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Vocals are SOUNDING like they were recorded separately

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Chris07413, May 12, 2009.

  1. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    So my band and i finished laying down our drums, guitar, and bass tracks so then we started to record vocals for our song. Once we recorded, using a mxl 990 (we also have an SM58), we tried to mix everything to make the vocals fit in nicely. It still felt to me like the vocals sounded fake in a way, like the listener could tell that we recorded the vocals separately. I was wondering if there is any tricks to making the vocals sound like everything has that "live" feel. Thanks
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    It would help to post an example.
  3. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Even before you post an example, I can tell you one thing you will have to address: EQ.

    Make a place in the mix for the vocals to live in.
  4. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    MadTiger's advice is sound for any kind of mixing. To use a painting analogy:

    If you paint the picture, then decide you want to add a big tree in the middle of it after it's finished, it will look like the tree was painted over everything else.
    Mixing is much the same - you have to have a space for each element (both EQ/frequency-wise and spatially).
    If you know you're gonna have that tree and make space for it, it will blend much better w/ the rest of the painting.

    Not the best, but hopefully that clarifies what Mr. Tiger meant by "make a place for the vocals to live in".

    On another note, I have used the 990 on male vocals in the past, and they often sounded "fake" - this mic tends to accentuate the harsher, higher end of vox (sibilance, for one). You might have better success w/ the 58.

    Still post a clip - that will give people more ability to help.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I have yet to understand why someone would choose a $40 condenser (thats really a small diaphram as well) for vocals over one of the industrys most used mic, the SM58.

    My feeling is there is so much misinformation these days on the net. Someone reads somewhere, written by someone who hasnt a clue but happens to have a computer, that a condenser mic is the only thing to use on vocals. Which is pure hogwash to begin with.

    Gear is tools. Thats all it is and all it ever will be. There is nothing magic in how it operates. Its simply electronics and physics. All gear will only do what its asked to do. It cannot make changes without your help.

    So it gets down to the operator at the end of it all.
  6. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    But Dave all the really cool photos of vocal recordings seem to be condensers. You mean there is a difference between a $100.00 condenser mic and something that costs $2000.00? (humor)

    If you are looking for a great vocal sound and a "live" sound reach no further than the SM58 one of the most used mics on stage and in the studio. I've read where it is often the choice of McCartney, Bono and many, many others.

    One of the other reasons you may be having a problem is reverb. If you recorded the guitars with reverb settings on the amps and if you got natural reverb from the room and the vocals have a completely different 'verb on them they will never sit right. EQ. Micing. Could be lots of different issues.
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Unless, you have actually learned to use your ears and gear and have concluded that you can get a preferable tone from the condenser mic over the SM58.

    But if you're that good, you'll probably know this already.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    First I have to say that I love Codemonkey's new picture/Avatar. It makes all the difference.

    Because I've done plenty of live recordings for FM broadcast & TV, etc., I'll tell you this much, what microphones do you see the singers using on TV most of the time? Right. SM58's and that's the microphone that will make your vocals sit properly in the mix. One of the reasons is because the microphone is slightly bandwidth limited, which actually is beneficial for vocals. Using a "better" microphone doesn't necessarily mean better sound.

    Here is a funny:


    This is from a technical shootout between a Neumann U87 & Shure SM58. A $1500 Universal audio preamp, a $200 Beringer preamp and a $5 single IC chip, fixed gain preamp. I know what I'm listening to and you can't fool me. I chose the U87 & Universal Audio preamp. Well... That's what I thought I chose. In all actuality I chose the SM58 with the $5 preamp because it sounded better in the way it was used. So a great fake out on me.

    SM 56/SM57/SM58 pick a microphone any microphone
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Ha! Awesome. Bookmarked for later dissection.

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