Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by jdwhatever, May 3, 2016.
to talk into. Discuss
splashwut makes more sense than your title
Rappers aren't usually tall
The problem also occurred with rob Thomas. And others.
I'm noticing a trend with non-supporter started threads. They're horrible.
Long time lurker, first time poster....
Finally, a DS topic I have something to say on.
Here's the deal. Most rock and rap artists do not really know how to use microphones.
OK, that's not quite true. But it is basically true. Essentially, ideally, you do not want speakers or singers to get too close to a microphone, for a couple of reasons. First, "plosion", or breath noises which get picked up and amplified. Second, the "proximity effect", which changes and deepens the tone of a voice that gets really close up to a mic. (Some radio announcers deliberately announce close to get the proximity effect, which is fine if it gives someone their "radio voice". But if you want your voice to sound natural, it's bad.)
The thing is, singers generally like to work close up to microphones, for several reasons, good and bad. Good reasons include (1) that a mic has to be positioned a fixed distance from the sound source, or the volume varies driving the audience and the sound engineer crazy, and (2) if you are too far away and there's heavy amplification, you can get feedback. Bad reasons include (1) they see other singers holding the mic right up to their mouth and think it looks cool, (2) they don't know any better and (3) microphones are phallic symbols.
This isn't ideal. You get the best sound when you are NOT right up against the mic (look at an old Frank Sinatra concert video-- he was PERFECT with a microphone), but it's possible to make do, which engineers do by (1) installing windscreens and pop screens to reduce plosion and essentially force the source out from the pickup, (2) turning down and tuning the sound to reduce the proximity effect, and (3) mixing the instrumentation over the vocals so you can't hear imperfections in the vocal recording.
In recording studios, of course, artists are told to sing far away from the mic and most do, although you will occasionally see some artist who sings right up on it and they usually put a big pop screen up to back him or her off. The most ridiculous vocal recording footage I have ever seen is of Jim Morrison recording "Wild Child"-- they put a dead mic in front of him that he could pretend to sing into while the actual recording mic was pointed in the other direction so he couldn't reach it.
So what does all of this have to do with awards shows? Well, awards shows use stationary mics and are not (at least when a band isn't playing) amplifying very loud. It's basically just the same PA system you would use at a banquet, but with somewhat more amplification because the hall is bigger.
And you simply are NOT supposed to speak really close to that microphone in a banquet. It picks up your speech just fine and amplifies it. So show producers delibrately put the mics down low because they KNOW that so many singers don't know how to use them and will reflexively try to get too close. Of course, the performers still do it, which looks ridiculous.
Note this only happens at music awards shows, though. Watch the Oscars or the Emmys and you will see that actors and actresses, who are used to distant mics, don't try to bend down and get close. They understand how the system works.
The black keys is a good example of my thread.