Questions & Answers

I have a ADL 700 paired with a Neumann TLM 103 not getting great sounding vocals Hip Hop RnB any suggestions?

0 votes
asked Apr 17, 2018 in PreAmps, Signal Processors and Monitoring Hardware by rsamuels71 (160 points)
I am using a ADL 700 with a Neumann TLM 103 with a Apollo Twin Duo recording rap vocals that i think should be very clean. Is there any help out there on setting the ADL up to get the best performance out of it.

4 Answers

+1 vote
answered Apr 17, 2018 by connorguiberteau (26,250 points)

If the signal is distorting, start out by checking your cables and try a second microphone. 

Always match the Impedance of the mic to the ADL 700 The Neumann TLM 103 has an impedance of 50Ohms so set the knob on the ADL to 150.

Start flat by bypassing your compressor and EQ. Use the Gain knob before using the Trim knob. 

Your room can also factor into this situation. Using a lot of gain in a noisy room could ruin a vocal take with unwanted background noise or hiss. 

+1 vote
answered Apr 17, 2018 by maxstratmann (42,450 points)
TLM103 is a 50ohm microphone. Setting the impedance on the input of the ADL700 to 150ohms will get you closer to a matching impedance and therefore better performance from the microphone.

Make sure that your input signal is not clipping the preamp. You don't want the needle to be pegged in the red. A good way to check this is to have your singer sing along with the loudest part of the track to ensure they do not cause the preamp to distort. If the signal coming in from the microphone is too strong you will need to adjust the input gain, and potentially use the 20dB pad option if necessary. The same goes for the output as you don't want the signal to distort the input of your converter/interface.

Keep in mind that the output of the ADL700 is a line level output and you will want to ensure that you are connecting to a line level input on your interface/converter.

As a starting point bypass the compressor and EQ to see if that helps since the settings of the compressor and equalizer could be doing more harm than good potentially.

A setting that I would use for vocals on the ADL700 would be something like:

High pass filter - 80Hz
Input impedance (for this particular application) - 150ohms

Ratio - 2:1
Attack - Fast/completely counter-clockwise
Release - start around 10 o'clock position
Threshold - adjust so that a small amount of compression is occurring throughout the performance (1-2dB)
Gain - adjust as needed to compensate for compression.

High band - set to a shelf with frequency around 10KHz with 2-3dB of gain
High Mid band - set to 3KHz with around 1-2dB of gain
Low Mid band - boost gain and sweep frequency until you find a nasal/boxy frequency and reduce gain as needed (probably not more than 3dB worth at the most)
Low Band - May not need to be used. Could be used as a peak instead of shelf to find any low resonating frequencies that are adversely effecting the sound.

Things to try:
You may want to toggle the EQ>Comp setting to see if you prefer the sound of the EQ before or after the compressor. Keep in mind this will effect the way your compressor reacts and you may need to adjust the Threshold and Gain settings accordingly.

The positioning of the singer to the microphone will also have an effect on your sound due to the proximity effect. If there's too much low end and lots of plosives (strong pops from P's and B's) your vocalist may be too close to the microphone. The farther away from the microphone the singer is the less low end there will be. You may want to experiment to see what works the best for you.
0 votes
answered Apr 17, 2018 by robertgray3 (40,230 points)
It's a shot in the dark but what interface are you using? Some interfaces are fiddly to use with external preamps because cheaper interfaces may not actually have line level inputs, just pads before the mic inputs.
0 votes
answered Apr 17, 2018 by rsamuels71 (160 points)
I am using a Apollo Twin Duo