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Bad vocal tracking in my "treated" room

Member for

1 year 2 months
HI EVERYONE ,

I am not satisfied with vocal tracking , it seems that I sing in a box and the voice seems as muffled. So if someone can refer me to a solution it would be great because this stiff turn me crazy.

So I take my shots via SM7B + FetHead + mogami cable >> preamp "UA610" unison simulation in "APOLLO TWIN" in thunderbolt connection to my mac MBP 2012 SSD AND 16 GB of RAM.

I chose a spot in a corner where the bass is not very present.

as the acoustic treatment I impS VERY ortance I treated my room which is (3.4m X 3.3m X 2.7m) with DIY panels on the walls and ceiling "cloud". I put you below the acoustic measurements of the room.

My question is whether it comes from my sm7B (it would surprise me because with the rt NT1A it is the same), my apollo or my acoustics. (Besides, is a piece treated for mixing suitable for recording ???)

thank you in advance
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Member for

7 years 7 months

paulears Thu, 06/25/2020 - 05:08
What would really help is a proper recording of your voice reading. As in like a voiceover, then a pitched singing something with light and shade rather than a fast shirt clip that we heard. Voice text be from speaking reveals the room a lot and we’ve not really heard very much.

Member for

19 years 2 months

Kurt Foster Thu, 06/25/2020 - 07:25
i was mistaken in saying the room is too small. we Americans are metric challenged. :LOL: but the 8.8 foot ceiling is a problem. the only thing worse than a 9 foot ceiling is an 8 foot one. this is partially because 8 foot places the actual physical null or node at 4 foot which is exactly where your ears are when sitting. from what i've heard from your very short clip, the room sounds like you have over done the absorption. are you mixing in the same room or is it a vox booth only? the answer will dictate the way to proceed. if you are mixing in the room then place absorption in the 4 corners as traps and on the wall behind the speakers. then have an assistant take a mirror and move it along the side walls while you sit at the mixing position. anywhere you see the reflections of the speakers, place absorption. i guess a cloud over the mixing position would help but if the floor is carpeted it may be too much. you may need to place some absorption on the wall behind the mixing position to attenuate flutter echo.

if you are using the room as a vocal booth i would treat it with an acoustic slat wall treatment.


Member for

8 years 7 months

pcrecord Thu, 06/25/2020 - 07:45
Some Iso boot are sold with very small dimentions. My recording room is 11*10 feet with 7 ceilling. 2 corners are converted in bass traps, tick carpet, foam on the ceilling, sonopans on the surface of the walls.. pretty dead space. But I'm able to do good recording in it. Drums, guitars vocals, violins. . . for me since the room is dead, I need to chose the right mic and placement for each jobs and I'm quite successfull at it.
There is so many DIY videos to do bass traps.. I'd start with only those and remove anything that affect only high frequencies.. (exemple thin foams or similar)
Once the room problems are resolved, your in for a mic / vocal matching game. You need to try as many as you can with your voice and chose the right one for you.
They all say the Sm7B is the best.. but not for everyone...
For exemple in condensers.
U47 inspired mics and capsules are giving rounder bottom and less HF (perfect for sibilant or nazal voices)
C12 inspired mics and capsules give a boost in the HF, (perfect for darker voices)
U87 Inspired mics are more balanced sounding.. great starting point for any voices, but not ideal for all..

Member for

1 year 2 months

az35000 Thu, 06/25/2020 - 14:44
paulears, post: 464686, member: 47782 wrote: What would really help is a proper recording of your voice reading. As in like a voiceover, then a pitched singing something with light and shade rather than a fast shirt clip that we heard. Voice text be from speaking reveals the room a lot and we’ve not really heard very much.
OK paulears I will send a longest audio with me talking and singing . but i can already say that i have less room reflections when i talk than when i scream.

Member for

1 year 2 months

az35000 Thu, 06/25/2020 - 15:04
Kurt Foster, post: 464687, member: 7836 wrote: this is partially because 8 foot places the actual physical null or node at 4 foot which is exactly where your ears are when sitting.

-Very interesting information .

