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vocal recording


M.A.R.T
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im sure someone has asked about this before.

but i want to record vocals and have them sound between polished and rough...a bit like led zeppelin or minor threat.

but i want to do so without the whole trial and error thing. i want to catch the energy of the first few takes.

any advice on how to get a good sound easily?

im using a sm58 into a spirit folio notpad to a delta 44 and cubase.

xx

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i think my wee desk is the folio notepad as well. what i have been doing today is putting a distortion effect in the FX send loops. on my mixer, the FX volume (global, not per channel) is up at max. With that done, I plug the mic into channel 1. The preamp and volume on channel 1 are normally up quite high (around 3pm), though sometimes the pre amp is less. With that, I usually twiddle the channel 1 fx knob to my taste, along with altering the distortion effect.

for my distortion effect i was using a line 6 pod pro unit, but you can use anything, flanger, chorus, delay pedals, etc.

make sure you are using a pop shield if possible. i've found that my sm58 sounds 100x better when using one for singing at any volume, though it doesn't matter so much for quiet stuff. my first attempt at a pop shield was double wrapped cling film with lots of holes poked in it, wrapper around a coat hanger. this was still way better than using no pop shield at all, i promise!

hope that helps. in my experience, vocals coming straight out of my sm58 and into the desk sound quite boring unless it is a totally ripping vocal, which is why i often use an effect. oh wait, it could just be that my voice sounds like shit.

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cool! thanks....my voice sounds like shit too!

i have a pop sheild...i got one at maplin for 10...it does the job pretty well.

my main problem is that when i record my vocals i have a lot of trouble with them sounding isolated from the rest of the tracks.

i dont know if thats a problem with eq or just with the way i record.

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It would help you to use a bit of compression on the vocal, about 4:1 Attack about 10Ms and rel about 20Ms. This would help the vocal sit in the track. Do you use any reverb on the snare/kit?? if you do Feed a little vocal through so it is in the same space.

Do you have the antares Mic modeler? Source mic = 58 destination mic = neuman u 48. this would give you an eq much the same as used by Led Zep, You can also change the drive to mess it up a little..

Hope this helps.

Mark...

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It would help you to use a bit of compression on the vocal' date=' about 4:1 Attack about 10Ms and rel about 20Ms. This would help the vocal sit in the track. Do you use any reverb on the snare/kit?? if you do Feed a little vocal through so it is in the same space.

Do you have the antares Mic modeler? Source mic = 58 destination mic = neuman u 48. this would give you an eq much the same as used by Led Zep, You can also change the drive to mess it up a little..

Hope this helps.

Mark...[/quote']

is that antares thing a VST? i'm sure i heard of it a few years ago when my friend went to SAE. he said it could make the shittest of mics sound really quite nice. i thought it was hardware though.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

alright, going back to the point of vocal recording. Although you are using a sm58(being a dynamic mic) you should try recording using a few different mic's, if possible, at the same time on different tracks of course, then try each different mic in the mix, see which one gives the sound you are looking for. even a sh*t mic out of an argos catalogue can do the job. When it comes to effect's never record the effects to tape, once the effect is on you can't take it off, add effects on the mix if possible. As for eq just a few things that happen in the vocals- you get presence around 5KHz Silbilance around 10KHz Warmth around 150-260Hz and brightness around the same as presence bit this all depends on the vocal range and song. Also try different rooms for example a carpeted room with a low roof will sound dead as for a wooden floor with a high roof you will get an ambiant feel which might bring your voice through. As for drums try and put all the reverb and effects on after, you shouldn't use compressor or limiters on drums unless it it is a straight solid beat with no build ups etc. you can use compressor's on vocals and bass. but if you don't have have these facilities use the good old technique of holding the mic further away from you the louder you sing. these are some basic points i have been taught over the years. if you want any more help send me a pm. :band: oh yeah forget the pop sheild. also what version of cubase are you running?

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Guest Electric Tibet

I've been having fun recording raw mid-fi vocals with a '57 going into a tube screamer. I back off the gain so it only breaks up when signing loud/screaming. The natural low-end roll off works well.

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If you change 'do' to 'nearly always' I'm right with you.

I always use compression on the drums. sometimes just on one drum other times on the lot. it depends on the sound wanted. bassdrum and snare usually have it all the time to make them more even in the mix.

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it all depends on the drummer if you have a good drummer who at knows how to drum properly you shouldn't need compression, but if the drummer uses grace notes etc it is hard to get the subtle feeling of these with compressor's, but in the end it is all down to personal preference, the sound you want and style, i would use compressor's on some stuff. i do agree with it may sound weak with out compression but there is alot more to it than that.

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it all depends on the drummer if you have a good drummer who at knows how to drum properly you shouldn't need compression' date=' but if the drummer uses grace notes etc it is hard to get the subtle feeling of these with compressor's, but in the end it is all down to personal preference, the sound you want and style, i would use compressor's on some stuff. i do agree with it may sound weak with out compression but there is alot more to it than that.[/quote']

Yes, with a good drummer and if you're looking for an open acoustic style of drum track compression isn't really necessary.

Unfortunately very few drummers are that good. The only ones I've met have had at least 15 years experience and lot's of innate talent.

Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't a grace note be quieter than a normal hit, otherwise it'd be an accent. Therefore not hitting the compressor with a carefully set threshold.

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ok fair point but i always thought compressors were an audio circuit than controls the gain, it knocks up the volume when things get quiet and drops the volume when things get loud and therefore have a more consistant audio signal. therefore making the quiet signal i.e grace notes louder and the loud signal i.e accents quieter. that what i tought they did.

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it knocks up the volume when things get quiet and drops the volume when things get loud

That is nearly right. The compressor does not turn things up that would be an expander.

And only reduces when the threshold has been reached by the ratio amount. So all it's doing is reducing the dynamic range, Even with the best drummers I usually use some sort of compression just to even out a bit so it works with the mix better. But as Ian said, if it is open acoustic style there wont be much for the kit to fight over.

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i normally buss all my drum tracks to a compressor and use it to varying degrees...it can give great energy to the sound...however using too much can also just make it sound flat and pish (generally the case with all over use of compression.)

another fav trick for a big snare sound is stick the snare in an aux send...apply reverb first then compress said reverb for a big snare sound.

back to vocals...i record alot of my vocals in my specially padded out wardrobe for maximum deadness, then use the wonderful emagic space designer reverb in the mix. also a wee touch of overdrive can work wonders for getting them to cut.

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Guest lime ruined my life
it knocks up the volume when things get quiet and drops the volume when things get loud"

That is nearly right. The compressor does not turn things up that would be an expander.

And only reduces when the threshold has been reached by the ratio amount. So all it's doing is reducing the dynamic range' date=' Even with the best drummers I usually use some sort of compression just to even out a bit so it works with the mix better. But as Ian said, if it is open acoustic style there wont be much for the kit to fight over.[/quote']

wouldnt that be a limiter your describing? im pretty sure the previous explanation was correct for a compressor. an expander expands the dynamic range (by putting hi volumes higher, and low volumes lower(?), im not sure on expanders though), where as a compressor compresses the dynamic range (by putting hi volumes down and low volumes up).

a limiter is a simple compresser, it compressese hi volume signals so they do not surpass a certain threshold.

that was my understanding of it all, im probably wrong.

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If you're recording to tape and intend using compression on either drums or vocals' date=' do it when recording, rather than when mixing. Compression will raise the noise-floor of the tape if used during mixing. That's hiss by the way, you fucking plebs![/quote']

How can you be sure that the dynamics you are processing are going to be suitable for the sounds they are going to be mixed with?

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