Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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cacti
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:53 pm

Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Post by cacti » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:43 pm

I know I can get only so far with the recording process, but after that. in the mix...

!STiTCH!
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Post by !STiTCH! » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:53 pm

Compress, Lil delay, lil verb, viola! Oh...and make sure its in mono.

admiralsnackbar
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Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:14 am

Re: Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Post by admiralsnackbar » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:17 pm

If you're asking this question, I'm assuming you probably don't have mountains of gear, a tuned vocal booth, and Freddy Mercury circa 1977 on the mic. If this isn't the case, sorry if any of this sounds condescending -- just trying to be helpful.

If it IS the case, you need to:

1)learn your gear so you know what it's capable of;
2)learn your recording space (or seek a recording space that sounds good to you) to know what you're working with, and;
3)see which of your mics sounds best on your singer.

With low-end recording, the room (and the talent/mic-technique of the singer) probably make an even bigger difference than the mic, IMO, so focus on getting both of those as "right" as possible.

Afterwards, yeah: add some gentle compression, apply a little corrective EQ (if necessary). If you aren't comfortable with the process yet, just take your time and experiment, but resist the temptation to use all your toys and techniques (outboard effects, plugs, that parallel compression trick you just read about) on one track to "fix" or "sweeten" it. Always get it right the first time (ie, in the actual performance) instead of believing you'll be able to "massage the audio with processing. When you're done tracking and move on to mixing, the less-is-more approach will pay dividends, trust me.

Anyway, nobody is born knowing this shit, and only you know what your ideal "great vocal" sounds like, so, y'know... get on it.

Peace

Gregory Wells-King
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Re: Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Post by Gregory Wells-King » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:17 pm

I like, takng a vocal, (normaly a bad one of my own) duplicate it and slightly de tune one of them.

Gives a sense of duplicate vocals, I guess this could be done with a little chorus also.

Then for me just recently I picked up 'Tone Boosters' small track essentials bundle for 20 euros' Jeroen Breebaart makes some really helpful plugins and has the degree in audio tech to prove his worth. Great Guy.

Hi X/Y mic direction plugin is worth it, even if you don't need the others, but there all really cool for the money, A litle direction i.e panning with this sounds nice. (Sound Stage)

Last on my list is of course clever us of Delay and Reverb. Noramlly on tales, reverb tales used backwards. but anyhow, some times just as peaks to give empahasis to particular phrases etc.

I've not used a gate with reverb, but in the example above no doubt you may be able to make a gate for the verb that is controlled by whatever i.e drums..used in a subtle way, that would let the verb cut in to fill space but be with held during noisier parts. Least that's the theory. I gather good mixing is about carving space for each part withingn the track. so..

Just my thoughts,, :wink:

JAMM
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Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:03 pm

Re: Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Post by JAMM » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:26 pm

It depends on the track how to produce a vocaltrack. Is it electronic?, classical music?, trance?, rock?
Everytime this needs a different vocal production.

vocal recording:
-Invest in a quality mic.
-use a vocal booth.(Reflections are a pain in the ass to fix in the mix)
-don,t place the vocal booth next to a wall.
-take the time to position the vocal booth.
-take the time to make a clean quality recording.
-don,t record to loud because you cannot fix distortion in the mix.
-keep the mic EQ neutral during the recording.

Mixing:
-start EQ the vocaltrack to a level that it sounds okay without using compressors or other effects.
-then maybe add a little compression to beef it up and make it sound louder.
-i use Delays which i prefer above reverb because reverb makes the mix muddy.
-in the end of the effectchain a limiter.

Experiment..
If you want to stand out..and the production needs it...use crazy effect settings.
Distortion, slicing, double,triple the vocals, flangers, grain delays, pitching, ambiance reverbs, extreme EQ settings, filters.....everything go,s.

there are hundreds more tips or different recording techniques.....just my 2 cents.

Cheers!
Jamm

simpli.cissimus
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Post by simpli.cissimus » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:31 pm

A good singer...
No! I'll never use the Push-App Live 9 !!!

JAMM
Posts: 728
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:03 pm

Re: Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Post by JAMM » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:33 pm

got some nice results playing with the izotope nectar demo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLBIq00uLw0

got the same results with some ableton effects racks

LeifonMars
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Re: Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Post by LeifonMars » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:08 pm

1. Singer
2. good sounding room or at least vocalbooth
3. microphone
4. preamp
MBP OSX 10.6.8, Live 8.4, MFII, Evolver, Monomachine, Octatrack, APC40, Launchpad

H20nly
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Re: Got any tips for recording/mixing great sounding vocals.

Post by H20nly » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Here's a nice one i'm looking forward to trying that Tom Cosm posted err... somewhere recently.
One technique I like to use to give vocals more space in the mix, is to use the Filter Delay with very short delay times on both the L and R chain to give it some interesting space



1. Load a Filter Delay into your track
2. Turn of the L+R delay, we just want the L and R seperately.
3. Change the delays to Time mode by clicking on the yellow Sync button for both
4. Bring the Dry volume down -inf dB
5. Even the volumes of both L and R to 0 dB
6. Now you can play with the delay times, filters and feedback to move the sound around and make it come from new places in the mix.
7. Don't forget you can hold down the Ctrl (Command on Mac) Key to make finer changes when dragging with the mouse.

This creates a short delay between the vocals coming out of the L and R, as well as cutting off some frequencies giving an impression that the vocalist is positioned somewhere out to the side.
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

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