engineered to provide a super-cardioid pickup pattern. This means the microphone will reject sound sources in front of and to the sides of the capsule, capturing only the sound from directly in front of it.

RODE M2 LIVE PERFORMANCE CONDENSER MICROPHONE SPECIFICATIONS

Power: P24/48V phantom power.
Acoustic Principle: Pressure gradient.
Directional Pattern: Super-Cardioid.
Frequency range: 35Hz – 20kHz.
Output impedance: 50 ohms.
Signal noise ratio: 71dB SPL (A – weighted per IEC651).
Equivalent noise: 23dBA SPL (A – weighted per IEC651).
Maximum SPL: 141dB (@1kHz, 1% THD into 1kohms load).
Maximum output voltage: +5.2dBu (@1kHz, 1% THD into 1kohms load).
Sensitivity: -44dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (6.3 mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz.
Weight: 308gm.
Dimensions: 187mmH x 47mmW x 47mmD.

RODE M2 LIVE PERFORMANCE CONDENSER MICROPHONE FEATURES

Live condenser vocal microphone.
Feedback rejecting supercardioid pickup pattern.
Locking on/off switch.
Heavy-duty metal body.
Integrated shock mounting system to minimise handling noise.
High level of Radio Frequencies rejection.
Low handling noise.
Designed and manufactured in Australia.
Zip pouch and stand mount with 3/8-inch thread adapter included.

Reviews”The RØDE M2 offers a viable alternative to a dynamic vocal mic and produces a near studio-quality result for a surprisingly affordable price. Given its sensible price, robust build and high sound quality, it would be churlish of me not to give it the thumbs up in all departments.” – Performing Musician, November 2008

“This mic could be the ‘Swiss Army’ mic of your collection. We struggled to find where this mic is out of its depth. The M2 seems to have the strength and durability, plus excellent sound reproduction, that helps it fit the bill as a mic equally effective for studio and live performance.” – Pickup, November 2008

“In terms of dynamic range and capacity to deliver a robust monitor level before feedback, the M2 is an outstanding product. The quality of reproduction in the mains was comparable to that of a mic four times the price… I was able to get a big increase in level before feedback [in place of Beta58]… It featured less [bleed] than I would expect from a dynamic… Based on this test alone I’d purchase a handful of M2s for my mic kit.” – Canadian Musician

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TC-Helicon announce VoiceTone Synth – radical vocal processing in a pedal

April 7, 2009

Incredible new vocal processing pedal from TC-Helicon…

TC Helicon VoiceTone Synth

The new TC Helicon VoiceTone Synth brings together a collection of extreme exotic and contemporary sonic effects, including jagged HardTuneTM effects, classic Vocoder effects, a voice-controlled synthesizer and vocal distortion and megaphone effects. Now vocalists or anyone looking to add a modern edge to their live performances and studio productions can dial-in these effects instantly with the press of a footswitch.

HardTune
The jagged, stair-stepped vocal sound of key-based hard tuning is everywhere in contemporary R&B, Hip Hop and Electronica. This feature has eluded the majority of performing musicians until VoiceTone Synth came along. Now musicians can produce this effect live by simply recalling a preset and hitting the ‘On’ button. Easy key input methods include auto-instrument sensing or pushbuttons with a clear display of the current key. Other features of the HardTune effect include dry voice mixing, octave shift and character modification.

Vocoder
The vocoder in VoiceTone Synth is called ‘Massive-Band’ for a reason. It effectively scales resolution from ultra-clearly-enunciated Robot voices to the sound of the classic, analog low-band-count vocoders we all know and love. The benefit is that, while typical vocoders require a lot of pre-processing like distortion and EQ to hear the effect properly, with the VoiceTone Synth vocoder effect you can input signals such as clean acoustic guitar and vocode perfectly for sounds that until now have been impossible to achieve.

Voice-controlled Synth
The Vocoder also features a voice-controlled synth mode – considered by many as the Holy Grail for vocoding. Prior to VoiceTone Synth, vocoding required your voice (the exciter), and an instrument input (the carrier) to make cool vocoded sounds. Of course VoiceTone Synth supports the dual input method, but for artists who don’t have another instrument or don’t play one, VoiceTone Synth can generate a synth part directly from your vocal and vocode that. The result? Generated vocoder parts with one input: your voice.

VoiceTone Synth – key features
• HardTune effect with user-selectable key or instrument-sensing
• Vocoder carrier can be driven by internal voice-controlled synth or instrument input (such as guitar)
• Transducer effects, such as megaphones, distortion and radio voices
• All effects can run simultaneously
• Includes Tone feature for adaptive live engineer sound processing
• Presets that can be edited and stored
• Instrument Thru allows normal instrument amplification and vocoding

Links:

TC-Helicon VoiceTone Synth Guitar Effects Pedal

Check the TC-Helicon VoiceTone range of FX pedals!

