#1
How do I stop my guitar from bleeding into the mic during live performances? It's really annoying.
#2
-Point the amp or mic at an angle?
-Or sing louder, so you don't need as much gain and/or use less compression so it doesn't pick up quiet guitar sounds and pump them up through the vocal channel?
-Or, put a mic on the guitar and and turn it down?

I think you could solve most problems with simple positioning, though.
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#4
in addition to the singing louder, singing closer to the mic will also allow you to lower the mic volume
#5
Use a decent vocal mic.
Use a 4x12 and point it away from the mic, or use no back line and have guitar in the monitor.
Sing more loudly
Turn down the guitar (and let the PA take care of it)
Use a gate on the mic circuit
Use a sound engineer to adjust balance correctly
#6
Quote by tim_mop
What guitar/mic is it?
How far away are you from your mic?



AT-2020 condenser mic.

Variax 600 going into an audio interface. I should have stated I'm DI'ing my guitar and using a modeling amp, so the amp isn't actually mic'd.

I'm about 5 fingers away from the mic when I'm using it.
#7
Okay, for recording that's reasonable. You're always going to get bleed with a condenser mic. The only way to completely stop it is to record separately. To reduce it get as close to the mic as you can, an inch or so away will be okay, but make sure you've got a pop shield too.

For live sound the mic is unideal for vocals. When there are monitors in front of you and FOH you need something that's not quite as sensitive like a 58.
#8
Quote by tim_mop
Okay, for recording that's reasonable. You're always going to get bleed with a condenser mic. The only way to completely stop it is to record separately. To reduce it get as close to the mic as you can, an inch or so away will be okay, but make sure you've got a pop shield too.

For live sound the mic is unideal for vocals. When there are monitors in front of you and FOH you need something that's not quite as sensitive like a 58.


I have a samson dynamic mic. Would that be better live?
Last edited by Clay-man at Sep 11, 2013,
#9
Dunno about the quality of the samson, but the dynamic type mic's are best for live usage. There pickup pattern is almost always (one) directional, so singing into it from an angle or distance yields almost no sound.

Condenser mics are like an alarm system, they pick up sounds like wind and stuff, which you can hear if you have good mic/good pre's on the interface.

Truly wonderful to get the most "hd" quality of any sound, or as a room mic, but for live usage, it's just too sensitive.

Depending on if u play solo or in a band, the condenser wouldn't be noticed anyways sound-wise.

Cymbals of a drummer take away those beautiful highs (if u have a high vocal range to begin with), and the lows are generally already filled up by the sound technician with the bass and a thundering kick drum.

I have an AT2020 as well, and for it's price it's an amazing mic. Use it mainly for acoustic guitars.

I even get bleed sometimes from my headphones, when I got a metronome going through it lol!

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Sep 12, 2013,
#10
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Dunno about the quality of the samson, but the dynamic type mic's are best for live usage. There pickup pattern is almost always (one) directional, so singing into it from an angle or distance yields almost no sound.

Condenser mics are like an alarm system, they pick up sounds like wind and stuff, which you can hear if you have good mic/good pre's on the interface.

Truly wonderful to get the most "hd" quality of any sound, or as a room mic, but for live usage, it's just too sensitive.

Depending on if u play solo or in a band, the condenser wouldn't be noticed anyways sound-wise.

Cymbals of a drummer take away those beautiful highs (if u have a high vocal range to begin with), and the lows are generally already filled up by the sound technician with the bass and a thundering kick drum.

I have an AT2020 as well, and for it's price it's an amazing mic. Use it mainly for acoustic guitars.

I even get bleed sometimes from my headphones, when I got a metronome going through it lol!


Thanks for the info! The Samson I have is an samson r21s. It's nice, but isn't the best. Sounds professional than some crappy kereoke mic, but the high end on it is a bit rolled off.

I tried using that too, but either it's too quiet, or if I boost the mic pre up, my guitar bleeds into the mic again. Perhaps I should try to place my mic higher so it's further away from my guitar.

the AT2020 also has a cardioid pattern (captures sound in front of it) but it has a lot more audible distance/range than a dynamic I guess.
#11
^That's exactly the type of mic you want.

If you're still struggling with bleed then you're doing something wrong. You need to sing closer to the mic, like less than an inch away.
#12
I heard you're supposed to sing from a bit of a distance when recording music, at least on a condenser, does that not apply for live as well?

I don't know. I like to be close to the mic but how close is too close? Or is that just false and I can be as close as I need?
#13
when I sing into a 58 my nose is touching the grill. In live you can't afford to want the perfect sound, it's all about getting as much level as you can without feedback. With recording you can afford to be a little further away, but for pop vocals you still want to be fairly close, I'd say no further than a foot.
#14
You really don't want to be using a large-condenser like the AT2020 for live gigs. Sound engineer's worst nightmare, you're asking for feedback.

With a handheld dynamic mic like the SM58, you want to be much, much closer due to the lower sensitivity.

A lot of rock singers get right up so they're pushed up against the mic grille...although due to a phenomenon called 'proximity effect', getting very close changes the sound of the mic making it bassier and more boomy. About an inch or so is probably the best place to start.

The Samson Q7 is a really nice live vocal mic, especially if you're on a budget.
#15
For now, the live situation is actually online streaming, but I understand the speaker->feedback thing with condenser mics.

It's more about the fact that I'm going to be playing guitar while singing, and a condenser being more sensitive than a dynamic.

I get the proximity effect thing though. I actually prefer for it to get a little bit bassy and boomy, not too much, but yeah, but I heard it's not really professional so I try to give myself a bit of room away from my mic. If I'm too far though, it'll sound like shit which is why I have a mic stand mounted in front of my desk than behind the keyboard on the desk, because it'll sound too thin, airy, with some room reverb going on.

My situation is basically a recording setup in a live situation.
#16
Just on a side point of terminology - even if it's live streaming, I'd still call that 'recording', same way a radio station is still very much a recording studio. Keep 'live' to mean 'lie performance in front of an audience'.

In that case, you're always going to get some bleed, but angling the mic upwards towards your mouth will help minimise it by putting the guitar in the mic's least sensitive spot.
#17
Quote by kyle62
Just on a side point of terminology - even if it's live streaming, I'd still call that 'recording', same way a radio station is still very much a recording studio. Keep 'live' to mean 'lie performance in front of an audience'.

In that case, you're always going to get some bleed, but angling the mic upwards towards your mouth will help minimise it by putting the guitar in the mic's least sensitive spot.


Yeah, true. I should have said it was a recording style situation with singing and playing guitar at the same time.

Technically it's live in a recording environment, but it's definitely not a stage with huge speakers, but a room with headphones and the computer routing the sound online.

Thanks for the advice. I need to get a better mic stand, probably a boom stand so I can adjust it more properly, but for serious vocal + guitar situations I'll probably switch from my AT2020 to my dynamic. The "point away from guitar" thing is very sensible too.
#18
So you're live streaming.... your vocal mic picks up sound from the speakers as you play a guitar DI'ed through an amp sim.

But if you're not recording... just live streaming... why is this a problem?

I really don't get it.

If it was a "real" live application, like a gig.... I'd suggest getting a Sennheiser 845/945 series mic. The 835/935 mics are basic cardiod like an SM58 (only way better for basically the same price), but the 45 series ones have a tighter polar pattern, which means they reject even more of the off-axis material. The trade-off is that, as you perform live and move your own mouth away from the on-axis point of the mic, it starts to reject your voice too... so the audience will hear your voice fade in and out if you don't stay pretty much right on it.

As far as how far back to be, there are no rules. Generally, the closer you are to a dynamic mic, the more present the sound will be, but if you can get the levels right, I see lots of singers up on stage singing a foot away from the mic. Most of us only need to be right on top of it because we're using under-powered PA systems and getting them to compete with hard-hitting drummers in small spaces.

For a condenser, if you have a treated room, you have a lot of flexibility. Usually, I have singers stand about a foot away from the mic. If you don't have a treated room, the farther back the singer is from the mic, the more of the room you start to hear, which is where that boxy, hollow sound starts to come in.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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#19
Quote by axemanchris
So you're live streaming.... your vocal mic picks up sound from the speakers as you play a guitar DI'ed through an amp sim.

But if you're not recording... just live streaming... why is this a problem?

I really don't get it.

If it was a "real" live application, like a gig.... I'd suggest getting a Sennheiser 845/945 series mic. The 835/935 mics are basic cardiod like an SM58 (only way better for basically the same price), but the 45 series ones have a tighter polar pattern, which means they reject even more of the off-axis material. The trade-off is that, as you perform live and move your own mouth away from the on-axis point of the mic, it starts to reject your voice too... so the audience will hear your voice fade in and out if you don't stay pretty much right on it.

As far as how far back to be, there are no rules. Generally, the closer you are to a dynamic mic, the more present the sound will be, but if you can get the levels right, I see lots of singers up on stage singing a foot away from the mic. Most of us only need to be right on top of it because we're using under-powered PA systems and getting them to compete with hard-hitting drummers in small spaces.

For a condenser, if you have a treated room, you have a lot of flexibility. Usually, I have singers stand about a foot away from the mic. If you don't have a treated room, the farther back the singer is from the mic, the more of the room you start to hear, which is where that boxy, hollow sound starts to come in.

CT



When guitarist/singer combos preform, you don't hear their guitar acoustically bleed into the mic.

I also have a Variax, which has digital retuning, which is great live, however if you hear the guitar acoustically, that means hearing your guitar in E standard as well as the alternate tuning which makes bad harmonics between whatever tuning you're in and E standard acoustically coming into the mic.

I like it to be more professional than that to where you pretty much cannot hear the guitar's strings in the mic.

