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Old 06-25-2014, 11:07 PM   #1
CF_Mono
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Vocal recording for people who can't sing

Hey guys, I'm in the process of recording vocals to finish my band's doom album. Thing is, me and the other bandmates don't know what we're doing, all of us sound pretty horrible taking on vocals. We mainly have concerns about mixing, but improving amature vocals is really our main goal here.

Here's me on a couple of takes:

1
https://soundcloud.com/vincent_wisehoon/pblsample1

2
https://soundcloud.com/vincent_wisehoon/pblsample2

So here's the thing: My voice is obviously not that great, but I felt it at least fits the theme of weakness and sounds frail enough for a doom album. But there are still things I could do to capitalize on that effect. So for both takes, there is a boost in the high-mids for that radio'd type nasally sound, which I'm okay with I guess, but is there a way to get the vocals to sound more dry and up front without making it painfully obvious that my technique isn't good?

Second, I like the tone of the first take more, but I barely sung on that, it was really more of a loud talking. When I put the real power into my voice in the second take, I don't think any of it came through. I was obviously more prepared the second time, and it shows in the rhythm and intonation, but when I was sloppier, it sounded nicer. Do I not have to necessarily belt out all my singing?

Finally, for both takes (I believe), I mildly reduced the volume of some of the guitar tracks at periods where I was singing. Is this a good idea? Someone told me I don't want my vocals to fight with the frequencies making up the guitars and distortion (obviously), but that makes me wonder how a band like Electric Wizard can have tons of loudness and distortion and still lay vocals on top of that. That's why I went with the school of just making them sound thin and frail, but they're still pretty unclear. Basically I don't know whether or not I should be messing with the volumes of everything else to make the vocals pop out.
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Last edited by CF_Mono : 06-26-2014 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:43 PM   #2
ChemicalFire
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Normally there is a slight cut in the mid frequencies in the guitars so that the vocals can be dominant
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:18 AM   #3
Kämpfer
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Make a cut in the guitars around 3khz - 6khz to let the vocals cut through.

that goes for anything else thats clashing with the vocals too much, including overhead drum mics etc.

For electric wizard style stuff, some distortion on the vocals would help.
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:49 AM   #4
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The main thing that is coming across is your lack of confidence, if you are doing the mixing for your own vocals maybe give that task to someone else. If I were you I would go back and practice doing the entire vocals for the songs at least 100 times.

In these 100 times practice different volume levels or aggression levels. I can tell you are really trying to "sing" at some points but you are making kinda heavy music so should be kinda heavy.

Focus on hitting those singles notes and don't worry to much about inflection and vocal frills. Once you have found the method that works for you practice another 50 times and then go into studio.

Make sure one of the other band members knows how to do the recording and mixing and let him record your vocal takes. Then don't listen to it until he has at least had a couple hours to get the volume right.

Don't add so much reverb either, first focus on getting the track to sit properly at the front of your mix.

And one last thing that may help. I am by no means good at vocals but I have been where you are and find that sometimes the best thing to do is turn the vocal intensity up to 11 and just give hard with feeling. Don't think about your voice and just go all out. really feel the emotions in the song. Make sure it is being recorded.

You could get a really great results this way just keep your vocal limits in the back of your mind and don't hurt yourself. Use that diaphragm!
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Last edited by Victorgeiger : 06-27-2014 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:33 PM   #5
MikeBmusic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kämpfer
Make a cut in the guitars around 3khz - 6khz to let the vocals cut through.

that goes for anything else thats clashing with the vocals too much, including overhead drum mics etc.

For electric wizard style stuff, some distortion on the vocals would help.


More like cut in the 300Hz-600Hz range.

The chart HERE might help on learning frequencies.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:40 AM   #6
Victorgeiger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic
More like cut in the 300Hz-600Hz range.

The chart HERE might help on learning frequencies.


Dude that is an awesome chart!
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Old 06-29-2014, 04:05 AM   #7
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Compression and side chain compressio works wonders if you want a sound upfront whether it be vocals or an instrument.

It's done differently on the various DAW so google how it's done.

Boosting frequencies is also not ideal. When you do this you add sound that does not exist and it often messes up the natural feeling of a sound. Especially vocals.

It can be done, but you need experience in hearing when it makes the sound too unnatural.
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