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Getting vocal to sit in the mix

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by jpkeys, May 19, 2005.

  1. jpkeys

    jpkeys Active Member

    May 5, 2005
    NJ USA
    Home Page:
    I recently recorded a friend's band in my home studio. Acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums and vocals. The peformances were good, and I am pretty happy with the sound of everything. We are mixing it now, and the comment I keep getting is that the vocal does not seem to "sit" in the mix like commercial recordings.

    The vocal was recorded using an Audio Technica AT-3035 mic (sorry, that's the best I have) into a Mackie 1402 VLZ-Pro channel, direct out into a FMR RNC compressor with just a tiny bit of compression, then into my DAW (Sonar 4 with an Aardvard Aark24 @ 44.1/24). Vocal was isolated; no bleed from any instruments. In Sonar, I apply some more compression and add some EQ and reverb.

    I cannot seem to get the vocal to sound like it's part of the rest of the recording. What tricks do you guys use to make the vocal sound like it belongs? HInts on level, compression, EQ and reverb settings? Other effects/plugs that might be helpful? I know, it really depends on what the raw source material sounds like, but some general guidelines maybe? I will try to put up some mp3's later if that will be helpful. Thanks in advance.

  2. You need to have a space in the spectrum for your vocal first. After that, reverb works well. Try giving the vocal track its own dedicated reverb to make it stand out, then put a common subtle reverb across every track in order to tie it down. Also, don't be scared to compress a vocal track by as much a 6:1 or 8:1. It gives you a reason to ride the faders (I actually like to do that...).

    Also, this would be a drag for you to go back and do, but I like to choose before I track whether I want to track something compressed or just compress it later. I usually prefer to record everything dry (mic--->pre--->console--->tape) and then come back and take advantage of inserts and auxillary buses while mixing. Its just more flexible and great when you want to do a complete remix.
  3. radioliver

    radioliver Guest

    it's actually pretty simple....

    EQ - Usually doesn't take much, take out the muddiness around 200 hz by about 4 db-6db, this helps a lot (use the boost with narrow q trick to find the perfect spot to cut, you will hear it well)

    Compression, depends on the song:
    busy song - a lot of compression
    not busy - not a lot of compression

    Reverb is rarely good for me....I prefer delay, 1/4 note panned left, 1/8 note panned right, adjust volume so you can barely hear it

    There you go.....reallllly simple, if you have a good singer that is :p
  4. Pootkao

    Pootkao Guest

    My mixing volume also helps blending vocals...

    I'll start mixing the band pretty loud, and gradually keep stepping things down ... when you're listening to something thats really really quiet you can tell quite quickly what jumps out of a mix too much and what sits nicely and what gets lost.
  5. Vaylence

    Vaylence Guest

    Pootkao had a point there, I dont know if you have tryed this, but turn your master volume way down so that all you hear is the loudest thing you have mixed. If all you hear is wailing guitars, dont be scared to back them off a bit.
  6. roguescout

    roguescout Guest

    Depending on how much space is left in the mix...

    Double track the vocals (2 tracks if mono or 4 tracks stereo) to fatten them a little.

    Experiment with the levels between them and then against the rest of the mix. If you need them to be fatter, nudge one against the other a tiny bit (just watch out for flanging) or stick a short delay and a little chorus on one. Adjust the levels some more.

    If you have them double tracked in stereo, then experiment with the panning. Leave one set center, the other set 11 and 1. Or one set 11 and 1 the other set 10 and 2 etc...

    If the vocals end up too strident in the mix, apply a TINY amount of reverb over the entire mix to blend it together.

    Sky's the limit...

