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Intermediate Level : Getting polished vocal tracks

Member for

17 years
Hi all,

My vocal and harmonies do not sound commercial CD polished. Subjective opinions aside, I want it to sound that way and I hope folks here can share some tips ; )

I know being a Beyonce helps but what I wish to find out is, beside vocal techniques, what recording techniques and tools can improve the situation.

E.g. Do I chop up all the vocal parts and shift them into time, or jig-saw 1,000,000 combings together to form THE track?

Maybe we can organize it as, "How to tackle..'":
1. subtle off-tempo
2. sound of air
3. Soft and loud passages

Hope to see your replies!

Here's what I'm using:

1. Rode NTK with pop filter
2. Focusrite Voice Master Pro
3. Digi 002R + Protools 7.4
4. MacPro G5 Intel



Member for

15 years 9 months

Kapt.Krunch Fri, 11/16/2007 - 03:59
#1. Chop, shift, replace. Why not? If you do it right, you could probably even get it to sound as lifeless and mechanical as a lot of other of today's offerings. :wink: ('s JUST my opinion...)

#2. Sound of air? You mean like breath whoosh? Sometimes can be artsy, sometimes annoying. If you had a pop filter, shouldn't have been MUCH of that? Maybe edit fast fade-in or -out, from zero points?

#3. How much disparity, and how often? Maybe manual level adjustements? Maybe compressor/limiter? Maybe a bit of both? Keep in mind that noise may ride up with lower passages boosted.

Basically, it sounds like you are trying to "fix it in the mix". All of those things probably should have been addressed before commiting, and there would be less to fix. Timing, levels and breath noise are all controllable at the source, but everyone realizes that things can get wacky sometimes.
The best you can do now is to fix it as best you can, or do a do-over, and pay extra attention to those things. Timing may be the most successful fix, if you are careful about your trim points, and you get things lined up well.

I think I believe maybe that might possibly be almost correct? :?


Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 11/17/2007 - 16:44
I conquer (I don't know if I spelled that right but I've always wanted to say that) I dont quite understand what you mean by sound of air but it sounds like an issue that needed to be addresed during tracking. If the pop filter was not doing its job you might try singing a little off axis maybe.

Member for

16 years 6 months

moonbaby Sat, 11/17/2007 - 20:55
I've had the same problem...I can't sound like Beyonce. either. Remy suggested that I stuff a sock in my mouth while I hum into a 58...NAH. That wasn't any good, either...I think that she was being sarcastic. Actually, I LOVE Beyonce...Maybe if I push in all of those buttons on that UREI box, I'll get that same sound...