Recording Vocals


This is a no-brainer; put the RM1 in front of your sound-source, get a good level on your recording gear and press "record".  Or, get on the radio and broadcast your news to the world.  In that spirit, here is a recreation of the famous picture of news broadcaster Walter Winchell, who was well known for using the RCA 44 Ribbon Microphone:


 "Good evening Mr. and Ms. America, and all the ships at sea" -Walter Winchell

"Good evening Mr. and Ms. America, and all the ships at sea" -Walter Winchell

Boston "Magic 106 FM" Radio personality David O'leary uses the RM1 for the first time and gives us a sample of an on-air announcement:  


David again, using headphones, with a sample voice-over for a client.  Compare the tone change he uses for this as opposed to the radio-voice tone.  (The artist's performance always has a profound effect on the recording's perceived tone).


David O'leary again experimenting with the RM1's proximity warm-up, to get a more "intimate" tone:


Here's a male speaker about 12" from the RM1, without headphones, just speaking in a natural voice:



Here's a sort-of "audio-book" recording from the play "Peter Pan".  Here we have a female speaker about 12" from the RM1, with no headphone monitoring:



There are three areas you might give some thought to beyond this:

1) Close "proximity-effect" artifacts:   

When a singer "eats the mic" or sings in very close proximity to it, this produces very un-natural acoustical artifacts of this.  

One of the artifacts is due to local (mouth-source) air flow.  When someone sings "properly", their entire upper torso and diaphragm becomes a very strong air pump and sound is made by forcing this air over the larynx.  As a result, there is strong exit air flow at the mouth.  When you hear people singing (or talking, for that matter) in "real life" you are normally never close enough to experience any of this airflow.  But a singer in close proximity subjects the microphone to this.  The RM1 is very sensitive to this and even thought it has a dual pop filter system built in, close-proximity air flow will create very low (even DC) air pressures on the almost-weightless diaphragm.  The solution to this, of course, is to have the singer back off 10" or so, to minimize this artifact.

Here, we demonstrate speaking at distances from the RM1.  You'll hear all the artifacts of "big bass" generated right at the mouth, something you'll never hear in real life during normal conversations.  12 inches seems to be a good distance for natural tone.  At 24 inches away, you'll also hear how the room ambience starts to get into the tone of the recording:



Another proximity effect is in-mouth resonances.  When a singer opens wide for emphasis or for pronouncing/enunciating big vowel sounds, the inside of the mouth has resonances that are detected by a sensitive microphone, especially one that is sensitive to fast signals.  Again, this is not normally experienced in most human encounters but will be picked up.  The best way to get a natural recording is to get the microphone further away.  

2) Ambient integration:

A bidirectional ribbon mic (like the RM1) integrates the ambience of the recording environment in a unique way.  You can hear it on the 24" recording in the "proximity" demo herein.  All "bidirectional mics" do this.  Many recording artists and engineers like this "warming" effect, but it's very environment-dependent.  Cardioid, omni and other kinds of microphones do different kinds of ambient-integration. Also, this quality can be modified by placing absorbing panels and the like behind the microphone.  Just be aware that this is going on and listen, listen, listen.  

3) Using the Bidirectional pickup  

The RM1 is a "classic" bidirectional with a twist; it will narrow a bit in the upper 1.5 octaves from a wide figure-8 pattern to a 90 degree figure-8 pattern, due to its design.  This increases HF "capture" and detail, not to mention a directivity-effected increase in level in this range.  I know; get to the point.  The point is that you can use the RM1 in either direction.  It cancels at the sides, something you should try (at +/- 90 degrees off axis).  Here's a pretty casual conversation with two male speakers having a conversation on either side of the RM1.  Both are clear and distinct. 



Here is Chris, a veteran lecturer, who regularly lectures on scientific subjects.  I asked him to prepare a short monologue to answer the poignant question, "what is magnetism?":