Poor vocalist

Posted by: BLONG

Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 06:35 AM

What tools would you recommend for someone who has no vocal range and sounds like a death rattle? I just want to record demos. I've looked at some vocal software but the learning curve is probably longer than my life expectancy. (Don't recommend a shovel, but that is funny.) BIAB 2022. Cakewalk (but never used it).
Posted by: MoultiPass

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 08:24 AM

Marry a singer! Okay, I'm going out ....
Posted by: DebMurphy

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 08:34 AM

Voice lessons.

...Deb
Posted by: BLONG

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 12:33 PM

Sigh ... cry
Posted by: MarioD

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 01:31 PM

OK if you are not going to do those two suggestions the best on the advice I can give is to purchase Melodyne's Assistant. It ain't cheap at around $300 USD but it will correct your vocal pitch mistakes and with formats actually change your voice. The Assistant is the cheapest version that will do all of that and more.
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 01:39 PM

I am going to answer this honestly but as gently as possible.

I am 5'7" tall AND wide. I have (b)long since given up all hope that I ever had about a career in the NBA.

I also swim like a cinder block, so the Olympic swimming medal is also out of reach.

"Almost no range and a voice that sounds like a death rattle" kind of seal a specific fate, do they not?

I now need to ask the question that typically starts weeks of dart throwing.

How much do you actually know about music? Do you know basic basics like the Circle of 5ths (why chords that relate to each other do so), intervals that make up chords, etc? Can you read and write music at all, at least well enough to write a melody on paper so you can pass it along to a singer? The concept of prosody where the cadence of the music aligns with the cadence of the lyric?

Point being, if you can't sing, you can't sing. I am in the same club. I have a range of an octave and a nasal voice that is not really pleasing to the ear. Yeah I DO sing, but by many accounts, I probably shouldn't. And in fact whenever I come up with a song I think has any potential at all I bring a singer in. The exception was when I released a CD of my own work and for it to be MY CD I had to sing it myself.

You are new here so I have no idea about your history, training, experience... Fill us in! The reason for that question is that to embark on a journey learning software that sings for you, you will likely also have to have some foundation to build from.

You have taken the first step, that being you admit that singing isn't your long suit and asked for suggestions.
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 01:53 PM

Originally Posted By: BLONG
What tools would you recommend for someone who has no vocal range and sounds like a death rattle? I just want to record demos. I've looked at some vocal software but the learning curve is probably longer than my life expectancy.

If by "vocal software" you mean synthetic voices like the Vocaloids, I use Emvoice instead of trying to sing myself. It's really very, very, very easy to use and would be great for demos, if you don't really need to nail a perfect articulation.

If you really don't want a robot demo, but you really don't want to sing, you can always make a secret robot demo and send it to an online service singer to make a human demo.
Posted by: DebMurphy

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 02:59 PM

Hopefully, I did not sound like I was being flip with my previous post.

I have seen great music instructors do marvelous things with students who thought they could not.

And, I have learning disabilities that make things a bit more of a challenge than most - reading right to left is really problematic at times.

...Deb
Posted by: David Snyder

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 04:04 PM

Sounds like a death rattle? Awesome!


Some of my favorite singers sound like that. Ever listened to any Tom Waits? Who would listen to that? Oh, wait, 2.5 million views.

If the lyrics are great and it's cool jazz (A BIAB specialty), you don't need to be able to sing and a death rattle is perfect. Plus you get to drink all day, professionally for a living, and date Rickie Lee Jones. You can't lose.

Posted by: David Snyder

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/13/22 04:31 PM


One more. Again Tom Waits, who wrote the only song Bruce Springsteen has ever closed a concert with that wasn't his own, and regularly does: Jersey Girl. One of the best songs I have ever heard.

Check this out. Live with his band. No one is telling him he needs vocaloid. It's the song.

Posted by: DebMurphy

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 02:50 AM

Howlin' Wolf is another one.

