Question on how to get specific vocal sound...?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by joorocker90210, May 30, 2006.

  1. Hey guys,
    I'm recording an acoustic piece, and the guitars sound excellent (really bright and dense), but I'm having a hard time getting the vocal sound I want for the piece.

    I'm looking for something along the lines of the vocal tone exhibited in the songs Daughters (by John Mayer), or Hello Again (by Tommy Lee).

    The main part of the tonal structure of those vocals that I'm not quite sure how to replicate is the deep bass tones that seem to "jump" out at you at the beginning of words and phrases (sounds like some kind of multi-band compressor or something). The vocals also seem really "dense" (Maybe the work of slightly overdriven tubes...) - however my vocals sound a lot thinner. The last thing that I'm having trouble with is replicating the reverb used on these tracks (specifically John Mayer's "Daughters")

    Can you guys please give me some tips on getting my vocal tone to replicate John Mayer's or Tommy Lee's?

    By the way - I'm singing through an SM57 right now (Just because I heard John Mayer actually used an SM57 for vocals on Daughters - if not I can switch to a condenser - but the SM57 should be fine because I need a "deeper" sound) through a Behringer Tube Preamp.

    I have the Waves Platinum bundle on my computer...everything else I have on here is so-so...

    Thanks a lot guys,
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I think I can safely say that the vocal sound you desire is not obtainable with a SM57. Even though you may have heard that it's an excellent microphone and many people have used them on hit records. That certainly is NOT the sound of an SM57.

    The vocal sound that you're describing however is much more indicative of a lovely condenser microphone, quite likely a capsule under 1 inch, such as a Neumann TLM170, Sennheiser MKH 40series, Rode NT2, etc..

    It's not going to a tube preamplifier but a transistor preamplifier, such as an API/Neve. Along with that there appears to be also quite a bit of compression on both artists vocals along with that "edgy" enhanced BBE/Aphex type processor with a judicious amount of " De-Essing" thrown in for good and safe measure, after the enhancer. Don't forget the high pass filter if you are recording with a cardioid pattern. But unnecessary in the Omni mode.

    Other than that I don't hear what I would consider to be excessive use of any equalization. You are also listening to the proper distance of artist to microphone. Which generally is at least 6 inches from the microphone and not eating the microphone as so many people do on television with an SM58.

    Cooking up fine vocals with 11 secret Herbs and Spice Girls for that down-home country flavor sound.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Thanks a lot for your help - I'll definitely have to look into trying out the things you suggested.

    I've been thinking about purchasing a Rode K2 anyways - could you (and others) possibly share your opinion on this microphone? Also - would it give me a similar sound of that of the NT2?

    Thanks a lot,

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