    Good luck! :cool:
  7. rorysound

    rorysound Active Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    Try panning the vox from centre to slightly left or right. Only a small amount enough to get away from the centre position.... :wink:
  8. zkaudio

    zkaudio Active Member

    Aug 22, 2005
    I route my overheads, guitars, and vocals through the same track with either a VERY subtle delay or reverb after I'm done. When everything is sitting in the same "ambient environment" things blend better. I RARELY use compression on vocals, but am usually dealing with very experienced singers. EQ is usually all it takes to "blend" Also try out warmifier by voxengo... it's by far my favorite subtle vocal plug.
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    Sounds interesting- how much does it cost and do you have a link? 8)
  10. http://www.voxengo.com/product/warmifier/
  11. jahme

    jahme Guest

    I'm in the midst of building a home studio and i don't want to spend a lot
    of cash on a real vocal booth if any one has directions or can help me out i would definately appreciate the help
    if u hv an open corner in the room you can get a room divider. something like what the chinese people used to change clothes behind. that will take out enough air so that u don't pick up no background air. set it up so that ther mic is in the corner and it is in the shape of a trinagle almost. the divider probably cost about $50 at any home department store or line store

    go to a real studio to record vocals after everything else is done. why spend money on DIY stuff if the end result is better in a real studio.
    shiiiiieeeet man if you come out with one hit and they ask your gearlist and you mention this stuff......you'll be the god of vocal boothness.
    The end result is only better in a "real" studio if you have no idea how to use your own. The reason i spent days building a booth and weeks on top of that building my studio is so that i can take as long as a like to get the exact sound i want instead of having to rush it in an hourly rate studio. Plus, the idea of having someone else engineering my recordings doesn't make me happy.
    i dont buy that...

    firstly a vocal booth you construct on your own is by and large not going to be as good as a vocal iso booth at a studio.

    Where as youre constructing a box from wood and other materials, youre working within a limited space. Room size does make a difference when it comes to sound. No matter how much insulation and padding you put in that small box it isnt going be the same as going to a larger room that has top notch sound proofing material.

    Secondly the cost of it might not warrant building it. I dont know the costs of wood or sound dampening material off the top of my head but it might be more expensive in the long run to build it and then buy a top quality mic. Remember that if you go to a studio it isnt just the room youre paying for, it is the gear and equipment.

    Thirdly a professional studio is not used to practice your sound and get things right from a peformance standpoint. Are you really going to practice in a homemade vocal booth? Is recording 150 takes of one song really better than practicing till you can do it in 5 takes.

    I know there are some good things about the home studio when it comes to creativity and writing but for the most part for most genres the professional studio is going to give you the best sound.

    As for other engineers doing engineering work, make sure you listen to mixes that they have done prior. The single most important thing in engineering is the experience of the engineer. For the most part an engineer is going to have tons more experience than you. If it has to do with micromanaging your music then theres no convincing you.when does a vocal booth become PROFESSIONAL? The sound of a room size can be easily manipulated with effects racks..ou don't always need to record in an insulated environment. If your room has good acoustics i.e natural reverb and is isolated from noise(cars, dogs etc) then by all means record there. The reverb units and software all mimic real world environments.ts not about creating reverb and enviroments, its about reducing it and the effect it has on recording.

    Rooms dont always have good acoustics and certainly unless youve built your room to be asymetrical with a large space and good sound dampening it isnt going to be as good as it could be. I would say that a homemade vocal booth is not going to be in teh same calibur as a studio vocal booth.

    The fact youre spending money on something that wont yield the best results rather than going somewhere that can and the price is similar, in my opinion is ridiculous. Yes, it is fun and easy to record at home, but will it give you the most professional product out there?

    any way ive said my part and ill let it be. Just consider that maybe buildig a vocal booth is not the ONLY or BEST option when it comes to recording. its not about creating reverb and enviroments, its about reducing it and the effect it has on recording.

    Rooms dont always have good acoustics and certainly unless youve built your room to be asymetrical with a large space and good sound dampening it isnt going to be as good as it could be. I would say that a homemade vocal booth is not going to be in teh same calibur as a studio vocal booth.

