#1
Hey guys (includes the ladies ;P),

So I was wondering about mic technique.. like I know it should be simple: put the mic in front of your face and sing. For some reason though that isn't working for me.. >.>

(I'm generally detailed in my explanations to help avoid the 5 million questions, so if you hate reading jump down to the bolded part, but then please don't ask me what I already said here :P)

Alright so here's the deal: at band practice no one can ever hear me singing, I can't hear myself either.

My mic is generally plugged into the same giant amp (please don't kill me, I don't really know the proper name for all this equipment.. it's like a really big amp at least waist tall with another piece on top and I'm plugged into the thing on top) as the keyboards.
Though we've tried putting my vocals with one of the guitars or even the bass it makes no difference.

I've tried multiple mics and even switched mics with our growling bass player (who can be heard just fine) and I still have the same problem. So I really don't think it's the equipment, clearly it is ME who has the problem.

I have relatively good projection if I say so myself. I've had lyrical (opera) singing lessons and my teacher has always been impressed with my projection. So I'm not sure that is what it is.

When we play I wear musician earplugs (I have to, for my hearing's sake) and this does screw with me and my singing because I have that "I'm suffocating in my head" feeling... so I thought I might be singing quiet because of it.
I then tried using a trick my teacher showed me (placing my hand on the top/back of my head and aiming my voice) while singing so I can FEEL I'm doing it right, but still nothing.

We tried to have me just sing while no one else played and it was concluded I was not singing "quietly".

I thought harder about how I hold the mic.. I have the switch facing me (which I assume is the correct way to hold it) and it's about a thumbs length away from my mouth. I generally hold it at a slight angle (maybe about 45 degrees).

So I tried "eating the mic" and this works much better suddenly everyone can hear me. But I can't sing if I'm eating the mic. (I'm not a growler like their old vocalist).
I tried holding the mic at an angle to where it was horizontal and even with my mouth and that didn't make much difference either.

I'm stuck and out of ideas. Clearly I must be doing something wrong.

LONG STORY SHORT: What's the proper way to hold/use a mic? Because apparently I'm not doing it right..

Or could my vocal range be in conflict with the mic we have now? Are there mics more geared towards someone in the soprano range (I know it's a silly question, but it's worth asking)
#2
I'm the guitar player and lead singer of my band, and i use my mic like this:



If i want to "push my voice harder", i use it this way:



I don't "eat the mic", i just gently touch it it with my lips, to feel that i'm close enough to it while playing the guitar (for reference, we play alternative rock, there are no growls).

I never had singing lessons, so i don't know nothing about voice projection, and technical stuff like that. I just get up there and sing.
Also, i don't know if it has something to do with it, but i don't use earplugs.
The mic i'm using is a Shure SM58.

The way i do it, not only do i feel super comfortable, but i also can hear and am heard by everyone perfectly fine.
So, it's probably the earplug use that's messing with you.
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#4
@Linkerman: Tilted down you think? Hmm that is an idea.

As for the earplugs it is PAINFULLY loud without. I've been to metal concerts before and gone without earplugs and I was fine.. but this is louder than that.

For the record the band is melodic death metal. Metal is generally played louder than rock :/

When I sang without the others playing I still had my earplugs in. Everyone agreed I was singing "normal".
While I don't completely dismiss the possibility that the earplugs are screwing with me (because tbh I hate singing with them in), I don't think they are completely at fault.

@sstony: tried that.
#5
Quote by Anexa
@Linkerman: Tilted down you think? Hmm that is an idea.

When i do it Lemmy's way (singing upwards, tilted down mic) i feel i can get a bit more power than singing forward.
But usually i use it "the standard way", to be able to look to my bandmates/the audience.

Quote by Anexa
As for the earplugs it is PAINFULLY loud without. I've been to metal concerts before and gone without earplugs and I was fine.. but this is louder than that.

