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Different approaches for different vocals?
Old 2nd December 2020
Different approaches for different vocals?

Hi Gordon, great having you here.

So, Regina Spektor, Julian Casablancas and Leonardo from Fobia, very different kind of voices.

Do you have a preferable vocal signal chain that you use often or you like to use what´s in your hands/studio according to the artist style?

Old 3rd December 2020
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Gordotronic's Avatar
🎧 10 years
In many ways recording these three singers had alot in common. They all have amazing voices, so I never had to use corrective eq's to make up for deficiencies in tone, or cut down harsh surprises in tone. I also needed (as always) to make sure they loved their vocal sounds before we recorded, and to make sure they could hear themselves exactly the way they wanted to in their headphones. By luck of the draw, the studios in which I recorded Regina (TMF in New York), Leonardo from Fobia (Estudio 19 in Mexico City) both had lovely old Neve preamps and LA-2A compressors. I had Avalon 737sp in my studio when I recorded Julian singing on Is This It.

The main difference between these singers, was dynamic range... with Julian being having the biggest difference between lo-volume singing and that famous lion's roar he is capable of. This meant that the compression amount and ratios were very important to dial in correctly so the screams didn't blow up the recording software too badly! And again I would say that SSL preamps, old Neve's, Trident (TSM or A-Range) and Avalon 737sp are my preferred vocal preamps, and Distressor, Avalon737sp and LA-2A are my favorite vocal compressors which get recorded at during the vocal sessions.

I would also like to add that I do many crazy and unusual vocal recording sounds when the compositions and songs maybe could use it. I often use a second condenser mic as a room mic while the vocals are going down, or park an sm57 next to the Condenser mic (the condensers I prefer are:Neumann U87, Neumann TLM 170r (superb vocal mic!) Neumann U67 and sometimes a special U47....) Then I run the sm57 into a fender twin guitar amp often with it's spring reverb on... to get a naturally trashy channel at same time as wide-open warm clean channel. Many times the amp is in same room as the singer, so the guitar amp (including sometimes feedback sounds) bleed back into the main vocal mic. I also like using echos, backwards reverb and old digital delay's on vocals if spacey abstract sounds are useful.
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