View Full Version : Two mics for vocals and uke - recommendations on how to setup

10-01-2010, 06:59 AM
I've been thinking of moving to a two mic setup: one mic for vocals, and one mic for uke. I'll be using dynamic mics.

Do you all have any recommendations for how/where to position the mics and what type of stands work well?

Thank you.

10-26-2010, 09:42 AM
Using two mics at the same time, you'll want to avoid phase problems caused by sound waves from each source hitting the "wrong" mic at a slight delay. That means either going with a stereo setup, which isn't what you asked for, or keeping the mics relatively close to their respective sources, so the bleed from the further source is significantly lower in volume compared to the primary source.

Obviously, there is a natural position for the vocal mic close to your mouth, so do that. ;-)

As for the uke, there are no hard and fast rules. A lot depends on the uke, the mic, and your playing style. My ideal would be to pull the mic back a foot or two to get the "whole instrument," but the further away you get, the more the uke mic will grab your vocals...especially if you're a loud singer. I recommend doing some test recordings and seeing what works best for your setup. DON'T judge by what you hear on computer speakers. If you don't have access to a good sound system, burn your test versions to a CD and listen to them on a variety of systems: your car, headphones, next door, etc.

Make a series of recordings with the mic aimed at the sound hole, at the edge of the sound hole, the body, the "sweet spot" where you strum, etc. "Slate" your recordings with the mic position so you know what works better and what doesn't. Don't be afraid to play around. Recording is both a science and an art. :-)

As for stands, I like "one knob" booms mounted on tripod stands. Ultimate makes nice stands with a pistol grip--you squeeze it and adjust the height. Very handy and saves a lot of time. Use tripod stands. Weighted base stands couple more strongly with the floor and are more likely to pick up unwanted vibrations.

What kind of mics are you using?

10-26-2010, 10:52 AM
Rather than explain it, heres the set up I use... it works really well, stick with the dynamic mics for dual mic'ing. You can use fairly cheap booms with no issues. I have to say though I wouldn't pull back the mic a couple of feet, you'll end up with quite a thin sound on dynamic mics.

vid using setup = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcFYqGzVLys

Mic Boom = http://www.studiospares.com/k+m-mic-boom-stand-black/invt/478480/?source=215_4
Clamp on uke Boom = http://www.podcastingnews.com/items/Quik-Lok/QLKA107BLK.htm (this is not the one I use but same sort of thing)

10-31-2010, 06:54 PM
knadles & casarole45,

Thank you both very much for your responses.

I'm looking at the Audio-Technica MB 2K and 3K hypercardioid dynamic mics. One is an instrument mic and one is a vocal mic. Prices and frequency range are reasonable for my uses.

Hypercardioid mics are much more directional, so that should help isolate voice and uke.

11-01-2010, 02:46 AM
Audio technica are great, My main mic is a ATM61HE, sadly its part of the older lines and no longer made, but its one of the best microphones I've ever used, hypercadroid, super clean and responsive, much better than those overated Shure SM mics :)

11-01-2010, 08:18 AM
I don't have any experience with those mics, so I can't comment. They look reasonably priced, so it's probably worth a shot. Are you ordering online, or would you have chance to try them out in the store?

One minor word of advice: don't ever use frequency response specs to judge a microphone. In fact, specs are always suspect, because the sound of a microphone is too complex to describe with a couple of numbers, and there are a hundred different ways to fudge the numbers themselves. Plus, it's not uncommon to find two mics of the same model with noticeably different "sounds"--especially on the lower end of the price range--because the manufacturing tolerances aren't as tight. Listen to the mic, and if it works for what you want, use it. :)

11-03-2010, 08:15 AM
Thank you again for your responses.

In the video you linked to, what type/design are the mics are you using (cardioid, super, hyper)?

Unfortunately I won't be able to try these out first. We don't have the type of stores around us that carry these types of items.

I've been trying to work through which mic design would provide the cleanest sound for my situation: two cardioids, two super-cardioids, or two hyper-cardioids.

I am thinking that two cardioids are not going too work well. The off axis rejection doesn't appear to be enough for two mics placed close together. Working with one cardioid hasn't let me adjust the balance and volume between the lows of the vocals, and the instrument's highs, as much as I would like.

What I like about the cardioids is the amount of sound rejection from the rear. This really helps to reduce the sound of computer fans, HVAC systems, etc.

11-04-2010, 01:04 AM
The vocal is a ATM61HE, which is hyper, like I say best mic I've ever used, they've downgraded the build quality of its replacement so the equivilent Audio Tech mic now is the AE6100 http://www.eu.audio-technica.com/en/products/product.asp?catID=2&subID=9&prodID=1893.

Unfortunately as I had only one at that time I couldn't use it for the uke, though it is awesome for ukes/guitars... so at that time for the uke I used a Behringer XM8500 which has a close sound profiling to a Shure SM-58 but only costs 15, I've now replaced that one though.

11-04-2010, 06:11 AM
Thank you.

The XM8500 is my only mic right now. I've been very pleased with it.

Was it difficult to work with the XM8500 in a two mic setup?

11-04-2010, 06:57 AM
Hyper/supercardioid microphones are more important for stage when you're worried about feedback issues. If you close-mic an instrument with a tight pattern mic, the mic will focus on the spot where it's aimed and deemphasize the rest of the instrument. And the flip side of a tighter pattern is that the off-axis frequency response tends to be uneven. Omnis tend to have the cleanest off-axis response.

Don't sweat the spec sheets. You'll be fine with cardioids. Cardioid microphones have been a studio staple for 50 years.

11-04-2010, 07:36 AM
knadles, thank you.

I've appreciated this discussion very much.

I think I'll give a second cardioid a try.

11-04-2010, 09:44 AM
Just as Knadles says he seems really hot on these things... if the set ups anything like my bedroom converted to home studio then you shouldn't have any worries. It might be worth keeping hold of your XM8500 and buying a more expensive vocal mic to start with. AE6100 are about 158 on DV247.com or I'm selling a ATM610 for 75 (inc postage) to save up for the previously mentioned.

11-04-2010, 10:07 AM
lol, just remembered your prob not in the UK, so scratch that about the selling ATM610