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Recording & Mixing Pimped rig but got no mojo? Learn from the experts here

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Old 7th November 2010 , 11:35 AM
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Default Getting Vocals to stand out

Since buying a new mic for vocal recording, I've been working on the vocals on a particular track of mine. The problem i'm having is making them stand out clearly and sound natural. For the moment, i'm plugging the mic straight into my N12's preamps and from there to Cubase adding no effects or anything. The lead vocal is quite low in pitch which doesn't help me but i've done my best, and there is a harmony part too. I've a tendency to double track my vocal because i think it sounds weak on it's own, but i don't know if this is maybe having an adverse effect. Of course it may just be that i'm a crap singer!! The singing aside though, it's just to have things clear and natural sounding that i'm really trying to perfect at the moment. Could it be the preamps? It's probably my technique, but i'm really struggling to know what to try. I listened to one of Trev's mixes recently (hope you don't mind me mentioning!) and i was amazed at how good and clear and upfront the vocals sounded. It was great. Of course i don't have the same tools at my disposal but surely it's possible to get half decent results with what i do have? Will a decent sepreate preamp make a big difference?
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Old 7th November 2010 , 02:08 PM
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Audio demo!

And no, I don't think a pre-amp will make a difference in this case. It's probably the recording itself or the mixing/EQ.
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Old 7th November 2010 , 02:47 PM
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What mic are you recording the vocal with?
I dont consider my self a great singer but i usually have a go.....
When i record vocals i tend to record them un effected and later add a gate (to cut down the spill from the headphones) in between the vocal signal.
Also i tend to play with commpresion settings as the tracks running to get a more out front sound.
Then Add a little verb or delay (though this can easily be over done)
Would be good to hear a demo or clip though
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Old 7th November 2010 , 03:21 PM
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It's all about the mix. Read all the stickies in the recording and mixing forum paying special attention to the ones on clashing frequencies.
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Old 7th November 2010 , 03:52 PM
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... and make sure you're optimising your recording space. If your room isn;' the best sounding, then do your best to isolate it from your takes with anything from a Reflexion Filter to duvets hung over microphone stands as makeshift gobos or whatever else you can do. You can improve an awful lot by making sure "what goes in" is as good as it can possibly be. Don't overlook the benefits from warming your voice up properly before a vocal recording session either!
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Old 7th November 2010 , 05:42 PM
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Yep, i just got another mic stand recently with my sm57 for hanging a duvet behind me and i am using a reflexion filter. It feels like the vocals don't quite fit in properly. Like it's recorded over the top of the music as opposed to being part of it, if you know what i mean. I've really been making the effort to try and make space for everything so things don't get too cluttered. It's a really simple little song actually. Just not happy with the vocals. I'll bite the bullet and post the track when i get a chance, see if yous can maybe give me some more advice on how to get it right.
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Old 7th November 2010 , 06:26 PM
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Yep, post some audio. Don't be worried, your last track that you let me hear was well recorded, nothing to be ashamed of in the slightest.
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Old 7th November 2010 , 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Boulden View Post
Yep, post some audio. Don't be worried, your last track that you let me hear was well recorded, nothing to be ashamed of in the slightest.
Thanks Dave, that makes me feel a little less apprehensive! I am in the process of uploading it to soundcloud so should be posting it shortly. I don't really know how it's going to sound through you guys' systems as i've been mixing through my dt770's only for now (still saving for Adams) so i have no idea how it will come out through monitors yet but i'm hoping it's alright. Seems to be ok through the headphones.
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Old 7th November 2010 , 06:41 PM
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Will need to pop out for something for my toe before posting. I hurt it earlier and have just checked it and it's black!!! it must be broken!
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Old 7th November 2010 , 07:01 PM
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Uploaded in time. Here's the track. Quality isn't as good as through Cubase but nevermind. The crackle at the start is deliberate. Dunno if it works mind you.

Hope this works.

http://soundcloud.com/chris-wilson-1/so-high-1
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Old 7th November 2010 , 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piano View Post
Uploaded in time. Here's the track. Quality isn't as good as through Cubase but nevermind. The crackle at the start is deliberate. Dunno if it works mind you.

Hope this works.

http://soundcloud.com/chris-wilson-1/so-high-1


cool song, really nice.

I've only had a quick listen on my PC speakers but the obvious starting point is that the vocals are simply too quiet. Just raising the level a bit would help massively.

The guitars could use some panning as well to leave space in the centre for the drums and vocals. A little panning on the hats and toms wouldn't hurt either, but not much.

The entire track sounds fairly dry, are you using any reverb on anything?

Damn fine song though, i'm on my second listen now, reminds me of teh Lennon


edit - piano is a bit loud too, although taking out some of the mid-lows or sitting it back with some reverb may do the trick.
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Old 7th November 2010 , 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord View Post
cool song, really nice.

I've only had a quick listen on my PC speakers but the obvious starting point is that the vocals are simply too quiet. Just raising the level a bit would help massively.

The guitars could use some panning as well to leave space in the centre for the drums and vocals. A little panning on the hats and toms wouldn't hurt either, but not much.

The entire track sounds fairly dry, are you using any reverb on anything?

Damn fine song though, i'm on my second listen now


eidt - piano is a bit loud too, although taking out some of the mid-lows or sitting it back with some reverb may do the trick.
Thanks! No, i'm not using any reverb at all on anything apart from the Piano. I think i used some on that. I feel as if i've hit a bit of a brick wall with it now because i know it's far from perfect but i don't know what to do to improve it, or how to do it. Any pointers will be much appreciated! It's good to get some feedback from other musically minded people as opposed to friends who generally just say it's alright.

Just to add, i'm not happy with the little elec Guitar solo part. I don't really like how that sounds at all just listening to it back there. Goin to have to change that.
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Last edited by Piano; 7th November 2010 at 08:22 PM. . <
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Old 7th November 2010 , 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piano View Post
Thanks! No, i'm not using any reverb at all on anything apart from the Piano. I think i used some on that. I feel as if i've hit a bit of a brick wall with it now because i know it's far from perfect but i don't know what to do to improve it, or how to do it. Any pointers will be much appreciated! It's good to get some feedback from other musically minded people as opposed to friends who generally just say it's alright.

Well there's a far greater depth of expertise here than me

Just feel satisfied that musically it's pretty neat, and the technical side is just homework really.

The few times i've mixed live/acoustic stuff it's mostly ear work, but there are some useful frequency guides out there if you want to take a stab at EQ'ing. Have you looked at the guide to mixing I posted here somewhere?

In fact, seeing as we both use Cubase I could run it through my setup to see how it turns out. If I only use Cubase plugins you should be able to open it up as a project file. Still won't sound any better mind
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Old 7th November 2010 , 08:30 PM
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Unfortunately I only have a laptop at home and don't have the internet in the studio so any form of critical listening is pretty impossible.
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Old 7th November 2010 , 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevCircleStudios View Post
Unfortunately I only have a laptop at home and don't have the internet in the studio so any form of critical listening is pretty impossible.
Damn, i was really hoping to get your opinion.
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