Which Microphone to use for Rap vocals?
First of all I want to say that there isn’t one right mic for rap or any vocal for that matter, it all depends on different aspects. When I was studying at the SAE institute for audio engineering this was one of the topics we discussed. Not for Rap but for any vocal. So what it depends on this track itself and the vocal/voice of the artist. We had a little experiment with a female singer that sounded really great on a particular mic when recorded dry. But testing her vocal on five microphones we choose another mic instead, because that mic sounded better on the track as a whole. No, I haven’t answered the question yet.
Familiar Mic Sounds
But with that said we can check another fact which relates to the topic. In the hip hop industry or music industry, you can say that we are used to particular sounds or effects on vocals. To name a simple one: The auto-tune effect on T-Pain’s vocals which made him famous, so famous that Jay-Z made a diss to the whole thing. This is just one example of the things we are used to hear in modern music. I will go a little bit deeper on the subject. Some microphones give a certain sound, and a lot of artists love that sound on their vocal. So on Video’s you see on MTV by famous Rappers you will probably hear one of those mics in action. To name a few boutique microphones : Neumann, Shoeps, etc..
A Cheap Boutique Mic for rap
A couple of years ago I bought a cheap mic for in the studio, to use as a spare or if I needed to use more mics on a subject. So doing what I always do is looking it up on the internet and checking how and when I should use this mic. That is when I came across this wonderful site of Micheal Joly, a technical sound engineer. He offered, and is still offering to customize microphones. This got me really interested and I had to find out how good it really was for myself, because a lot of his clients really praised his work. So the idea was that I send them my microphone and pay a little sum for customization, and after that they would send me my fully customized mic back.
How does the mic sound on rap vocals
To be honest I don’t use any other mic for rap anymore, simply because this mic now sounds best on any vocal I throw it on. It sounds different in any way comparing it with how it sounded before. On the website they compare it with a Neumann U87, which is one of the most used mics for rap. Jay-Z uses a U87, but Kanye West prefers a U47. With all this said there is no real good conclusion of the answer to the main question. We can say that we are used to some vocal sounds, and in the end it really doesn’t matter which mic you used. What matters is how your track came out and how many people enjoy listening to it. I just wanted to let you know about this really great Engineer and his High Quality, low priced Microphones. Which you can definitely use on rap vocals and sound like the legends and famous artists.
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