Subscribe to Ronan's Recording Show


Recording vocals without headphones in the studio

October 7th, 2010 | 27 Comments   « Previous  |  Episode 23  |  Next »

Inspired by a recent discussion about the Daniel Lanois production of the new album, Le Noise,  by Neil Young, I thought I would show “recording with out headphones” in action on my current production.

To watch on your iphone or ipad download the Mv4 version

VN:F [1.1.6_502]
Rating: 4.9/5 (15 votes cast)
27 Comments ~ Speak your mind »
  1. Don McKinzie

    Regarding cutting vox w/o phones: Nice isolation, sounds greater than 9db so it works well.! Was the mic choice based on the excellent off axis pattern of the SMb7 or was there luck in a limitation of choices? What were you using for playback? I have cut vox in CR for years! Sometimes the rehearsals end up comped into the final. There is a gtr/vox duo that I work with that I always stick headset mics on during arrangement sessions and other stuff in the CR. It can catch some interesting things.

    Love the show!

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  2. Ed C

    Very neat episode. I like seeing people using various recording methods. You have a lot of good info. Thanks.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  3. Brian Chapman

    So….. did you flip the phase on your monitors when recording this? I know that’s Beck’s trick for doing vox in the control room. If you did, that’s thing everyone needs to know about!! Sounds great!

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  4. Ronan

    ! Was the mic choice based on the excellent off axis pattern of the SMb7 or was there luck in a limitation of choices?


    We actually had many mic choices at the studio (including several great LDCs) but I really wanted the sound of the SM7 on this album.

    VN:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  5. Ronan


    So….. did you flip the phase on your monitors when recording this? I know that’s Beck’s trick for doing vox in the control room. If you did, that’s thing everyone needs to know about!! Sounds great!


    No fancy speaker phase flip trick. I just cranked up the NS-10 until he had enough volume to get into the tune. The NS-10s are good because they do not have a lot of low end. Low end will get into a directional mic more.

    VN:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  6. Richard Herrera-Lopez

    Hey Ronan,

    Looks tough out there in Italy…especially the food part.

    Any quick link to a website that shows how to wire speakers out of phase? Especially now in the days of powered monitors – what’s the easiest way to get there?

    Thanks,
    Lost in Portofino

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  7. Matt

    Wow! That’s sweet man. I’ve used the phase flip trick, but that’s crazy how you got extremely isolated track without that trick! Nice on!

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  8. Kay Irgens

    Thx. Ronan.

    Appreciate your vids. here. Great that you take the time to share and exchange ideas, in such an open minded way. Nice track btw. Greetings!

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  9. Virginia Wagner

    Thanks for this information Ronan! I’ll share it with the engineer I’m working with and give it a try.
    I love your work.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  10. Harold LaRue

    Ronan,

    I’ll pile on the additional “thank you’s” for taking the time and energy to produce and share your videos; very educational and inspirational!

    Yesterday, a couple of hours before receiving email notification of this video, I had purchased my very first SM7B…is that weird, or what?!?

    Keep ‘em comin’, Ronan!

    Best,
    Harold LaRue
    Columbus, OH

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  11. Chris

    I have to try this. My kids always say that my singing is way too laid back on my demos…maybe this will help pump up the excitement.

    My studio is all disassembled at the moment though…moving back to northern CA.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  12. JEFF

    Ronan,
    Just have to say, “Recording without headphones” sounded really good “on the web”….I can only imagine what it sounds like in the control room.
    You are my “online” mentor
    I appreciate the time you take to share.
    Jeff
    3pstudio@comcast.net

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  13. Ronan

    Yesterday, a couple of hours before receiving email notification of this video, I had purchased my very first SM7B


    I think you will love it. A real workhorse mic.

    VN:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  14. Ronan


    ny quick link to a website that shows how to wire speakers out of phase? Especially now in the days of powered monitors – what’s the easiest way to get there?

    If you are going XLR into your powered monitors you can actually buy a phase invert adapter. Its a really simple passive adapter.

    VN:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  15. Stephen

    If I were to use the phase invert trick, would I want to intentionally get a lot of clear signal from the speakers, so it would be most accurate to what is already recorded.
    My thinking is that this would cause the most phase cancellation, giving you the very minimum of music in the vocal track.

    Thanks for all your videos Ronan. I’ve learned a lot from you. Keep up the excellent work.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  16. Brian@Topsoil

    Printing -15db, now there’s a man who’s confident with his tools! Great vid, thanks Ronan!

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  17. Sue Carney

    Nice to hear you are spending time across the pond! Great vid, as usual. Hope to see you some time soon. Cheers.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  18. Steve Hebert

    Cool but I still don’t understand how you didn’t pick up the rest of the instruments though the vocal mic.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  19. Carlos

    Damn it – Now I want CAKE!!! Thanks RCM – It was nice to “see” and “hear” what you talked about in Boot Camp. Boot Camp rocked. Keep up the great work.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  20. Michael

    Thanks Ronan this is the first Video of yours I have seen and it’s great.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  21. R4x2

    @Steve Hebert – the mic didn’t pick up the monitored track because it’s a dynamic mic (Shure SM7b), meaning only what’s right in front of it is being picked up. It’s very good at not getting the ambient surroundings I suppose.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  22. Ronan

    @Steve Hebert – the mic didn’t pick up the monitored track because it’s a dynamic mic (Shure SM7b), meaning only what’s right in front of it is being picked up. It’s very good at not getting the ambient surroundings I suppose.


    Hey R4×2, You are on the right track, but its because the mic is a cardioid or directional mic, and dynamic directional mics often have better rejection than their condenser counterparts. But some dynamic are actually omnidirectional with little to no rejection.

    VN:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  23. hue

    I had to try this out. Surprisingly, it worked very well and I had almost no noticeable bleed. Great way to keep the “talent” comfortable.

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  24. WindowSills

    Was the singer hearing himself in the monitors too, or just the track?

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  25. Ronan

    Was the singer hearing himself in the monitors too, or just the track?

    Just the music was in the speakers. Some guys will pump the voice back through the monitors as well, but if the singer does not ask for it, I will not do it.

    VN:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  26. singerguy2

    Do you think you can get the same clarity out of an SM7b compared to mid priced condensor such as KSM32 or lower priced Studio Projects C1?

    VA:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  27. Ronan

    The SM7b is a great vocal mic. They are used if on many major albums, so as long as you have a decent pre-amp you should be able to make it sound very good and detailed.

    VN:F [1.1.6_502]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Speak your mind: