FOH engineer Jayme Braun recently finished up the third leg of the Adore 2007 tour. You can also find Braun mixing house for JoJo, Switchfood, Bryan White, Mandisa, New Breed and many others.
Getting a great vocal tone that stands out in the mix but that does not kill everyone in the front row to hear it above the music can be a real nightmare. Here, the right mic choice can save the day. I use the Shure KSM9 because it has a switchable pickup pattern. In really small venues with a loud stage, I use the hypercardioid pattern for the extra noise rejection on the capsule. Another trick that really works well is to determine the dominant frequency in the singer’s voice and then cut about 2 to 3 dB of that frequency out of every other instrument onstage. This creates space for the vocal to sit in and lets the vocal cut through without pushing the level really hard and possibly distort your preamp. Adding a highpass filter at around 170 Hz can help keep sympathetic vibrations in the mic stand from causing feedback on stages that are hollow.