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Which would make a bigger difference in a recording?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by GassyEmu, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. GassyEmu

    GassyEmu Guest

    I am in DESPERATE NEED of MORE PRESENCE in vocal raps!!! Right now my current setup is a Shure KSM27 condenser mic plugged straight into a Presonus FP10 Firewire interface into my macbook pro i7.
    In terms of the digital mix: the digital compresser has a ratio of 8:1 limiter threshold at 0db, attack at 50ms and release at 5ms. I also have a de esser and a limiter in the bus as well with the EQ boosts heavily in the 1k-20k range.
    I'm thinking my lack of presence is due to either lack of an external compressor or my mic isn't adequate (or im mixing/editing it wrong). If I can only invest in one upgrade, which will have a bigger difference: an external compresser or a mic upgrade?
    Here is a preview of one of my latest mixes: YouTube - earthquake test.m4v (explicit)

    For reference: I am trying to get this type of vocal sound: YouTube - Chris Webby (Feat. Mic Galper) - Cuz I'm Drunk (explicit)

    any and all feedback very appreciated!!!
  2. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    That mic actually has a lot of top end, get a new pre amp.
  3. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    This doesn't sound like a "presence" or treble/high mids issue to me, your vox sounded far cleaner, brighter, more full range than the reference track for the sound you're aiming for - to my ears anyways. It sounds like the reference track was purposefully imitating a low-fi sound, not to the degree of over-the-telephone or anything, but definitely limited bandpass. Sounds like they killed all the fullness (seriously sounds highpassed at higher than 200hz to me), then also chopped off some HF, or at least did a heavy boost somewhere in the 1k - 3k range. It also sounded to me like they may have been using a dynamic, and/or had the vocalist further from the mic. They may also have been using some FX to give it a more gritty sound.

    Please take that with a grain of salt, I was listening on my old Sony MDR-7506 headphones, not in my mixing space right now to check it out with actual monitors.

    It's all taste and subjective of course, but your vocals sound better to me. If you're aiming for a similar low-fi sound I'd go get yourself a cheap dynamic mic and use that instead of your mic (or, put them right next to eachother, as close as you can without touching - then record both and you can decide later to use one or the other, or a blend).
  4. GassyEmu

    GassyEmu Guest

    thank you sooo much!!! very helpful!! I am definitely going to do some experimenting come monday haha
  5. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Do you have any room treatment?
  6. GassyEmu

    GassyEmu Guest

    not yet, but I am planning to surround the mic and singer with mattresses and pillows next time
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Checkout the eureka channel. Might be what ya need.
    Absorbsion will add focus. 'moving' blankets have been used in a pinch by alot of famous producers/engineers (book:behind the glass) They absorb the highs/high mids. Dime a dozen through internet. i use the 'quilted' ones, for temp treatment Be careful, they are not tested for fire safety, or sound characteristics. Watch out for any fabric covering you can't breathe through, they will Reflect your presence frequencies!
    Watch your eq, it adjusts phase.
    Work your mic placement, and HPF/Low cut, if the ksm 27 has it.
    Your ratio of 8:1 is pretty high, you may be destroying the vox's dynamics. i think i dynamic mix sounds more 'real' or 'there'.
    I used a 4:1 ratio on a DBX 166xl, for Ghostface's perfromance in my area, BUT it was live (and loud), and the unit had a gate, and limiter. I used similar settings for Jada Kiss, Jim Jones, and Styles P. With the perfomers using handhelds, i had to squash it a bit, to maintian resonable dynamics/noise levels. For recording, i'm generaly around 2:1 on the way in.
    Your vox, should sound close to 'finished', raw. Use mixing to blend it with all the other cool stuff going on in the track.
    Get your sound 'on the way in' and you don't have to worry much about it later. Depending on the track you might want have the performer 'double' the final take, to add fullness.
  8. GassyEmu

    GassyEmu Guest

    wow thank you so much! Tremendous help thanks!!! We head into the studio monday. I'll post another mix later in the week!
  9. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Er, ummm...room treatment is a science.

    Studio Construction & Acoustics Forum
  10. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    Not to dissagree, I'm a big believer in investing as much research and money into proper treatment as possible - but for a truly "beginner" situation, putting anything that will deaden the sound around the vocalist seems like a good option to me. Are pillows and mattresses real treatment? No, of course not, but they may well be a huge improvement over the "no treatment at all" route (of course the thing to do is some soundchecking to make sure this is in fact the case).

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