    The fact youre spending money on something that wont yield the best results rather than going somewhere that can and the price is similar, in my opinion is ridiculous. Yes, it is fun and easy to record at home, but will it give you the most professional product out there?

    Mrt... what kind of music do u produce/make or wutever? I am curious. Cuz for hiphop i dont think all that is such a big deal. WuTanG is the illest ish and they sound like theyre spittin in the middle of the road!I actually produce electronic music but i have recorded hip hop, rock, and some jazz. Im currently enrolled at the art institute of seattle studying audio engineering.

    of course with some hip hop it might not matter as much...but why play down to a lower level of audio quality?You can use silent fans that are 14db and run a long snaking duct with intake fan at the end. Your place should at least have a normal room temp of 68-78 degrees. If your AC is in the same room as your booth and studio with the computers your simply going to need one more layer of sheetrock with a layer of sheetblock between.

    I have a highway right outside my studio and simply covering the window with a custom made removable cover with some sheet block and a 1" layer of plywood cut 75% of the noise in just the room.

    I also employ very good silent parts in my DAW http://www.dawbox.com

    An isolation booth will do a very good job of cutting standing room noise and low freqeuncy noise as well as giving you one more barrier from all of the other noise that creeps into recordings.

    You should be caulking your edges with silicone in every crack.

    Nothing is ever going to be dead silent at 0db, but with isolation you can get it down far enough so that it will greatly silence your tracks and increase transparency and that is the point.Hey, a question, Belize is very hot, i guess everybody knows in what part of the world it is. The ventilation needed to not fry in the booth seems too niosy.
    Check with the same companies that build pro studio's that need to be silent. There are many silent fans and ventilation specs that can be adapted to fit any setup.
    Don't worry about a vocal booth. I have been engineering for 16 years, and a booth makes little or no difference. It's 90% mic, and 10% room. If a room has a bit too much echo you should hang some curtains and/or throw down a few rugs. The only thing good about a top of the line vocal booth is that it keeps sound out. Unless you are surrounded by howling dogs, or live next door to the Hells Angels I think you will find that rugs and curtains do quiet well. Put your money into a microphone.f you're on a budget, like most folks that have home studios, I would recommend something like the CAD M179. It's a whole lot of mic for the money ($199). Of course if you have a substantial bank account I would recommend something like the Neuman U87 ($2735).
    Remember that it is not about having a completely sound proof room or about having $3000 mics. Be creative and use what you have. I used egg crate foam, like you use on your mattress, and was quiet successful in converting a large closet into a very silent vocal booth. I do occasionally use that booth for separating brass instruments from the rest of the room in the rare case that I record multiple instruments at once. In most cases each track is recorded one at a time, and I like the way my room sounds far better than my homemade booth.
    I would recommend that you try some recordings and if your results are horrendous go back to the drawing board. Chances are that you will be suprised at how good your room sounds, and the money you saved can be used for much more necessary equipment.
    Stay away from stage mics like sm57 and sm58. These are great mics for the right application and the studio is rarely the right application. Look for a studio vocal mic with low self noise (around 12db). I recommended the CAD M179 because of the variable pattern feature. This will allow you to "shape" the mic to fit your needs. Very useful in a home studio.
    I hope this was helpful.how would u recommend going on recording without a booth... especially if u have the music in the same room... should i just get two studio silent headphones? one for me and one for the person being recorded?... because i dont want there to be an echo on the recording but i dont think i will have to space or money to build a vocal booth so i wanna try this out first. also does it matter where your mic goes if you put it in a full room? for example, corner, against a wall?sure you can record in your tracking room as well, but chances are that the mics pick up the computer fan and the fish tank in the corner of your room, among many other things. Mic placement is something you need to try out, but in an un-treated room it might be best to put it into the middle of the room.

