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Need Experienced Audio Engineers Help!!!

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by t.whisiker, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. t.whisiker

    t.whisiker Active Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Chino Hills
    wats up i've been recording a lot lately using pro tools 9 (rap and singing) and i am some what new to the programs as of mixing and adding the right effects to get that crisp clean sound i have a $200 mic and m-audio interface and acoustic foam surrounding the vocal booth. i was wondering what vocal effects or compressors experienced audio engineers use to get that great quality sound. IF you guys could help it would be much appreciated!!!!
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    It depends on the song what effects are being used. i know this doesnt answer your question but its true.

    I get a great vocal sound BEFORE I add anything to it. That should be your focus.
  3. aj113

    aj113 Active Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Hull, UK
    Yes I do this too - sort of :) I guess it depends on your definition of 'great'. For me it means a good consistent recording level, (compressed going down if necessary in order to achieve this) and with as little noise as possible. I work with the vocalist to get the optimum position and distance from the mic. Having done all of this, if the vocal sound isn't great then something is wrong at a basic level. All other EQ, effects etc are applied after recording. Works for me, but I guess everyone is different.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I'm consistently inconsistent so I have numerous methods to achieve what you're asking about.

    Firstly, one only needs a marginally decent microphone preamp & analog to digital converter to the computer. Any reasonable microphone with some additional foam pop filtering in addition to the already installed foam pop filtering you'll find in a SM58. Don't want a dynamic microphone you say? Then additional foam pop filter on a Beta 87, etc.. Let's face it, you rapper guys slobber all over your microphones and so you need that foam condom. And you don't have to throw them out after every use like the others. They're washable. You can even apply a drop or two of some lovely cologne or perhaps steak sauce? Then you're recording a track.

    Conversely, after you select your microphone, you might want some additional compression and/or limiting and/or some additional EQ while tracking? That's what I frequently do but then I have a good command of my tools. Yes, I believe it's supposed to sound right going in and going down and I'm not talking about your girlfriend. Although the same principle can apply there.

    Effects? None of us cut effects. We might utilize some while tracking just to make it more pleasant in somebody's headphones. But that requires another order of magnitude of stuff in order to accomplish that. And it's not generally doable in software while recording. So that requires external equipment. And then the weight and the dollars start to add up. So if you want what you want, it'll come at a price. But when done with hardware & a multitrack interface, you could conceivably also cut those effects to additional tracks. It never quite seems to work out well with just software alone that way. And you're right. If what you are trying to track doesn't sound right to begin with, it ain't. And that has nothing to do with gobbledygook effects. It has to do more with the proper microphone than anything else. Heck, the microphone is more important than the interface. Most consumer level interfaces are all pretty similar to one another with minor differences in specifications more than anything else. So what are you looking at? What's your budget? Do you want your microphone to be handheld or should it be on a stand at a fixed distance? Maybe all of the above? So a SHURE Beta 87 wouldn't be a bad choice and neither would be a SM58, dynamic. You can't overload a dynamic but you sure as heck can overload a condenser microphone quite easily. That negates the fact that improper level setting on your microphone preamp can also be easily overloaded by either dynamic or condenser microphones. That's where your real engineering expertise is required. And completely clean, transparent, crispy, neutral, thin sounding preamps aren't the ticket either. You rapper guys are colorful and your equipment should be capable of creating the proper color for what you want to do. A neutral rapper is a non sequitur. You just need to get it down without any distortion and plenty of headroom with the right microphone. It's that simple.

    For processing during mixing, it's whatever you want to create. One of my favorite devices is the use of the Yamaha SPX 90 in " pitch change C ". One click up in the left channel and one click down in the right channel. And that's bad ass sounding at least for rock 'n roll. Extremely short room reverb, room simulations are also advantageous sounding. And I combine that with the Yamaha SPX 90 effect. And when I say room reverb, I'm not talking about long trails. So extremely short as to not appear as reverb at all but a space in a place.

    I get me down since I can't get me self up to get down.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    Get more/better mics. There are lots of different voices and one mic won't handle them all. A varied mic collection is the first step to getting good vocals. One good large diaphragm condenser, one or two different small diaphragm condensers and a few different dynamics would give you a lot of options.

    Small spaces present acoustic problems that foam can only somewhat fix. A bigger space might help the sound of your tracks.

    Mostly I use the basic/default eq and compressor of the DAW unless they don't do what I want them to do. There are times when I go for a special purpose eq or boutique compressor. Hopefully I get the recording right enough that I'm using eq and compression more as a creative tool than a corrective one.

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