The TECHNOPHOBE Contest

The TECHNOPHOBE Contest
You could win a mic from Blue Microphones!

Share any piece of tech advise you’ve heard as a vocalist and you could win a quality microphone from Blue Microphones .

Maybe you’ve had a piece of advise about mic technique, the mixing board, or on plugging in equipment that has saved your gig – or maybe it devastated it!

We invite you to leave a comment at the end of this article on ANY piece of tech advice they’ve received – good, bad or ugly.

Blue has teamed up with us on this contest; the winner will receive an en·CORE 100 studio-grade handheld microphone for live performance.

Contest ends on 10 February.

Just leave a comment below…and you could win!


  • Advise: If your mic is properly positioned pointed away from speakers & amps, at a good distance from other mics and sound sources other than your voice, but is still too 'hot'; perhaps feeding back but not giving you enough volume. Turn down the 'low' EQ settings for your channel on the mixer. The human voice does not generally produce frequencies below 250 Hz, which just happens to be where a great deal of feedback is produced on stage, and the range which is controlled by the 'low' EQ knob.

  • ianjscotland

    Hi Guys, If Your In A Band That Has its Own Mixing Desk Its A Good Idea To Photograph The settings of the Mixer for Future Reference Just In Case The Mixer Goes Down And You Have To Borrow Another Mixer Of The Same Make Or Not Even, As Most Mixers Have The Same E.Q. Design On Them, Otherwise It Will Take You A Hellish Long Time To Get The Same Settings Again.

  • jstamets

    When you have to belt it out to reach your upper register, instead of pulling the mic away from your mouth and risking a weak signal to the board, tip your head up slightly and sing over the mic. this offers far more control.

  • ncarasis

    One of the very best investments I ever made was to purchase the Digitech Vocalist Live 4 multifunction pedal with on board 4 part harmonies. It is an incredible unit and I am only using the presets! If I was to spend some time I could set up different settings for different songs, but with 50 presets I have not felt the need to yet. Compression, De-essing, Reverb and even pitch correction just to name a few settings. I would definitely recommend the investment.

  • brettjlee

    Discovered a clever trick
    New mixer installed at gig, tech who did the install was kind enough to turn eq on all chanels off
    I start mixing trying to locate feedback and eq's having no effect what so ever
    until I discovered eq on off switch
    much embarrasment
    tip get to gig well before start and try chanels to make sure everything is working and no more surprises
    Many thanks to the tech who taught me this lesson
    embarrasing at the time but lesson well learnt

  • I'd like to share some things I like to do with the mic setup and the mix of my vocals when I'm in the studio. 1. I like to have the mic taller than my mouth. It gets you to stand up straighter, in the studio it's very easy to get lazy and slouch. 2. I have my vocals going into a reverb for my headphone mix. This is how people hear music, with reverb. So if you're singing and you sound completely dry (no reverb) it makes it sound unnatural.

  • When VoiceLive 2 was launched I was able to buy the previous one at a very affordable price. I am in love with this machine but I have a problem and would like to know if you have experienced something similar with your Digitech.

    My voice is rough and gritty; pretty tuned and in key, but dirty. In some songs Voicelive's harmonizing can´t decide on which octave I am singing and produces a strange switching from a low one to a high one. If I sing clean and soft it works fine, but not when I am adding grit. I believe this can be caused by too much harmonics being produced.

    ??????
    Have you had any similar problem with your Live 4?

  • ncarasis

    Hi Paco,

    I have not experienced issues with the harmonies using my Digitech, but my vocals are always clean. I know that with the Vocalist Live 4, it uses a technology called “MusIQ” which allows the harmonies to follow the guitar chord changes, not the vocal. Have you tried talking to TC-Helicon support? It could need a firmware update.

  • goffster2

    I WANNA WIN!!! :)

  • jonhack

    For vocalists on stage the most important thing to hear is your voice quality through the monitors.
    So rather than having a mix of the sounds blasting back at you, turn all other channels off for at least one monitor that you can hear during performances, to get a good idea of justhow you are sounding.
    There is enough overall sound of all other instruments around you for you to appreciate the general output.
    Simple and obvious but it works!

  • karengrace22

    I learnt something really cool in a studio session once. Test it out and find out if it's true for you! You've recorded your voice with headphones on, your wonderful TC Helicon reverb echoing in your head and for some reason you are singing sharp. (or flat) You rarely sing out of tune live! How can this be?
    The theory is that if you are singing sharp most likely your vocal in the headphone mix is too low. If you are singing flat, the theory is that your vocal is too loud. Along with getting a nice balance in the backing track, (e.g. having a clear sound like a piano/clean guitar to pitch to and no boomy bass) this piece of advice has really got me making the most of my vocal tracks. Getting this mix right at the very beginning will make sure that your first 3 or 4 vocal takes will hit the mark. If you know your song well, the vibe will be there and you've saved a lot of time, and gotten a good vocal take while your voice is fresh and the tone is brighter.

  • ianjscotland

    Hi Guys Its Me Again, I do have a Digitech Vocalist 2 pedal and most of the TC helicon small pedals, also a Voicelive 2 pedal, but I still think the first Voicelive pedal that I have has the most clean sound I,ve heard on any of them, only thing is its not the easiest of pedals to set up, especially if you dont know about compression, reverb, gates ETC.

