All times are UTC

 
 



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Do I need a vox preamp/compressor between mic & sound card?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:21 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:05 pm
Posts: 377
So I'm reworking our gig set up, and was wondering should I be using some kind of vocal preamp or compressor between the singer's mic before it goes into my Motu Ultralite sound card?

I process the vocals in Ableton (a device rack containing Ableton's EQ8/reverb/simple delay) - is there anything else I can be doing here to ensure the vocals are getting enough gain to FOH?
I used in the past an ART Tube Preamp, but that seemed to be flakey and cause troubles with my set-up so I ditched it.

Oh, and does anyone have a handy device rack they could forward me that works well in this kind of live set-up?
Any advice/help much appreciated! :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Do I need a vox preamp/compressor between mic & sound card?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:33 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:26 am
Posts: 331
lolalola wrote:
...should I be using some kind of vocal preamp or compressor between the singer's mic before it goes into my Motu Ultralite sound card?

If you don't like how the recorded vocals sound, and/or if the volcalist is periodically peaking the input, then yes.

Also, I thought the MOTU Ultralite had a built-in compressor. Is that not the case?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Do I need a vox preamp/compressor between mic & sound card?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:28 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:05 pm
Posts: 377
outsidesys wrote:
lolalola wrote:
...should I be using some kind of vocal preamp or compressor between the singer's mic before it goes into my Motu Ultralite sound card?

If you don't like how the recorded vocals sound, and/or if the volcalist is periodically peaking the input, then yes.

Also, I thought the MOTU Ultralite had a built-in compressor. Is that not the case?



Well, I was specifically referring to onstage/live sound actually -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Do I need a vox preamp/compressor between mic & sound card?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:52 am
Posts: 272
I use Tc Helicon synth on my voice so I got Tc Helicons CorrectXT too. Its a very nice relativly cheap solution. The synth pedal add a lot distortion and feedback and the Correct XT makes it very manageable with its anti feedback function. I seen this one in a dub spot video and really enjoy it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Do I need a vox preamp/compressor between mic & sound card?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:42 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:26 am
Posts: 331
outsidesys wrote:
lolalola wrote:
...should I be using some kind of vocal preamp or compressor between the singer's mic before it goes into my Motu Ultralite sound card?

If you don't like how the live vocals sound, and/or if the volcalist is periodically peaking the input, then yes.

Also, I thought the MOTU Ultralite had a built-in compressor. Is that not the case?

Fixed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Do I need a vox preamp/compressor between mic & sound card?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:29 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:55 am
Posts: 565
Location: Atlanta, Ga
lolalola wrote:
So I'm reworking our gig set up, and was wondering should I be using some kind of vocal preamp or compressor between the singer's mic before it goes into my Motu Ultralite sound card?

I process the vocals in Ableton (a device rack containing Ableton's EQ8/reverb/simple delay) - is there anything else I can be doing here to ensure the vocals are getting enough gain to FOH?
I used in the past an ART Tube Preamp, but that seemed to be flakey and cause troubles with my set-up so I ditched it.

Oh, and does anyone have a handy device rack they could forward me that works well in this kind of live set-up?
Any advice/help much appreciated! :D


A good preamp should make a noticeable difference. Most interfaces have mediocre preamps. Expect to spend at least $500 for a great preamp though.

It depends a lot on what kind of quality you need.

There are usually two schools in preamps. Clean and transparent and colored preamps. Tubes will usually phatten the sound.

Compressor, it depends. In theory a compressor isn't necessary for 24 bit but a little compression can make the recording process easier. It can tame really dynamic or messy vocals who peak easily. It can also lighten your mixing since u will need less compression.

Consider a compressor preamp combo device like a focusrite isa 220.

Also consider that many industry people track in mobile locations using nothing but an mbox and do their mixing later (especially for mix CDs).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Do I need a vox preamp/compressor between mic & sound card?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:26 pm 

Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 7:26 pm
Posts: 143
Gig setup? So live.. cool. Live's compressor does the trick and if you have Live 9 you have the new glue compressor which offers an alternative. You can drop a utility plugin on the track to give it extra gain. This is especially useful if your singer is really really quiet at times as the gain/comp will drive the vocals more, but compress them so quieter sections will still be heard and super loud sections will be quieted down.

Another alternative is slapping a limiter on the vocal track to make sure it doesn't peak and clip. Just put a limiter at the end of your chain. I think the default -0.30db level is fine, but you can definitely experiment by dropping it even more and boosting the gain (on the limiter plugin) to find different "saturation" levels (not sure if that's the right use of the word, but it sounds more saturated to me that way). What this will do will keep the vocalist's dynamics in place, so the quieter moments will stay quiter, but the louder moments won't get above the output level you set on your limiter.

Of course, if you want to use outboard hardware such as tube pre's then go that way, they will definitely add a different color to your sound, and a different color to your wallet (takes away the green color).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Do I need a vox preamp/compressor between mic & sound card?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:05 pm
Posts: 377
patrick.olson86 wrote:
Gig setup? So live.. cool. Live's compressor does the trick and if you have Live 9 you have the new glue compressor which offers an alternative. You can drop a utility plugin on the track to give it extra gain. This is especially useful if your singer is really really quiet at times as the gain/comp will drive the vocals more, but compress them so quieter sections will still be heard and super loud sections will be quieted down.

Another alternative is slapping a limiter on the vocal track to make sure it doesn't peak and clip. Just put a limiter at the end of your chain. I think the default -0.30db level is fine, but you can definitely experiment by dropping it even more and boosting the gain (on the limiter plugin) to find different "saturation" levels (not sure if that's the right use of the word, but it sounds more saturated to me that way). What this will do will keep the vocalist's dynamics in place, so the quieter moments will stay quiter, but the louder moments won't get above the output level you set on your limiter.

Of course, if you want to use outboard hardware such as tube pre's then go that way, they will definitely add a different color to your sound, and a different color to your wallet (takes away the green color).


Does the limiter cut the vocal, or just stop it hitting a certain volume?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Do I need a vox preamp/compressor between mic & sound card?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:41 pm
Posts: 1391
Location: Berkshire, UK
A limiter puts a ceiling on the signal level, so that it won't go over that threshold.

Anything louder will get compressed. It won't get cut (muted) - it'll just be held back.

Anything under will remain unaffected.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC

 
 

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group