Spoonful

...Deb
Posted by: Bob Calver

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 03:25 AM

and of course Leonard Cohen. but are you sure you really can't sing? i know lots of people who say they can't but can make reasonable stab at it when they really try.

and if you have the 32 bit version of RealBand which is still bundled with BIAB 2022 if you play in a midi melody, the program can correct your pitch to match the melody using the helicon harmony plugin.

the 64 bit version works differently and as i'm not at my music pc i can't check if the same function is available but i know it doesn't have the helicon program.

so if you can correct the pitch the 'quality' of your voice is fine for demo purposes
Posted by: Bob Calver

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 03:41 AM

and while its not the same, page 270 of the 2022 BIAB manual says you can correct audio notes to the correct notes in the key of the song - doing automatically what melodyne does but without the same level of control.

so whereas the helicon plug in will follow a midi melody, i think if your pitch is badly off the BIAB process may correct your vocal to the 'wrong' in key note

give it a go - you may have a hit song if you can produce a demo!
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 09:15 AM

Another possibility would be to just not sing, and I am not being facetious.

Make your demo with a clear instrumental melody line (violin, clarinet, whatever) and provide lyrics.

Depending on the purpose and audience, that might be out of the question or the perfect solution.
Posted by: BLONG

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 09:42 AM

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
Posted by: BLONG

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 09:43 AM

I decided to take a stab. Thanks!
Posted by: BLONG

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 09:44 AM

I appreciate your consideration!
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 09:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark Hayes
Another possibility would be to just not sing, and I am not being facetious.


I agree with Mark. You may have a great song idea but an A&R guy may listen to 30 seconds of it at most, and if the singing is as bad as you are saying you sing he may just stop it immediately and not even give it those 30 seconds.

I have a feeling you may sing better than you think but have no confidence in your singing. I deal with the same thing. People who bought my CD generally said that the singing fits the songs. That's all an amateur can hope for.
Posted by: BLONG

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 10:13 AM

Interesting perspective. I'll try to get better first. Just posted song in showcase.
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/14/22 11:08 AM

I am laying down my vocal tracks today. I could not do it without isotope nectar and Melodyne. Check it out your audience will thank you.
Posted by: Guitarhacker

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/15/22 05:59 AM

David Snyder beat me to it. I was going to point you to Tom Waits as well.

Good singer is a relative concept.

To address your question.

Obviously the vocaloid community is getting better all the time.

Another tried and true solution is to find someone else who is willing to sing the song. Ask a friend.

Also.... Work on your own abilities. Most folks can manage to sing well enough for rock and roll. Practice, maybe get a vocal coach, and sing.

One of those things should work for you.

In all fairness, there are some people who simply can not, and will not ever be able to sing well enough for anything. If you are one of those.... You will have to team up with someone who can. I worked with a cowriter who is definitely in that category. She writes brilliantly but it's fingernails on a chalkboard when she tries to sing. She knows what she is good at and what she's not and works with others who have stronger vocal abilities. That's how you accomplish the impossible.

To hear one of the songs she wrote.... Hit my link.... My music.... And scroll down to In a world without you. It's #20 on the list if i recall. She reached out to 2 people who helped put the song together. Myself and a really talented female singer.
Posted by: Nashblogger

Re: Poor vocalist - 01/29/22 02:33 PM

Fiverr.com
Posted by: Peters Garage

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/02/22 07:18 AM

Waves has a PlugIN called Waves Tune Real Time - it is pretty much an Pitch Correct thing - it's not perfect but used with an EQ + delay and reverb you might find your vocal is not as bad as you think.

An important thing to note is, you also need a decent Mic the Sh58 will not do any good to your vocal for demos - you need something like this
https://www.thomann.de/intl/rode_nt1a_complete_vocal_recording.htm or similar from your local music instrument shop.

Last advice from me - practice a lot, and get to know what works well for your voice - find a good body positure and when you have spare moments humm or sing high falset notes and very low notes in order to both train your voice and get to know your body better when you sing and hum.
Posted by: rayc

