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Vocal Quality

Member for

21 years

I have an Mbox, Rode Nt1a mic, and i use pro tools.

I know it's basic, but i dont know any better, so if someone could teach me of the studio way, i would very much appreciate it.

I just want to get the best sound from my vocal possible.

So if someone could teach me about Eq, compressors, etc and what is the best way to go about using them and there settings.



Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 11/21/2006 - 17:07
just to make things easier... Use the KORG D1600 studio recording console. It has everything yo need to get perfect recording as well as stereo conversion. Has an internal hard disk for real time playback and storage and mastering after your recording.. You bname it... It has it. I am using it for years and found that its one of the best around and still is...

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Thu, 11/16/2006 - 15:24
OK, you have some good start up tools.

This is not necessarily something you can accomplish easily with this setup. When I plug a directional microphone into the microphone preamplifier, I will take the output of the preamplifier and feedback into a compressor/limiter is that output that I then record. With a single microphone and your audio interface you don't have that option, conveniently. So of course, the easiest thing to do is merely record the microphone. Then in your software, you may want to roll off some of the increased bass response as a result of the proximity effect from working close to a directional microphone. You'll also want to utilize your software compressor/letter to smooth out the vocal (this is assuming pop oriented music). If you use a microphone like a NT1A, you may not need any equalization at all as it is a lovely sounding microphone all by its little self? If you believe you need additional equalization, I would suggest you add a little equalization after you compress/limit the vocal but you can also try that before you do that. Both ways presents different results and only you can decide what you believe to be the most appropriate? When compressing a vocal, I don't recommend that you use more than 10 to 15 DB of gain reductions when your ratio is set to between 2: 1 -8: 1. A slower release time makes it sound more natural. A faster release time makes it sound more aggressive. A slower attack time will allow small transients through, which can be more natural sounding as opposed to a fast attack time, which will hold things back better than not allow transients to breakthrough.

These are basics and you shouldn't need to do much more than that to a vocal unless you are moving into the avant-garde?

Vocal recording expert
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 11/16/2006 - 15:49


As far as EQ goes, I'm cutting off anything below 30hz, and taking some away at about 120hz to get ruid of some bass. Add at 3khz to add little crips to it.

Compression, all togther i'm only minusing about 3db. at a ratio of 5:00.

Adding a little Reverb and a little limiter. Perhaps a little taken away form the mid section with a Joemeekuilizer.

There is one question, how do you create that stereo effect? were the vocal panned left and right so it sounds as if there singing or speaking from around you, like on the backing for the main vocal? How is this done?



Member for

15 years 10 months

mark_van_j Thu, 11/16/2006 - 21:47
There are plugins that can do that effect, but I can't remember what they are called atm. But you can definitely do it manually...

Copy the lead vocal twice. You know have 3 main tracks. Pan 2 of them Left and Right. Now delay L by about 14ms and R by 19ms. No feedback of course... Now LOWER the pitch of L by about 9 cents and RAISE the pitch in R by about 9 cents. You can use the delay in pro tools to do this, as for the pitch shifting I use the audiosuite pitch shifter, since it won't do it in real time. Besides, you won't be fiddling with that in the mix, so you can save yourself some cpu. Also, it helps to put the 2 tracks on to a stereo channel, as opposed to 2 mono channels. Makes it much easier to set levels.

Member for

16 years 10 months

imagineaudio Wed, 11/22/2006 - 15:59
What are you recording at? 24bit? 16 bit?

Why don't we start with the basics.

Set up a project at 24bit/44.1khz

Try to get your average level in to pro tools at between -16dbFS and -12dbFS, with peaks no higher than -8dbFS

I think you'll find you can highpass the vocals around 75hz to get rid of the rumble and whatnot. If your cutting around 120hz, try instead to back away from the mic some as to reduce the proximity affect.

Run your reverb on an aux bus. This will allow you to eq and compress the reverb separately and can give you a lot of control.

Try cloning the vocal track and on the new track high pass around 2-3khz and compress like hell. Mix it back in underneath the 1st vocal track for added air.