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Please Help

Discussion in 'Recording' started by SwurVe, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest


    I would like you to please listen to the following recording and give some tips on some EQ I should apply to the vocal...

    The background is an instrumental from the play/show Wicked...

    A girl in my high school decided to record a cover song to the song As Long As Your Mine

    What you are about to hear is just the main vocal layer and the instrumental.

    It was recorded using an Audio-Technica AT3035...I have already compressed the vocal and applied a high pass filter at 100hz...

    Now I would like some EQ tips on some stuff I should do....Thank You Very Much

  2. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest

    Anyone??? Please...the reason why im asking on here is because i like to get more then one view on things becuase the more people who suggest things the more better results will come....i want to make sure I do things right

    Thank You
  3. David French

    David French Distinguished Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Give it more than three hours, man.
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Distinguished Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    linky no worky :(
  5. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest

    It should work now.....
  6. First question would be...what do you WANT it to sound like? Or, alternatively, what is it about how it sounds now that you don't like?

  7. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest

    I want it to sound and smooth.....I dont want it to come out too much and sit above the instrumental.....I just want other people to maybe tell me if they hear anything wrong....Do you think I wont need any eqing?
  8. Don't have any clue, really, because I can't make the link work. However, I think the more appropriate question is how you worded it here, rather than "what are some EQ tips." Because if what you're going for is to sound smooth and "sit" well with the rest of the mix, what you might need is a light compression rather than any kind of EQ.

    Unless of course you're JP22, in which case you can certainly do anything with an EQ.

  9. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest

    Are you sure? I click on it and it takes a bit longer to open media player and it should open

    I already compressed the Vocal Track....I just want some people to maybe tell me if the verse is sticking out too much

  10. Well, that time it did work. Perhaps I didn't click hard enough the first time.

    Sounds to me like it doesn't stick out enough, really. I'd maybe try to crispen the vocals up a little myself. Your choice, obviously, but I definately don't think the vox track sticks out too much.

  11. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest

    Anyone else have any input
  12. packrobottom

    packrobottom Active Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    I definitely think the vocals don't sound connected to the rest of the mix The vocal has no feeling of space. The music is so wet compared to the vocal. Try adding a little convolution medium sized room verb to the her voice and maybe play around with some compression. Either that or make the rest of the music less wet. Try and find a balance.
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Hmm.. I kinda feel like some of the others here. The vocal just doesn't make sense in the mix.

    1st thing to do - Antares pitch correct...please...(Did I see this girl in the first episode of last season's 'American Idol' ?)

    2nd - It really sounds like there's a midi/drum machine track with an overdubbed dry vocal - much like you can get in the recording booths at theme parks or malls. No insult intended here - it can be tough to make the vocal fit in a mix like that. (That's why pop engineers should get more money than pop singers - there's the art...)

    Try adding a little bit of reverb to the vocal. Not much though, or the already unintelligible words will become worse.

    Here's my fear with a mix like this - the pitch wanders and the words are unclear. If you compress, it can worsen both of these problems. However, the voice isn't dynamic enough to really add more punch by expanding it. So, you're kinda screwed. You could always make up dynamics by applying EQ :wink: (I recently learned how to do this by attending JP22's on-line tutorial entitled "Dynamic misconceptions and reasons not to have a tube amp...")

    Anyway - seriously...
    Here's what I would do if I had to salvage this mix myself. (I'm hoping you have the raw vocal stem to work with here... if not, MS encode/decode is your only option)

    1. I would in fact boost a little of the high frequency range. Not much, just a smidgen. What frequency? I don't know - I would have to try a few and see. You're likely looking between 800Hz and 2.5 kHZ and then maybe another slight (though probably bigger then the previous) curve at 5-8kHz. These are guesses and/or approximations. You must try on your own to see which works best. I might also try a slight boost in the lower mids if to only bring out some of the plosives that would help to define the words she's singing.

    2. I would raise the overall level - it seems buried in the mix.

    3. I would add reverb. Again, not mucy, just a bit. Do your best to copy the reverb on the backing track. Or, sometimes even better - apply the same reverb to both - more to the vocal track but just a tiny little bit to the backing track. You can easily do this by putting your reverb processor on an Aux bus and sending each respective channel to the processor at different levels. This will help bring things together just a little better.

