Quantcast
how to properly record and mix rap vox? - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
how to properly record and mix rap vox?
Old 28th January 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
how to properly record and mix rap vox?

I do spoken word but I want them to have a rap character to them.
I am finding out just recording from the pre to track with some reverb and compression and eq is not enough to get the vocals to jump out like most rap vocals.

Can some one help me with the proper way to record , arrange and mix rap vocals? that jump out at you.

im using a grace m101, with an at 4047 with a duet and a serf .

This is what i do.

record in mono dry.
put eq on that track
compressor, with a fast attack, and release ( i use still well rocket or major tom)
set a bus with a send effect.
put reverb
and space designer
some more compression

sometimes I copy paste the vocals
and use one dry take completely underneath and pan them both. and turn down the output.

Im trying to do vocal stacking
but with long poems its very hard.
im working on getting one
that will be 1 centered and two hard left and right panned.

I cant seem to get the delay to just trail t
Old 28th January 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 
TheMIXIMAL's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hi,

First I recommend *no EQ* when tracking.

Next, the 'jump-out' sound you are looking for is most likely a combination of:
-EQ (impossible to describe or make recommendations, as it differs per-track)
-a Peak compressor (not RMS) with an attack around 4ms and a release of 100ms-4 seconds.


Also, I recommend trying the RODE NT1-A for Verses/Rhymes. They are inexpensive and I know some big albums were recorded switching between the NT1-A and a Telefunken 251 for certain songs. The RODE NT1A is more aggressive-sounding than the Audio Technica. AT's smoother sound may be better for Hook Vocals, R&B Vocals, acoustic guitars, etc., if you record those.

Last edited by TheMIXIMAL; 28th January 2009 at 10:43 AM.. Reason: spelling 'aggressive'
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rredline ➑️
Can some one help me with the proper way to record , arrange and mix rap vocals? that jump out at you.
Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
doughzart have you ever used a timer and checked whether or not it actually takes longer to type like that vs. normal?
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto ➑️
Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HA! Benny, you're too much, bro!
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
PinnacleProdUK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
No amount of compression or EQ or Reverb for that matter will make a vocal "jump out at you" if the delivery isn't right.

Although there are similarities with spoken word and Rap vocals, If take isn't delivered in such a way that it grabs your attention and has a dull dreary tone then no amount of processing will fix that.

If the recording is good then the processing ( compression EQ etc ) should only be used to enhance an already good take and only if required. I have mixed many uptempo rap tracks which require next to no processing on the vocal what so ever apart from a little compression, this is because i have spent time getting the take how i want it to sound from the start!

Its next to impossible to give you a step by step guide on mixing rap vocals or any mixing of any kind. There is no one stop fix for mixing a certain genre of music nor is there set rules for mixing rap vocals as appose to gospel or rock vocals.

Each and every project has its own unique needs and requirements to achieve the final result.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinnacleProdUK ➑️
No amount of compression or EQ or Reverb for that matter will make a vocal "jump out at you" if the delivery isn't right.

Although there are similarities with spoken word and Rap vocals, If take isn't delivered in such a way that it grabs your attention and has a dull dreary tone then no amount of processing will fix that.

If the recording is good then the processing ( compression EQ etc ) should only be used to enhance an already good take and only if required. I have mixed many uptempo rap tracks which require next to no processing on the vocal what so ever apart from a little compression, this is because i have spent time getting the take how i want it to sound from the start!

Its next to impossible to give you a step by step guide on mixing rap vocals or any mixing of any kind. There is no one stop fix for mixing a certain genre of music nor is there set rules for mixing rap vocals as appose to gospel or rock vocals.

Each and every project has its own unique needs and requirements to achieve the final result.
So your saying it didn't even need any stacked vocals or anything like that? and it was through a clean pre?

just one mono track with some little eq and compression?

I just dont see the sound of modern rap as being a single track with some light compression and eq.

its like you as a question on hear and if you dont ask correctly people just shoot you down.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMIXIMAL ➑️
Hi,

First I recommend *no EQ* when tracking.

Next, the 'jump-out' sound you are looking for is most likely a combination of:
-EQ (impossible to describe or make recommendations, as it differs per-track)
-a Peak compressor (not RMS) with an attack around 4ms and a release of 100ms-4 seconds.


