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Help with my mic and GarageBand

23 Dec 2012 16:15 #1 by agentjayd007
agentjayd007 created the topic: Help with my mic and GarageBand
I like to write and record rap as a hobby, but I just can't get my mic to have any decent vocal quality. I recall stumbling on a preset "Male Rap Vocals" setting on GarageBand but I can't find it. What sort of voice alterations and effects do I need to put on the track for good vocal quality?

Also I use this mic


I had the instructions at one point but lost them. On the back of the mic there is a dial under the "gain" that has four different symbols depending on how the room I am recording in is set up. What do the four symbols mean? My room is a closet, I have the mic to where I am facing a wall then two walls closely to my right and left and behind me. I covered the front left and right wall with some eggcrate bedding to dampen the sound.

I know this is kind of a detailed question, but any help is greatly appreciated. I am tired of writing songs I am proud of but hating the quality of the vocals when I record. They sound muffled and like I am far away from the mic, but if I get closer the sound gets distorted.

Thank you!

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17 Feb 2013 14:39 #2 by Feyde
Feyde replied the topic: Help with my mic and GarageBand
That link you gave has a selection for "Settings" that will tell you what those four settings mean. For what you're doing, you would likely be in either a cardioid (heart-shaped) or omni (circle) setting. The cardioid setting is primarily picking up sound from one side of the mic, which is pretty typical. An omni setting will pick up sound from all around the mic, which may not be a big deal if your eggshell padding is sucking up reflections. Only benefit you might get to omni over cardioid settings is that omni tends to be less susceptible to proximity effect. Proximity effect just means that your voice will sound bassier the closer you get to the mic, which isn't always a good thing. Play with those two settings and see which result you prefer.

If you don't want to sound like you're far away from the mic, you gotta get right up close to it. If it's distorting, then you need to turn the input gain down for whatever you're plugged into. Since this is a USB mic, that could mean a setting in GarageBand or it could be the recording input volume on Windows. You'll have to figure that part out yourself, since I don't use GarageBand or USB mics I won't be much help to you on that part. Once you get a clean recording of the vocal (no distortion), you can always put a compressor on the vocals to even it out so it doesn't change volumes as much. Focus on getting a good quality recording first, otherwise any effects you put on it will be as useful as polishing a turd.

More info at facebook.com/markbrogersmusic

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20 Feb 2013 00:27 #3 by agentjayd007
agentjayd007 replied the topic: Help with my mic and GarageBand
Excellent feedback! Thank you so much.

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