Problem- Live Rap Vocals

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by tomshave, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. tomshave

    tomshave Guest

    Hi there,
    My band use a fairly typical set up in terms of instruments (drum loops sampled, keyboard, clean guitar,bass) but are unusual when it comes to vocals (3 part harmony, lead vocal is a rapper/MC.) We still haven't managed to get the rap sound live as we would like; it really needs to stick out in the mix so that all the words can be heard, difficult as the rapping is quite fast. The rapper has a deep, warm toned voice but really need the clarity of high frequency response too. We really need a solution so the rap vocals stick out of the mix. Does anyone have any suggestions for a microphone to use? Or would it be better to put the live mic through a compressor or exciter and 32 band EQ or something to get the sound just right? If we did the latter would we need to pre-amp the mic?
    Thanks very much for your help,
  2. Pepino

    Pepino Active Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    Definitely you have to compress the voice. And because of the style, the ratio has to be noticeable (between3 to 4). Carefull with Attack setting. Not zero or to little.
    Of course some exciters can help. Applied in a proper manner. Let's say a little tube distortion aplied not on the all range, only arround 5 to 6k, can improve the clarity.
    Again of course EQing you'll obtain desirable results. Try boosting arround 3k and over. Be carefull at 4k. It creates a kind of harsh. If you intend to apply that mentioned compression you've got to cut everything under 100hz before applying it. Otherwise the compressor will pump every "p" and "b" in a horrible way.
    Can also try with a delay!!? Yes you can. If you set the time delay shorter than 30ms, and creating a proper balance between dry and wet (50%). The voice will gain fullnes.
    Instead of almost everything above try a multiband compression. Unfortunatelly it is more or less a little bit difficult to set. You can try a preset if it is programable.
  3. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    You need to pick a mic that suits the tone of his voice.. beyond that try to pick a model with good off-axis rejection (like the Beyer M88) as this will allow more compression to be applied (in live situations more compression on the vocal mic = greater risk of feedback)

    Whether or not to get a compressor for the voice (yes you would also need a pre-amp) depends on the type of gig you are playing: if its small pub gigs using your own PA then go ahead and get a compressor or maybe a channel strip and take the time to learn how to set it up properly.. if you are playing medium to large venues with house or hired PA's then best leave the compression to the FOH engineer. If you are somewhere in between it might be worth owning a compressor that can be inserted into the FOH mixer if needed.. ;)

    Just as important however is to make sure the rest of the band's sound is together, so you allow the voice to be heard when it needs to be..

    <edit> of course, good microphone technique will lessen the need for compression ;)
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