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Okay, let's take a look at the studio setup for recording vocals. We have a large diaphragm condenser microphone on a nice boom stand. It's a beautifully designed boom stand, designed by yours truly. A pop filter about two inches away from the microphone. You want to have the microphone about the same height as the mouth. We've got about 6-8 inches between the microphone and the vocalist's mouth. Once you have it set up like this, do a little of listening, set some levels, and see if you like the sound. You can always start to make adjustments by moving things closer or farther away, or changing the axis.
For more information, I'll refer you to the movies about microphone placement techniques, also in this title. Next, we'll take a look at how you would set this up if you're working out in the field. So this is a setup for working at a table. We have a little dynamic microphone down here on a desktop microphone stand. We want to point that microphone right at the mouth of our subject. Typically, the closer you can get the better, but you don't want to be right underneath them, so sometimes you have to move it out to the middle of the table a little bit, so you have more of an angle.
So about one foot away or so is probably where you'll have to start. That's about it for the field. If you can do things to quiet the room, or put a tablecloth down, if you've control over the environment a little bit, it's always good to take a few precautions. It's always good to look around, and see how you can make things a little bit quieter. Again, once you get your microphone set up, listen to it through your portable recorder and through headphones, and try and get a sense of what kind of sound quality you're going to get. You might find that right behind the speaker's head, there happens to be a big air-conditioning unit that you're also picking up.
So you might want to find a different room, or just find a different way to work in that room, so as to reduce the amount of other noises you're picking up, and try and focus mainly on your subject.
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