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Monitoring Vocals with pre mastered track, low level monitoring?

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by Rectro, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Rectro

    Rectro Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Location:
    uk
    Hello, im new here but not to producing music. I mainly produce electronic music, but my brother is a singer that wishes to get into recording his own vocal performances over Karaoke tracks.

    In order to do this he has pruchased some gear Rode NT1, stand, pop shield, Rokit RP5, Reason Ballance interface, the D.A.W of choice is directed by me because this is the one I know best to help him, and is simple enough for him to learn, yet powerfull enough to grow into.

    Onto my problem is all about two areas, gain stanging, and monitoring.

    Gain staging and working with a vocalist.

    While im not new to music production, I am to recording vocals, and am in turn learning myself to teach him. From what Iv gathered I should be setting his mic input gain so it reads -10 or lower at its highest peeks. The only way I can get to set this up is if he sings the loudest part of a song, is that fair to expect him to do this on tap over and over again, shouldnt he at least warm up first? So im sitting them asking him to sing the loudest part as if he was going for a recording, I set it up to -10db, then he goes for recording and one round the peek is at -25 db, another try he is hitting -2db with no head room. What is being done wrong here?

    Monitoring his own Vocals,"not loud enough"

    Assuming we get the input gain correct, we now have a second issue, he cant hear his own voice. This has arrived from what I see as two areas. 1: he is singing along with a mastered piece of music which has had its dynamics crushed, where as his own voice is, well! as dynamic as it can get from -28 to -6db. Should he need to improve his mic technique a little, should I have to turn that music crazy low so he can hear his own vocals? 2: He is monitoring his voice through Reason and does not seem to monitor as lound as when played back after recording? He is using decent headphones that are 250 ohm, the audio interface has not enough power for headphones, plus the monitoring is so low anyway, even through speakers. Im not sure how to go about fixing this, but have come to a comclusion we need a heaphone amp, but wont this cause alot of hiss being that I have to take away 20db off the music so he can hear his own voice, then boost it all with the headphone amp?

    How are things set up professionaly, what am I missing here?

    Thanks, Daniel.
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    Here at recording.org we also welcome brothers if they wish to ask questions...

    -Record so the level register around -18db to -12 db in the recording software.
    - Put the headphone level so he can hear his voice ok.
    - Lower the music level in the DAW, make him sing and slowly put up the music level until he is confortable.
    - If the headphone output is not loud enough, chances are it's the headphones. Propellerhead says : '' Powerfull headphone amplifier ''
    -You could buy an external headphone amp
     
  3. Rectro

    Rectro Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Location:
    uk
    Thanks for your reply. My brother is not into computers in general, has never used a forum before. This area for him is very new, and im doing my best to simplify things as much as possible. Looks like its down to headphone amp then. Do you have a link to where Propellerhead talks about headphone amps? If you set the peek to -18 how low do you expect the vocal recording level to be when its not peeking?

    Thanks, Daniel.
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    It depends how dynamic the source is. If it's very dynamic, you can afford to put peaks around -10 -12.. It's where most budget preamps and most pluggins sweetspots are.
     
  5. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    Turn the karaoke track down until it averages about -18dBFS. Set the vocal record level so it averages around -18dBFS. Set the headphone level so the singer can hear himself. Adjust the backing track level in the monitor mix appropriately (some singers like more, some like less).

    Alternatively, set the backing track to average -18dBFS, turn it up to a comfortable level in the headphones, set the record level high enough for the singer to hear himself. The record level "should" be about right.

    It's normal to have to juggle levels a bit when getting set up.

    Yes, if doing the above doesn't get you enough headphone level then maybe a headphone amp or different headphones would help.
     

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