    Don't you have a closet full of cloth?? Well, there's your vocal booth! First of all there is no such thing as silent headphones. Headphone bleed will forever be your enemy. Try to get the person being recorded to monitor at the lowest level possible.
    There is no definate answer for mic placement either. Mic placement varies according to what is being recorded. For example: An upright bass may sound better with the mic closer to the floor in the middle of the room. I record most vocals with the singer facing a corner with a heavy curtain on both walls. Distance from the corner depends on the mic, the vocalist, and preference in response.
    In theory, you can eliminate headphone bleed by placing two small (3") speakers behind the mic aimed at the singers ears. (maybe 5 or 6 feet apart) The theory is that if you reverse polarity on one speaker (puting it out of phase with the other) the frequencies will cancel each other at the mic resulting in silence on the recording. The singer will hear the playback (provided the singer has two ears), but the mic only having one ear will not. I have not tried this, but the theory is a good one. If you try it let me know how it works.The key is in the right planning and thinking way ahead of yourself on every angle. The actual build is not technical at all and very simple. I planned out this booth to go together with minimal plywood, 2x4s, and a construction that ensures it goes together and comes apart many times. The key is measurements and design. Building something portable that is not so permanent is a good idea because you never know what you might want to change in the surrounding space in your studio.

    I had two to three designs before coming up with this one. It goes together with one person and after all cuts are made and all parts supplies are handy your up in 3-6 hours depending on how fast you want to work. After taking this booth apart and putting it back together now about 3 times it goes up now in 20 minutes and tear down is 10.

    It seems very easy at first. It doesn't seem as simple once I think about how much time it took me to pre-think it out and also locate all the parts I wanted to use. Especially as you start looking at different things like door sizes, jack plates and styles. How all the wiring is going to work. Trips to Home Depot for thresholds and door seals it can be a very frustrating experience.

    The plans just short cut all the guess work as if a consultant figured it all out for you and then you watched them build it right before your eyes.

    For $29.00 VS. some bloke carpenter charging your a good $65 an hour it pays for itself in bypassing the hassle of figuring out the details wich are more than just cutting some 2x4's and slapping things together. Even as smart as I think I am it still took me hours of prep and part hunting to figure it out.

    Just my two cents...

    If your 100% a gung ho person and want to do research and build from scratch though go for it! I would love to see the end result.



    And Knowing is half the battle.

    09-05-2004 10:02 PM

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    Joined: Aug 2004
    Location: london-marseille... depends on the climate and the jobs lol

    Posts: 34

    I can understand you might want to earn some money by selling your plans nicely presented in a DVD and with the relevant videos ... but I also regret that because u want to make a little money you don't give any useful tip. Not one, nothing at all !

    I thought this site was supposed to let those who know help out those who dont... not necessarily another site where you have to pay, even for such simple advice...

    Also I read an answer that said "go to a REAL studio". Well, that's a great piece of advice really, otherwise what about just helping the guy with an answer he can use? Imagine as a general answer to any question on this forums "pay a pro with experience instead of doing it yourself"? ah well...

    I don't know much, but I would discard the type of design that is available (for free) on that german link : http://www.digital-synthologie.de/gesangskabine/

    As much as possible, you might want to avoid parallel panels. Unless you put quite a lot of work and use expensive materials, floating architecture and esoteric incantations, there will still be some reflections of some sort in some frequency range... so better not having parallel panels to ping-pong all that!
    Also, if you can do without, get rid of the window : it sure is convenient to make sure the singer isnt dead because of lack of air, but otherwise it makes a highly reflective surface of a dangerous size (especially like in the case of our german friends, less than 25 cm from an expensive Neumann microphone).
    A talkback system will provide better communication than the window!

    last but not least, it may be worth wondering what kind of sound you want for the voice or instrument you record. If you use a "deaf" booth and then apply a bathroom-type of reverb, it might have been better to record in your bathroom straight away... no joke, some have a great sound!!! or try some small churches, 1 in 10 sounds amazing, ideal for classical.

    about the "insert or send" issue a little earlier, just keep in mind that effects (reverbs, flangers, delays...)add to the signal, are blended to a dry signal and therefore require to be put on an aux loop.
    Processors, on the other hand (EQ, compressors...), need to affect the whole signal and therefore will be plugged as inserts.

