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    Plosive sounds and resonance sounds


    Hi all,

    After your wealth of expertise...... When doing VO on my NT1-A Large Diaphragm mic I have real problems with plosive sounds - mainly 'P' and 'th'. For the 'P' sound I have found an EQ solution in Pro tools (EQ Plug-in, 7 band, Voice, Reduce Plosives and tweak the low/mid range) to significantly reduce the effect without adverse affects on the voice but I have not found a solution for the 'th'

    Now I already have the NT1-A turned away 45 degrees and I have 2 pop screens in front of the mic. The problem is when I am 'eating the mic' so to speak to take advantage of the proximity effect.

    Is there a technical solution or is it a mic technique (ie turn my mouth away from the mic when a 'P' or 'TH' sound is coming) or do I need to take lessons/practice not creating plosives on those sounds?

    Now for the resonance sounds - 'Nnnn'. When recording I can hear the resonance and it sounds OK but when playing back I hear a 'flat' 'dead' sound. Any suggestions?

    OR is it all just something I have to put up with since these are the characteristics of my voice?

    Cheers

    David

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    higginsdj
    Is there a technical solution ?

    Yes ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_shield

    Home-made can be as good as store-bought ... http://www.hometracked.com/2006/05/28/homemade-pop-filters/

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    Can you post or send a sample of the 'problem sounds? I will be able to advise fully then.

    Andrew

    I've been doing this too long ......
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    higginsdj
    .....and I have 2 pop screens in front of the mic.

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    OK, I've uploaded 2 samples to http://www.david-higgins.com/sound

    tw_sample.wav and nn_sample.wav

    Note that it wasn't the 'TH" sound that was giving me trouble but the 'TW' sound. The 'NN" sound plays back very nasally but thats not how I hear it (when monitoring it during recording)

    Cheers

    David

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    higginsdj
    OK, I've uploaded 2 samples to http://www.david-higgins.com/sound

    On the first take of that sample I can hear the mic diaphragm popping immediately after "ti" of "Twenty".

    My suggestion is add one or more layers of tights/stocking/pantyhose material to one of your pop screens.
    (If you do that you'll probably only need the one pop screen, not your current two).

    The heavy-duty granny-type "support hose" stockings are worth a try if the problem is severe.
    [over the pop screen, not over your head like a bank robber smile ]

    Additional fabric will stop the pop and should also reduce distortions.

    If you add too much fabric the recorded sound will lose high frequency content and sound dull, (if so remove a layer).

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    Aside from the nice info that Timbre provided you (and myself as well at various times), I was reading lots of recording books and found two things that helped a lot: first raise the mic up or move it to the side of your mouth and point it at your mouth so you are not speaking directly at the mic; second was to rubber band (or however you want to attach) a pencil along the front of the mic (so the pencil is the same orientation at the mic), this will deflect some of the air headed to the diaphragm. If you feel you sound nasal, try cutting with an EQ around 800hz, here is a helpful guide.

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    OK - the 2 commercial pop screens I have seem to have dual layer lightweight 'hose'. I might try adding some extra layers.

    Corsica, when you say point the mic at my mouth I'm not sure what you mean. As a large diaphragm mic, I talk into the side of the mic. Do you mean talk into the end of the mic instead? I've head of the pencil trick before but the mic 'cage' is angled so the pencil would be angled to the orientation of the diaphragm. Would that still be OK?

    I've tried turning the mic side on but I still get plosives - it's as if my plosives are producing a real low/high pressure zone smile

    Thanks for the link.

    Cheers

    David

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    higginsdj
    OK, I've uploaded 2 samples to http://www.david-higgins.com/sound

    tw_sample.wav and nn_sample.wav

    Note that it wasn't the 'TH" sound that was giving me trouble but the 'TW' sound. The 'NN" sound plays back very nasally but thats not how I hear it (when monitoring it during recording)

    Cheers

    David

    I've listened to the two samples.

    Firstly, the mic is crucial. I have a feeling you are using a resasonable but cheap or mid range condenser mic -is that correct? A good condenser will allow you to position the mic 12 - 18" awaywith the capsule at roughly forehead level and angled down to your mouth and get an even, warm tone without the plosives.

