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vocal chain thoughts

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by drumist69, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Hi all! Been a while. Well, I'm recording a female vocalist, and I am going to try everything I have on her initial demos to see what works best with her voice. Not that I have much, but it is what it is! I'm looking to see what the folks here think would be the go-to chain (with what I have) for a bluesy female voice, not having heard it...this is more of an exercise. We'll see what actually works with her!

    Pre's available: M-Audio DMP3, Mackie VLZ mixer

    Compression: ART Pro VLA

    DAW: Reaper with innumerable plugins

    So either one of those pre's into the VLA to tame any spikey stuff.

    I have six mic's set out for her to try. Senn MD421, AT4040, a Chinese ribbon mic (it was a factory buy, I don't know the make or model, but it's a flat rectangle thing!), an MXL 2001, a Groove Tubes GT33 (its a small diaphragm condenser, but what the hell, might sound right), and last, the long shot, a CAD C195 (which is intended as a stage condenser for vox, but I thought I might as well put it up for comparison).

    The situation is thus...we will be recording about a dozen songs of hers, a Capella tomorrow. These tracks will be used to give to the other musicians involved in order for them to figure out the songs she has in her head. I think this is prime time for me to test mic's and pre's on her voice. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think I will just run all the tracks through the Mackie and Pro VLA, but with the different mics. This will give me two songs with each mic in a relatively neutral environment.

    Does this sound like a good game-plan for pre-production for a full album project? Thanks! Andy
     
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Where the hell have you been?

    Yeah thats a good plan. You're gonna like the ribbon best.
     
  3. ahavill

    ahavill Guest

    You've got the right attitude, whatever sounds good is good, even if it's a cheapo mic with a weird signal path. Everyones voice is different & who knows what will be the perfect fit. I'd say if you have to use the ProVLA, set it as a limiter, like you said just to tame spikes. But I believe, record as clean as you can, with no processing if possible. That way you're not stuck with something you don't want. For ex, if you compress the signal with the VLA going in, you won't have much luck trying different comps in the software (since the signal's dynamics will have already been squashed flat.)
     
  4. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Thanks for the responses! Hey there, Dave! Good to be back! I feel you on the ribbon. That's the one I'm putting up first. The deal here, is that these tracks are only pre-production for the full on project, so I have room to play around. I will bypass the VLA unless it seems that she's really dynamic.
    Where have I been? I just got done doing sound for a production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest". I composed industrial/noise sound beds for the show, put together various sound effects, and ran it all live. That was a great experience. I've also been doing location sound for some video stuff, running the boom mic and all that. The band (Moksha) has been out of commission for quite a while, but I still work with the guitarist (another Dave). Hopefully I'll be posting some tracks from this new project here soon and getting the usual great advice from you fine folks! Later! Andy
     

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