    I hope that made sense. I also hope I m not making any mistake lol!

    Of course, if you know what you are doing or if you feel like experimenting, don't hesitate to do the complete opposite lol... there is no right and wrong! If it sounds like what you want, then it is good!


    do u know Y humming birds hum?

    .. cause they dont know the words!

    10-25-2004 09:04 PM

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    Joined: Dec 2003

    Posts: 26

    I am sorry you feel bad about it and your point is well taken. I give plenty of free advice out here on stuff and dozens of other forums relating and the plans have only been used to pay for the expense of building them so that new versions can be updated and so on. You can bet that a large percentage of musicians and producers out here plug there skills studio's and services so your comment in that respect is pretty much a wash since everyone with a MAC/PC a Digi-002 and a MPC3000 is selling themselves and there products as a studio. I think that is an awsome thing and it brings the talent to the table for all with a dream and the skillz. In a forum there is allways going to be a difference of opinion.

    So in closing I respect your stance but at the same time I defend my actions by saying that I was never in this for the money and I have now helped dozens of "Future Producers" get a leg up in the world and save about $1000 and for that I will never feel guilty for.

    When a 20 year old kid from the bronx built his booth from my plans and paid $30 for them and a few hundred in blood and sweat VS the $2500 he thought he would have to make just to do good vocals I feel like I have done a very good thing for the music community.

    When corparate giants are milking musicians for every dime convincing them they need the latest plug in's I sleep better at night knowing that someone did not have to lie, cheat or steal to get something that was out of there range.

    If your hard up for cash and want to build your own booth give us a call we could sell you the plans for dirt. But if your just trying to rip down people and your jelous of a good idea, or you think everyone in the world who works hard to make a product should just give it up for free then you are just advocating the demise of an industry being sucked dry by greed.

    Chances are that many in this forum has one peace of hacked software on there system they did not pay for, but yet that same person would persecute me for selling a dirt cheap product that helps a poor musician save thousands.

    How about this angle. Every $30 dollars spend goes to the poor musicians relief fund for the under paid and under respected hard core basement musician trying to cut a CD paycheck to paycheck.

    Peace Bro!I'm getting gr8 results from my little 'closet' booth in my home studio. I am a pro engineer and i've worked on rooms of all sizes and quality. The main key is the sound of the room, the artist, and the mic placement. I've done 3 commercial records in my home studio this year that sound great. Y pay when u don't have to? Don't be sold by hype, use you OWN ears.
    Most vocal booths are small. Thats why they're called booths and not "rooms". It's to do with getting the dryest possible recording, plus the smaller it is the less the bottom frequency will travel within the recording space- resulting in crisper recording. The smallest booth I've ever been in was about 1,5 square meters -and that booth was in the studio the head engineer of Sony Norway use....size does matter, but not in the way you seem to think ;-)i feel for a home studio u need at least 2 rooms. one room for all the equipment. put up sound foam in both rooms...and the two rooms should be somewhat next to each other. drill hole in wall to put cables thru to other room... that room will be for recording vocals and mix downs. u can track from the other room and get a rough mix in that room since it's more noise from all the equipment. but if u got limited space then do what u gotta do....oh and alot of hip-hop artist have studios built into their homeshey slydog, If you know that ur gonna record something in a few hours you should try leaving the door open and setting up a fan on high torward the booth so it circulates the air and cools it down. Then turn off the fan and close the door to record, obviously. I've never tried it but i think that would help, tell me if it works.right now the only compressor i have is the behringer composer-xl mdx2600....it also has a de-esser, gate, peak limiter, etc. which I use for drums and everything else....i run it through the AUX so I can use it on the entire mix (recording one instrument at a time) so I dont have to keep switching the insert.....does that make since or should I do something differently???Using the aux sends for your compressor is not something you should do, they are meant to be used with an insert send/return. Dont ask me why, but in any studio you go to, that will be how it is set up.

