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Vocal Warmth

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by STORMSHADOW04, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. How do you get the warm sound in vocal recording?

    Thanks for the Guidance!!
  2. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    In order of importance to me:

    1. Good vocalist
    2. Good to great mic (not necessarily expensive, but one that matches the vocalist)
    3. Good to great preamp ( can make an average mic or singer sound wonderful)
    4. Good to great room ( can be the difference between good and amazing)

    A great vocalist can make a lousy mic, through a bad pre in a basement still work.
  3. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    And, maybe a bit of EQ...

  4. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    To answer your warmth question. Tube mics can do this, they tend to add a lot of color to sound which some people call warmth, also a good colorful pre can add a bit of warmth to a track. Some pre's have tube drive or saturation sections, these give a tiny bit of color but again if you getting a really cheap pre with these kind of features your probably getting little more than a noise maker. Just remember a good colorful mic with a good colorful pre will be good with some vocalists and crappy with others.
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    How do you define "warmth"? Is it that slightly bumped low-mid area of vocals? Is it a slightly sloped top end that reduces edginess and brightness? Is it that "---- and fuzzy" "halo" around the notes? Pray tell...
  6. My vocals all seem to have this very bright hollow sound. How do you make it more of a "warm" commercial sound? I guess that is the question.

    Thanks for the Guidance!!
  7. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Describe for us what your recording chain is, what type of mic, mic pre, and so on. Your problem at the moment may just be your mic and the pre you're using.
  8. Mic- MXL v57
    Pre- Tube MP Studio
    Sound card

    That is about it.

    Thanks for the Guidance!!
  9. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    To get a good warm sound you might need an upgrade all around. Are you using a standard soundcard, or a soundblaster type card, or are you using and E-mu or something like that? My first set up was a lot like yours I had an MXL 990 going into a presonus tubepre into a soundblaster audigy. I never really liked the sound it was just too generic. Do you have a budget to upgrade at all? I've heard good things about Studio Projects mics which I believe are moderately priced and something like the brick by groove tubes would do a lot to get that warmer sound you're looking for.
  10. I have a soundblaster card. But what would you recommend for an upgrade for a budget of about $2000?

    Thanks for the Guidance!!
  11. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    I'd upgrade to a better sound card, you can find really good ones in the 300-500 range check out the E-mu soundcards. Rode makes some really good mid-priced mics, the NTK would be what I would pick for more of the sound you're looking for and maybe the brick by groove tubes to round that out. 1200-1500 and you have a noticeable improvement over your current set up. By the way these are just my opinions you'll want to check out similar items from other manufacturers. I personally have a baby bottle going to a presonus eureka channel strip into a digi 002r running on an Imac and I love the sound the bottle isn't very colored so I'd doubt you'd like it but the eureka is a surprisingly nice preamp with built in eq and compression, IMO it would make a pretty good hiphop/r&b preamp.
  12. ryanformato

    ryanformato Guest

    If you have a $2000 budget, you can really get an outstanding sound depending on the style of music you are doing.

    I have the EMU 1820m (which also has great converters built in) and I got it for like $500 ( you can get it cheaper now )

    You can also get a truly professional preamp such as the Great River 1ME-NV. That will run you about $1000.

    Then you can get a Rode NTK or what I bought a Studio Projects T3 for about $500 (Both are tube microphones and I love the sound of the studio projects t3).

    That's about 2k right there but you got an excellent chain with the potential to upgrade a lot. If you need more "In's, you can add 8 by adat thanks to the EMU soundcard but the soundcard also has 6 actual ins as well.

    You may want to treat your room a bit as well as check how good your monitors are too.
  13. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    For 2 grand you could easily pick up an Apogee MiniMe w/USB and a killer dynamic mic (SM7/RE20/421/etc...)

    If you can't get warmth out of that chain, you can't get it anywhere....
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    A lot of people will recommend the middleranged LD condensers as an upgrade , and for the most part in most circumstances, they will be. In your case all the suggestions to this point, will give you an definate increase in quality in comparison to your current setup .

    I'm liking the Apogee mini with a really good dynamic mic. Electrovoice RE20,Sennheiser MD441/421, Shure SM7.......

    The E-Mu stuff is quite good....With that you could look to a decent tube mic....ADK TT, Rode K2, etc ...

    As I said...All are good suggestions to this point and it will eventually come down to you making the decision based on what you 'hear'....Trying out the gear will help your process greatly, and always deal with a dealer(if youre buying new) that has a great return policy.
  15. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Rode NT2
    Sennheiser 421
    Oktava MK-012 with a LOMO M1 or M3 head
    EV 767 (one of my faves...and cheap)
    SM57 (versatile and cheap)
    AKG C3000
    Studio Projects C1
    Audio Technica 4040
    Beyerdynamic M160 (try to find used)
    Nady Ribbon Mic RSM-2 (a good deal)
    Pacific Pro Audio R-One (another good ribbon deal)
    Scott Helmke's "Alice" SDC (killer small diaphram mic that rocks on vocals)

    Also, the PSP Vintage Warmer plug is outstanding for warming up vocals in the box.

    A decent tube compressor or an RNC does wonders for vocals.
  16. Thanks to all of yall for the info. BTW CoyoteTrax I am using the PSP Vintage Warmer now and it is giving me a better sound! All of the hardware is right in my budget but what out of all of it is better for HipHop?

    Thanks for the Guidance!!
  17. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    I could swear I've seen the AKG C3000 in a lot of studio shots where hip hop vocals were being tracked.

    It depends on your style too. I'm sure your style is different than sayyyyyyyyy Bone Thugs and Harmony, or someone like that. Do you lean more towards the R&B tip or the Old Skool Rap style? Is your voice really ballsy and plosive like Chuck D, or do you have a lot of sibilance and grit like Flava Flav? You know? Take a look at those things and maybe see if you can audition a few models you like at your local pro audio shop.

    If the C3000 seems to be in a lot of studio's maybe it's the mic of choice for hip hop because it's so versatile. I don't track hip hop so I'm just going by studio shots I've seen on the internet and trade mags.

    I do record a fair amount of vocals though and I like the sound of the C3000 for a male voice. It's pretty smooth and the lows are respectably tight. I'm also a huge fan of doubling the vocals and panning them hard left and right, then having a 3rd vocal take up the middle to play with when you want the magic middle to Pop.

    If your voice is really masculine I'd also recommend really considering a little compression between the pre of your choice and your DAW, ADAT, or tape. However you're capturing your vocals. A little compression (especially tube) can go a long way with a masculine voice. For that reason you may consider a channel strip that includes compression instead of just a mic pre.

    Just a thought...or 2.
  18. So when I double is it the Main vocal track I double up or the backup tracks? Cause I double my main and pan 100 and -100 Right & Left. Is that correct or wrong?

    Thanks for the Guidance!!!!
  19. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    That's right, double the lead and pan hard L/R. You got it.
  20. CoyoteTrax you have been a gigantic help the past couple of days. Could you go to this site and let me know what I need to work on.
    http://www.soundclick.com artist LAC (Mr. Beyond).
    Any and all advice is very very much welcome!!!

    Thanks for the Guidance!!

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