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I want my vocals to sound more Professional.

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by DonLOM, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. DonLOM

    DonLOM Guest

    Ok my Setup is as follows

    What i have:
    MXL2001 Condenser Mic
    |
    Behringer Eurorack UB802 6 Ch Mixer
    |
    FX Send (Turned up on Mic CH strip only)
    |
    Standard Windows Souncard
    |
    Cubase SX (NUMEROUS PLUG INS)
    |
    Standard Windows Souncard
    |
    To Stereo CH on UB802

    Problems:
    I have to record my vocals at a very low Level (Main Mix Level & Mic Ch. Strip Level)< These knobs have to be turned very low or I will experience nasty noise in my recordings And I hate it.

    I have been listening to a lot of acapella track and i have been trying to mimic the effects used. (Tupac, Lauryn Hill, Bone Thugz-n-Harmony) and i can tell reverbs are used in these tracks but I also hear their headphones in the track. I say this because I thought the heaphones being heard in the vocal recordings caused noise.

    What I want to know is what is giving me the nosie? The mic? the MIxer? the Soundcard? lack of pre-amp?

    please help I need answers I am a novice at recording. Even though I love the challenge of mixing such low quality work. I would love for it to be easier. i am think of Getting a Firewire 410 and getting a Behringer ub2424fx mixer tell me what YOU think I should do.
     
  2. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    Also try to record with this setup bypass the mixer if you can....Mic-- preamp-- compressor and thaaats it..no verb till mixdown
     
  3. britune

    britune Guest

    Try to listen to your mixer with headphones or a stereo system, so you are not using your PC. Try different outputs from you mixer and see if it goes away. the problem could be in your FX send. If you can't get the problem to go away, take your microphone to someone else's mixer and see if it's in the mic.

    If you never hear the problem, when testing your mixer, the problem is ppost-mixer and in your PC rig somewhere.
     
  4. Just a thought... you using the Line-in or the Mic-in on your sound card? Also, some sound cards have amplified outputs either with or without line outputs.
     
  5. DonLOM

    DonLOM Guest

    I am using the MIC in right now but I'll try the Line in

    But you guys cant give any tips on the Professional hip hop sound not the Nosie? what plug ins are available
     
  6. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    well now your talking my language hip hop :lol: :cool: :-?
    I'd pick up a uad1 card for the compressors
     
  7. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Yeah, you need to feed the output of a mixer to the line inputs. Its designed to accept the line level output from a mixer.
     
  8. Revone

    Revone Guest

    It depends on what YOU consider the professional sound, if you mean professional as in what commercial artist have then good luck. The only way to get remotely near to their quality is to get your music mixed and mastered professionally, and even then you need a SOLID raw verse, which would do the trick. Other than that, it's not really do-able on your own.
     
  9. Revone

    Revone Guest

    You need a soundcard/device, it's essential.
     
  10. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Also the better your recording chain the easier it is to get a more pro sound. You get a quality mic, good preamp, good soundcard and good monitors to mix on you're mixes will sound more pro. But that could set you back several grand.
     
  11. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    There are a few key things that, when looked at can get you very close to the sound you are wanting.
    First let's look at your room. If you have a nasty echoey room you needn't even plug in the mic. If you want pro sounding vocals you need a pure source. The purest source for vocals would be the uneffected sound of the singers voice at the time it comes out of the mouth. The best microphones in the world pick up every detail including the room echo or reverb. The easiest and cheapest thing you could do would be to hang some thick blankets or foam around the singing area to stop the sound from reflecting off the walls. The best thing you could do is construct a proper vocal booth. It's your wallet.
    Next you need to look at gain structure. To simplify this you need to consider each component in your signal chain and how it is intended to work with the device it's connected to. There is a term calld "unity gain". It means that as the sound goes from mic to pre, to recorder to mixer to monitors etc, it means that you are neither adding amplification to the original signal or taking away the strength of that original signal. Ideally the signal that comes from the mic would be transferred without noise or distortion to the recorder, and mixed in the same fashion. This I suspect is a big part of your problem.
    Your mic will have specs indicating the impedance and gain (ie 600z or -10db or something similar). Different mic's may also have a switch that will allow you to select different values like 0db or -20db. These are there so you can match it with the pre. Play with it until you get it right. Learn as you go.
    Next you should look at the input channel to your mixer. With your singer singing at the loudest level that they would for the track, the level indicated should be +3 to +6db. It sould never go into the "red". THis gives you the most signal strength with the least amount of noise.
    If you are inputting digitally into a recording device you should never ever exceed 0db on that devices meter. _15 to -10db is just fine. If you are inputting analog use the same guideline as above. Keep in mind it's better to turn down the volume to get this level than it is to turn it up. If you can't turn it down enough then you have a gain mismatch. If you have to crank it to get level then you also have a gain mismatch. Play with the switches on your mic, or on the mixer to get the level to a point where you can adjust it without distorion or hiss.
    If you get all this worked out, record your vocals without any effect or eq. If you want them to sound up front in the mix less effects do the job. You can add effect to taste during mixdown.

    Try this for a reverb on a slower song:
    Plate reverb
    2-4 second decay
    High pass filter from 600hz to 1000hz(depending on singer)
    Early refletion time 25-50ms
    early reflection level low.
    Bring the reverb into the mix slowly until you can hear it clearly.
    Adjust the decay time and high pass until it starts to blend constanants together with a "swishy" sound. BE SUBTLE
    After you have done this reduce the level in the mix until you can just make it out.

    Listen to the song turn the verb off and on at that level. This is a good starting point to get that "shiny" sound to a voice.

    Let us know if this stuff helps.
     
  12. Atlas

    Atlas Guest

    Evertime I do hip hop I compress the vocals alot. I do the verse over and over so that I spit it flawlessly. I also alway do overdubs. Maybe not the whole track but at least on the chorus, or the really tense parts of the verse.
    I really like hip hop but alot of it is really annoying becasue there is not mounting tension and eventual release musically. You can say whatever you want but if the music doesn't make an arc or at least build tension then it will be boring. I am only saying this because if something is missing in the sound, it could be from the music not going anywhere, and everthing is subserviant to the music.
    That said, I would never use the stock soundcard. You need a better pre/sound card. Even a used, cheap, old one will be better. Most of those stock soundcards were built by gamers not audiophiles.
    Good Luck
    Atlas :shock:
     

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