    If you are worried about repatching etc, why dont you buy a patch bay, they are very cheap, and then it would just be a case of having all your inserts patched up, and your compressor, and hooking up whichever channle you need to.

    Im sure there is a specific reason why you should not use the aux sends for a compressor, but the obvious one I can think of is, if you are using one aux for your monitoring, and the others for your reverbs/delays etc (for which the aux are meant to be used), then really you dont have any more aux left.....unless you have like 6 aux sends????

    __________________oh yeah.....and if you are using your compressor on the aux, are you then gonna patch in your reverb to your inserts? No way!!!! cos then you cant share the reverbs with other instruments.....

    And these are only really obvious reasons why you dont use aux for compressors.

    Basically, a real engineer would not do what you are doing, and most would laugh in your face if you went into a session and started patching your compressors into your aux sends.....

    Anyways, whatever works for you I guess

    __________________thanks for the input, but i'm beginning to wonder if you read my original post or not... if you read my equipment list, I have no reverbs or anything like that....at least not yet and I plan to use the compressor on all the instruments (its not just a compressor)....and an actual engineer told me to run it that way instead of using a patchbay....

    And I do have 6 AUX sends (only 4 returns though)....but I have CR(control room) outputs as well....here is a list of ins and outs on my mixer...

    Main Outs - Left, Right & Mono
    Main Insert- Left & Right (TRS)
    Tape - In & Out (RCAs)
    Control Room Out - (L&R)
    Sub Outs (4)
    AUX Sends (6)
    AUX Returns (4 L&R)
    Direct Outs (8)
    16 Mic/Line/Insert Channels

    Here is how I have it ran.....

    Main Outs - to PA System (for live jamming)
    Main Inserts - Nothing
    Tape Input - RCAs from CD player
    Tape Output - RCAs to Soundcard for recording
    C-R Out - to monitors
    Sub Out - (1)Headphones to vocal booth,other 3 unused
    AUX Sends - 1&2 to compressor, 3 to Kosmos
    AUX Returns - 1&2 from compressor, 3 from Kosmos
    Direct Out - Nothing

    .....I will eventually get reverbs and other compressors and will run them individually, but right now, I can't afford a compressor for every channelI wouldnt have thought a "actual" engineer would ever advise someone NOT to use a patch bay as it really does make things alot easier, as far as being able to access all inputs, outputs, aux sends/returns, insert points and others.......trust me, it will change your life. And they are so cheap these days, especially from behringer.

    I will quote a couple of lines from your past posts just to prove that I had actually read them...

    "If anyone has any suggestions or comments"

    "Does this make sense or am I doing something wrong?"

    When you want to process audio using a compressor (or EQ/Gate etc) it is best to send the entire signal through the processor, not just a part of it, so if you use a aux send, only part of the signal is sent, and some of the signal remains un-processed, and therefor not compressed.

    Trust me here......

    Anyway, good luck!Hi...that post actually helps me out a little...maybe I'm just not familiar with the difference between inserts and AUX....what do you mean that it only processes part of the signal? I have a "pre" switch on each channel of my mixer which, from my understanding, sends the signal straight to the compressor, bypassing the mixer (except for gain)....is this right? Does this mean that the compressor still only processes part of the signal?

    Also, I'm sure you're not questioning the money I have spent? The card I have has all of the inputs I need and I get great sound from it recording. It records at 24-bit / 92Khz ....from what I could tell, this is pretty good.....besides, every other soundcard that was 24-bit was alot more expensive... Can you explain to me the difference? Also, I have been thinking of getting a MOTU with 24 simultaneous inputs....it is also 24-bit....is there something better I can get? I'm wanting to be able to record 16-24 tracks simultaneously so that I can record a full band live and the bass drum will be on one track, snare another, etc., guitar on one, bass on another, etc....is the MOTU the best way for me to go???Hi,

    Sorry if I sounded patronising, that was not my intention at all. When a mixer says pre/post for your aux, this is generally pre-fader/post-fader, so it is only going through or bypassing your fader. but with aux sends, you are still only sending a part of the audio. This is usefull for reverbs/delays where you still want to hear the original signal, but add a little FX over the top. For dynamics processors like compressors, EQ, gates etc, you really do want to send the whole signal through the processor.

