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Microphone Tips for Vocalists

How many singers and/or singing groups actually take time to practice microphone technique?  www.vocalist.org.uk  offers some great tips and advice for performers who want to get the most out of their sound.

Some important points to remember:

  • When close to a speaker, do not point the microphone directly toward it.  Doing so will cause feedback, which is that high-pitched squealing sound you will sometimes hear during a performance.
  • If the volume is too high, you will experience feedback and usually distortion as well.
  • Don’t drown out the vocals!  Set your volume controls so that the backing track is lower than your singing.
  • The most common mistake is holding the microphone too close or too far from your mouth.  The results vary from distorted and/or muffled vocals to distant or no vocal sound at all.
  • For optimal sound, hold the mic no closer than 2 to 3 inches from your mouth during normal singing.  The singer’s natural power and ability to project will determine the proper distance, so test things out and see what sounds best.
  • Gradually move the microphone away as you continue to sing and listen to the effect — at what point does the vocal sound start to fade?  That is your farthest point to remember.  The optimum distance for clarity is between the shortest and farthest points.
  • There are times when you will be using more volume, hitting higher or lower notes or almost whispering.  Practice using different distances and positions to see how using the mic creates different effects.
  • Avoid moving the microphone closer to your mouth when hitting high or more powerful notes and practice moving the microphone around to enhance or lessen certain effects until it becomes second nature.

Make practicing microphone technique a regular part of your rehearsal routine.  For more tips, please visit  www.vocalist.org.uk

Mandy Kubikhttp://jwpepper.com
Singer/Songwriter; Keyboard, Piano, Flute Player; Certified Associate Recording Engineer/Producer; Music Advocate; Regional Manager, J.W. Pepper, Michigan

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