Kurt Foster, post: 464687, member: 7836 wrote: the room sounds like you have over done the absorption. are you mixing in the same room or is it a vox booth only?

-the room is for mixing and a vox booth .but i guess its too different things when its comes to acoustic treatement. but it s will be really useful to do mixing and tracking in the same space .

Kurt Foster, post: 464687, member: 7836 wrote: if you are mixing in the room then place absorption in the 4 corners as traps and on the wall behind the speakers. then have an assistant take a mirror and move it along the side walls while you sit at the mixing position. anywhere you see the reflections of the speakers, place absorption. i guess a cloud over the mixing position would help but if the floor is carpeted it may be too much. you may need to place some absorption on the wall behind the mixing position to attenuate flutter echo.

-I already have absorption (47'2 X 23'6 X 2') behind speakers and cloud over mixing position and in mirroring position at my left . and i have a wardrobe with curtains at my right so no treatement there.
the floor is covered with linoleum.

Kurt Foster, post: 464687, member: 7836 wrote: if you are using the room as a vocal booth i would treat it with an acoustic slat wall treatment.
it's look like diffusion treatement isn'it ?

Member for

1 year 2 months

az35000 Thu, 06/25/2020 - 15:20
pcrecord, post: 464688, member: 46460 wrote: My recording room is 11*10 feet with 7 ceilling. 2 corners are converted in bass traps, tick carpet, foam on the ceilling, sonopans on the surface of the walls.. pretty dead space. But I'm able to do good recording in it. Drums, guitars vocals, violins. . . for me since the room is dead, I need to chose the right mic and placement for each jobs and I'm quite successfull at it.
it's keep hope to know that with small room as me ,you have nice recording :)

pcrecord, post: 464688, member: 46460 wrote: There is so many DIY videos to do bass traps.. I'd start with only those and remove anything that affect only high frequencies.. (exemple thin foams or similar)
Once the room problems are resolved, your in for a mic / vocal matching game. You need to try as many as you can with your voice and chose the right one for you.

yes i think that basstrap will resolve a big part of the problem.

pcrecord, post: 464688, member: 46460 wrote: They all say the Sm7B is the best.. but not for everyone...
For exemple in condensers.
U47 inspired mics and capsules are giving rounder bottom and less HF (perfect for sibilant or nazal voices)
C12 inspired mics and capsules give a boost in the HF, (perfect for darker voices)
U87 Inspired mics are more balanced sounding.. great starting point for any voices, but not ideal for all..

I have a condenser ( rode nt1 but same problem than the SM7B with a bit more reflections) . and i cant buy all this mic with my little budget . anyway you are right mics are not for all voices.

Member for

1 year 2 months

az35000 Thu, 06/25/2020 - 15:51
paulears, post: 464686, member: 47782 wrote: What would really help is a proper recording of your voice reading. As in like a voiceover, then a pitched singing something with light and shade rather than a fast shirt clip that we heard. Voice text be from speaking reveals the room a lot and we’ve not really heard very much.
so there is a longest audio with some talking and singing, waiting for your feedback :)

[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.org/att…
Attached files 5-Audio 203 [2020-06-26 004238].mp3 (1.5 MB) 

Member for

7 years 7 months

paulears Fri, 06/26/2020 - 00:23
I'm going out on a limb here. I don't hear much 'room' sound at all, but odd things are happening when the levels perk up. The sound seems to become harder, and thinner as the volume goes up, and SM7Bs (I have one here) don't do this. In fact they tend to sound nicer when pushed. Looking at the waveform displays the harmonic content is quite high. You mentioned
So I take my shots via SM7B + FetHead + mogami cable >> preamp "UA610" unison simulation in "APOLLO TWIN" in thunderbolt connection to my mac MBP 2012 SSD AND 16 GB of RAM.
Is this recording via this chain? I wonder if the problem is simply that the tube simulation is way too high, and as valves traditionally had higher levels of harmonic distortion, the plugin is not enhancing, but destroying the quality of your fine mic and preamp. Have you tried recording totally unprocessed? I'm a fan of adding these as effects afterwards, and certainly not recording with them enabled and never having a dry copy to experiment with.