    The second benefit of a good condenser is that the polar field - or optimised area of recording in front of the mic - is more usually cardiod - that is the sweet spot in front of the mic extends forward from the capsule but excludes sound to the side and behind. An issue with cheaper condensers is that the leakage for the sides and the rejection of off axis audio is not always very good, and what I am hearing in your nn sample is room noise or echo from the room resonating at the frequency of your 'nnn'.

    This also bbrings to mind the need for proper sound absorbing tiles - acouastic isolation tiles - to ensure you deaden the room in which ou are recording to stop such reflections.

    Lastly, applying a High Pass (HP) filter with the cut-off set to around 120Hz will remove the LF plosives in post production, and to warm the voice up again, then use a vocal enhancer such as the BBE Sonic Maximiser which will resynthesise the lower frequencies withoput reintroducing the plosive.

    Hope this helps.

    Kind regards,

    Andrew

    I've been doing this too long ......
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    BTW David, you can duplicate that 'proximity' effwect by careful use of compression and EQ on the recorded voice - as a voice artist you don't really need or have to be that close especially if you are able to perform the edit your self - hearing that in the headphones is just a confidence thing - you don't need it.

    Good luck with it and do let me kn ow if any of this was any help to you.

    Best,

    Andrew

    I've been doing this too long ......
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    Andrew, David quotes his mic as a Rode NT1A -http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may04/articles/rodent.htm - which by all accounts is a decent large diaghram vocal condenser.

    David, a look at the spectrum of your recordings shows they contain almost as much energy between 3Hz and 30Hz as they do between 300Hz and 3kHz. that accounts for the "pop", and also potentially for the percussive edge on the "Tees", depending on your monitoring system (amp/speakers or phones).
    If I listened to them at reasonable volume on my Quad 303/Rogers Studio 1's (normal set-up on the computer) they did not sound that bad, but on my other system, Quested 2108's with 1112 subwoofers (down to 15Hz) they make the sub cone jump to the end stops if I turn up the volume - despite the protective filtering in the active control circuitry. If this amount of low energy were fed to a typical domestic bass reflex speaker that wasn't high pass limited below the cabinet resonant frequency it could cause serious excursion problems. (as I've found out the hard way with mp3s which have been "enthusiastically" EQ'ed for playback on tinny mp3 systems. - took out a suspension on my KEF Reference 107!).

    I think either low-cut filtering, or preferably, to retain the warm ambience, compression of the lows via a first or second order High pass filter at 30 - 60Hz could reduce the peak energy at 7Hz, which currently is only about 6dB below the mid band peaks, and would solve your problem. I have to hand it to the NT1A if it's reproducing the wind down to 3Hz.

    I know bugger all about recording as I come from the other end of chain, (ex- designer for BSS Audio and Quested Studio Monitors.) - hence the direction of my input. I will leave all mic technique advice to the excellent observations of the others who have responded.

    Regards Wibby.

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.
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    BTW it’s a bad idea to have the pop shield attached to the mic stand ..

    http://www.david-higgins.com/Audio/images/Studio1sm.jpg

    Sound travels much better through solid than through gas,
    (you’ve probably seen the cowboy movies where someone with their ear to the railway track hears the train coming before it can be heard via air).

    If the pop-shield is attached to the mic-stand the energy absorbed by the shield is transmitted via the gooseneck to the mic , which defeats the point of the exercise.

    A separate stand for the pop screen is advisable …

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec04/images/qad2popshield.l.jpg

    (pony tail is optional)

    It is important that the pop shield is not attached directly to the microphone as vibrations will be transmitted from the shield to the mic.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_shield

    BTW2 I second Strangely_gnarled's point about too much bass on your recordings.
    Cut out everything below 20Hz, (this infrasound is inaudible and could damage bass speakers if played loud).

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    Thanks all. Just for added input my setup has the NT1A suspended in an anti vibration mount and the first pop shield is mounted to the mic stand (isolated from the mic) while the second is mounted to the stand that I mount my acoustic boards onto.

    When I say 'eat the mic' I mean my mouth is less than 4-6" from the mic with the pop shields filling the gap.

    http://www.david-higgins.com/Audio/images/acoustic03.jpg

    Thanks for all the advice - much to look over and try out smile

    Cheers

    David

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    higginsdj
    ... my mouth is less than 4-6" from the mic with the pop shields filling the gap.

    If you must work that close to the mic you could try putting cotton sock(s) over the mic, (preferably unused smile }

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