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Sound Advice: "Keys To Getting A Good Vocal Sound" by Rich Chycki

Rich Chycki has produced, mixed, and engineered some of the greatest vocalists in the world, including Geddy Lee, Steven Tyler, and Mick Jagger. With that in mind, PS asked Chycki about his fundamentals for getting a great vocal sound. Here’s what he said…

Microphone Selection

Picking microphones for your artist is something you’ll have to do strictly from experience. What I have found is helpful is to line up and audition some different styles of microphones.

Preamp

Next, we go into preamp land. Personally, I have a tendency to use Millennias. I’ve used the STT-1 for a long time as well as the Millennia HV-35. I’ve also used the Martech MSS-10. All of them have really fantastic head room, sound really clean, and if I want some hair on a mix or on a vocalist, I’ll use a Shure SM7B Dynamic and maybe put it into a [Neve] 1073. I don’t use a lot of EQ when I’m tracking vocalists, but I do roll off bottom end for rumble and to minimize plosives.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Professional Sound. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.