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New to home recording vocals. Help please!!!

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by mcgeezer, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. mcgeezer

    mcgeezer Guest

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to all this home recording stuff, infact I'm brand new.

    My question is I've done a rather rough recording of a song that I like and play down in one of the buskers nights I go to, when I play it live my voice seems to sound alot fuller, when I'm recording on the home recording kit I have (I have Rode NT1A mics) my vocals seem hollow, almost as if I'm singing through my nose.

    Does anyone know any neat tricks top make my voice sound fuller? I tried underlying the song with a bass sample which seemed to help a bit but I'm just not happy with the hollow sounding voice??? Any ideas welcome?

    Here is a snip of the song I'm covering - I don't have a pop shield yet but I'm getting one tommorrow so that should improve the dull pops and perhpas I'll not be as scared to sing into the mic..???



  2. mcgeezer

    mcgeezer Guest

    Before I forget, the song is not my own!! Phew, forgot to mention that!
  3. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    what software application are you tracking on?
    What mic pre are you using for your vocals?

    Roll off some of the ac guitar mudd by filtering off the lows around 100Hz and below.

    Then filter some of the highs off the guitar above 10 kHz

    That will open a little more of the range for your vocals to occupy because the two instruments are clashing right now.

    Roll off at around 11kHz on those vocals to taper the high frequency boost that NT1 is adding.

    Do you have a Tape Saturation or Tape Simulation plugin you can use that's in your software application?

    Also, what mic are you using live? And do you have that mic available to you at home? It's probably a dynamic mic which would put some natural warmth back into your voice.

    You might also want to try copying your vocal track into a new track and pan them left and right then sing a new doubled track (really tight) to pan up the Center to boost the lower midrange a bit. Set the volume of the Center track at about half that of the L/R tracks.

    I don't know if this will help any but it might get you started in changing the timber of the vocals and the balance between the two instruments.

    cool tune you've got going there.
  4. mcgeezer

    mcgeezer Guest

    Hi Coyote,

    Thanks for you help here.

    In answer to your questions...

    I'm using CUbase LE as my software application, With a Tascam FW-1804. The Tascam has some sort of Phantom Power thing where I can stick a mic straight into the back of it.

    I'm using the VST compressor that came with CUbase LE, however I've aqcuired some Diamond Waves plugins which seem really really good.

    I'm unsure whether I have some tape simulation software within CUbase however if you recommend some I can usually get hold of it - albeit, probably on a try before buy basis.

    I'm considering going on a sound production course because some of the jargon that I see used around here is somewhat confusing...

    I don't understand what you mean by Filter off guitars above 10kHz, I know how to set the EQ parameters such as the Gain and the Q, but I'm unsure of the terms that are commonly users i..e such as roll off at at X......

    I am doing my best though to get with the jargon so it should'nt be long befoe I pick it.

    I have done some fiddling around with the parameters you recommended and the guitars are certainly more crisp and warm, not as dull as they were and the vocals seem to fit in with the track better.


  5. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid I don't know much about Cubase but the native EQ that comes with it should have a Low Shelf (or High Pass) and High Shelf (Lo Pass). To "roll off" typically means to roll off everything above or below the target freq. For instance, alot of people will roll off at 90Hz on vocals which means to cut off (at a gentle slope) everything below 90Hz.

    If you can shelf or filter above 10Hz on your EQ for the ac guitar then try that, and try also to low shelf or filter (High Pass) everything below 100 Hz for the ac guitar.

    Shelf, Lo Pass, or Filter everything above 12.5 kHz (or so) on your vocals and try filtering everything below around 90Hz on your vocals. This will help clean up some of the mud you've got in the lows and clean up your sound canvass a little, as well as weed off some of the unnecessary highs.

    You'll notice a difference then in how much easier it is to listen to the tune. Also maybe pan the acoustic guitar just a wee bit to the Left of Center to make a little room for more of the vocals to show up on the Right (or vice versa). Play around with the panning a bit and see if a little notch to the left or right makes a difference.

    Experiment. I really enjoyed listening to the tune again. Thanks, and Cheers.
  6. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    You had also asked about plugins and I forgot to mention that PSP's Vintage Warmer is a really nice plug for vocals, ac and electric guitars, etc.

    It's not free but I think it can be had for around $150 at their website http://www.pspaudioware.com

    Look also at the free VST section of this site for some free plugs you can experiment with. In the Digital Audio Recording forum here the Sticky's at the top of the page have links to free plugins.
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Guys -

    Just a few things here.

    First - CT, don't take offense, I don't mean anything in an offensive manner....but...

    I have a real problem with the "Fix it in the Mix" concept prevalant in today's studios. The place to fix any problems is in the recording itself, not in the mix.

    While I agree some minor eq-ing on the guitar could help a tad, the suggestions here will not bring out the vocal, just take parts away from the guitar.

    The Rode mic is a great mic and should get you just about any sound you want to get. If you sound nasally or not as full as you would like, you are probably too far away from the mic and too low in reference to its diaphragm. (Or worse, aiming it the wrong direction. I don't assume anything anymore, so I must ask if you're using this as a side-address mic. In other words, not like a SM58 handheld vocal mic, but oriented vertically with the gold dot facing you... sorry, I don't assume anything...)

    Try bringing the mic down a bit - perhaps at or below lip level. If going below lip level, tilt it up a bit. IOW, aim it at the lips. The lower you go, the fuller, more chesty the sound will be. The higher you go, the more nasally and thin the sound will be.

    Personally, I rarely to never EQ my vocals. (Not mine personally - I'm a horrible singer. I would make cats vomit if they heard me sing. My newborn son's first laugh came when I tried to sing him a lullaby! I mean the vocals which I record.) The mic is my EQ. If I can't fix it with the right mic or the right placement, I'm not doing something right.

    Just my 2 cents. (can I get some change?)


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