    4. Maybe, just maybe after the voice has been brought up, I might compress it a tad. (Though VERY likely AFTER the reverb.) Do not use the compressor to ADD gain. Instead, bring your gain up to a good level first, then push the vocal into the compressor. In this case, we're not trying to control peaks - there really aren't any. Instead, we're trying to bring the lower level stuff (the unintelligible words) back up to a listenable level. Then, make sure that if you are in fact getting some gain reduction, be sure to adjust the output gain accordingly.

    This might just work. The compression step should only really be done with a pretty decent compressor and PLEASE don't just use a plug-in with a preset. If you use the plug, use it wisely. Here are some suggestions for settings.

    Attack- We obviously don't have a transient melody here. You can keep the attack time on the slower side - maybe even as high as 100 or more ms. This will help allow the initial plosives or transients through to help her sound a bit more dynamic. If you somehow get some wierd pumping, shorten this just a tad.

    Release - Keep the release slow. You would want a fairly fat sustain especially considering the compressor would be bused after the reverb. Bear in mind though that this will directly affect your reverb release sound and this may need to be readjusted.

    Ratio/Threshold - (I don't think these should ever be discussed alone - always together) This is up to you. Monitor where the peaks of the vocal are. If they are hitting -12 dB, but everything else sits comfortably at -18dB - go somewhere in the middle (or maybe a tad lower). Then, set your ratio to something that sounds logical and makes sense. You don't want a squashing 10:1 ratio here. Perhaps somewhere between 1.2:1 all the way to maybe 3:1. I can't see any reason for more than that.

    Remember, with the compressor, we're trying to bring up the lower level stuff, not crush the tops. To do one, you kinda have to do the other, so compromise is always the key.

    Sometimes the VERY BEST advice I can give is to get up and walk away for about 5 minutes and then come back to it. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the "non-creative" side of the mixing that literally just listening and hearing will all of the sudden make you realize that you've struck gold or stepped in poop.

    Hope this helps!

  14. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    I would second David on the comp/reverb stuff- it would be a start anyway.

    But I would try for another vocal take if possible. It just sounds lifeless. It sounds like she's giving the energy of singing along with the album rather than leading the ensemble. As a vocal coach and director, I would want her to be energized and "in the moment" I think that would help pitch and give some sense of line to the melody where there isn't much now.

    If that's not possible, start with David's suggestions and keep tweeking.
  15. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest

    Yea....see usually i have her record in a way way bigger room with sound absorbtion things on the walls....but for this song I had her record it in a smaller room which of course will get alot more close wall reverb......I think I made a mistake by doing that

    Thank You
  16. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest

    If I were to have her re record...Do I want her to re record all the layers again??? The recording you heard was just the main vocal layer....But I also had her record like 4 other backing layers....Or would she just need to re record the main vocal layer.....
  17. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest

    And also....that wasnt the final mix of that first verse....I knew that it needed reverb becuase it was too dry but I just wanted to wait to add the reverb till after I EQed the Vocals and got some other thoughts...and i didnt include the background layers with the one i posted to be critiqued

    Thank You for all your help to those who replied
  18. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    I don't remember paying you anything

    you must have us confused with a dream you seem to be having
  19. packrobottom

    packrobottom Active Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    "1st thing to do - Antares pitch correct...please...(Did I see this girl in the first episode of last season's 'American Idol' ?) "

    haha I knew I wasn't hearing things. ok I was going to say there are pitch problems but I didn't wanna seem like a dick. Glad you said it cucuco.

    so what I deleted from my previous post The pitch is awful I'd get another take. The way the vocal track sounds now it's so disconnected from the music it sounds like kareoke.
  20. SwurVe

    SwurVe Guest

    See the thing is....I dont know anything about pitch while singing so when she records...I cant tell her if shes off pitch or not....I usually record Rap music so im just getting into this singing type of music

    Plus could it be that the headphone level is either too high or too low? and should i take it off so she cant hear herself through the headphones and have her take one headphone off one of her ears

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