Also, I recommend trying the RODE NT1-A for Verses/Rhymes. They are inexpensive and I know some big albums were recorded switching between the NT1-A and a Telefunken 251 for certain songs. The RODE NT1A is more aggressive-sounding than the Audio Technica. AT's smoother sound may be better for Hook Vocals, R&B Vocals, acoustic guitars, etc., if you record those.
i guess what im getting at is the delays that trail end of the lyrics that enhance and build it without just repeating it.
ive played around with every single setting and cant get it to just line up with the end parts and eccentuate those.

what type of peak compressor are you talking about?
analog?
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
ChaosCreation's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
here is an answer for you that these crabs wont give:

As far as "airy" goes, this is an effect usually created by having enough content in the 10-15 kHz range. A brighter mic or preamp would definitely help there. As for the tail end, try a different reverb algorithm, maybe a different program altogether. Have you looked at plate or convolution reverbs? Also, maybe use shorter reverb times. You could set it up so that on your bussed track, you have a delay then a reverb in series.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
PinnacleProdUK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rredline ➑️
So your saying it didn't even need any stacked vocals or anything like that? and it was through a clean pre?

just one mono track with some little eq and compression?

I just dont see the sound of modern rap as being a single track with some light compression and eq.

its like you as a question on hear and if you dont ask correctly people just shoot you down.
Im not trying to shoot you down nor am i trying to sound like a dick!

Yes i have done Hip hops tracks that require just a mono track with light compression and EQ because that's what the track needed.. it didn't need stacked vocals because it would of sounded messy and benefited far more from a well recorded single clean take.

On the other hand i regularly use stacked vocals again on tracks that require stacked vocals... sometimes having three takes. the most prominent of them takes in the centre and the other two panned left and right ( either hard L+R for a wide vocal or panned less wide for a more pronounced vocal) AGAIN depending on the track on what i feel it requires!

I suppose the point im makin is its entirely possible to get a great take without "having" to use processing.... If you need more compression use more compression.... if the vocal needs some air, add a touch of high end.. if it doesnt leave it alone!

If you have a great recording in the first place then 90% of the hard work is done already and you wont be trying to EQ it too death trying to find out sound that was never present in the first place!
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
gorillainthemix's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
when you make a new thread, this message appears:
Notice: When you enter a thread title the system will search for similar threads which have already been posted. That should help you to find answers.

Maybe this will help you understand bgrotto's reaction.....In the last 6 months I've read maybe 10 topics about this on this particular section of GS. Isn't this the "Google-era"? Search and find?
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Keyflo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Set Surgeon ➑️
HA! Benny, you're too much, bro!

1. its probably becuz he is sick of ppl asking these questions, after he posted it dozens of times....

2. its probably becuz theres is no one say way to record vocals coming in. there's no such thing has not applying blah blah tracking in...

3. the search function automatically comes up when u type anything pertaining to rap voxs.

4. he's a gear head, he doent live for gear like bgrotto or benny whutever name you slutz know him by.....nah jk at that one...

But i try to read the automatic search function that comes up when u type a thread title. Thats why GS has been kind of boring as of late. Same questions floating around....I say if your gonna post something about rap vox atleast make it interesting, for instance if your disocvered something then that will bring ppl around.....

keyflo
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Addict
 
FredYeah's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
what i do a lot...

Copy your lead Rap vox. Put an EQ on it en cut everything under 15Khz. (Depends a bit on the vocal...) Than get a compressor and compress the hell out of this track.

Now mix your vocal tracks and mix this new track in with your vocals. It will make your vox clearer and 'airier'.

Kinda of making your own vocal exciter, lol...
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rredline ➑️
i guess what im getting at is the delays that trail end of the lyrics that enhance and build it without just repeating it.
ive played around with every single setting and cant get it to just line up with the end parts and eccentuate those.

what type of peak compressor are you talking about?
analog?
Heres how to get those "end trails".

Open a stereo aux fader.

Insert your favorite delay plugin and make sure its set according to our track b.p.m.
If you want 1/4 note repeats set it at 1/4..if you want 1/8 note repeats set it at 1/8.

Make sure your aux fader is all the way down.
Now,bus send your vocal track to that aux fader,making sure that the bus send and return assignments are the same,eg..1-2,3-4 whatever.

Put your aux track in audomation mode and set it to "write"
Now,when the vocal parts come up that you want to have delayed,just quickly raise and lower the aux fader according to where you want those trails.
When you play it back,if you did this all correctly ,if will play back as you want it.
If not,try again as it is an acquired technique.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Addict
 
FredYeah's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
PSM, this is one great f*ck*n trick. This saves me an hour of manually trailing every bit of vox i want to be delayed. Why didn't i think of this?
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
mdoelger's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman ➑️
Heres how to get those "end trails".