    As far as your soundcard goes, even though it is capable of 24bit 96 kHz sampling rates, which is as good as other converters, there are degrees of quality with the analog to digital conversion. I dont really know too much of the technicalities, but basically the more you spend (in most cases) the better your sound will be, and im sure that you will noice a big difference in the quality of your audio once you move up to something like the MOTU range of AD converters. They are still not the best, for example the Apogee or Prism converters are simply gorgeous, and blow the MOTU boxes away, but then you are spendng upwards of USD$10,000, which is a hell of alot. I have a MOTU 2408mk3 and for what I am doing they are quite nice.

    As far as recording a whole band at once, you might be better off just recording say drums and bass first, as the backbone of your track, maybe with a guide guitar/vocal to help the musicians with timing, and then overdubbing the guitars/vocals/keys later. This is generally how it is done, as you will need alot of mics and alot of separate iso booths to minimise spill if you want to record everyone together. Most of the time it is done like that, in 3 sessions or more, with drums and bass first, then guitars/keys, then vocals.

    I would recommend the MOTU 2408 as the basis for your rig, then add to that the 24i/o. this will give you all up 32 tracks of analog, 24 tracks of TDIF or ADAT, and some S/PDIF i/o aswel. A very good combination, with alot of flexability. This is what I am aspiring to, and for the price, the MOTU boxes will give you more than adequate quality converters. Combine that with a couple of high end mic pre's and a nice dual mono/stereo tube compressor, and you will have an awesome system.

    Good luck



    08-29-2004 03:35 AM

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    Joined: Dec 2003

    Posts: 26

    This vocal booth is $500.00 and any time I want killer vocal tracks with great isolation I hit my booth at any time of the day or night I want. With a good solid mic, pre-amp and a dead booth using auralex foam constructed the right way you can get pro results very easy.

    This booth took me 6 hours to build and is 100% portable. For simply acoustic guitar overdubs (mono) wise I use it as well. My tracks are as clean as ever. One lame demo's worth of cash can get you the plans materials and a DVD showing you how it is done.

    We have added a window and simple instructions and ventalation.

    An AT4050 with a Avalon in this booth straight into my DAWBOX is as clean and good as any studio. As a vocalist I want to record harmonies and main tracks when my voice feels the best, not when I am pressured in a studio at $50 an hour on the line.

    I do voice overs in my booth, harmony parts, main vocal parts and they come out crystal clear and crisp and sharp. Thyere is no room noise and that used to be a big issue with the tons over overdubbing that I do for clients and myself.

    I am not dissing a pro studio but there is an alternative to only doing vocals in a big studio. To save money mid sized and small studio's have purchased my plans for iso booths being that they do not have more than one large acoustic space..

    I have also used it to isolate amps and stringed instruments. Nothing beats a big studio behind as SSL or Neve but this is the real world and 99% of it has a tight budget and no record deal.

    There are a good 100 clients out there who have used these plans and are happy they did...

    You can spend your money any way you want. I for one have spant my fair share of studio time for less than pro vocal parts that I should have done over due to nerves or the rest of the band being off...

    We have guys from Brooklyn to LA cranking out vocals that are top notch and right up front..

    Just my two cents..



    And Knowing is half the battle.

