Vocal clearness?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Roadlife, May 10, 2008.

  1. Roadlife

    Roadlife Guest

    Hi Guys..

    I have a pretty big problem getting cleaness to the vocal. especially in my mix, where i cant get the vocal up front in the mix like i want to. what can i do to the vocal to make it more up front in the mix?

  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    To give an informed opinion we are going to need more information about the type of music, type of vocalist, type of equipment. Without that information I'll give an uninformed opinion - otherwise known as a wild guess: the acoustics in your room are probably bad. Do the vocals sound hollow - like you are singing into a box?
  3. Roadlife

    Roadlife Guest

    Well acostics could be better, but aint bad. Im using a AGK Genesis GC-1 for my vocals into a lexicon Omega interface. and edeting with cubase. The vocal sounds pretty good but its hard to get upfront in the mix like i want it. The music is soulish.
  4. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:
    A nice compression setting will help in keeping it "close by". Be aware that short attacks can kill high frequencies, so go easy on the attack. Maybe you can build up a couple of stages of compression. There's slots enough in Cubase.

    Then it is mostly level and EQ. Think of the frequencies that you hear best when something is indeed upfront. The response will be "flat", as in, you don't really miss anything, whereas distant sounds reach you with loss of HF.

    Be careful with reverb, you would need only low levels of long tail reverbs, nothing obvious. Maybe it's even best to only use it as a finishing touch. It can help to smoothen it a bit, that's all.

    Now hopefully the singing was done up close without too much room acoustics on the recording. If the miking was distant, then it is virtually impossible to get it sound upfront.
  5. AdamLove

    AdamLove Guest

    I would like to throw 2 cents worth in as well. Try the following as a Signal Chain for your recording.

    All the plugins I specify here are free online and can be downloaded just Google them with exception
    of Blue Tubes, but you can use your choice.

    Spitfish (VST Plug)
    Floorfish (VST Plug)
    Blue Tubes EQ (EQ To Taste or use default if learning)
    Kajerhaus Classic Compressor (Vocal Definition) (4:1)
    Magneto (Cubase Default Tube Sat) Medium
    Blue Tubes Compressor (7:1) fast attack medium release.
    You can then have reverbs or delay as AUX Sends on FX Channels, and then simply adjust your compressors so as not to squeeze the life out of the vocal. Without hearing it, I could not begin to suggest compressor settings.

    I find this signal chain brings the vocal forwards in the mix, gives it power, but also restrains it well so that nothing jumps out at you. You should find you can adjust your output levels of the tracks in small amounts without losing the clarity of the vocal. By this I mean, the voice will appear powerful enough to cut through the music even when mixed closer to the music level which should create excitement. Give it a go and let me know how you go.

  6. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    What about EQ? You say that your vocals aren't "clean?" Would you say they are a bit "muddy" sounding? I had this issue, and I found that adjusting a high filter somewhere in the lows to taste and boosting the highs a bit tends to really give the vocals crispness and gives them excellent separation. Of course, I'm only an ameteur who records punk, but that works quite well for me. What do you more experienced members think of this approach? Maybe it wouldn't work so well for acoustic music, but it sounds good to me :wink: . God bless.
  7. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    There are a lot of excellent suggestions here.

    All of the EQ ideas here are good, but vocals can easily be distorted by an EQ and sound fake, so instead of being tempted to use extreme EQing to bring it forward, EQ what is stepping on the vocal. Guitars seem to be my biggest offender. They can handle more dramatic EQ without sounding wrong. Use a band pass filter on the vocal to find the meat that you want to bring forward. Then bring the vocal EQ back to flat and dip that frequency on the guitars.

    AdamLove mentioned some tube simulations. These can add some nice harmonic content to bring out the vocals. A harmonic exciter can also help, but it is easy to over do it here.
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