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hey all

i have a small start up home studio. i have a Marshall 990, a Rolls rp 220 preamp, and a vs 1880. when i record vocals, it sounds like theres a phaser on my voice. any ideas what this could be? do i need to flip the phase switch on my preamp? i dont have any effects on my vox when i record or listen back.

also any advice on what to do to sweeten this recording situation up? (get rid of/buy new equip, etc.? keep in mind, i'm on a small budget...)

thanks much


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RemyRAD Tue, 08/15/2006 - 23:03

I believe the problem with your vocal sound may just be the artifacts that the VS1880 may be producing if you are recording at the setting for "maximum record time". That's the highest lossy compression setting and with that frequently comes that phasing gargling like sound. It's similar to MP3 and likely utilizes a constant bit rate algorithm? You might want to try to record at the highest possible quality setting even though it reduces the amount of time you can pack onto the internal disk drive.

You don't get something for nothing
Ms. Remy Ann David

anonymous Thu, 08/17/2006 - 19:49

hey Remy

im pretty sure its set to the highest quality/shortest recording time. im new to this so i just messed around with an EQ and other FX on the vs and i actually got the vocals sounding ok. i'll put the tune online soon to be critiqued.

was wondering, what do Sonic Exciters and Enhancers do?? worth investigating??

JoeH Thu, 08/17/2006 - 21:27

was wondering, what do Sonic Exciters and Enhancers do?? worth investigating??

NO. The only enhancer you want in you signal chain is something called a Talent enhancer. And the only way to get that is to keep recording, practicing, listening, and recording some more.

Save your money and avoid the gimmics. Great gear will sound great on its own. The talent is up to you.

anonymous Sat, 08/19/2006 - 17:40

i agree. i just dont know much about gear. i see "aural exciters" for sale online all the time (thats probably a clue to how useful they are...) and was just wondering what they did.

i've been working on my vocal tracks and didnt like how they sounded. so all these 'gimmicks" as you say, have been peaking my interest. anyway, i recently started messing with eq'ing my vox and that seems to have remedied all problems.

thanks for the advice Joe...

RemyRAD Sun, 08/20/2006 - 20:15

OK, here's a brief synopsis of what "exciters" and "enhancers" do. (Right, Brief, sure)

The original Aphex Aural Exciter from what I've been told throughout the years was originally conceived quite by accident. When you put something together wrong, it won't sound right but when combined with something right, it will make it sound better. The signal by it self is a rather screechy semi-distorted tinny sound, so you can't use it by itself for anything. But when it is mixed with a perfectly good sounding signal, in very small amounts, the original signal will appear to have a greater sense of clarity and air. This is not be confused with the sound obtained by turning up a high-frequency equalizer. It is considered a phantom signal and is added to the original signal and very small amounts. This all from a low level, frequency weighted, distorted signal. Where this particular device became most popular was not just to enhance certain tracks but to help offset the effects of the Dolby A noise reduction process, which seemed to reduce the sense of articulation and the sense of high frequency content. The distortion of the original unit was second harmonic, like what tubes produce but the newer low-cost units utilized a VCA to mimic the original process but those produced intermodulation distortion which is similar to but not the same as the original unit. What most people won't remember about the original units were that no studio could purchase them! They had to lease them and you had to pay for the use of the "effect" by the minute! That's right, so if you used it throughout an entire album of approximately 45 minutes, you paid big bucks for the use of the "effect".

Then there was the BBE Sonic Maximizer. According to their literature, they added no distortion like the Aphex had (and purchase of the unit allowed unlimited usage). Their process used again some hi-frequency enhancements along with some phase manipulation which translates to tiny changes in high-frequency timing. Thus producing an enhanced high-frequency sound, when mixed with the original signal.

The original hardware units were used in an effects loop but the newer knockoffs were designed to be used on an insert patch or on an entire mix patch through and generally don't work well in an effects send and return effects loop.

Of course, there are numerous software created "enhancers" which attempt to mimic that of the hardware devices.

The biggest problem with any of these enhancers is once you dial some in, it sounds so cool, you dial more in. The end result is an almost unlistenable recording that is not enhanced but trashed. When using these devices, LESS IS MORE.

The overly enhanced and beautiful
Ms. Remy Ann David


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