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Lead vocal "presence" question.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #31
Gear Maniac
 
kcmoonshine's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Although these are mostly great suggestions, aren't most of them pointless if we don't know what his voice sounds like and in the context of his music?

I mean, if we all could hear one of his recordings then we could say do this, this, and this. DONE! Or realized that the source(his voice) will never sound like what he WANTS it to sound like.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #32
Lives for gear
 
gainreduction's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I´m in the room matters a lot camp aswell. My vocalbooth is small but sounds great, it´s dry but not dead with a combination of bass trapping, diffusion and absorbtion. My control room is accurate and more open (very high ceiling) and you´d be surprised how much the sound changes if I record the same mic and chain in the booth, the CR or outdoors.

In my studios 10sq feet bathroom full of standing waves and modal ringing any chain is unuseable.

Besides room, mic technique, compression etc bringing out the right frequencies with a good eq can be a substantial presence boost. Dig around the midrange and find the good (and possibly nasty) stuff. Good stuff might live on top aswell. Again, as always, it depends.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #33
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasWho ➡️
This is just plain wrong. The room is ALWAYS a factor , maybe even the biggest factor.
Nope. Eat the mic, and the room is gone.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm not really sure about it being absolute that if you eat the mic, the room is 'gone'...and that's def me being nice, but it's for sure that the room plays much less of a part when you're closer. I'd still dampen if the room is crud.

To the original poster....have you tried anything? Anything that has or has not worked?
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #35
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the plethora of responses; I will seriously be referencing this thread for a while!

RESULTS:

I did what everyone said ; moved the windscreen closer to the KSM32 to allow for closer vocals, deadened the surrounding area, and gave the GreatRiver a bit more gain off the hop. This on its own helped achieve what I originally envisioned.

Next I tried all combinations of what people described; compressor (RVox) into Eq (sony oxford), Eq into compressor... I found the best combination came from feeding a 2-3dB-compressed vocal into the eq, then into another compressor with heavier settings. After that, a judicious amount of Sony Inflator added a bit of that smearing sheeny stuff I was trying to describe. Very close to what I envision!


What I AM still having troubles with is carving out sonic space for the vocals. Every time I try doing this, for some reason the vocals sound like they are "on top" of the mix, not part of the mix. Not carving out sonic space leaves them still somewhat buried and not in-your-face.


I'm seeking the balance between On-Top, and In-Your-Face. I hate this nomenclature, but don't know how else to describe it.

=Ferro=
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #36
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2Loud's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
think its a big truth that room can spoil any good chain..eating mic really closely can be nice, but in some cases /from what i hear by myself/ eats some nuances, and air/space..it brings intimity whatever but some mics getting better results with a bit distance..

from my experience arrange plays a role also,
if your vocs are in mix with 20 midrange tracks /which i dont think, but was crazy and was doing it /
then its harder to find a place in front...

voc reverb/delay can help
voc vs tracks equalisation can help
track volumes and positioning can help
panorama can help
heavier compression /which can in some cases spoil other things, depending on style/

just my op..
regards
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #37
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Are there any general techniques people can talk about, when adding harmonies/doubles to the lead vocal?

ie. Do they get mixed through the same bus with the lead vocal? Should you use a different mic and/or preamp to prevent phase issues?

=Ferro=
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #38
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bokip ➡️
Every time I try doing this, for some reason the vocals sound like they are "on top" of the mix, not part of the mix.

...

I'm seeking the balance between On-Top, and In-Your-Face.

you and every other guy on this board, my friend. what you seek is the holy grail of nearly every vocal mix.

most times, it don't come easy.


gregory scott - 'ubk'
.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #39
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by author ➡️
Nope. Eat the mic, and the room is gone.
So you're saying the guy's vocals would sound exactly the same in a closet as they would in a church as long as he eats the mic?

Interesting theory...

C
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #40
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorblind ➡️
So you're saying the guy's vocals would sound exactly the same in a closet as they would in a church as long as he eats the mic?

Interesting theory...

C

That's making it too black and white. A bad room will never help any recording, but as you get closer to the mic. the relative volume of the direct sighal compared to the room sound increases, hence less room sound.
Roommodes is another issue though...

Regards.
Dirk
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #41
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorblind ➡️
So you're saying the guy's vocals would sound exactly the same in a closet as they would in a church as long as he eats the mic?
Especially if he buys an m7.

I did, and I don't need to go church nomore. (Hey, there's title in there! Mine! )
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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steveschizoid's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
you and every other guy on this board, my friend. what you seek is the holy grail of nearly every vocal mix.

most times, it don't come easy.


gregory scott - 'ubk'
.
thumbsup
UBK is a wise man.

