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Dang Artist HATES reverb...
Old 5th June 2002
  #1
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DigitMus's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Dang Artist HATES reverb...

I recently invited a singer/songwriter (actually he kinda invited himself, even offered to pay...) to my studio 'cause he was getting frustrated doing all his recording in Cakewalk in his spare room. He wanted a more "polished" & "professional" sound. So, I made him use real musicians, in my big room (like, 1700 SQ FT) used some nice mics (Royer, M149s, QTC-1s, 414s, VM1-KHE, etc...) and preamps (Vipre, Crane Song) and the tracking went pretty smoothly, he liked the sound...until I burned him a 'rough mix' CD and he lived with it for a couple of weeks. He came back asking me to take the reverb off the drums (that's the room!) and not to put any 'verb on the vocals - at all - none! I used a little downward expansion on the drum OHs, which seemed to satisfy him (though I think it sucks), but 'dry' vocals just don't cut it. They stick out like a sore thumb - and he agrees, but he wants me to fix it without using any reverbs, delays, ambience, basically all I can use on his voice is EQ and compression. I've messed with this on and off for several weeks now, and it ain't happening. I don't want to tell him it HAS to have something on it and have him go away mad, but if I do it like he wants I'll have to tell him to take my name off of the CD, and that'll make him mad too.
He's a very talented performer and songwriter and very popular locally, but his only recording experience is with his home PC set-up - I've heard his recordings, they're not bad, but you can tell they were done at home.
I don't really think I'm going to find a resolution to this that will make us both happy, and I'm not even looking for suggestions. I just wanted to rant about this since it's buggin' the hell outa me. ''

Thanks for letting me vent.
Scott
Old 5th June 2002
  #2
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
I had a band that had been reading a few interviews in Tape Op perhaps a little too literally, they all said as a group - that they 'didn't like compression'.... At all!

I got the impression that they would question every thing I patched in, ask me to remove it then all smile and say "we preffer that"!... In short, a blinkered attitude..

It always seemed like it would be a war.. and that even as non engineers, they would insist on imposing their half baked engineering ideals... So we never worked together in the end..

grudge
Old 6th June 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hmm.. I just did an entire album without a shred of rev on the lead vocal ( well two songs had a doubler echo slightly in...) sounded right for that record.. is there alot of room sound on the vox? why does it not work to be dry?

Just curious... as a side note, the record I did after that one did not have one vocal performance on it that worked without reverb.. diffrent strokes for diff vox....

good luck!
Old 6th June 2002
  #4
VIP
 
mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A heavy metal band I did in the mid 80s insisted on me taking all the reverb off the mix. They would look at the lights on the equipment and if something was blinking they'd go" what is that, take it off". So I made a mix to 1/2" with all the verb on and then made one for them with it off. The rev mixes went on the record and it became their biggest record at that time (4 million).

sssht, don't tell them.tut
Old 6th June 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
DigitMus's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Believe me, I'm not reverb-happy, I tend to use little or none when I can get away with it. For this song, though, the vox isn't working without it. The lead vocal has less 'room' on it than the rest of the tracks - probably because he really tried to 'eat' the mic (I'd swear his lips were touching the pop filter). Last night I tried tweaking some patches on the PCM 81 (I think the m3000 was a little too realistic - the Lexicon can add space without imparting an "artificial room"). I've come up with a couple patches that help the vocal 'sit' better without sounding "reverbish". I'll just leave one on and say nothing - and hope he doesn't bring it up...

Scott
Old 6th June 2002
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I think the dry, in-your-face pop vocal sound (boy bands, auto-tuned pieces of ass, what have you) typically uses early reflection programs to add a little body right around the notes without moving the vocal back in the sound stage. May or may not help you.

My only other thought would be to mult the vocal through different analog devices without processing it much and see if you get enough thickening effect by recombining the stuff. Maybe go through a digital box on an aux just to mix in a little converter lag delay for the same effect?

Bear
Old 6th June 2002
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Dang Artist HATES reverb...

No verb works for Tom Petty...maybe not for you.
I know an engineer who used to work for Neil Young...he got into the habit of covering up all the indicators that would give away wether he was using eq/comp. just so he could use them.
I'd say it's your freinds record though. Try MW approach...mix it your way and his. Maybe get some outside opion's that he also values to arbitrate....
Old 6th June 2002
  #8
Gear Nut
 
Andy Sneap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's always bad when you have a band around for the early part of a mix I find, you can be trying things out, different verbs on snare for instance, and you know what it's like, once the gtrs and vox are in you need a bit more than you thought maybe. If they are there listening at that stage it can mess the whole thing up.
Who was the band then Micheal, won't tell..honest. You did Master of Puppets mix right?? , Couldn't have been DOKKEN, they liked their processors too much, go on spill the beans. Give us a clue
Old 7th June 2002
  #9
VIP
 
mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
can't really spill the beans, but yes I did mix Master of Puppets

man, I recently listened to my first DOKKEN album, and you're right, all the reverb in the world is on there. I think the blue 224s just came out at the time, great change from the EMT 140s and Goldplates.heh
Old 7th June 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well I had a female singer in who said she did not want any FX what so ever on her voice.
Then rang me frantic the next day to say her vocal was really dry sounding next to other CD's she liked.
She did not know the terminology and was refering only to Chorus type FX's. She also could not understand what I played back through the speakers was how it sounded.

