Looking for this particular good vocal sound, need help!

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by grifkac1, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. grifkac1

    grifkac1 Member

    Feb 10, 2012
    I have been searching for the vocal sound I want to record and I have finally found it, but don't know how to attain it.

    To hear what I'm looking for, listen to the song "Old Man......." by "I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business." A link is provided below

    I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business : Old Man....(Official) - YouTube

    I want to know how the singer's voice sounds so warm and fuzzy. I can perhaps recognize the room effect (like large room or theater) but I was wondering if anyone can tell me what
    recording equipment/microphone/software/methods can be used to obtain this kind of vocal sound.

    Thanks for any help, looking forward to figuring this out!
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Since we are both from Michigan, I guess I'll start things off.

    First, there is no one way. There are thousands of ways. This was a beautiful piece. A thoughtful high degree of expertise had to first be in place. Many elements of this vocal were highly manipulated. You heard that room sound. Did you hear the compression and limiting also? What kind of microphone might you think would be the starting point? What kind of preamp do you think the microphone was plugged into? Was automation utilized within the software? Here are some possible scenarios:

    This most obviously sounded like a lovely high quality LDC. It could have been a Neumann, SHURE, dozens of others. While it could have also employed a vacuum tube though I heard a certain element of transistorized accuracy. So it could have been a transistorized LDC into a tube preamp? But then again, it could have been a tube LDC into a transistorized preamp? It had a quality to it that said to me transformer input. Or, I could be 100% wrong with everything? It could be an $80 transistorized Chinese condenser microphone into a piece of crap Avid/Digi M-Box 2 and utilizing nothing more than a bundled stock package of ProTools? It could have been my Neumann U-67 tube microphone into my all transistorized 1970s Neve console, an LA-3 & 1176 with a Lexicon PCM-70 and no freaking computer at all? And that's how they got that sound. And you're now thinking I haven't answered your question because you wanted it to tell you what equipment & gobbledygook was used to get that sound. And the proper answer to your question would be, it was the engineers technique and expertise that got that sound. So I also know how to get that sound 50 different ways and sideways. You could read a book or get a degree in this and it still wouldn't tell you how to get that sound until you learn how to get that sound. Sure, some tools work better than others. But most any tools in the hands of a professional can achieve those kinds of end results. Originally coming from Detroit, I know that I could have built a car there. On the other hand, living in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC, I can also build a car here. They were both go down the street in relatively the same manner because they would both have 4 tires. But it does depend upon your driving technique whether or not you take out a fire hydrant and a newspaper stand. Regardless of whether one vehicle was a historic model T. Ford and the other was a backyard special built with a super & Turbo charged Jasper V-8 engine with direct fuel injection and stainless steel body. They can both take out fire hydrants or, not.

    That lovely fuzzy sound you hear is simply the inherent or, added distortion that the engineer utilized. It could be tube distortion? It could be transistor distortion? They could be from the purposeful settings of over driving a preamp? It could be a simple plug-in? It could be your crappy playback system, poor gain staging that allows you to enjoy that certain je ne sais quoi?

    It sure the heck ain't drive-through McDonald's.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
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