I’ll start with “I don’t know & I’ve never tried it.”
Famously, Dave Stewart & Annie Lennox used to do her vocals on a
hand-held SM58 in the control room with the phase of one monitor
inverted, theoretically creating a null-space in the middle of the
All well & good, but I’ve actually seen video of her putting vox
down & she doesn’t stay anywhere near the centre of the room – so
I’d call that ‘hype’.
On the other hand, I’ve also recorded vox with a hand-held 58,
in the control room without inverting the speaker
It’s not something I would have volunteered to do, but I needed the
vocal performance on video at the same time, as an actual to-camera
performance, so standard techniques were out.
U87 & cans were not on the menu.
Results were remarkably good. The 58’s off-axis rejection, combined
with the sheer proximity of the vocal compared to the monitors left
me with a perfectly usable vocal & barely any spill at all.
The vocalist was free to move as he liked, & although didn’t wander
so far as Annie Lennox in the video I saw, it probably allows that
her method worked for the same reasons.
So, hand-held 58s & you’re good to go.
I’m not sure how far you’d get with an omni & everybody gathered
round at a yard from the mic. A cardioid with its back to the
I think the idea of feeding an inverted signal into this is
going to be fraught with difficulty. I don’t think the frequencies
will be time-aligned well enough to be able to get full
cancellation. You are undoubtedly going to be picking up stray
refections from the walls etc too.
You might get some joy if you can gradually rotate the
phase to find a sweet spot, rather than merely flipping it 180° &
I’d certainly say it would be worth a quick test – before the
vocalists even get there – just in case it does work… but I
wouldn’t hold high hopes for it.