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/04/22 11:29 PM

Fiverr is good and the result may vary but are very much better than singing out of tune unpleasantly...there is a cost involved.
I don't do the 5vr thing though.
I have an appalling voice.
The more I use it, listen to it and try again the better it becomes - incrementally though.
I have a couple of songs that I can listen to and a bunch that I can't.
The synth things works pretty well.
Find & phone a friend?
Establish a relationship with forum members who may, eventually, offer, or respond positively to, a request to sing for you.
Melodyne is pretty good but subtlty is required...I know because I was sledge hammering for a while and the results reflect it.
ReaTune, in REAPER, is good but not as sophisticated.
Vocal fatteners can help...Reaper has a ReaDelay setting called Vocal Fattener and does juts that. It's a couple of ultra short delays spread a tiny % left and right of the original vocal.
Look at you vocal in a parametric EQ and gently boost the weak spots while carefully/surgically cutting back on the strident or rattly spots.
Want more bottom end and intimacy - sing close to the mic...want clarity and a rolled off bottom end - more back from the mic. Too much "room" in the capture hang a heavy blanket before & behind you about a meter.
Don't hide behind reverb...it does blur and mush the vocal but in the end leaves a smear that can be detrimental to the song.
Record a phrase at a time across multiple tracks...ensuring you've a glass of water at hand and a pop screen between you & the mic.
OH...find your range and write for it.
Mine is quite limited and blah but I've found that the chords in A maj suit me better than other keys because they don't press me to sing higher or lower than I can. OHHHHH, have you tried your falsetto voice? For some time I found that I was clearer and stronger up there than in my natural space...weird but true.
As for microphones...eh, they all record...you can work out the foibles of any mic to your advantage. I have a couple of decent medium diaphragm condensers, some very cheap small D condensers and a bundle of dynamic mics. I was in a hurry to get an idea down the other day and grabbed the nearest mic...a cheap dynamic...it required the right amount of preamp boost but did a fine job or recording...I wish my singing was good enough to make the mic seem deficient. RUN with what you have/can afford. A 58 is, after all, a live & studio dynamic with quite a history. It simply needs more "gain" from the preamp because it's neither internally powered like, nor as sensitive as, a condenser.
Give it enough juic and it will record what is sung into it and not notice background noise much if at all.
Ah...personal question...do you sing relatively quietly so as not to disturb the family and/or embarrass yourself? If the answer is YES then you need to send them all to the cafe or beach so you can get loud and develop you breathing/lung capacity and belt out beyond the rattle - SERIOUSLY.
Bon Chance.
OH, BIAB has pitch correction too as mentioned...I don't use BIAb to track so don't know the ins n outs of it.
Posted by: George L

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/09/22 01:21 PM

Learn some Tom Waits songs.
Posted by: BLONG

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/14/22 06:49 AM

Thank you for your thoughtful suggestions. I will implement those that work for me.
Posted by: Hugh2

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/14/22 02:20 PM

Hi Blong,
I am one step behind you I cant sing at all.What I do is I send my guide vocal to a singer from the website https://soundbetter.com/ or https://www.airgigs.com/.This will cost you ranging from 75 dollars and up depending on the singer you ask .It was the only way for me to get a professional sounding demo but its worth it.You will have to process the vocal yourself such as eq,compression,de essing ,reverb etc but their are plenty of instructional videos out there for that and I find it enjoybable ,yours H
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/14/22 02:59 PM

What level of songwriter are you guys that you will pay $75 a song to have someone sing it? Are you placing songs on CDs? In commercials? Are you so well beyond the hobby level most of us here are that you pay for a singer to perform music nobody will likely ever hear? Just curious. I mean, I am not paying your tabs, but I just have to wonder what kind of music you are cranking out and where it ends up. I mean, none of us are exactly Diane Warren here...
Posted by: rharv

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/14/22 03:47 PM

Don't under-rate members here.
I've actually had forum members pay me 10 times that $75 amount for a given project/task, so everyone here is not a hobbyist.

And yes, some has been used in commercials or TV
Good gig if you can get it smile
Posted by: Mark Hayes

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/14/22 04:21 PM

Originally Posted By: rharv
Don't under-rate members here. I've actually had forum members pay me 10 times that $75 amount for a given project/task, so everyone here is not a hobbyist

Even for hobbyists, how much money is that, really, to pay for a good recording of your own music that will last forever? I can think of a lot of things that cost $75, very few of which will add value to my life on anything like that level. I am indeed a mere hobbyist, and I have never hired a musician, but I started considering this approach seriously as soon as I learned of it here. Sometime soon, I really really want to pay a human singer to sing a song of mine, as of now still unwritten, just so I can hear it and share it and have it.
Posted by: rharv

