Vocals

Anyone got any tips to get a fairly professional sounding vocal?
Mine always sounds too quiet or not really part of the music. If I turn it up it obviously gets into the red zone. Any specifics regarding inserts/effects would b appreciated.
I do use reverb and compressors and a couple of other things but I doubt I’m using them in the right way to get best results.

Thanks

Matt

It’d be easier to help with a specific example, there’s so much you can do with a vocal depending on genre, taste, available gear etc.

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah I think that’s the problem, there’s just so much to it that u can do.

Set up wise. Cubase 6.5 with all the effects that go with it and the mic I’ve got is an ADK A-51 class A condenser mic.

The music I make varies, but for this we’ll just stick with indie/rock.

u-tube.com/watch?v=6Wx5hl-HP6I .

u-tube.com/watch?v=NoufWOcrhJA

I don’t necessarily mix the way these guys do, but it’s just to get you in the area for looking at more.

But Strophoid’s suggestion is best - for you to post an example of the vocal that is challenging you, then you can maybe get some advice specifically for your stuff.

what are you using for preamp(s) and ADA Converters ?

My mic plugs straight into my steinberg Ci2.

I think by the sounds I need to learn to use the compressors, EQ etc better than I do now. Maybe just a case of sitting there an playin with it til it’s right. So dull though. Guess there’s no quick fix ay

Are there key things that u always use ? Eg compressor, gate etc ?

Thanks again for the help and suggestions.

To hell with vocals, they only take up valuable solo space. :smiling_imp:

I never use EQ in the recording stage for vocals, but try to pick the best ‘fitting’ mic. For mixing EQ is almost always necessary. I always use some or more analog compression during recording, depending on the material and ability of the singer, mostly to keep levels tamed, but also sometimes to add tube saturation. During mixing vocal compression almost always comes into play. Gate is useless IMO for vocal recording.

If you have a good setup you shouldn’t need a gate for vocals. Unless you get noise or weird long reverb tails a gate isn’t necessary.

Try this for starters maybe: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec08/articles/cubasetech.htm#Top

Just trying things is more likely to result in frustration rather than pleasing results. There are so many interacting variables that it can easily become a jumble. If I were you I’d get a book or two on recording techniques so you can get a good understanding of the underlying principles. Tools like compression and EQ are not always intuitive on how to best use them. For example to pull a vocal out in a mix it is often better to cut frequencies in other instruments rather than boost frequencies in the vocal.

I can’t recommend any specific books, since the ones I have are from pre-DAW times. :stuck_out_tongue:
But there are a ton of books out there. From the descriptions and user reviews you should be able to find some that are a good fit for you. Perhaps others on this forum have suggestions.

Of course, getting the recording right first is the most important criteria, no amount of EQ/Compression can fix a bad vocal recording.

Indeed. A good guy/gal behind a microphone is worth more than 2 dozens of compressors, limiters and EQs.

Have to disagree a bit: Couple of times I have succeeded on making my own singing to sound fairly góod with extensive use of EQ/compression/Melodyne/etc … but was it worth of all that trouble? HELL NO! I just should have hired a professional vocalist.

I was thinking more on the line of bad acoustics, rather than just bad singing :laughing:

You might also try borrowing some different mics from friends. A mic that sounds good on one voice doesn’t necessarily sound good on another voice.

Why should you worry about bad acoustics? All you have to do is to buy a SE Reflexion Filter (or a cheap copy) and you’re fine … or … eh? …well? :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t worry about much really :sunglasses:

Just, bad singing apart, the OP may like to consider the impact of a bad room on his/her vocal.

As we know, good recordings start at the source and work their way back :stuck_out_tongue:

Of course. It’s a chain: voice -> room -> microphone -> preamp -> a/d -> fx gadgets … and the recording/mixing engineer all around in and between these steps. If any of the links of the chain is broken, the whole chain is … unless you are prepared to spend hours and hours to use your digital magic tools and your skills to ‘polish the turd’ … which may be or may not be possible depending of the case.

As our good and well educated friend ‘Strophoid’ wrote in reply #1 in this tread:

It’d be easier to help with a specific example

It would give us a hint about where The Chain Of Good Vocals Sound was broken.

Well ive definitely got some things to go on.
The various links that hav been posted should b useful.
Maybe i’ll post my results at some point in the future :open_mouth:
Thanks for the advice people !

Hello and thank you for the very informative post guys.

Am I to understand that this example below will record the insert effects to vocals (audio) in real time?

http://media.soundonsound.com/sos/dec08/images/cubase01.jpg

I was under tha assumption that I need outboard gear to acheive this.

  • ALSO… Do I use insert effects to affect previously recorded vocals (audio)? EG: comp, deesser, gate, etc?

Thanks.