Got a few Compression and Eq Questions

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Input, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Input

    Input Guest

    Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone on here has any recommendations on EQ settings on the Amek 9098 and Gain and Threshold Settings on the LA-2A and either use compress or limit. Im not familiar with these units and there capablitys, I came from a home recording enviornment and was asked to engineer a friends album in a corporate studio. So far I've had no luck at trying to get the sound I want. Im looking for a Highly compressed sound with warm sheen mids and crisp hi's something similar to the vocals on Paul McCartney - Fine Line. So I've registered here wondering if anyone have any tips on eqing and compression with these units, and is it possible with this setup to get the warm sound out of this solid state setup?.

    Universal Audio LA-2A
    Amek 9098 Mic-Pre/EQ
    Neumann U 87
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I'm sure Paul has recorded on the U87 although he probobly used the Neumann U47 (original with original tube) more often which has a different more accentuated hi end sound compared to the U87, since it is a smaller capsule. Turn on the U87s bass cut filter too avoid excessive "proximity" effect in cardiod position and with a pop filter (nylon or foam) have them work the mic not any closer than 3 inches.

    Maybe add 2-3 db at 10k and/or 5k peaking. Adjust the mic pre for a resonable level and patch the LA2A into the insert. The LA2 can be set to compress in which case on loud vocal pasages you may want to see 10 to 15 db of gain reduction. Otherwise if you just want to limit, you probobly don't want to see much more than 2-3db of gain reduction. Slower release times sound more natural and faster makes things sound more "loud", aggresive and the faster you release, the more apperant loudness you will precieve. What the rock& roll radio stations abuse too often to sound louder than each other without excessive over modulation peaks. Adjust the output "make up gain" on the limiter for a proper recording level.

    I would do what I've described for tracking where alot of folks are anal about not tracking with anything and doing what I've described in mixdown only. Ther reson for that is you can't exactly un-do what you've done after the fact but for those of us in the know, it dosen't stop me and I prefer tracking the way I've described. Just remember LESS IS MORE and also make sure you KISS it! (keep it simple stupid) If you want a "breathier" sound on the vocal, see if the studio has an APHEX AURAL EXCITER or a BBE sonic maximizer and go easy with it as it's easy to use too much very easily.

    If it's a "good" studio see if they have a U47 FET you can use instead of the U87 on the vocal as those transistor versions are still quite nice for vocals when you don't got the tube. I think you'de get closer to what you've described that way?

    Keep on trackin' (Mr. Natural 1968)
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Input

    Input Guest

    Damn they dont got a U47 at the studio, but i was thinking about switching over to the AEA R-44 Ribbon mic and seeing if it would give me that warm tone i want. They got a Manley Gold Reference Series Mic here also and I've heard those have a similar tone as the u47's?
  4. amishsixstringer

    amishsixstringer Member

    Feb 22, 2006
    I wouldn't bother with the ribbon mic if you want crisp high end, but the manley reference mic would be one to try. I would probably have tried that before the U87 even. Ok, maybe not before, but I would audition it anyhow. The U87 is a darker mic than a 47 as Remy said. It won't give you that top end without some EQ. THe british EQ in that Amek is not horrible, but isn't exactly clear, nor are the preamps. Adding gain with a dark eq to get clear highs may be going the wrong way. Try to attenuate some of the frequencies causing the vocal to sound dark and muddy. Start between 250-700 Hz somewhere. Put your gain up to about 10dB and sweep around in there and see what sounds nasty. Then cut that frequency instead. Try this in the mix as well as in solo mode. Vocals are the absolute most difficult part of a mix to get to sit right through the entire song, besides maybe bass guitar. 15dB gain reduction, even on an LA-2A seems a bit much to me if you want a clear sound. That is an AWESOME dynamics processor, but damn, that's a lot of reduction. Play around with the compressor. There's only a few knobs on it anyhow, so you can't run out of combinations that fast.
  5. Input

    Input Guest

    Yeah thats the deal its alot of reduction, i dont have much combination to go around and the eq on the amek is horrible. But i havent tried cutting the freq. yet, but yeah its totally dark and muddy around the 500-700 range like horrible.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    The 9098 is designed by Rupert Neve! How horrible is that?!?!? Want a breathy edgy vocal?? Use a small diameter condensor mic, not a ribbon. You can still get "dark and lovely" with that mic, at the beach or in the drugstore. You just need to figure out how to record.

    Don't touch that dial. We'll be right back.

    Back to school fer ya'
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. Nirvalica

    Nirvalica Guest

    why not use both mica if you want the low end from one mic and the high crispness of the other?

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