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/14/22 04:43 PM

Yes, that in itself has value.
For many of us, we have spent more than we made in the long run, but it was still worth every penny.
I feel close to breaking even, and have enjoyed all of it .. I have other ways to make money
Posted by: Hugh2

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/14/22 06:04 PM

Hi Eddie,
Here is an example of a singer I got to sing a song.On hindsight I was trying to make the song sound other worldly or from under the water and could have done better with the vocals.The vocalists are really good and they put alot of work in for the money and consider it great value as I have gone to amazing trouble to make a good backing track.The choice I have is a simple one ,I just cant sing or I can sing only to a guide vocal level .
This will give you an idea of how good the singers are and more experienced producers on Biab would have done a better Job on the vocals I realize that now ,but im happy enough
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUQoUJNPDKs&t=129s
Posted by: Hugh2

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/14/22 06:12 PM

Hi Here are the examples of Band in a box songs with a singer from soundsbetter I have on soundcloud and I have to say I have no regrets at all and they were extremely professional .H

https://soundcloud.com/user-219964721
Posted by: Rob Helms

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/15/22 05:15 AM

One software package I use is Studio one from Presonus it comes with basic Melodyne built in. Just a thought.
Posted by: Planobilly

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/15/22 06:45 PM

The more contacts you have in the music world the better chance you have to find a musician who can actually do what you want to be done.

$75 is a pretty low amount to pay a professional vocalist. $200 to $400 is a good ballpark number for a pro from Nashville for example. New York or London will cost more.

Paying a vocalist or other musician to sing or play something you want to create does not need to be profitable. In fact, it most likely will not be.

Paying for a vocalist is no different than buying another guitar that you have no real need for.

I have spent thousands of dollars producing music that may have sold some but never made a profit. I don't regret spending a penny on it.

What to get in the big time?

According to the research, acts like Dave Matthews Band, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber (ugh), Justin Timberlake, and Taylor Swift are the most expensive to book, with an estimated rate of $1 million-plus per performance, while it'll run you around $125,000-$175,000 for “Happy” singer Pharrell.

There are vocalists on this forum who are wonderful singers and there are some who can not carry a tune around in a water bucket but are super entertaining to listen to. There is no requirement to sing well to be well-liked.

Just sing, we will listen and 99.9% of us will be very kind in our remarks.
This is a nice place with nice people.

Billy

EDIT: Just in case you actually want to hire Taylor call the office at (212) 645-0555 and one of our Taylor Swift booking agents will assist you in hiring Taylor Swift for a private event anywhere in the world.
Posted by: 90 dB

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/16/22 02:38 PM

I would suggest looking for a pro singer through one of the many Nashville services. I had a song that I wanted to pitch in Nashville, and was fortunate enough to hook up with a guy named Brian Nolf, who played in Marty Stuart's band for many years.

I sent him the song, with my rough vocal, and he returned it with a lead vocal and two background harmony tracks. It was well-received at NSAI, and was forwarded to their "Pitch To A Producer" program. It wasn't picked up cry , but I was still pleased with the recording.


https://90dbband.bandcamp.com/track/big-time


Regards,

Bob
Posted by: Planobilly

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/16/22 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: 90 dB
I would suggest looking for a pro singer through one of the many Nashville services. I had a song that I wanted to pitch in Nashville, and was fortunate enough to hook up with a guy named Brian Noff, who played in Marty Stuart's band for many years.

I sent him the song, with my rough vocal, and he returned it with a lead vocal and two background harmony tracks. It was well-received at NSAI, and was forwarded to their "Pitch To A Producer" program. It wasn't picked up cry , but I was still pleased with the recording.


https://90dbband.bandcamp.com/track/big-time

High-quality country song Bob. Very commercial sounding. This is the sort of song that gets played on today's radio. Perhaps it will get picked up at some point.

This is typical of the quality of vocals that you can buy in Nashville. First-class work.

This is the sort of song that you can listen to years from now and smile and say I did that and it was worth every hour and every dollar I invested in it.

