Really true. Mic’ing too closely causes all sorts of problems.
The proximity effect can also be used to the artist’s advantage. Voice-over artists, for instance, use it to make them sound like Darth Vader on purpose.
For singers though, farther is better.
Yeah, proximity effect can be a great tool, but a lot of people ignore it or don’t know about it…to their detriment.
I had the problem trying to get good vocals.
I now have an SM57 direct on about a foot away, and a Rode NT1A about 15cm away but up and angled down slightly at the vocal source.
This allows me to get full power through to the SM57 without overloading the RODE.
The RODE allows me to capture a little bit of the proximity to warm up the SM57 if it is sounding a little thin.
It took a bit of doing and phase checking but it works well.
However, it showed that even just the SM57 alone, backed up a foot off the vocal source… the tone was great! Bring it up close and it was just unusable.
Great advice Joe!