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Need serious advice.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by TaylorLucas, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. TaylorLucas

    TaylorLucas Active Member

    Hey guys. Just found this forum, I will definitely be checking this place every once in a while. I've been dicking around with my recording equipment for about two years. Ive added more stuff over the coarse. Ive recording some stuff with buddies ect. Now Ive got a bit of a band going.

    I realize my recording quality/techniques and such have flaws. But I kinda want to make it clear I'm not hear for recording help right now haha. I just need advice on something.

    Here's my pickle. We've been working on this 6 and a half minute original song for a while now. We weren't really satisfied with the singers vocals during the verses of the song (and for some reason no matter what he tried he couldn't change them), so we decided to stick with only his chorus's. I want to replace the melody (which would have been the vocals) during the verses with guitar (somewhat like what Lynyrd Skynyrd did in Freebird, JUST an example). It should work pretty well. The only problem is, the transition into vocals seems very sudden and random. I am trying to figure out a way to blend the vocals into the song better, in my opinion it's just too much of a bang. Please keep in mind again (before you post) that there WILL be a guitar doing some vocal type picking during the verse, so maybe that can help it blend a bit better.

    Here's the song:
    (I'll fix the clipping when the song is near finished).

    And here's the song as an instrumental:
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Taylor, the biggest problem with the vocal is the cheap Chinese condenser microphone you cut it on. It's awful sounding. Doesn't matter what kind of stupid plug-ins you're using. So, yeah, a lot better as an instrumental. Now if you want to make the vocal sound good and sit right. It's pretty simple. Here you go.:

    1. Just get up off of & remove the SM58 that's stuck to the back of your blue jeans.
    2. Plug it in to your preamp/mixer/analog-to-digital converter.
    3. Now, without the stand but the microphone plugged in, hand it to your singer.
    4. Instruct the singer to sing while recording the new vocal.
    5. Use a cheap broadband dynamics compressor with a preset similar to RMS, 4: 1, attack/release, auto.
    6. Lean back. Put shoes are on top of console. Wear a smug smile, knowing you didn't even have to screw with the EQ. You didn't even have to use your cracked plug-in's. Knowing it was this easy all along.

    That's all you need to know
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest


    I was absolutely serious on my serious advice.

    Vocal cutting specialists
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. TaylorLucas

    TaylorLucas Active Member

    Lol, well I used an sm57. With a broadband compressor. Added some reverb and echo. If you're saying it will sound better if I record it again but with only the broadband compressor. I might try that, its just we kinda wanted a bigger sound than just flat vocals. I wasn't sure on how to get it, I'm a noob at effects (so feel free to give me tips on how to get that big sound). I'll take your advice, I didn't know the quality was that bad, I was more conserned on the layout of the song/singing.
  5. BrianaW

    BrianaW Active Member

    My opinion is that you keep at what you're doing and try cutting the singer during the verses again. I like his voice and he definitely sounds capable. Try and try until you nail it. I've had a singer do 97 takes before just so he was rehearsed and confident with the material... and it worked, believe me. :) I think if you get him singing it right, it would do the song way more justice than with just guitar in the verses. Maybe you could even get another singer and use this person's tracks as backing vocals? Just my opinion.

    Answering your question more directly, I think if you brought the vocal slightly more up front, and gave it a little more high end definition it could make a better transition from the guitar. The voice would either have to have a lot of presence to match the guitar, or the guitar lead would have to have less presence to match the vocal. Then maybe do some chordal or lead guitar building (crescendo) right before the chorus kicks in. -Ending on the 1 beat of the first measure of the chorus... and sustain and fade that guitar note through that first measure.

    Really though, nothing is going to beat having him sing it... he's perfect for it. I'd even change the vocal melody in the verse to better suit his needs before I'd scrap him for a guitar lead... but of course, that's me. Again, just my opinions. :)
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Well I'm actually surprised to hear you used a SM57. Yup, some compression. But it also sounds like you're trying to print the reverb with the vocal? I'm not quite hearing the warmth you should be attaining along with a more upfront quality. His distance from the microphone could be a significant factor. As you may be aware of the closer you get to a directional capsule, the greater the low frequency response will be. Proximity effect with compression, should give you a much bigger sound than what I'm hearing. I'll frequently compress or limit when tracking but I don't record reverb on the vocal track. And you didn't indicate whether your compression was pre-or post reverb? This is not to say you should have a flat sounding vocal. You just add reverb in the mix & in stereo. Now if you make that reverb really short. That's really short. In the sense that short means it's no longer a reverb but a "ambient room generator". So very short reverb. You don't necessarily want to compress reverb. And with a 57/58 you will want your vocalists to be further than 1 fist distance from the capsule.

    On the subject of equalization, you'll obtain substantially different results depending on whether you equalize & then compress. Or, compress & then equalize. And that doesn't have to be either or either. You can equalize, then compress, then equalize some more. But again, I frequently find that LESS IS MORE. I like big huge vocal sounds too. But quite frequently, it really depends on the voice & not even the microphone selection, preamps, etc.. But I am curious as to your equipment & software used in the process of working with the vocal. 57 & 58's are probably my most favorite microphone's. More so than any of my good stuff. And my good stuff, most of which is from Germany & Austria doesn't get used very much on my rock-and-roll jobs. I find that vocals recorded on 57 & 58's always sit well in the mix. If however, you pushed your microphone preamp too aggressively, your vocals will likely have no life.

    I'm also slightly confused as to your question. Do you want to know how to get a better sounding mix? Or do you want to know what we think about the song arrangement? Your question appears to be both? I'm only here to help you with letter recording technique. Not structure. I mean to say the vocals go where they're supposed to go. Along with everything else. It's the balance. The rest of your recording & engineering sounds completely adequate. I think perhaps a little more compression on the vocal, without printing the reverb, except added later, is all you really need to do.

    You're almost there
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. TaylorLucas

    TaylorLucas Active Member

    Well we're trying what you said in your first post. To be honest I didn't understand a lot of what you just said haha. But we're going to let him try his verses like Briana suggested. And he's going to use the cheap shure pg58 he bought. It's not the greatest mic, but he's a huge beatles fan. So recording quality isn't a huge concern to him lol. I jsut want to get him to try his new mic out. I'm going to take your tips.

    I wanted to mention that I use Adobe Audition 3.0. And with all my instruments/vocals I go to fx, amplitude and compression, then multiband compressor, and set the effect preset to "broadcast". Thats all I know about compression haha.
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    He bought a PG58? Yeesh.
    They're the SM58's little brother.

    "I go to fx, amplitude and compression, then multiband compressor, and set the effect preset to "broadcast". Thats all I know about compression haha."
    OK. If that's all you know, I'll ask you something.
    Does it sound better before or after you apply that preset?
    Is that your final answer?
  9. TaylorLucas

    TaylorLucas Active Member

  10. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Do you like it more or less after you compress?
    Can you read in time, these words they rhyme.
    Here is some more, slime, crime, dime, lime.
    It's a fine line between better and worse.
    If you over compress it's time for a hearse.
    I've run out of ideas, this is the end of the verse.
  11. TaylorLucas

    TaylorLucas Active Member

    Sounds better when I add the plugin lol. I just wasn't sure if that was the answer he was looking for.
  12. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    :S odds on a preset working well? Hmph.
  13. TaylorLucas

    TaylorLucas Active Member

    How else do you compress stuff. Excuse my retarded questions.
  14. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    By adjusting the parameters of the compression plugin/device manually until you achieve an optimal or at least, suitable result.

    Presets are there for convenience, not as a be-all, end-all.

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