Here is one I did using a Nashville vocalist. https://soundcloud.com/planobilly/mooney?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

Billy

Billy


Regards,

Bob
Posted by: Mike Halloran

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/17/22 09:54 AM

Quote:
As for microphones...eh, they all record...you can work out the foibles of any mic to your advantage


Yes. Even the SM57/58 — both sound less than ideal into a modern solid state interface due to mismatched high impedance (these were designed to see the 600Ω Bell Telephone spec found in nearly everything in the '50s–'60s). A little tweak to a barrel connector or a mic cable fixes that and turns these into the excellent mics that they were designed to be. I recommend reading this article on the problem, then the sidebar on what you can do inexpensively to fix it.

Recording Mag article on SM57
Posted by: dcuny

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/17/22 11:18 AM

The answer lies in: "I want to record demos."

The skill level of your singer needs to be equal to what's expected from your demo. If you're just doing a demo to show off to friends or a band to get an idea of the song, the skill level is pretty low.

If you're trying to create demos to pitch songs, applying pitch correction to your voice isn't enough. A good singer doesn't just sing words on pitch, they'll emote and interpret the song in a style-appropriate way. You're paying for the performance, and that's not something that you can add via pitch correction.

And just like anything else, you may want to consider hiring out other tasks as well - especially if it's not something you've done before. For example, mixing is a fairly specialized skill.

Obviously, you can easily go broke on a pursuit that can quickly eat up a ton of money and bring in no return for your dollar. So at the end of the day, you'll want to also consider what you're willing to pay for a bunch of well-recorded demos of your songs that never got picked up.
Posted by: rharv

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/17/22 02:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike Halloran
Quote:
As for microphones...eh, they all record...you can work out the foibles of any mic to your advantage


Yes. Even the SM57/58 — both sound less than ideal into a modern solid state interface due to mismatched high impedance (these were designed to see the 600Ω Bell Telephone spec found in nearly everything in the '50s–'60s). A little tweak to a barrel connector or a mic cable fixes that and turns these into the excellent mics that they were designed to be. I recommend reading this article on the problem, then the sidebar on what you can do inexpensively to fix it.

Recording Mag article on SM57


Wouldn't something with switchable impedance like a VTB1 preamp do the same thing?
Seems to here.
I don't trust my soldering .. <grin>
Posted by: Planobilly

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/17/22 05:29 PM

Originally Posted By: rharv
Originally Posted By: Mike Halloran
Quote:
As for microphones...eh, they all record...you can work out the foibles of any mic to your advantage


Yes. Even the SM57/58 — both sound less than ideal into a modern solid state interface due to mismatched high impedance (these were designed to see the 600Ω Bell Telephone spec found in nearly everything in the '50s–'60s). A little tweak to a barrel connector or a mic cable fixes that and turns these into the excellent mics that they were designed to be. I recommend reading this article on the problem, then the sidebar on what you can do inexpensively to fix it.

Recording Mag article on SM57


Wouldn't something with switchable impedance like a VTB1 preamp do the same thing?
Seems to here.
I don't trust my soldering .. <grin>


Perhaps and perhaps not. Here is why

Certain things need to be known. What is the impedance of the input device?

If you want to calculate a load resistor that’s tailored to your preamp/board’s actual resistance, it’s easy to do. The formula is:

1/Rg = 1/Zd – 1/Za

where Rg is the resistor to be used in the Gizmo, Zd is the desired total load impedance, and Za is the actual load impedance of the input.

A Mackie board with XDR Pro preamps has an input impedance of 1300 ohms; plugging the numbers into the equation, we get:

1/Rg = 1/500 – 1/1300 = 0.002 – 0.000769 = 0.00123

Pushing the “1/x” button on the calculator, the answer is:

Rg = 812.5 ohms

The nearest value in the 1% tolerance series of resistors is 806 ohms, so that would be the one to use.

I did not download a schematic for the VTB1 but Sweetwates shows specifications as Switchable Impedance between 50/200 Ohm which would not work for a 600-ohm mic.

I will try to find a variable impedance device or schematic.

A little electrical stuff. A microphone produces an alternating current (AC). So...things get a little more complex as opposed to direct current (DC) like coming out of your flashlight. Impedance is not really easy to understand.

Take a simple circuit, battery connected to a resistor.


The battery pushes current through the resistor, which "resists" this. Thus, the higher the resistance offered, the lower the current through the circuit.