For the record the band is melodic death metal. Metal is generally played louder than rock :/

When I sang without the others playing I still had my earplugs in. Everyone agreed I was singing "normal".
While I don't completely dismiss the possibility that the earplugs are screwing with me (because tbh I hate singing with them in), I don't think they are completely at fault.

I understand, but if it's messing with you so much, don't you think it would be preferable that everyone just lowers the volume to acceptable levels, instead of you feeling THAT uncomfortable?
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#6
It sounds (reads) like you're singing thru the same amp as the keyboards. It could be that the keyboards are much louder and that would drown out your voice. Try a separate amp and speakers and stand the speakers "head high". You should be able to hear your voice better.
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#7
Hey!

To me, it sounds like your band are playing too loud, and your in a small practice space. The reason I say this, is it happened to me when I was singing for my band. Thing is I played guitar also, but really didn't want to turn down beacuse I lost that feeling that loud music going through you brings. So I could understand if they say they don't want to turn down. Though, I don't have a really powerful voice, so that didn't help.

I ended up having to get a new singer, and even she struggles sometimes. You could maybe invest in a very high powered P.A system. It will be quite expensive, and also a bit of a pain lugging around with you, but should definitely get you over the band.

Even though we have a new singer in, i'm still working on my projection as I still really want to sing! I sincerely hope you find a solution to your problem! Good luck!
#8
Mic technique isn't your issue...you need a PA, or at the very least plug the mic into a stand alone amp. it's not going to work well if you're trying to run something else simultaneoIsly....besides the EQ requirements for good vocals are completely different to that of an instrument.
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#9
Consider getting a PA, think of it as YOUR instrument. Every one else had to buy their guitars and amps and stuff, you go buy the PA and you will be heard just fine.
#10
Well my tips are;

1. If you are singing with a PA, make sure that the connector is an XLR to XLR cable, rather than a XLR into guitar cable jack thing. The change in impedence will affect the loudness.

2. If you have good projection, don't sing "into" the mic. Aim to sing to some point on a wall behind the mic and you should become louder. That's just a mental thing.

3. At quieter parts get closer to the mic, at louder parts get away from the mic. You want to have a consistent volume.

4. If you're holding the mic, make sure it's in a place where your voice reaches it. Practice with positions when the band is not playing.

5. And FINALLY like everyone else is saying, get everyone in the band to play softer, so you can be heard. There is absolutely no need to play super-loud at practice, and believe me, after a time you'll be not wanting to go to practice because it "hurts".
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#11
Alrighty thanks everyone for the tips and info!

In regards to the XLR to XLR thing.. I know that currently that is what it is.. though the XLR cable goes into the sound board (where they crank me up more) and then from there into the amp stuff..

I'll have to sort this stuff out -sigh- but at least now I have more ideas where to start from, so thanks again!
#12
+1 on getting some type of PA, or even a cheap mixer with mic preamps. Behringer makes some great entry level mixers with EQ'd mic preamp channels and even effects like reverb, delay, etc. Then you could run the mixer out into a PA or amp or whatever amplification unit you are using. Our band has a Behringer Xenyx 1202fx we use for practice. It cost me around $100, but there are other models with fewer channels or features that are even cheaper.

Keep the mic several cm away from your mouth, and sing into it at a small angle away from straight on. This will help eliminate some of the booming unintelligible noise from loud hard consonant sounds (B, P, etc.). Also, a foam windscreen will help with this and also help keep you from eating the mic.

Eating the mic and the booming air explosions into the mic make the sound quality total garbage.

Once you get your mic positioning dialed in, then you can adjust volume as needed. And remember that in mixing a band's sound it can be very effective to reduce certain instrument volumes to increase the presence of other instruments. Make sure your bandmates aren't having volume wars until everyone is so loud that it becomes ear shattering mud.

Our band's singer is a female with a higher vocal tone/range (I don't know if that's soprano or whatever). She uses an SM58, and it works perfectly for her.
#13
Soprano is just the highest vocal range is all (though there are sub ranges in each range). So she might be.. (can't really say not having heard her) I'll have to pay more attention to the equipment. Thanks.