I normally will A/B it for them and see what they like best, when it comes down to it. It is there ART anyway, unless you are producing it fully. Just get them to get an outside netural opionion.
The old bring in a band that you like that sounds similar does not always work as all bands think they are orginal even if they are not.
Old 7th June 2002
  #11
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Wags, that Sass Jordan record you mixed was dry and sounded great.

I used to use harmonizer only on vocals because I was doing punk rock and the
guys would hate to hear reverb on the vocal, but it sounded too small to me dry.
I basically used it to help the pitch and spread it out in the stereo field.

Getting away from that sound now, going back to big rock.okk tut spin
Old 7th June 2002
  #12
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Ah, so you're THAT Michael Wagener!
With all respect, as a guitarist learning in the 80s, I kinda hated you. Did you have any clients who weren't always on the cover of Guitar World?
Anyway, all is forgiven (my wife has been listening to Master of Puppets in her car lately, though, so forgiveness may be short lived- Metallica always sounds like the Third Reich on speed to me).
Old 7th June 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 
David R.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Worked with an artist who read that digital was bad and compression messed with the sound, so when we got to the mixing stage she told me no compressing or reverb. Ummm, it was recorded on ADATs, and her playing demanded some compression. I had to spend hours explaining to her that these things were not evil in themselves, just in the wrong hands.

A little knowledge can be dangerous. It all worked out, and we are half way through the second album now. But for a while I really wanted to piss on the project.
Old 8th June 2002
  #14
Gear Nut
 
Andy Sneap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Third Reich on speed??? That sounds pretty cool to me, I'll have some of that.
Anyway, Michael used all the reverb up on DOKKEN so it's Rick Rubin mixes from now on!
Old 8th June 2002
  #15
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mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Darian, I really like the Sass Jordan album, too bad it didn't get more exposure, she's amazing.

I think most artist, who are in the studio for the first time, don't understand the difference between "reverb" and "room". It all comes out of the same box, so it's gotta be bad. Granted in the early 80s the whole reverb thing got out of hand, but I still can't stand a "dry" vocal, especially if it was recorded 1" from the mic with no ambience whatsoever, just doesn't sound natural to me.

Quote:
With all respect, as a guitarist learning in the 80s, I kinda hated you. Did you have any clients who weren't always on the cover of Guitar World?
Yes, Janet Jacksonheh heh heh

Love 'dem guitars, though.
Old 8th June 2002
  #16
Gear Nut
 
Andy Sneap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
you did Janet Jackson??!! :eek: I must say I still love some of those 80's productions, it all totally worked for those bands back then. I'm still a fan of reverb myself, but like Michael said, just maybe to sit a vocal in the mix a little easier, not as a deliberate effect. With metal stuff also, if a vox isn't quite sitting right, I'll sometimes send to the sans amp and bring back a really saturated distortion and mix it in very slightly under the main vox. Can give it a more musical feel and put it in the same place as the gtrs.
Old 8th June 2002
  #17
VIP
 
mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I'm still a fan of reverb myself, but like Michael said, just maybe to sit a vocal in the mix a little easier, not as a deliberate effect. With metal stuff also, if a vox isn't quite sitting right, I'll sometimes send to the sans amp and bring back a really saturated distortion and mix it in very slightly under the main vox. Can give it a more musical feel and put it in the same place as the gtrs.

...filling up the empty space on digital recording, that tape used to fill up so nicely.


Andy, didn't you do Roland Grapow's new album? How is he doing? Is the album done/out?
Old 8th June 2002
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Andy Sneap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, that's right, I've just had 4 months on and off at Camp Grapoff, stuck in his basement. It's gone OK, it's a little too eurometal at times for me, I was never a big Helloween fan, and they didn't like where my mixes were going, so there remixing it themselves, so I expect a call in a couple of weeks, or maybe you'll get one!! The sounds we got down, especially gtrs and bass are great, it's just so busy, alot happening all the time and I think I was mixing the drums too loud for their tastes, though I think that is real important with fast stuff. I think the last few Helloween albums suffered from this also. Rolands doing well though, great guy and has been eating well since you last saw him He showed me the video he took at your place, I've just moved to a place very similar in the UK so I'll be tapping you up for advice on building soon.
Andy
Old 12th June 2002
  #19
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
ha ha master of puppets

Wierd. Hadn't heard that album for ages when I was in a rock pub (Intrepid Fox, Soho, London) and something familiar sounding came on. Coudn't remember what the f it was, and then I realised it was Battery, and I hadn't heard it since it came out. Sounded good though!
Old 7th July 2002
  #20
Here for the gear
 
dennisWNCW's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
We do live sessions with international touring acts here 3 to 5 times a week. One well known singer/songwriter came in suggesting he go "the old timey way" no rev or comp and using one mic for a 5 piece group. Having heard his disc it's evident that many efx,processors and inputs were used to get his "natural" sound. After avery dull 45 min set the following "local" act asked me to please make them sound the way I do best.The only time you hear a dry vox is the one in your head.:eek:
Old 7th July 2002
  #21
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
master of puppets was the last good metallica album done.


no verb eh? how about DISTORTION
Old 7th July 2002
  #22
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mwagener's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
master of puppets was the last good metallica album done.


no verb eh? how about DISTORTION
just what was recorded, and that was a lotheh
Old 7th July 2002
  #23
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i meant for that second part to apply to the original post but MoP had that too. i might have to break out album out today.
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