But there are also AC circuits that involve capacitors (C) and inductors (L).


Each of these also contributes to the overall "resistance" offered by the circuit, except this combined "resistance" is called impedance for the simple reason that it involves not just the resistors, but also the capacitors and inductors in the circuit. It "impedes" the flow of current through the circuit. The term reactance is used to refer to the non-resistive component of the capacitors and inductors.

Yes, as I said it is not exactly simple.

If I knew the impedance of your input device and knew the impedance of your mic I could add a resistor into the circuit in five minutes.

It is also possible to change the impedance of you input device but that can cause other issues.

Billy

EDIT: I found this video pretty well explains this subject in an easy-to-understand way. It also shows how to build a variable impedance device for an SM57. I will go build one and check it out.

Posted by: justanoldmuso

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/17/22 05:50 PM

Re old bell 600 ohms.
there are several variable imp devices that address the problem...eg ?

https://artproaudio.com/product/rp-1-mic-preamp/

specs say imp variable tween 150 ohms – 10k ohms.

useing this would mean also one doesnt need to crank the
pre on the usb audio interface.

see you tube for tests of this type of gizmo made by various manufacturers...down to 40 bucks ive seen them.


om
Posted by: Planobilly

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/17/22 06:50 PM

Here is a short article by Rob Jones about this subject.

https://www.microphone-data.com/media/filestore/articles/Mic%20impedance-10.pdf

Rob Jones deals with technical aspects of
marketing at Focusrite Audio Engineering
Ltd. He is a graduate of the Tonmeister
course, University of Surrey . Once upon a
time he used to be an actor but then found
music to be far more interesting.

A SM57 will work in any interface. How it will sound is the question. Changing the impedance is the easiest way to change how it sounds. Running it through a tube pre will add distortion in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd harmonic generally considered by most people to add a "warm" sound to the mic. Low-cut filters can be added for cheap giving even more control.

For those of you who are unsure about soldering, it can be learned in a very short time with many instructional videos on youtube. It is really not hard to learn to do. It is a very useful skill if you own a guitar or a microphone as something is going to fail sooner or later.

Billy
Posted by: Byron Dickens

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/17/22 07:36 PM

There's no such thing as "can't sing."

Singing is a natural part of the human voice. If you can speak, you can sing.

https://youtu.be/58hISyYdt5E

https://youtu.be/RY_dYVTZkfI
Posted by: 90 dB

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/18/22 08:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Byron Dickens
There's no such thing as "can't sing."

Singing is a natural part of the human voice. If you can speak, you can sing.

https://youtu.be/58hISyYdt5E

https://youtu.be/RY_dYVTZkfI



Hey Bryon,

Excellent stuff on your site. I particularly liked "Princess Of The Forrest". Very nice work.


Regards,

Bob
Posted by: rharv

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/20/22 09:04 PM

Quote:
I did not download a schematic for the VTB1 but Sweetwates shows specifications as Switchable Impedance between 50/200 Ohm which would not work for a 600-ohm mic.


The specs on Sweetwater don't tell the full story, the actual impedance used is different than the specs you observed.
From the manual (http://studioprojects.com/pdf/vtb1_manual.pdf)page 3
"Mic Input (Rear switch in 200 ohm position): 2000 ohms
Mic Input (Rear switch in 50 ohm position): 300 ohms"

So with the switch at 50 ohm position, it yields 300 ohm .. not sure why there is a difference in this, which is why I asked.
I am NOT an electrical engineer type guy (I don't even like soldering, except for stuff like copper pipe; my electronics soldering has always ended dismally)
To me the VTB1 makes both my LCD and my SM57 sound better than the Focusrite or other devices.
I was honestly asking if this may be why ..
In other words, my original question wasn't meant to be rhetorical, but rather quizzical in nature so I can learn more, so I asked
.. and yes the VTB1 does have an adjustable amount of tube added (12AX7 that can be replaced with a non-stock one), so it becomes more complicated at that point
It allows hybrid tube/solid state mix

My usual setting is about 40% tube, and I have no idea if this would increase/decrease the end result impedance, like I said it gets complicated, but I do like it and wonder if there is a empirical explanation
Never looked for the schematics, but I'm sure they are out there .. they would mean absolutely nothing to me
Posted by: Planobilly

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/20/22 11:23 PM

Electronic DIY hobbyists are changing out the opamps for "better" ones in the VTB1. I mention this because they are asking for schematics with no response which is very often the case for devices like this.