The Variax is an electric, so it's not going to be loud like an acoustic. I could switch to my dynamic for live streaming, but it isn't anywhere near as pristine as my AT2020.
#20
Well, maybe look into a Sennheiser 845/945 mic. It'll beat the pants off of your Samson mic and maybe even the 2020 too.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#21
Quote by axemanchris
Well, maybe look into a Sennheiser 845/945 mic. It'll beat the pants off of your Samson mic and maybe even the 2020 too.

CT


How about an SM58?
#22
Yes, it will beat the pants off an SM58 too. Side-by-side, it will make the 58 sound like you're singing through wet moving blankets.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#23
There's nothing intrinsic about being a condenser mic to cause this problem, it's about mic technique and the pick up pattern of your mic. Don't reject condensers out of hand, they do sound better and something like the Shure Beta87A would be great if you can afford it.

Cardioids pick up from quite a wide angle and not all cardioids are created equal. In your circumstance I'd go for a hyper-cardioid which is the narrowest pick up pattern short of a shotgun mic. Then pay attention to the reflecting surfaces in the room around you. Just moving yourself and your mic might help the problem. If the sound is bleeding in through a direct route from an acoustic then a cardioid will be picking up through the lobes, a super or hyper-cardioid will be much better.

Mainly though I'd get closer to the mic. So long as your mic has adequate pop filters you can afford to be touching the mic screen and certainly I'd get to within two fingers. Halving the distance from the mic will give you an extra 6dB of vocal with no increase in guitar bleed. You may get some proximity affect (more bass) but you can eq a lot of this out if it is unwelcome.
#24
Quote by Phil Starr
There's nothing intrinsic about being a condenser mic to cause this problem, it's about mic technique and the pick up pattern of your mic. Don't reject condensers out of hand, they do sound better and something like the Shure Beta87A would be great if you can afford it.

Cardioids pick up from quite a wide angle and not all cardioids are created equal. In your circumstance I'd go for a hyper-cardioid which is the narrowest pick up pattern short of a shotgun mic. Then pay attention to the reflecting surfaces in the room around you. Just moving yourself and your mic might help the problem. If the sound is bleeding in through a direct route from an acoustic then a cardioid will be picking up through the lobes, a super or hyper-cardioid will be much better.

Mainly though I'd get closer to the mic. So long as your mic has adequate pop filters you can afford to be touching the mic screen and certainly I'd get to within two fingers. Halving the distance from the mic will give you an extra 6dB of vocal with no increase in guitar bleed. You may get some proximity affect (more bass) but you can eq a lot of this out if it is unwelcome.


Would you think it would help to stand up while playing to give more distance between my guitar and the mic?

I've been pretty close to the mic and have tried getting as close as I can without overkilling it.
The pop filter is about 3 fingers away and my mouth is beside the pop filter, but the guitar still bleeds of course, regardless of that. I tried downing the gain a bit and throwing in a noise gate, but it still bleeds quite a bit.

As for Condenser vs Dynamic. I have tried to do it with a dynamic. It does help a LITTLE bit, but generally I will need to boost the preamp more for the dynamic, and the guitar will start to bleed then too.

Perhaps I need to work on the volume levels on my mic.

My setup is:

Preamp Gain - > Noise Gate -> Compressor

The compressor is to heighten the mic from being too quiet, as well as to give a buffer to prevent the sound from clipping.
#25
I'm probably the wrong person to ask, I really only do live sound on stage, the sort of levels of bleedthrough you are talking about probably wouldn't be a problem through a PA as it is less revealing. Because your OP said 'live' I assumed you were talking about being on stage.

The point about the mic's pickup pattern and your distance from the mic stand, that's just physics.

I'd back up what the axeman says about the SM58 though, it isn't in the league of modern European mic's but as the design is 50 years old why should it be? Also you want a hypercardioid and it is just a cardioid.

Sorry i can't help more
#26
The situation is more like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3tuxh8Eg_M

Except with an electric guitar.
I said live because I'm doing vocals and guitar at the same time, and if I said I'm doing something studio wise, people would tell me to record vocals and guitar at separate takes.

The case is a studio-live situation, I guess.
#27
You don't say how you are monitoring your guitar, are you using an amp and DI'ing into the mixer at the same time or are you only hearing the guitar through the headphones. If your mic is picking this up you might want to look at better 'phones. If it is picking up the acoustic sounds of the electric then a more directional mic will help but I'm surprised this is very intrusive . If you are using an amp in this situation then don't, just use the headphones.
#28
Quote by Phil Starr
You don't say how you are monitoring your guitar, are you using an amp and DI'ing into the mixer at the same time or are you only hearing the guitar through the headphones. If your mic is picking this up you might want to look at better 'phones. If it is picking up the acoustic sounds of the electric then a more directional mic will help but I'm surprised this is very intrusive . If you are using an amp in this situation then don't, just use the headphones.


I thought I stated I was using an amp sim.

I'm going into a Fast Track Pro, so my guitar is direct. My guitar is not bleeding through the mic any other way than the strings acoustically being picked up by the mic.

I use GR5 for my amp. Very easy to use live.
The guitar I'm using is a Variax 600.
The mic I'm using is an AT2020.
I am using headphones.