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Question about recording vocal..

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by the_blindmaster, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. I know guys who are in a band.. and now they're recording vocals for one song.. but they kind of have problems with it.. it sound kind of flat, without life and without resonance (and it's not the signer.. cuz he's got it.. IMO.. but it seem to get lost by the mic.. or the recording equipment)

    The equipement they use actually are :

    korg D3200
    Apex 460 microphone
    EDIROL UA-700 (as for a preamp for the mic ... cuz the korg doesn't have one)

    so what would you recoment to get more present vocal, or more resonance??

    (well the Mic does have his power supply, so we can't really use the Korg phantom power)

    P.S.: I've read the recording vocal tips that are sticky.. wich I'll tell them (except to the vocal :D) thanks in advance.. and sorry for my english

    edit: we also had 2 SM-57.. does double micing the vocal with the Apex and the SM-57 could give good results ( well .. I just know one way to know it.. it's to try it.. but does a SM-57 give a good enought signal to work with the vocal)
  2. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    I've never heard of doubling a mic so, I couldn't help ya there.

    A good Microphone is a must. Even I asked a question about the Shure SM86 (which is what we use for live sound) and most people haven't tried it. To me, it sounds fine but we also have a style and haven't really come out of our cave as far as experimenting with other microphones (which isn't really smart I know).

    Now, I didn't see compression on your list of goodies and that's another debate. Do you record with compression or add it after the recording? Again, different styles, different people and different microphones all come into play here. I don't use compression but, my wife has to. As I am more of a midrange not a lot of highs sort of deathlike in the trashcan in the alleyway sort of industrial singer - no compression for me. My wife has a four octave range with one breath and certainly needs it!! Hell, I don't have to use much volume at all for her.

    Lastly - You don't want any effects (except maybe compression) when you record. You want to add these after the recording and use only what you need to make it sit right in the mix and get the 'feeling' your looking for in that particular song. So, if it sounds a bit flat, you may be on the right track! Again, DON'T OVER EQ AND EFFECT THAT RECORDING!!!

    One last thing that a lot of people don't think of. If you use reverb on the singer (and you probably will), add that effect after you have mixed everything else. Sometimes the entire recording will benefit from a 'touch' of reverb and if the singer already has reverb, you might make that track sound dreadful. Sometimes the overall reverb will sit right with the vocal tracks as well. If the whole recording doesn't need reverb then you can taint your singer to your heart's content (as long as it sounds right in the mix, of course) :)
  3. well.. the UA-700 does have a simple compressor.. so we use it .. and then compress the track after.. because the compressor on the UA is kind of 2:1 ratio.. so if you're whispering and then screaming there's still a huge difference... but then we use a compressor on the Korg to fix it to a better ratio (6:1 or 8:1 I think..) .. sadly we don't have an extern reverb to put it on the monitors/headphones when the vocal is signing (I think for my part that it really helps the vocal).. but well.. we'll maybe try to record with Adobe audition 'cuz even if the effects arent really good.. they're still better and more customisable than the korg or UA effects..

    thanks for the help
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Distinguished Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    Would it be possible for you to post a bit of a vocal track? It would certainly be easier to talk about if we knew what you are hearing. You might also get some examples of how different effects might help.
  5. not now.. cuz as I said it's my friend's band.. so I do not have any recording at my home.. but I would ask for them.. if the EQing, REVERB and such in audition aren't doing the trick (and we'll also try to vary the mic potisioning and put it higher than the signer's mouth as said in the tips.. )
  6. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    If you read the tips a little closer you should have gleaned:

    Place the mic in a comfortable postion in front of the singer about 6- 8 inches away, in a room that is sizable (I completely breake the size rule as my slaughterhouse bathtub does me wonders!) and a little off to the side.

    Basically, you want the mic to be able to pick up the voice and the singer to not stretch his neck. Lemmy from Motorhead is exactly opposite of what you want to do. He puts the mic over his head and then chews on the mic (and I swear he is the only man alive who has a wart on his tongue (complete with a little tuft of hair!!))!!!.

    Off the side can mean a little higher but your singer may have a psychological feeling that he has to point his mouth towards the mic. Be careful with that. I have tried that and I can vouch for painful neck issues. Plus, your singer won't be worth much if the recording doesn't go right. You might have to wait a couple of days before his neck feels okay to sing again.

    As far as reverb. Cheap effects can sound good too. It's all in how you mix them. If you are only adding what you NEED, you may be very surprised at the sound. Somewhere on this forum that point was hit on. Aerosmith was in the studio recording but the vocals sounded like crap in the nice recording expensive mic. When they swithced to the SM58 and let him swallow the mic - instant success!!

    Really, the best advice is nothing more than a group of suggestions that you tailor down to meet your needs (which is why I like my bathtub slaughterhouse vocal booth). There is no absolute and this is where the musician becomes an artist. Think about Eric Clapton and his signature guitar sound. One tiny combo amp in a big room with a mic set far away and it went from outrageous to consider to the industry standard for many years!

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