This is all the technical information I could dig up.

The microphone front end is a solid‑state Class AB circuit, which feeds a TRS jack insert point, allowing additional processing to be inserted into the signal path. According to the circuit description, a balanced, current‑source‑fed parallel transistor arrangement feeds into a bipolar op‑amp. The transistors provide up to 45dB of gain and the op‑amp a further 15dB. Both the mic input and line output are on balanced XLRs. The line switch is on the front panel next to the instrument/line input jack.

A FET is used in the line input circuit, to present a high input impedance when the device is switched to instrument mode. (In this mode, the input impedance is 1.5MΩ.)

Unusually for a preamp in this price range, the input also offers variable input impedance, via a rear‑panel switch, to suit both 50Ω and 200Ω microphones.

The actual input impedance of the VTB1 is 2kΩ in the 200Ω position and 300Ω in the 50Ω position, as it is normal to feed mics into an impedance an order of magnitude greater than their own impedance.

Whatever theory suggests, your best bet is to try both positions for each application and see which sounds best to you; usually, you'll hear a subtle difference at the low end.

This unit is certainly not designed to accommodate all mics but of course, it will work. I think a SM57 is about 310 Ohm actual, rated at 150 Ohms. Most reviews I have read say this is a pretty good device for a low-cost device of this type.

Without a schematic or the actual unit setting here to take apart and reverse engineer, it is impossible for me to say anything more than what I have read from a couple of electronic DIY sites.

The simple answer to all these impedance issues is to buy or build a variable impedance device. Under $50 to buy and around $20 to build yourself.

All the best,

Billy

EDIT: This describes the impedance issues with microphones in an understandable way. https://mynewmicrophone.com/what-is-a-good-microphone-output-impedance-rating/
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/21/22 02:46 AM

This may or may not be helpful...

A dynamic microphone uses a diaphragm to capture the air-pressure (sound) waves and convert that into a physical movement that in turn moves a coil in a magnetic field to create an electrical. The system is the exact reverse of a conventional loudspeaker, which changes an electrical signal to air pressure waves.

Amongst the challenges with these processes is getting the mechanical and electrical parts to behave as cleanly as possible, with no resonances to cause peaks or notches in the sound.

The mic/speaker designers will do their best to minimise any such resonances, but there will always be some.

Resonances in this context are like a weights on springs. When you put energy into them they bounce around, and once they start, they can continue for some time unless there is something to take the energy out again.

A car has the same problem and car makers solve it with shock absorbers "damping" the bounce.

In a mic/speaker, the diaphragm, its support and the air around them will form part of that damping. There's also the coil within the microphone that acts as a kind of spring in an electrical sense. There are actually several different little resonances in every such assembly.

One of the few places left after that mechanical damping for a microphone to get rid of the energy in that resonance is to dissipate it into the load resistance, so the load resistance is a significant part of the damping.

The microphone designer will plan that the final resonances will be damped as best they can be with a particular load resistance, but as is obvious, load resistances vary, so all they really can do is to aim for a "best chance" load.

Years and years ago, telephone designers discovered that telephone wire pairs have natural impedance(*) of around 600 Ohms, and as early microphones often had quite long cables from mic to pre-amp, it made sense to use that natural impedance as best one could.

For ideal signal transmission, the three components, mic, cable and pre-amp, would all have the same impedance, but in practice that's not really necessary and it also happens that matching too well is usually not ideal for sound quality.

A kind of consensus formed for a microphone impedance of around 300 Ohms, the cable at around 600 Ohms and the pre-amp around 1500 to 2000 Ohms.

The final piece of the equation is how much of that damping the listener wants. Should the microphone sound bright (lower damping) or dull (higher damping)?

Condenser microphone have their own pre-amp, so little of the above applies to them.

(*)Impedance is approximately analogous to resistance, but accounts for the effects of capacitance and inductance in the circuit.
Posted by: BLONG

Re: Poor vocalist - 02/24/22 06:44 AM

Thanks,David!