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Eq Harsh vocals
Old 28th January 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Eq Harsh vocals

Ive been recording vocals with a singer that is harsh and no matter what mic I use there seems to be a harsh sound as the vocal is very dynamic..it appears mostly when the vocal goes into the yellow.
The vocals are been recorded low volume and mics been used Neumann 49,akg 414 and brauner mic with Brent Averill pre
Any tips?
Compression doesnt seem to be working as when I raise the volume on my master fader i can hear the harshness on the vox
Old 28th January 2009
  #2
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TheRealRoach's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Get the singer to come into the control room and sing along with the track just into the air... no mic. Does the singer sound harsh here?
Now throw some headphones on him and a mic in front and see if he is compensating somehow and changing the way he sings because of the headphones and hearing the live feed from the mic.

I usually find that when nothing seems to work its because the singer is doing something odd as a result of the headphone mix, levels or the headphones themselves.

If there's no going back on the recordings then try a De-Esser that narrowly targets his harsh range.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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5down1up's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
check this out, works with vocals as well ... maybe its a solution ?

Saxophone First Aid needed
Old 28th January 2009
  #4
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🎧 15 years
I've had pretty good results the the MacDSP MC2000, although I suspect any parametric compressor would work.

The US LA2A plug seems to help with that as well.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I am mixing some tracks recorded at another studio where the vocals are quite harsh, mostly due to some over eqing. I found the best way for me was a multiband compressor, which is something I rarely use.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
bhp
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
If you are recording more vocals try a ribbon, especially a 44 in good shape.
the new AEA 44s are amazing.
already recorded, try a FATSO and use the warmth to knock back the edginess.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I've had success with using the "detector" button engaged on a distressor.
Old 28th January 2009
  #8
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adam_f's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by finlove ➑️
Ive been recording vocals with a singer that is harsh and no matter what mic I use there seems to be a harsh sound as the vocal is very dynamic..it appears mostly when the vocal goes into the yellow.
The vocals are been recorded low volume and mics been used Neumann 49,akg 414 and brauner mic with Brent Averill pre
Any tips?
Compression doesnt seem to be working as when I raise the volume on my master fader i can hear the harshness on the vox
Is the vocalist Female? Quite often our hearing is very sensitive in the 2-3k range, female vocalists can benefit from a little cut in this range, try 2.5k ish... You can do it in a dynamic way using either a plugin compressor that can be set to duck for the specific frequency, or just dip the EQ for that frequency. You can use a de-esser to work this way too! I like the ducking remedy the best as it only kicks in when needed.

Do this ducking during mixing. Or a little EQ dip during tracking. I try not to EQ when tracking and rely mic choice, placement etc. and subtractive EQ during mix.

If this is your problem that is.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
the vocalist is a male
i will try the suggestions
thank you
what about waves c4?I hear its good for this kinda thing..only thing is i dont really like what it does to the sound of vocals
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Led
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Led's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think Tubehead has the solution, the waves C1 can do it - find the frequencies that are making it harsh and set the C1 to only compress that specific area. You can set the threshold so it only kicks in when the track goes into the 'yellow'. Same idea as a de-esser, but working on a lower frequency group, like say 4K instead of 7.5k.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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JoeyM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Led ➑️
I think Tubehead has the solution, the waves C1 can do it - find the frequencies that are making it harsh and set the C1 to only compress that specific area. You can set the threshold so it only kicks in when the track goes into the 'yellow'. Same idea as a de-esser, but working on a lower frequency group, like say 4K instead of 7.5k.


Yeah check out Dave Pensado using Waves C1 to take the pierce out:

Dave Pensado's Plug-In Secrets
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Notching out high mids can be really helpful, but its also worth it to try a tape sim plug in like Massey Tape head, or an analog fatso. They can often do really nice thing to smooth out harsh sources.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
I just mixed a track last night with a singer with a very edgy voice. I tried my dane de-esser into an Oram Al Schmitt . the Oram box has a nice 6 band eq, instead of my usual dane into a CL1b into a Focusrite ISA 110. I was able to dial back in the 1-2k range and also 6k and add some real top at I think 12khz . The vocal is bright but not harsh or edgy
in a bad way
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Messing with the Bias control on Mcdsp's Analog Channel 2 sometimes smoothes the top out for me on a few harsh singers, but you need to experiment. It seems to work differently than simple High shelf cut. Also doing a cut+boost on a pultec style plugin sometimes works wonders. (if you have the real thing even better)

URS Fulltec is really good for this as it has more bands than a normal Pultec MEQ or EQP.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhp ➑️
If you are recording more vocals try a ribbon, especially a 44 in good shape.
try some ribbons!
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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rackdude's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Record into a dynamic with a foam pop filter if it's really that bad... or use a dynamic eq.
Old 3rd February 2009
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
use de-esser and LPF at around 14K in the mix..
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Find the offending frequency with an eq sweep and use that as your center freq on a de-esser. Or try multiband compression like with a C4--narrow one frequency area around the offending frequency and either duck it or increase the threshhold for that band.

-R
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
A good dynamic eq can help harsh vocals

Ive had great success with the Tc Dynamic eq plugin
Old 3rd February 2009
  #20
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by finlove ➑️
Ive been recording vocals with a singer that is harsh and no matter what mic I use there seems to be a harsh sound as the vocal is very dynamic..it appears mostly when the vocal goes into the yellow.
The vocals are been recorded low volume and mics been used Neumann 49,akg 414 and brauner mic with Brent Averill pre
Any tips?
Compression doesnt seem to be working as when I raise the volume on my master fader i can hear the harshness on the vox
1. back them off the mic. remember your inverse square rule. dynamics get less dynamic exponentially the further the source moves from the mic. so if you're at 4" try 8" or 12" away.

2. use a pop shield to keep the singer in one spot... sing into the pop shield, not the mic...

3. chain up a couple compressors.. one for light compression, low ratio, low threshold, and one more as a peak limiter.... basically mike caffrey's two-stage compression approach would work here. the idea is: you're using a lot of squash but bringing it up underneath, from the bottom-up... and the limiter is mashing down the peaks from the top-down. where "top" is loudest and "bottom" is quietest... and you meet somewhere in the middle.

4. put some tubes/transformers in the chain... they'll saturate in a pleasing way instead of a nasty way. hard edges will be rounded off. iron, baby.

5. try a UREi LA-3a... you can really hammer those before they get ugly.

6. got a ribbon mic? heh

this is all i can think of off the top of my head.

here's a vid from mike on 2-stage compression: YouTube - Two Stage Compression Part 1
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