    Last edited by dawboxpro on 08-30-2004 at 09:33 PM
    08-30-2004 09:28 PM

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    Joined: Sep 2004
    Location: Arkansas (Ozarks)

    Posts: 2

    Okay. I'm gonna build a vocal booth, based on info I get from this site. I know a good deal about sound, physics, and engineering. Okay, I'm eccentric. But I think I can build something that sounds good, and is constructed from inexpensive and found materials. I have a space that is 10 feet tall by 6 x 6. I built my entire studio and it sounds good enough to master for radio (2 years experience), but all vocals were recorded in the control room. So, why not build a booth? You guys have some great ideas and opinions and I welcome all of them. I have checked out the links in this thread, and all were quite helpful. Thanks!

    So, any suggestions will be appreciated. I'll even post the progress here. We can see just how good a cheap room can be done. Then, afterward, I will see if it makes the radio. So, you talk the talk, and I'll to the work. I'll hammer the nails, drive the screws in worn out shoes, and all it entails, Plywood singing-Skil saw ringing and if all else fails, I'll be singing the blues...


  12. jpkeys,

    When I hear that something isn't sitting well in the mix, a few things come to mind (many of these have been mentioned - this just gives them to you in a checklist-like form):

    1. Volume.
    The track sticks out because it is too loud in relation to the other tracks.

    2. Dynamics.
    If the track is too loud at certain points and too soft at others, it won't sit right. Applying the proper amount of compression should allow it to relate better to the rest of the mix.

    3. Environment.
    If all of the instruments and vocals sound like they are in the same room or environment, the mix will sound more cohesive. As others have mentioned, try applying a reverb/delay/effect to all tracks (just a little will usually do the job well).

    4. Distance.
    If all of the instruments sound like they are four to six feet away and the voice sounds like it's two inches away, the mix may not work well. To make a vocal sound more distant, roll off the low frequencies, starting around 200 Hz (try lower and higher cutoff frequencies), cut the presence are of EQ (around 6500 Hz) a bit, and add more effects. To make a vocal sound nearer, reverse that (boost low frequencies, 6500 Hz, and reduce effects).

    5. EQ and Equipment.
    If you used high-quality condenser microphones on all of the instruments and then a beat-up SM57 that had been used in smoky bars for ten years on the vocals, the tracks won't sound like they belong together because they will have such a different character. Try the EQ adjustments that folks have suggested. Use your ears - whatever helps unify the characteristics of the vocal and instruments is what you need.

    6. Approach.
    Where did you start in the mix? You may want to try starting with the vocals and building the mix around them. Sometimes changing the approach will solve the problem.

    I may have missed something. Hopefully, one of these items will help you unify the mix.

    BTW, what was up with that insanely long post in this thread?
  13. jahme

    jahme Guest

    im sorry to say but ur totally wrong. u have no idea what u are talking about really. get some knowledge first instead of copying and pasting stuff over the net.
  14. jahme,

    I apologize if you felt insulted by my comment about your long post. It was not meant to hurt your feelings. I was just confused because it looked like several forum posts in one.
  15. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Home Page:
    I use Sonar also and what I do sometimes for vocals or another instrument that I want to really seperate from the rest of the mix (but have the same room-feel) is kind of a "multing" concept or what they called excited-compression back in the days of Motown.

    -Bus your vox to 3 seperate Aux Channels(Pre-fader). Setup the Sonar FX EQ plug in all 3 buses.

    -In the 1st channel setup the Lo Shelf as high as it will go and scoop the mids.

    -In the 2nd channel shelve the lows and the highs, leaving the mids.

    -In the 3rd channel shelve the highs scoop the mids and shelve the lows with a center freq of only about 40Hz (should roll everything off around 90Hz).

    -Then setup your compression plug in each Aux channel after the EQ and gently compress with a ration of only around 3:1.

    -Then setup a Reverb plug after the compression in each Aux channel and dial in a little reverb until you can barely hear the Verb, using settings that closely match the natural reverb of the rest of your tracks.

    The overall effect is really cool.

    By the way, this effect absolutely Rocks on a Drums submix.
  16. bonyback

    bonyback Guest


    marc ghethor

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