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The Bedroom Recording eZine, Issue #001 -- Solo singer, multiple mics
September 04, 2007
Recently I found myself in a situation that demanded a unique mic strategy. I had recorded an octet of a cappella singers using a pair of Earthworks QTC40s and an Audio Technica AT4050 (in omni) configured as a Decca Tree (for more info see stereo recording), and a Neumann KM184 as a solo mic.

When the ensemble was singing we were pressed for time, so part of the solo was cut off. (The solo started the song and was joined by the other singers later.) The soloist (me, incidentally!) just sang the lead in to the rest, planning on overdubbing the full part later, when I didn't have to tie up the other people's time.

So I went to record the rest of the solo later, and I set up the KM184 to track it. The problem soon surfaced - I couldn't get the new overdub to mesh in and sound continuous with the existing part. I was breaking between lines, but I could hear a distinct change in the character of the solo.

After a bit, I set up the Decca Tree and tried again, this time noticing a major difference! The vocal sounded fuller and silkier, meshing with the existing sound pretty much like it should. (Now if I could only sing on pitch...) I love my Earthworks mics.

Obviously this won't work if you need more than 1 singer/instrument to capture separately, but I might still try it. I love what stereo sound can produce (particularly in a cappella groups), and just discovered you can use it to good effect on a vocal solo.

Do you have any good tools to use on solo singers? (Solo as in a voice separately, even if it's tracked with other singers or instruments.) I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this email or go to here and leave me a message. I'd love to hear from you!

Investigate further into stereo recording on our website,, particularly the page on stereo recording.

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