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a couple unrelated questions

hey all, i've been tracking my band's record for the last couple months, and we're about to transition into the mixing stage. i have a couple questions that would help me out tremendously:

1. regarding doubled vocals, is there a general practice regarding how the second vocal track is produced? i know that it is usually significantly lower in the mix, but is it usually eq'd any differently than the main track, or is the goal to have the tracks be as sonically similar as possible?

2. are there any comp/eq plugins/hardware available where only the transients that get comp'd are eq'd? the reason i ask is there's an acoustic guitar track for one of our songs that this kind of intricate fingerpicking part, and most of the downbeats are played on the lowest string, and the signal for those notes is always a little hotter than the other notes. i'd like to set up a compressor to bring those notes down a little bit, while also adding a slight eq to bring down some of the lows on that string. is this possible? all of the plugins i've seen that have compressor and eq apply the eq to the whole waveform.

thanks for all your help in advance. maybe we can trade favors and once some of you respond to this thread i can start a new one where i share my patented "secrets of the pro's" drum replacement technique with you all. :) what a joke.


RemyRAD Fri, 03/14/2008 - 20:42
While I have frequently utilized double vocals, many have started off originally intentioned to be a single vocal track. Unfortunately, most mediocre local bands can rarely sing their way through a decent sounding vocal. In the overdub sessions, I'll frequently keep more than one lead vocal. Then when we go to mix, I'll put them both together which always makes twice mediocre half as bad. In that respect, both vocals usually match quite closely and the levels are frequently kept equal.

What you want to avoid is too much proximity effect. So make sure you use some high pass filtering. You'll also find less of a need for aggressive equalization since you'll have to start dealing with more additive sibelance which may require De-Essing. Crunch the crap out of it also. Since the harmonically related frequency beats will make your levels go screwy.

Sometimes 5 to 15 ms of delay on one of the vocals can thicken it. But you won't need any VFO.

Many software's have a dynamic equalization feature. So in answer to your second question, yes. That along with other highly specialized frequency manipulated dynamics can change " perceived loudness". This is frequently accomplished by inserting equalization networks in front of dynamic range limiters detector circuit. All of these permutations are basically related to different kinds of spectral processing of dynamics. For those adventuresome folks, used Dolby 361A noise reduction units actually make for decent multiband spectral compressor/expanders. And no, I haven't heard any plug-ins that can do with that old horrible noise reduction unit can do. So find yourself a used one and start screwing around with the adjustments on the circuit board.

No noise reduction for me
Ms. Remy Ann David

RecordingNewb Sun, 03/16/2008 - 11:54
thanks for the info Remy. very helpful. i checked out the dolby unit on ebay and can't seem to find any individual units available, they're all being sold in lots of 4 units typically. i'll keep checking it out, but in the event that i can't find any single units available, are there any dynamic eq plugins that you would recomend?

thanks again,

RemyRAD Mon, 03/17/2008 - 01:24
TC makes a nice suite which I like. I think their aggressive setting on their compressor isn't as aggressive as it says. But I like it when it comes to software compression. But then I also like the IK multimedia T-Racks plug-in. How do they refer to it? Analog mottling for incompetent analog engineers trying to record digitally. Or something like that?

I'll frequently just create/draw/modify my own compressor/limiters, from the Adobe Audition resident dynamics processing feature. Enough parameters to play with to generally get what you want or need. Sony and all the rest have similar dynamics processing capabilities. So extra plug-ins aren't really all that necessary if you know what kind of processing you want. I also particularly like the Bomb Factory 1176 RTAS plug-in in ProTools. Yeah, I think it sounds a lot like my hardware 1176's. So in that respect, a well modeled emulation since my software settings appear to virtually mimic how I tweak the rackmounted versions.

If anybody has a working meter they don't need for an old 1176, let me know? I'm looking at the poor little dead one right now.
Ms. Remy Ann David