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Line 6 Backtrack – Instant portable recorder/ instant reply for guitar

February 20, 2009

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In a an already very busy market Line 6 have took the plunge into portable recording devices. So lets take a look at what features this has to offer.

“BackTrack™ provides total inspiration control anywhere you play music or feel inspired, including at home, in the studio, at soundcheck and at rehearsal.”

At home, BackTrack offers the best ways to capture and organize all your musical ideas.

* Like a creative safety net, BackTrack makes sure all your ideas are captured
* “Instant replay” anything you just played by pressing “Play”
* Separate your best ideas from the rest by pressing “Mark”

In the studio, BackTrack gives you a head-start turning your inspirations into complete songs.

* Drag the better-than-CD-quality .WAV files right into your recording software
* The clean and pristine audio offers total plug-in processing flexibility
* Packed with your ideas, BackTrack is your portable idea vault

At soundcheck, BackTrack redefines the entire experience.

* Adjust your tone hands-free while BackTrack loops a song or riff
* Walk around the venue and check your tone while BackTrack does the playing for you
* Capture the energy of your live show and drag the high-quality audio to your DAW

At rehearsal, there’s no end to what BackTrack can do for you and your band.

* BackTrack + Mic records your whole band with stunning clarity
* Capture a direct signal perfect for dragging to your DAW by putting BackTrack in-line between your guitar and your amp
* Capture your guitar tone by putting BackTrack in-line after your amp or effects

I would personally would love to see this device fitted in the future with an onboard modelling chip like that of the pocket POD, Im almost suprised its notalready  featured here. But you still get a lot of amazing features for your buck.

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Auto-Tune: Why Pop Music Sounds Perfect

February 11, 2009

If you haven’t been listening to pop radio in the past few months, you’ve missed the rise of two seemingly opposing trends. In a medium in which mediocre singing has never been a bar to entry, a lot of pop vocals suddenly sound great.

Autotuner brigade

Better than great: note- and pitch-perfect, as if there’s been an unspoken tightening of standards at record labels or an evolutionary leap in the development of vocal cords. At the other extreme are a few hip-hop singers who also hit their notes but with a precision so exaggerated that on first listen, their songs sound comically artificial, like a chorus of ’50s robots singing Motown.

The force behind both trends is an ingenious plug-in called Auto-Tune, a downloadable studio trick that can take a vocal and instantly nudge it onto the proper note or move it to the correct pitch. It’s like Photoshop for the human voice. Auto-Tune doesn’t make it possible for just anyone to sing like a pro, but used as its creator intended, it can transform a wavering performance into something technically flawless. “Right now, if you listen to pop, everything is in perfect pitch, perfect time and perfect tune,” says producer Rick Rubin. “That’s how ubiquitous Auto-Tune is.” (Download TIME’s Auto-Tune Podcast from iTunes)

Auto-Tune’s inventor is a man named Andy Hildebrand, who worked for years interpreting seismic data for the oil industry. Using a mathematical formula called autocorrelation, Hildebrand would send sound waves into the ground and record their reflections, providing an accurate map of potential drill sites. It’s a technique that saves oil companies lots of money and allowed Hildebrand to retire at 40. He was debating the next chapter of his life at a dinner party when a guest challenged him to invent a box that would allow her to sing in tune. After he tinkered with autocorrelation for a few months, Auto-Tune was born in late 1996.

Almost immediately, studio engineers adopted it as a trade secret to fix flubbed notes, saving them the expense and hassle of having to redo sessions. The first time common ears heard Auto-Tune was on the immensely irritating 1998 Cher hit “Believe.” In the first verse, when Cher sings “I can’t break through” as though she’s standing behind an electric fan, that’s Auto-Tune–but it’s not the way Hildebrand meant it to be used.

The program’s retune speed, which adjusts the singer’s voice, can be set from zero to 400. “If you set it to 10, that means that the output pitch will get halfway to the target pitch in 10 milliseconds,” says Hildebrand. “But if you let that parameter go to zero, it finds the nearest note and changes the output pitch instantaneously”–eliminating the natural transition between notes and making the singer sound jumpy and automated. “I never figured anyone in their right mind would want to do that,” he says.

Like other trends spawned by Cher, the creative abuse of Auto-Tune quickly went out of fashion, although it continued to be an indispensable, if inaudible, part of the engineer’s toolbox. But in 2003, T-Pain (Faheem Najm), a little-known rapper and singer, accidentally stumbled onto the Cher effect while Auto-Tuning some of his vocals. “It just worked for my voice,” says T-Pain in his natural Tallahassee drawl. “And there wasn’t anyone else doing it.”

VIEW AUTO-TUNE PRODUCTS AT DOLPHIN MUSIC