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Feeling discouraged...

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by DKAUDIO, Apr 7, 2016.


    DKAUDIO DKAUDIO Active Member

    Hey guys, I'm having a tough time with something and thought this would be the perfect place to ask for help and advice. So about a week ago, I submersed myself in a few intense projects with the focus being on recording and mixing vocals. They went well and I feel confident about the end products. Just two days ago, I decided I would mess around and record a few bits of some songs I like, but for the oddest reason, I just kept turning out crap. Usually I'm able to get a pretty consitant sound that I'm happy with, but for the first time in a loooongggg time with the same gear I wasn't, and started to get very frustrated and discouraged. The vocals started to sound too muddy and I couldn't get them to sit right in the mix, and I started to hear this odd "feedback sound" I've heard this before a while ago. My room is mostly un treated and has some odd acoustics, but certain isolated frequencies kept resonating and creating a very unpleasant sound. Also because the mic I use primarily (Lewitt LCT 540) is kind of "muddy" or warm in the 500hz range, I was trying to dial that out considering my voice is on the low side. And I couldn't for the first time in a long time get the balance between a woofy vocal and a thin tinny vocal. And the more I needed to roll off and cut out, the more the vocal sounded somewhat hollow and I heard more of that "feedback sound". Now it's been very rainy and humid for the past week and I don't know if that could play a part in this, but I'm super discouraged and need someone's thoughts. Thanks!
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Try posting a sample using the "Upload a File" box at bottom right of the page. This would give us chance to comment on what you are hearing rather than making stabs in the dark.

    I've deleted your other identical post. I'm assuming you didn't mean to post the same thing more than once.
  3. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    For me mindset plays a huge part, especially when I'm tracking my own vocals. If I'm in the right frame of mind, I find I can get my vocal performance right first time, every time and that attitude comes through on the recorded track. On other occasions where I have been pre-occupied with one thing or another it effects performance and that comes at the sacrifice of the finished vocal track, which like you I find I'm battling to get right. I used to suffer the same thing occasionally playing gigs or even in the rehearsal studio, where some days I'd absolutely smash the performance out of the park and others would be mediocre because my head was somewhere else.
    Nowdays, if I'm tracking my own vocals and I find by about the 3rd take and I'm still not getting it, I walk away to save for another day.

    Everyone has an off day, even the very best of vocalists...the same can be said for both tracking and mixing...maybe this was the case ?
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    You might be temporarily toasted, DK. You mentioned that you "submerged yourself in a few intense projects for several days"; and you may just need to give your ears a rest. You certainly wouldn't be the first cooker to have to walk away from mixing for a day or two, and I can promise you that you won't be the last.
    Believe me, I know - first hand - how this can be. The last album I produced and mixed damn near killed me. LOL ... I don't know how many times my friends here on RO - Chris ( @audiokid ), Bos ( @Boswell ) Marco ( @pcrecord ), Brien ( @Brien Holcombe ) and Kyle ( @kmetal) - had to talk me down off the ledge during that project...pro cats one and all, and all guys who understood that this aural fatigue happens to all of us occasionally, regardless of how many years we've been at it. The album turned out well, but it most certainly did not come easy.

    OTOH, Have you also considered the possibility that you are not getting worse at what you do, but instead, that you are getting better? That your ears and listening skills are becoming more refined? The more we practice this craft, the more honed we become to things - both good and bad. What once wouldn't have bothered us now becomes bothersome...
    Not that this is a bad thing; but perhaps you're starting to hear the results of lower quality gear, or mixing in an untreated space, and because your critical listening skills have gotten better, you're now more sensitive to things, and accordingly, your expectations have grown as well. ;)

    Just thinkin' out loud...

  5. JayTerrance

    JayTerrance Active Member


    DKAUDIO DKAUDIO Active Member

    Thank you this helped! I took a step back for a day and figured out the problem in about 10 minutes upon return and was back in buisness!! It's a great suggestion for mindset, and I know that plays a HUGE part in the end result! So thank you!
    kmetal likes this.

    DKAUDIO DKAUDIO Active Member

    This is actually extremely reassuring and very much appreciated. Being only 17, I tend to think I'm invisible when it comes to things like aural fatigue and what not, but this is extremely helpful and comforting. Thank you!
  8. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Works for me ;)

    Good to see that you are back in the game...good stuff !!!

    Sometimes, you just have to re-evaluate, be in the frame, and set your mind to it

    Its like anything, you just have to be at one with it (y)
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Late to the thread but I'll add some personal experience.

    From a writers or producers pov, drama and emotion is what we tap into and turn into audio, maybe even a business. But it can be draining leaving us with a feeling of hopelessness and defeat. We all experience the frustrations of writers block or listening to a track to a point of boiling it into "what the hell am I doing this for". This also makes us stronger.

    The ups and downs are all part of the creative world. The key is to find out where you fit best into it (find your niche) and use it to your advantage $$$, while not letting it consume you including ruin relationships along the way. Or let the crazy makers get to us as well.

    That's why I love this place so much. Its my world away from the other world lol.

    We are here for each other.

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