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DKAUDIO

DKAUDIO
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Location
Boston
Hey guys, I'm working on a mix of my cover of "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder. I think the vocal might be a bit low in the mix and a bit too congested around 300-500k/not bright enough. I used my new Telefunken Elam 251 and for the price, I'm trying to make decisions about wether or not I should hold onto it or go with another vintage tube that suits my voice. Feedback is greatly appreciated!!!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzEh0K89oHfFQm4td24wQWg1VTA

Thanks!
David Korn
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
Yeah I think so! the file was too big to upload originally because it was a WAV, but I can bounce it as an mp3

I'm sure you will have a better response that way, you can upload Mp3 @320 kbps to the player here.

Just use the Upload A File button when posting.
Hi David, if you upload audio to our server, you will get a better response. FYI, I did try to go there but it asked for permission.
 

DKAUDIO

DKAUDIO
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Location
Boston
So tbd i'm feeling a little frustrated.. Ive been searching for the right mic and preamp for many years now and have had zero luck. I just recently purchased the Advanced Audio remake of the Telefunken 251 for about $1000, and every review online raves about Advanced audio and this mic. I had been looking for a tube mic for so long that gave me that full bright tube sound with character and smooth transients. That was the key issue, the transients. Every mic i've owned previously, AKG C141, Neumann tlm102, LewitLCT540, had a "harshness" in the 1-3khz range on every vocalist that i spent hours trying to remove from records. This new mic has everything I want in terms of body and character and sound, EXCEPT it gets harsh and painful in that EXACT range. I'm wondering if it's possibly my signal chain, or maybe im imagining things...

I run the Tube mic into the mic input of my Focusrite ISA pre amp and then into my Scarlett 6i6 DI where it goes into my computer via USB 2.

Help is much needed!!!
Thanks!!

Heres a sample of a completely dry vocal that had that harshness

 

Attachments

  • Superstition Dry vox.mp3
    1.5 MB · Views: 249

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
I feel your frustrations, you obviously have a good ear and are looking for better sound. Kudo's on your passion.

Pretty much every mic I own sounds better through quality preamps and converters. That mic (although I have no experience with it) should sound pretty good and your Focusrite ISA micpre is good as well so that narrows things down to tracking levels and the converter analog counterparts.

The converter is not the greatest from a pro audio standpoint so the way deal with harshness, keep your gain staging lower than what you are accustom to at present. Keep lowering it until your find the sweet spot.
Higher end gear deals with headroom freq bursts and input levels in general, better.

Your voice (singing) sounds good but I do hear a subtle limiting happening on this example which indicates something peaking on the way in (AD).

Try recording at lower levels.
 

DKAUDIO

DKAUDIO
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Location
Boston
It's about 2k and it's triggered by my overtones.
Just for curiosity, what freq area do you find the harshest? Example: 3k, 5k, 7k etc?

I can solve the problem sorta with a C1 multiband compressor, but I don't want to have to doctor every vocal. I would love to get a good sound from the start and work my way forward. I was considering returning the 251 and trying their U47 but the more I think about it, the more I realize it's probably not an issue with the mic
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
It's about 2k and it's triggered by my overtones.
Just a hunch, retrack that again but this time allow for 20db of upper mid headroom. Let me know how it sounds.
When you process it, keep the mp3 around -8. Its cool to increase the volume, better increasing it to tracking hot.
 

DKAUDIO

DKAUDIO
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Location
Boston
Just a hunch, retrack that again but this time allow for 20db of upper mid headroom. Let me know how it sounds.
When you process it, keep the mp3 around -8. Its cool to increase the volume, better increasing it to tracking hot.
I can upload that in a few minutes! To the booth!
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
I can solve the problem sorta with a C1 multiband compressor, but I don't want to have to doctor every vocal.

Mulitbands are the last thing I use. I may use one (if you forced me) in mastering but never in the mix or tracking.
Lower end analog gear actually sounds like multiband compression.
You are way better off lowering your tracking level and allowing the preamp and capture to bloom before it ever needs crushing.
It sounds like you have the C4 on right now? Don't use it for now. Lets isolate things.
 

DKAUDIO

DKAUDIO
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Location
Boston
Mulitbands are the last thing I use.
It sounds like you have the C4 on right now? Don't use it.
Lower end analog gear actually sounds like multiband compression.
You are way better off lowering your tracking level and allowing the preamp and capture to bloom before it ever needs crushing.
Actually with that first MP3 it was completely dry. No processing at all!
 

DKAUDIO

DKAUDIO
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Location
Boston
Good.

I suspect your chain can be improved through gain staging strategies. Looking forward to your next example. More so, what you hear on your end next.

Unfortunately, I still Hear it :(

 

Attachments

  • Superstition Vox 2.mp3
    1.1 MB · Views: 249

DKAUDIO

DKAUDIO
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Location
Boston
Unfortunately, I still Hear it :(


Quick side note, I had originally purchased the additional ADC card for my ISA before buying this mic which made the signal a bit fatter and clearer but still gave me troubles with those HF. Also, the only piece of gear that I haven't swapped out to try to solve this issue is the 6I6
 

DKAUDIO

DKAUDIO
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Location
Boston
Quick side note, I had originally purchased the additional ADC card for my ISA before buying this mic which made the signal a bit fatter and clearer but still gave me troubles with those HF. Also, the only piece of gear that I haven't swapped out to try to solve this issue is the 6I6
I ended up returning it because it wasn't worth it for $400
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
The second version does sound better to me but I still hear what you are not liking. Unfortunately, you are reaching a point where it may cost more money now.
 

DKAUDIO

DKAUDIO
Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Location
Boston
The second version does sound better to me but I still hear what you are not liking. Unfortunately, you are reaching a point where it may cost more money now.

Any recommendations? Should I get a better AD converter? Or a better interface? The card made for the ISA wasn't amazing.
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
Any recommendations? Should I get a better AD converter? Or a better interface? The card made for the ISA wasn't amazing.
Don't know for certain. Can you test gear before you buy where you are?

The AD has impact on the sound. The interface moves digital to and from the DAW. Right now I believe you need to improve the analog side which would be any one of these. Mic, micpre, converter. I would only be guessing to say which is the weakest. My guess is your AD.
 
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