I'm also wondering if the extra amplification from the FET Head is making it worse? Have you tried going direct from the mic to the Apollo? I'm just so surprised at the sound being so unlike my SM7B which I rarely use because it is too warm and lacking sparkle. SO many people decree extra gain is required. I never find gain an issue with mine at all - on all the interfaces I have here. I can do voice overs and of course sing into it without gain/noise being an issue.

I'd suggest dumping the gizmos and recording direct to the interface with no plugins - just mic - interface - DAW-press record! I suspect this will solve the weird sound you've got. Excess gain causing excess harmonics. SM7B mics just don't sound like that!

Member for

1 year 2 months

az35000 Fri, 06/26/2020 - 03:19
paulears, post: 464696, member: 47782 wrote: I'm going out on a limb here. I don't hear much 'room' sound at all, but odd things are happening when the levels perk up. The sound seems to become harder, and thinner as the volume goes up, and SM7Bs (I have one here) don't do this. In fact they tend to sound nicer when pushed. Looking at the waveform displays the harmonic content is quite high. You mentioned

for this record there is no preamp simulation ,it s just the SM7B the fethead and soundcard ( apollo twin preamp) .

You said that my sm7B sound thinner and harder as the volume goes ? do you think that i have an issue with the mic itself?

in my case i also hear reflections when volume goes up .

paulears, post: 464696, member: 47782 wrote: I'm also wondering if the extra amplification from the FET Head is making it worse? Have you tried going direct from the mic to the Apollo? I'm just so surprised at the sound being so unlike my SM7B which I rarely use because it is too warm and lacking sparkle. SO many people decree extra gain is required. I never find gain an issue with mine at all - on all the interfaces I have here. I can do voice overs and of course sing into it without gain/noise being an issue.

my sm7B need more gain without fethead ( about 60 db) and with the fethead i need just 29 db) ,anyway i already try without the fethead and the difference is so subtile.

paulears, post: 464696, member: 47782 wrote: I'd suggest dumping the gizmos and recording direct to the interface with no plugins - just mic - interface - DAW-press record! I suspect this will solve the weird sound you've got. Excess gain causing excess harmonics. SM7B mics just don't sound like that!

as I said earlier I didn't and I never use effects or plugins when it comes to test mic or soundcard.

Good at least I know that my sm7B dont sound as a SM7B now :)

:eek:)

Member for

7 years 7 months

paulears Fri, 06/26/2020 - 13:23
Yes - but the question is why? What kind of distance are you working at? Do you have any other microphones - I think you mentioned a Rode, but the problem was there with that too. This only leaves the interface if you are not using the plugins. The FET removal made a subtle change?

It could be acoustics, I don't know. Do you have a pic of how you are using the mics?

Member for

1 year 2 months

az35000 Fri, 06/26/2020 - 23:51
Kurt Foster, post: 464704, member: 7836 wrote: i wonder what if you move the mic three feet one way or the other and then redo the test? would the charts look any different? i'm also thinking being in the corner isn't a real good thing. :rolleyes:
I tried many positions in the room. the intensity of reflections change , but no perfect position still now.

Member for

8 years 7 months

pcrecord Sat, 06/27/2020 - 06:37
I listened to the recording, it is not so unbalanced that it could not be mixed in a song.
Are you sure you might not like your voice like 90% of signers and you're trying to make it sound like someone else..
Natural reason is that we normaly hear our voice through bones inside our head and the mic can't.. the mic hears what others hear.
You could also have a problem of fidelity with your monitors and/or the room acoustics.. but what I'm hearing on the recorded side isn't that bad..
Did you try to bring that recording somewhere else (car, friends or family systems ? )

Member for

7 years 7 months

paulears Sat, 06/27/2020 - 06:58
I'm confused now - I think pcrecord could be right. We are listening for issues caused by something external, but the rather dark tone overall is just you? Or maybe you and the mic not working in a complimentary way? There's a bit of room, a bit of this and that, but the fundamental thing could just be your voice.

Clearly you're not happy - maybe more distance, and a different mic, or a point up or point down mic position? I just don't think we are hearing what you hear?