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Hours a day at studio tracking

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by nanno977, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. nanno977

    nanno977 Guest

    Hi everyone, it's me again! Im tracking my songs at my Homestudio and i wanted to know how many hours a day are good enough to track vocals without damaging my voice, cos i'm actually doing 3 or 4 hours, taking 15 min breacks between couple of takes.
  2. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    You can go that long with the lengthy breaks. I'm sure you know that warming up properly is by far that best way to keep your voice in good shape. Also know when your voice is tired if you're starting to strain and having trouble stop.
  3. nanno977

    nanno977 Guest

    Yes i know about the warm up, i'm trained but i wasn't sure if that amount of hours were acceptable to be tracking. Thx for clarifying it to me, but now, i wonder : how many hours usually are used to track vocals at the studios? there is a top we must not brake or it depends entirely on the singer himself ?.
  4. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I stop tracking vocals as soon as the singer begins to lose the edge...
    usually 3-4 hours with a trained singer, less with an untrained one- thankfully lately on the projects am producing all my singers are great!
    helps a heck of a lot :D
  5. nanno977

    nanno977 Guest

    Thx Maintiger, yes of course good singers can make a hell of a difference, lucky me i'm one of them (siempre tan humilde jajajaja) i say that cos i really like how i sound, and i'm a very perfectionist producer so i try to get the best of me (Quote BA).
    Well thanx again, now i'm going to disarm the studio cos tomorrow the isolated doors are going to be here and i have a lot work to do.

  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    It all depends on the singer ....

    Before I quit playing in bars, I used to sing with my band, 5 hours a night or more , 5 days or more a week. I did this for years with no damage to my voice. The toughest schedule we ever had was doing six 30 minute shows a day at a theme park and then doubling back for a five hour night at the club. We did the theme park Tues. through Sun. and we did the club Weds. through Sun. ... so the only day off I would get was on Mondays.

    The only time I had problems was when I did shows at larger venues where in some cases, the monitors weren't loud enough to overcome the mains. Then I would rip my voice out in an evening.

    As long as you are singing correctly (projecting from your diaphragm, not your throat) and you can hear yourself sufficiently, I don't think there's any real time restrictions. If your throat stars to hurt, stop.
  7. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I agree that in giging you can sing a lot longer with good results and no damage to your voice. Especially if you have good vocal technique. I've done rehearsals in the afternoon and then gone out to the gig and sang again for the show with no problems whasoever.
    The only thing is that when recording I find that in 3-4 hours the singers usually lose their edge and are not as sharp, thus usually giving a sub-par performance. Another thing that I've found is that when recording a particular song the best take is usually the second or the third. By the forurth take the singer is 'losing it' a bit. Nowdays with daws I of course 'comp' the vocals and that's when I find myself usually culling the most lines out of takes three and two. Anyway, that's been my experience. 8)
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I agree completely. I thought that when you said "edge" you were referring to vocal quality, not a component of performance.

    I hate spending more than a hour or so on any task in the studio. To me it's like beating a dead horse. I lose patience and tell the talent to either get it right or I will do it myself. With singers, I will tell them to go home and work on it until they can do it in a few passes. I have no tolerance for turd polishing or creating a good take by punching in and out on single words for hours at a time, although I will record several takes and comp them ... Nothing wrong with that IMO.

    I suppose in the past I could have made a lot more money by accommodating that approach but to me it just seems a bit unethical to "milk" sessions like that. The end results usually do not merit the effort. Best takes are usually in the first 30 minutes or so. I used to work for a studio owner who loved to encourage the vocalists to spend inordinate amounts of time on their tracks and that was one reason I eventually left that job.

    To me the best takes happen when there's a bit of spark (what you are calling edge). You are correct when you say that disappears after a few hours.
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Its funny but that edge will disapear pretty quick and things will start sounding unispired. That's why I think (with a well rehearsed singer) that takes 2 or 3 are the best- I usually do 4 and comp- if it did not happen then move on to another song. i find that in the three hours or so that the singer is inspired to perform i can work on maybe 5-6 songs tops with a well rehearsed and competent vocalist- that's 4 takes per x 6 songs= 24 takes and go home- the quality really degenerates after that. now its possible to come back later on that day and do another session- I've done it- but you have to take a break or you do lose it. same for mixing for me- I find that if I don't take a nice break after 4 hours things will start sounding not so good and i don't know which end of the cat is up, so I quit.
    On the other hand, I can jam with the guys all day and all night - that's a different story alltogether. I think when you are playing with the band things are flowing and its a different thing alltogether. Its a fluid envirinment. Recording is more like a craft, more rigid and I think that's why it takes it more out of you. But as far as singing with the band I agree that if the monitor mis is fine and you are having fun You can go on forever... anyway, those are my thoughts... :D
  10. nanno977

    nanno977 Guest

    Hi again, i've been reading your posts and i have to agree with that , but i call it spirit or feeling, i usually start to losing it at 5th complete take, i like to do it complete every time, but after a while it starts to bore me as hell and my performance decreaces because of this loss.
    Keeping the first push moment is really good for a god couple of takes.

  11. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    yeah, the spirit, feeling, the edge- those are what inspires up for great take at a studio. In live situations you have the audience feedback and in jamming with the band you have your bandmates feedback- all which feeds you and renew you and inspire you to perform. in a studio situation you have to put yourself in a certain state of mind and sing for an imaginary audience- paint a picture with your phrasing, if you will. That's why after the fourth take it starts to degenerate. It is mighty hard to sustain that inspired state without feedback- you say it begins to bore you but i think it might be more like you lost that commection to hat place that gives you energy and feeds you... nah... its just words, same thing I guess- (y)
    that indefinable sensation, that place where great performances come from just can not be described or defined with mere words... :D

    nos vemos

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