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Singing in the Shower

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by tigermixer, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. tigermixer

    tigermixer Active Member

    Hey Guys,

    I am a musician/singer, and I'm just starting to get into personal recording. I have some (I'm sure) rookie questions. I want to make the vocal track/instrument track sound great to the person who is singing/playing, so that they can enjoy laying down their track and do a better job. I want to make it like "singing in the shower" for them.
    My question is, how do I accomplish this? I know that I could record through an Aux input and add compression and EQ, but I know that it prints the file with those settings and you can't undo that in mix down. I'm a bit scared to do that in a session with my little experience. Is there a way to add reverb and effects direct track? Someway that that will allow me to take off those effects later if I want?

    Thanks Guys!
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    not sure what you mean when you say, "I know that I could record through an Aux input and add compression and EQ" .

    also don't know what you are using to record with. aux sends are used to send audio to headphones or out board effects units but not compressors (unless you want to parallel compress). you then take the effected audio and mix it back into the main audio stream through aux returns or open channel strips.

    you need to figure out how you are monitoring the input audio and add effects and compression to that. the DAW should have a monitor mix somewhere. audio should be recorded for the most part sans any effects / EQ / or compression. those things are normally added at mix. it is a good thing to learn how to record with or without effects / EQ or compression. that way you can choose to use them at tracking, mix or both. but how that is accomplished varies from system to system. it's important to let us know what kind of tools you are using so we can be of more help.
     
  3. tigermixer

    tigermixer Active Member

     
  4. tigermixer

    tigermixer Active Member

    I was speaking of creating an Aux track and an audio track and putting the comp EQ etc on the aux and busing it to the audio track.(I don't want to do this so we can forget about this) I am using Pro Tools 11 with an mbox 2. Really what I was wanting to do was record direct track, and add reverb EQ etc to it in a way that the singer could enjoy singing with. I don't know what to do. Being a musician, I'm very big on it sounding right to the performer, but I don't know what to do to make that happen in my Pro Tools. I am VERY new to this side of things. I'm sure that I don't term all this stuff right all the time, but hopefully you guys will get the jist of what I'm trying to say. If ya'll would just tell me how ya'll would go about accomplishing this if you were me. Thanks!
     
  5. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    The Mbox 2 uses the computer for all processing of the signal (i.e. for effects, EQ, etc, and does it in your DAW, protools). There is no onboard processing. This means that to hear those effects you would have to enable monitoring on the track you are recording in Protools. Then you turn down the 'mix' knob on the front of the unit until you are only hearing the processed signal being returned to you from the computer. You will not record the EQ or other effects this way, just the unprocessed signal, but the singer will hear the processed signal. Because it takes time and computer horsepower to process the signal, and send it back to the singer, the returned, "effected" signal the singer hears may be slightly delayed. They might not be able to sing along to it because it sounds so weird to hear yourself slightly after you sang something. It doesn't take much. To fix this, you can try reducing the buffer size for the Mbox in the Mbox control panel, wherever that is. Depending on how many tracks you are recording and playing back at once and how powerful your computer is, you may be able to reduce the delay (called "latency") to a few milliseconds, small enough that the singer isn't bothered by it. If you reduce the buffer too much, you'll hear pops and clicks and the recording may drop out and miss stuff. So all you can do is play with that buffer setting, and if you can't reduce the latency enough for the singer to be comfortable with what they're hearing, then you're out of luck.

    You only option for direct monitoring with the Mbox 2 (if I'm reading the manual correctly) with no delay or latency is to turn the Mix knob the other way and *only* listen to the raw, unprocessed signal. There will be no delay, but there will also be no effects.

    Other than that, you're pretty much stuck with an outboard (hardware) solution. Take an output for monitoring from the Mbox, do not run it through the computer at all, and send it to a separate physical effects unit and then figure out how to get it from there into the singer's headphones. Along with whatever they're singing along to.
     
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apstrong has got it right. What you need is a cheap stand-alone effects box with a headphone out and feed it from the monitor out from your Mbox 2. You can toy with the headphone effects as much as you like and it won't get recorded. By adjusting the Mix control on the Mbox you can vary the amount of backing track they hear being replayed from the computer.

    Bear in mind that, in my experience, the usual reason that singers want more than just a small amount of reverb in their headphones is to mask the fact that they are not very good singers.
     
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    http://www.ehow.com/how_12059944_record-vocal-reverbs-monitoring-pro-tools.html
     
  8. tigermixer

    tigermixer Active Member

    Thanks guys. If I did get a cheap stand alone effects box, what would ya'll recommend? By the way, I will only ever be recording 2 mics at once, and maybe 12 tracks total on any one song. I didn't know whether that might give you guys a better idea of whether the latency would be noticable to the performer. I am recording totally accoustic sessions. I am using a macbook Pro laptop.
     
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    did you not even look at the link I provided for you?
    It tells you, step by step, how to monitor a reverb (or any effect) in Pro Tools during the recording without printing the effect.
     
  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Latency so much depends on the performance of your computer, audio drivers integration and uses of the computer's ressources.
    If no other realtime effects are active, chances are, the signer won't notice it. You need to make some tests ;)

    Btw, I rarely give more than a reverb to the artists and it's quite fine, specially if the choice of mic and pre makes the recording stand on it's own..
    But on a final note, when using my UA LA-610, the EQ and compressor sounds so good that I'm not afraid to print it with them active...
     
  11. tigermixer

    tigermixer Active Member

    Yes Donny, I checked out your link. Very good stuff. But, I'm sure you won't mind if I pursue these other options as well to further educate myself. :) Thanks for the reverb tip, PCRECORD!
     
  12. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    I remember when I said "I'll only be recording 4 tracks at once". That was about 16 tracks ago. Ah, the good old days.

    Tell us how much money you want to spend, it's a far better way to do this. "Cheap" means a lot of different things to different people. I get that you only need it for monitoring, but still, how cheap is cheap?

    And also, pcrecord is right: first you should test doing it in your DAW via Protools and playing with the buffer settings first. You *might* be able to make it work well enough to save yourself some time and money buying and integrating another piece of gear you don't really need. Especially if it's "cheap" gear.
     

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