Vocal help and overall help. Total brand newbie

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by mcgeezer, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. mcgeezer

    mcgeezer Guest

    Sorry everyone, I posted this originally in the Vocal Booth forum.
    - I'm new here, but this is an absolutely awesome site.

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to all this home recording stuff, infact I'm brand new.

    My question is I've done a rather rough recording of a song that I like and play down in one of the buskers nights I go to, when I play it live my voice seems to sound alot fuller, when I'm recording on the home recording kit I have (I have Rode NT1A mics) my vocals seem hollow, almost as if I'm singing through my nose.

    Does anyone know any neat tricks top make my voice sound fuller? I tried underlying the song with a bass sample which seemed to help a bit but I'm just not happy with the hollow sounding voice??? Any ideas welcome?

    Here is a snip of the song I'm covering - I don't have a pop shield yet but I'm getting one tommorrow so that should improve the dull pops and perhpas I'll not be as scared to sing into the mic..???

    http://www.sunderland-net.demon.co.uk/ab1-03.mp3 (not my song i must add)


  2. I'm not exactly sure what you refer to as being "hollow", but usually your best bet would be a combination of a popshield, some low frequency rolloff (can be found on some mics and most consoles/preamps) and a decent compressor before the signal hits your recording medium (I assume you're not recording to tape).
    Of course, you can compress after recording, but if you'd do it anyways (and most people do, these days), it'd mean a few bits of extra signal level you could capture.
    Just make sure to get rid of all the pops and low frequency rumble before, as those would be compressed as well, something you certainly don't want.

    What's your signal chain looking like right now?
  3. mcgeezer

    mcgeezer Guest

    Thanks Sascha,

    erm, righty, I got my self a pop shield today so that's good news and there is a huge improvment.

    AT the moment, all I have is a Rode NT1A Mic, plugged directly into a Tascam FW1804 which is then piped into CUbase on my PC.

    So I guess all compression and effects and the like all have to be done in CUbase.

    Like I said, I'm a complete newbie. I did some mucking around with the EQ's in CUbase and I did get alot of improvement, but I have no idea what I changed.


  4. Thing is, most likely you will compress your vocals anyways. You will also cut off some low end. So, the best idea is to do it before the signal hits your DAWs converters, as you will effectively gain more level to be burned onto your harddrive.
    Most likely you'll have to be a bit careful with pre-recording compression, but even a bit of it might improve the source signal allready - just giving you a better level to work with.

    Of course you don't want anything cheap-ish for that task, and I'm not enough of an expert to give proper advice, but with something along the lines of, say, SPLs Channel One you certainly can't go wrong. I've been using it a couple of times and the results have been very pleasant.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Vocals sound

    When your song first started, your introduction was sooo long, before the vocal started, that I almost turned it off. I know a lot of guys hold their penis a long time before they piss. Don't do that (with your music)!

    That's right, I'm glad you got a pop filter! You certainly needed that.

    I know the sound of your microphone and I certainly didn't hear the "air" (hi end sound and nothing you can get with the Tascam equalizers) that I am accustomed to hearing out of that microphone. You should probobly use the bass cut switch if you work the mic really close (but now that you have a wind screen it might be moot since the "screen" will now put you a little further away from the capsule reducing the bass "proximity" effect Your input fader should be 3/4 of the way up on the mixer, along with the output faders and "trim" the mic input rotary pot for a good level. DON'T turn the faders down to a low level with the mic "trim" pot too hi.

    There was no hollowness that I heard and am also wondering if you understand what a "side address" microphone means (just because you got that mic doesn't mean you understand its use)? You said you were a newbie...so. I hope you're not singing into it at the lengthwise end of the Grill screen? You should be singing into the flat side of the Grill screen, on the side were the company's logo is and/or model number, perpendicular to its length.

    It already sounded like you used some kind of compression, perhaps in your software? Not bad sounding, or, you're working your mic well, dunno'? I am one of those engineers that prefers to add some compression and/or a little equalization prior to the recorders input (the equalizer can be before or after your dynamics control, different results each way so listen carefully and experiment). DBX makes nice-sounding, relatively inexpensive limiter/compressors. For vocals, I would recommend starting with a compression ratio of 4:1 and no more than 10 to 16 decibels of gain reduction. Then adjust the output control for good recording levels into your recording input. Remember when the red "peak" light comes on, it does not mean that it is at its best! Good luck! Sorry about the penis crack.
  6. mcgeezer

    mcgeezer Guest

    Thanks RemyRad for your tips!

    I totally have been singing into the mic directly into the top of it (lenghways) - I did'nt realise that the mic should be used at like a 90deg angle!!!! Hav'nt tried it yet but will probably make a huge difference.

    I did use compression that came with the software for that recording. I've installed the Diamond Waves VSTi and I got some impressive results from those plugins.

    I'll llook into the DBX compressors.

    Not worried about the penis crack, it'll take alot more than that to offend me mate.

  7. More Cowbell

    More Cowbell Guest

    THis is the best thread I have ever read! It should be turned into a book! Then when hollywood gets a hold of it, who will play JP?
  8. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    I like to post this site for guys saying they are newbies,

    it's a good refference in a sense of how to do a lot of things,, not that we recomend the gear they suggest, but rather more technical set ups and processes etc,,

    hope it helps you undertsand the potentials more,,,


    S I

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