I'm surprised there hasn't been more mention of volume automation. Lately I've been getting some pleasing results by compressing on the way in - mostly for the tone, but enough to reduce the dynamic range somewhat - then mixing with the UAD Fairchild and some EQ (usually nothing extreme), and, finally, using an absurd amount of volume automation to ensure that each syllable is exactly where I want it.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #43
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Wow, that's got to be a crazy vocal part!! Each syllable? I find, as a singer myself as well as an instrumentalist that plays both trumpet and piano pretty well, that if I guide the musician/singer through the part little by little, whether it be their breathing, phrasing, what have you, and not allow them to throw out an unmusical performance and just say 'ok I can fix that', then a lot of automation isn't really needed. I do automation generally between verses and chorus, or at least I used to when I was itb. Ever since I got my Dangerous 2bus, vocals just pop right to me, I don't fight the rest of the track really. Lead vocals go out of one d/a on their own mono channel and their integrity stays in tact through dense mixes or good little piano/vocal stuff. I'd be interested to hear what kind of mix needed this much automation. If that's something you're willing to do at that stage as opposed to what I do with guiding them properly should they be so green as to not prepare a melody or performance properly, then I'm thinking it's just something subjective altogether. I prefer getting the performance right from the get-go, not necessarily pitch, but performance, proximity and gain issues can easily be spotted in the tracking process I think.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #44
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steveschizoid's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Pitch and attitude are more important than dynamic issues - at least to me. Granted the mix I was thinking about is particularly dense (drums, bass, 2 distorted guitars, lead vox, backing vox, violin see: www.mindfieldrecordingstudio.com/mta/letspretend.mp3 ), and the vocal particularly dynamic, but I do think automation is a better approach than overcompressing. These guys are not paying me to be a vocal coach, and, when the singer gets a take that rocks, I'm not going to have him do it again. Plus, once you've compressed you often have to automate to allow the vocal to follow the dynamics of the song. The OP was asking how to get a vocal right in the pocket, not where it sounds like it's fighting to get through the mix, and not where everything else is background. There are many good suggestions here, but brute force automation is an important tool that noone else touched upon sufficiently.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #45
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by author ➡️
If you get super close to the mic, the room doesn't matter at all. Just roll off as much mud as possible, preferably at the mic. And get one of these:
SE Electronics The Reflexion Filter | Dolphin Music

Nah. Don't buy one of those. Ethan's Real Traps portable vocal booth is much better and covers more space. Hit up the realtraps website and check the pics and stats..
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasWho ➡️
This is just plain wrong. The room is ALWAYS a factor , maybe even the biggest factor. All the mic does is capture what the sound IS. The room is part of creating the sound , along with the source.



Thomas
What he should have said is if you are truly close micing, the room has less effect than if you are singing say 6" to 1 foot- with a condenser. If you are using a great dynamic mic like the Shure SM7b, room really doesn't play a factor at that point.. Unless it was something fairly loud atleast.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #47
Lives for gear
 
malaclypse's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bokip ➡️
Thanks for the plethora of responses; I will seriously be referencing this thread for a while!

RESULTS:

I did what everyone said ; moved the windscreen closer to the KSM32 to allow for closer vocals, deadened the surrounding area, and gave the GreatRiver a bit more gain off the hop. This on its own helped achieve what I originally envisioned.

Next I tried all combinations of what people described; compressor (RVox) into Eq (sony oxford), Eq into compressor... I found the best combination came from feeding a 2-3dB-compressed vocal into the eq, then into another compressor with heavier settings. After that, a judicious amount of Sony Inflator added a bit of that smearing sheeny stuff I was trying to describe. Very close to what I envision!


What I AM still having troubles with is carving out sonic space for the vocals. Every time I try doing this, for some reason the vocals sound like they are "on top" of the mix, not part of the mix. Not carving out sonic space leaves them still somewhat buried and not in-your-face.


I'm seeking the balance between On-Top, and In-Your-Face. I hate this nomenclature, but don't know how else to describe it.

[h1]Ferro[/h1]
SUBTLE amounts of a couple of reverbs (long and short) and a delay can help sit a vocal in a mix. subtlety is key, unless the song calls for a lot of effect.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #48
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
It sounds like you're on the right track. The Sonnox Inflator should surely get you a little closer.....but pay attention to low end rumble. You may have to hi-pass it before the Inflator. Pay careful attention to the volume of the track. If it's sitting on top of the mix it may be too loud. Pull the level of the entire mix down to a barely audible level. If the vocal is popping out then it's too loud. Reverbs and delays can help them blend in as well. Play with the pre-delay to help it sit but not get washed out. I had the same problem initially with really dense mixes and a mid level vocal chain. One thing that helps is to double track the vocal and have it sit slightly lower than the main. Also, try to automate some other less important instruments to come down in volume when the vocals come in.
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