Live vocal grit in the studio

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by TheFraz, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    so last night I was mixing a song I recorded. My goal was to give it a live feel, which i was able to to achieve with the instruments, but the vocals just sound to polished. I doubled the vocals and threw it through a sans amp plug to get a more vintage sound. but its really did nothing to bring out the harshness I was trying to achieve.
    I also tried countless EQ and compression combos. nothing.

    Keep in mind it is a female vocalist.

    any tips would be great.
    thanks you.
  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    Home Page:
    Rage Against the Machine used SM58's on studio vox tracks for that same reason.

    What mic are you using?

    Edit> Another trick: I used to run the 58 into a guitar amp in my bathroom, crank that up, then stick a mic in the middle of said bathroom and record it (sometimes I'd put that mic in the tub, the sink, you name it).
    Ah, the good ol' days!
  3. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    it was for a project and we were forced into using an AT4050.
    So not exactly a gritty sounding mic.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    So like bent, suggests and I suggest, take that female vocal track and feed its output to a guitar amplifier in the bathroom. Stick another microphone in the bathroom and not necessarily in front of the speaker like you would when recording guitar's. Take that sound and if you like, burn it to another track into your DAW and combine that with the original. It will sound like a stage monitor feed kicking back to the vocal microphone. You might even want to put some of the band through that simultaneously and maybe even some prerecorded nightclub background ambience? Since I specialize in live recording, I'm always having to deal with monitor speakers bleeding into others'. I utilize that stuff to hype the overall excitement. It's live and you know it! Yes, I'd also stick with the SM58 for vocals. Who insisted on the condenser? A graduate of a recording school? Probably? SM58's are always used for television, for public performance PA, they're an industry-standard. So you'll get that flavor when you use it as a studio microphone as well. It will actually sound more like a U87 if you keep folks about 3 inches off the front of the microphone, like with a nylon embroidery hoop pop filter. Heck, that will also make it sound more like an SM 7. When you use it too close, you just sound like an amateur or rapper who are professional amateurs.

    Listening to what microphones do
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    I am in a music industry program. its part of an assignment, and he wanted us to all be using the same mics. which sucks for vocals because, well i do not need to tell you guys.
    she did not sound bad through it. perhaps would not be my first choice for a mic with her, but it was not nearly as bad as some of the other recording done for this assignment.

    but thanks for the tip with playing it through a guitar cab. thats what I was trying to do with the sans amp, but I was not getting the effect that I wanted. only problem is every room in the studio is fairly well treated. the only reflective room is a hallway. which i guess I could use.

    I have a half hour with my teacher, Kevin Doyle, to go over the mix, and production. so i am sure he will be able to help me out with getting the desired effect.
  6. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Home Page:
    Imperical Labs Distressor. Set the ratio on "Nuke". Try multing the vocal, 1 channel through the Distressor, and 1 using a more moderate ratio.
    Its called back busing, the same technique can be used on a drum kit to get fat drums in a mix.

    Try it out.


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