Microphones, Continued

March 5, 2009

I recently purchased a Shure SM-57 instrument microphone, with which I have been recording of late. I have found that for instrumentals, this microphone does an exceptional job. However, when I record vocals, I need to set the recording levels to a much higher sensitivity in order to capture the necessary volume. This may be an issue with  my M-Audio Ozone, which I use to connect my XLR microphones, both condenser and cardioid, not the microphone itself. As a result, I am considering upgrading to a mixer and using that as my principal device, instead of the Ozone.

The low audio levels for my vocals are present (though to a lesser degree) when using the condenser microphones as well, leading me to suspect that it is indeed due to the Ozone, not the microphone itself. I have procured a windscreen for the microphone and this has done an excellent job in reducing the popping and breath sounds that are otherwise prevalent when recording vocals.

To sum up, I would recommend the Shure SM-57 to anyone who needs a microphone for instrument recording that can also be used in a live venue. However, if one is doing significant vocal recording, I might suggest that a mixer or other audio center be used in conjunction, so as to better control the recording levels and balance the vocal with the instrumental backing.

Zinfandel Stompers

March 5, 2009

I will be performing with the Zinfandel Stompers jazz band in conjunction with the South Valley Symphony on March 14. This is a new group, organized by tubist Jim O’Briant. The Stompers are a band that mxes the traditional standards with pieces from more modern eras. They are a very enjoyable group, and are uniformly very talented musicians. The performance will be at Gavilan College Theater in Gilroy, California.

I am looking forward to this engagement and will have thoughts both on the band and on the experience of being asked to substitute with an established band or musical group once I comlete the performance.