Open a stereo aux fader.

Insert your favorite delay plugin and make sure its set according to our track b.p.m.
If you want 1/4 note repeats set it at 1/4..if you want 1/8 note repeats set it at 1/8.

Make sure your aux fader is all the way down.
Now,bus send your vocal track to that aux fader,making sure that the bus send and return assignments are the same,eg..1-2,3-4 whatever.

Put your aux track in audomation mode and set it to "write"
Now,when the vocal parts come up that you want to have delayed,just quickly raise and lower the aux fader according to where you want those trails.
When you play it back,if you did this all correctly ,if will play back as you want it.
If not,try again as it is an acquired technique.
The AUX "trick":

I don't know which daw you are using, but I'm here on cubase, and I think it work a little different here.

Open up a new effects channel, and insert the delay like stated above.
If you automate the effect channel fader, you won't get there I feel.
What I mean is, you have to automate the send, not the return.

You know what I mean???
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FredYeah ➑️
PSM, this is one great f*ck*n trick. This saves me an hour of manually trailing every bit of vox i want to be delayed. Why didn't i think of this?
It really isnt a trick.
Ive been doing it this way forever.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunale ➑️
The AUX "trick":

I don't know which daw you are using, but I'm here on cubase, and I think it work a little different here.

Open up a new effects channel, and insert the delay like stated above.
If you automate the effect channel fader, you won't get there I feel.
What I mean is, you have to automate the send, not the return.

You know what I mean???
It SHOULD work either way.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyflo ➑️
1. its probably becuz he is sick of ppl asking these questions, after he posted it dozens of times....

2. its probably becuz theres is no one say way to record vocals coming in. there's no such thing has not applying blah blah tracking in...

3. the search function automatically comes up when u type anything pertaining to rap voxs.

4. he's a gear head, he doent live for gear like bgrotto or benny whutever name you slutz know him by.....nah jk at that one...

But i try to read the automatic search function that comes up when u type a thread title. Thats why GS has been kind of boring as of late. Same questions floating around....I say if your gonna post something about rap vox atleast make it interesting, for instance if your disocvered something then that will bring ppl around.....

keyflo
I knew exactly why he posted that, I just thought the picture was worth a thousand words. thumbsup
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunale ➑️
The AUX "trick":

I don't know which daw you are using, but I'm here on cubase, and I think it work a little different here.

Open up a new effects channel, and insert the delay like stated above.
If you automate the effect channel fader, you won't get there I feel.
What I mean is, you have to automate the send, not the return.

You know what I mean???
Group or FX track, either one will work. If you are bussing multiple vocal tracks it makes more sense to do it the way Philly mentioned though, either way will work.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman ➑️
Heres how to get those "end trails".

Open a stereo aux fader.

Insert your favorite delay plugin and make sure its set according to our track b.p.m.
If you want 1/4 note repeats set it at 1/4..if you want 1/8 note repeats set it at 1/8.

Make sure your aux fader is all the way down.
Now,bus send your vocal track to that aux fader,making sure that the bus send and return assignments are the same,eg..1-2,3-4 whatever.

Put your aux track in audomation mode and set it to "write"
Now,when the vocal parts come up that you want to have delayed,just quickly raise and lower the aux fader according to where you want those trails.
When you play it back,if you did this all correctly ,if will play back as you want it.
If not,try again as it is an acquired technique.
Holy ****[email protected]$# for me that is a gold answer!

does it work for reverb to?
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FredYeah ➑️
what i do a lot...

Copy your lead Rap vox. Put an EQ on it en cut everything under 15Khz. (Depends a bit on the vocal...) Than get a compressor and compress the hell out of this track.

Now mix your vocal tracks and mix this new track in with your vocals. It will make your vox clearer and 'airier'.

Kinda of making your own vocal exciter, lol...
Are you keeping your lead vocal DRY?
By mixing the new with the lead do you bus the output to that track?
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
brian_delizza's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rredline ➑️
Holy ****[email protected]$# for me that is a gold answer!

does it work for reverb to?
oh you betcha
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Eloheim's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunale ➑️
The AUX "trick":
There's another way to do it?!
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rredline ➑️
Holy ****[email protected]$# for me that is a gold answer!

does it work for reverb to?
Yes,if thats want you want.
But reverb is usually left alone once it has been set.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
phillysoulman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rredline ➑️
Are you keeping your lead vocal DRY?
By mixing the new with the lead do you bus the output to that track?
You should keep all of your source material dry and bus send it to your efx of choice which are inserted on your aux fader(s).
P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E
Old 30th January 2009
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rredline ➑️
I do spoken word but I want them to have a rap character to them.
I am finding out just recording from the pre to track with some reverb and compression and eq is not enough to get the vocals to jump out like most rap vocals.