  • brucehuss

    If you've done any home recording, you've learned exactly which EQ settings help your vocal or guitar. If you take that knowledge to the stage you can do yourself a lot of favors. Instead of telling the sound tech that you need a little more “highs” in your monitor, tell him exactly what you think you need. For instance, “Could we try a 2db bump at 6 Hz and see if that crisps thing up in my vocal?” Or maybe, “Lets try cutting 3db at 500 Hz and see if that clears up the muddy tone in my guitar.” I've found that by doing this, the sound tech will immediately respect you more and be willing to work hard to get you good sound.

  • Paul Teaberry

    I've recently purchased the TC Helicon vocal pedal create and have been experimenting with it making my own presets. that worked out well but still curious i plugged another xlr cord out of the dry socket and into the board and gave that line a different sound than the one i was getting from the create wet line out. combining them together lets me use one mic with 2 lines out and it fattens the vocal and creates a different mix than just the one. its fun to come up with different sounds using this technique………try it yourself

  • ianjscotland

    The best way I find to clean my Shure Beta 58 mic is to unscrew gently the ball from the end of the mic, then stash the mic body in a safe place, take the ball end and take out the foam from inside, then fill a basin with about 2 pints water and put into the water 2 capfulls of savlon disinfectant, I dont know if you can get this in the USA but you can in the UK ,wash the ball with a small nail brush to get any dodgy bits stuck between the mesh then wash the foam with a squeezing motion then rinse both in clean water and dry between kitchen towel until most of the water has gone then leave to air dry after putting both together again, but dont stick on the mic until its dry.

  • G_Alexander

    hey vocal buddies just found out that if you become a fan (or are already a fan) of TC Helicon on Facebook and leave a comment or interact on any of the threads between 11th February and March 15th 2010, you'll be in with a chance to win a VoiceTone Synth personally signed by Bootsy Collins!

  • Bruce Brown

    Last week I added a condensor microphone in front of my acoustic guitar which has an internal pick up already working well. The added direct mic picks up the “real” sound coming from the “hole”. I had the performance taped and loved the improvement- I still have volume when I need it as I'm always “plugged in” but now the fret noise and real sing is amplified -it sounds more natural than ever. My guitar and voice goes through my Harmony G (which I love) and my direct mic to guitar goes to the mixer/amp direct for full eq options.

  • ianjscotland

    Hi Paco, I'm getting different vibes here, first you say you have the viocelive 2 then you say your having problems, then its has anybody had trouble with their Digitech 4 just what machine have you got, if its the Digitech 4 then I'd advise buying the viocelive 2 then you will have no problems at all, best of luck!

  • ianjscotland

    Hi Guys, found a great way of transporting your leads and mics around, its a Stanley Box with 2 wheels on the back and aslide out handle on the front so you just pull it around like a luggage case it also has a tray on top for other bits and pieces no more sore backs.

  • I looove tech! I've studied voice for years and continue to. I wanted to be a strong singer before adding additional colors or layers. Alas, I don't have a nostolgic bone in my body! Star Wars was my first religious experience,as a child, so it stands to reason I'm amazed by synthesis.

    Those who bock at technology usually spew the same unoriginal critique. Finding the organic substance in a machine is perhaps what I enjoy the most concerning sound modeling. It's a symbiosis unless your prone to the confines of factory presets.

    Currently, my live rig consists of the Shure Beta 87A (Hand Held), Shure ULXP4 Receiver, Shure P4M In Ear Monitors, TC Helicon Voice Live 2, TC Helicon Voice Live 1, Voice Tone Synth, Voice Tone Create and MOOG expression pedal. I also have an old Sennheiser Wireless Rig for a redundant backup.

    I enjoy running stereo whenever possible, but have settings at all tiems for mono/ stereo. Right now, I'm injecting the signal from my Beta 87A into the Voice Live 2 then the Voice Tone Synth and finally the Voice Tone Create.

    Basically, it's a techno-love daisy chain! I run my backing vocalists through the Voice Live 1 and control it via MIDI with the Voice Live 2. I'm getting some really kewl results running it this way but I do stress the importance of keeping fresh batteries and resetting your VL2's gain staging before each show.

    There are a lot of great mics out there. Typically people will dote on the SM58. Yeah it's definintely a workhorse but too boomy for my taste. My Live vocal mics have been EV 757, SM58, SM57, EV Blackbird, Sennheiser e945, Sennheiser EW100, Beta 87A (fave).

    I encourage anyone who desires to find the best mic for his/her voice to try as many out as possible. Singers need a good Live and a good Recording microphone. Often this won't be the same device.

    What's good for one may not be for another. If I like a singer and feel their voice is suitable to mine, I often research the equipment they use to see if there's anything in there that I can afford or utilize to my benefit.

    The first processor I ever owned was an ART X-11. Nothing to brag about but it got the job done. After it fizzled out on me live I decided I'd invest in something better. Back then the Alesis Quadroverb 2 was pretty kewl, which I had, and the Lexicon MPX 500. The Lex had tap tempo, which came in hand when working with non-sequenced bands.

    I then progressed to the Digitech Vocalist Studio and also used the Electrix Vocoder in my live rig. Before my Helicon hardware, my last rig was rather stripped down consisting of only an Avalon Tube Preamp and Reverb, but that band called for less. No matter how much I love tech I do my part to play to the song and the genre at hand in whatever band I may performing with.

    Namaste – Geeks unite!

    Brian

  • To every one out there that is aspiring to be a great vocalist. There are many great softwares and VSTi’s That can replicate unbelievable harmonics with a cheap simple $15 mic. But if you use a nice condenser mic or a Top notch Blue Mic ;) then you can go wrong. Then it just comes down to playing with effects pitches tones, frequencies, echoes, yaddda yadda.