Can some one help me with the proper way to record , arrange and mix rap vocals? that jump out at you.

im using a grace m101, with an at 4047 with a duet and a serf .

This is what i do.

record in mono dry.
put eq on that track
compressor, with a fast attack, and release ( i use still well rocket or major tom)
set a bus with a send effect.
put reverb
and space designer
some more compression

sometimes I copy paste the vocals
and use one dry take completely underneath and pan them both. and turn down the output.

Im trying to do vocal stacking
but with long poems its very hard.
im working on getting one
that will be 1 centered and two hard left and right panned.

I cant seem to get the delay to just trail t
I love that Philly has responses that he literally just copies and pastes. And that this question which is being rephrased for the thousandth time this week made Benny's head explode.

Normally, I give a very detailed response to even a base question. But, really. How do you make rap vocals pop? Practice makes perfect.


Here's some tidbits that will help:

One. Don't think about your preamps and mics and eqs and compressors and delays and reverbs and nuclear missiles and phasers and acoustic treatments or anything yet.

Think about your face, and the sound you want. My rap buddies are always asking me why my vocals sound so clear on every mic. Here's the trick. I stand a little to the left of the microphone and direct my vocals at an angle. Why? Because my face, like all human faces is slightly asymmetric and I project a little out of the right side. I don't get too close to the mic, or too far. I find that exact point where the full sound is captured and rings right. I match my tone to the sound of the track. I raise or lower the mic depending on whether I want more presence or body. I enunciate my words clearly. When all is said and done, my vocals already pop. I grab an eq, and I make small adjustments to make my voice shiny. I've never had to eq my own voice with more than a 2.5db gain or cut. My usual adjustment is -2.0db around 350hz, and +1.5db around 2.4khz, and +2db in the superhighs. Bang, vocals that pop.

Two. There is no two.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman ➑️
You should keep all of your source material dry and bus send it to your efx of choice which are inserted on your aux fader(s).
P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E
just to make sure im on the same page.

completely DRY SIGNAL
send to bus with effects track.

I think i was putting compression and eq on the dry and sending it to the aux and putting more compression , reverb , and delay and a low pass filter.

?? take out the initial effects on the dry signal.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville ➑️
I love that Philly has responses that he literally just copies and pastes. And that this question which is being rephrased for the thousandth time this week made Benny's head explode.

Normally, I give a very detailed response to even a base question. But, really. How do you make rap vocals pop? Practice makes perfect.


Here's some tidbits that will help:

One. Don't think about your preamps and mics and eqs and compressors and delays and reverbs and nuclear missiles and phasers and acoustic treatments or anything yet.

Think about your face, and the sound you want. My rap buddies are always asking me why my vocals sound so clear on every mic. Here's the trick. I stand a little to the left of the microphone and direct my vocals at an angle. Why? Because my face, like all human faces is slightly asymmetric and I project a little out of the right side. I don't get too close to the mic, or too far. I find that exact point where the full sound is captured and rings right. I match my tone to the sound of the track. I raise or lower the mic depending on whether I want more presence or body. I enunciate my words clearly. When all is said and done, my vocals already pop. I grab an eq, and I make small adjustments to make my voice shiny. I've never had to eq my own voice with more than a 2.5db gain or cut. My usual adjustment is -2.0db around 350hz, and +1.5db around 2.4khz, and +2db in the superhighs. Bang, vocals that pop.

Two. There is no two.
I like the idea of copy and paste!

thanks for the advice i will try off axis projectioin.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Nut
 
TheMIXIMAL's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rredline ➑️
what type of peak compressor are you talking about?
analog?

analog or dig/plugin. All will (of course) sound different, but not as different as Peak versus RMS in character.

the comp that ships with Logic/Soundtrack Pro has a Peak or RMS switch. So do many others, even some freeware VST/AU plugins. In analog land, the 1176 is an example of a Peak-detecting compressor/limiter.

Here is a thread for reference: Compression: Rms vs Peak
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 4616 views: 615154
Avatar for smoke
smoke 7th May 2021
replies: 1178 views: 265085
Avatar for bill5
bill5 2 weeks ago
replies: 98 views: 39092
Avatar for dfghdhr
dfghdhr 5th June 2021
replies: 56 views: 11464
Avatar for TMOQuantity
TMOQuantity 15th November 2020
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump