#1
Hi guys,

i've been doing acoustic covers with a friend for years. We always record at my place.

The problem is i think i don't know how to accomodate her voice properly. Previously, our recordings always sounded a bit "chaotic". We realised that was because i was trying to do too much with my guitar, and so i decided to tone my playing down.

We recorded a few songs yesterday. But the "chaotic" problem seems to persist a bit. It's as though there's this very tiresome and exhausting feel about her vocal track. Like when you listen to her singing, even though it's nice, you feel like your brain is in a "mess". Or you really feel like yawning.

I don't know how to describe it properly. I hope you can understand what i mean.

I put three examples of one of our covers on this website:




She Will Be Loved (1)


Guitar tracks were recorded with both mics, one pointing at the bridge, and one pointing at the 15th fret (the point where the neck and body meet). Both tracks hard panned left and right.

Vocal track was recorded with the singer around 6 inches away from the mic.


She Will Be Loved (2)

Same as She Will Be Loved (1), but this time with the singer as close to the mic as humanly possible (for experimentation sake).


She Will Be Loved (3)

Same as She Will Be Loved (1), but this time with only the track from ONE guitar mic panned slightly to the left. In other words, guitar is no longer in stereo.


Can you guys see what i mean.... I hope to be able to improve in such a way that the overall track has a much more relaxing and "chill out" feel to it.

Is it because when i record my guitars in stereo, they swallow up the singer? Or is it because my singer needs to change her style a bit? I noticed slight improvement when she moved really really close to the mic.

But really, i don't know jack sh!t about recording, mixing or mastering. So some tips would be deeply appreciated.


Before you reply to this thread, i would like to thank you in advance for your advice. thanks!
#2
The number one thing is to be mindful of the frequency spectrum. Take an EQ plug-in on one of your tracks, and see if it has a "spectral analyzer" function. Rather, you can see what frequencies are being hit as the particular instrument/vocal track is playing. If you notice a lot of the same frequencies popping up in the vox and guitar tracks, I'd try a little experimentation on changing the EQ of the tracks. Just try stuff out and see what sounds good to you. PM me if you have any other questions.
I can only listen to so many breakdowns and "spoken word" vocals before I wanna puke.

I find Jennette McCurdy attractive, but Elizabeth Gillies and Debby Ryan much more so.

That's enough, Djent people. We get it.
#3
For a more natural guitar sound, I would suggest not panning out the two mics very far. A little bit is ok, but generally that mic setup is best kept together. If you want to go stereo with it, go for an XY or spaced pair but further back. That way your brain will be able to locate the direction the guitar is coming from but you get the room in there so it's more like you're sitting in the same room as the guitar. The reason I dont like to go hard left & right on your kind of setup is because it's not a natural sound. Unless your head is right up next to a guitar, you'll never hear that much in each ear if it's coming from a single instrument and you wont be able to place it in the stereo field.

For the singer, unless for some reason you're using an omnidirectional mic, the closer you get the more bass you pick up, so for each mic and each singer you'll have to find the sweet spot and learn to make up for every time they get out of that spot. Also, make sure you use a pop filter, there were a few times that your plosives were a bit strong. Personally I liked #2 a little more. Some volume automation would be helpful too. Did you compress it? that would help a bit as well.

EDIT:
I feel I should add one more piece of advice. If you're new to all this stuff and aren't too up on your mixing/mastering like you said, I suggest not even thinking about "mastering" until your mix is finished and you're so happy with it you wouldn't think about changing anything. The second you get to thinking "oh well mastering will make that better" or anything of the sort, you mix and final product starts to suffer. Get your mixing down and THEN work on your mastering.

Just a friendly tip...

It all sounds good. You're doing a good job. Keep up the good work and happy recordings to you.
Last edited by sandyman323 at May 22, 2011,
#4
Quote by gquady09
The number one thing is to be mindful of the frequency spectrum. Take an EQ plug-in on one of your tracks, and see if it has a "spectral analyzer" function. Rather, you can see what frequencies are being hit as the particular instrument/vocal track is playing. If you notice a lot of the same frequencies popping up in the vox and guitar tracks, I'd try a little experimentation on changing the EQ of the tracks. Just try stuff out and see what sounds good to you. PM me if you have any other questions.


Yup. I understand what you're referring to. And I shall experiment with that now. It may take me a long time before i actually grasp the whole concept.

Sound engineering is like a whole new different world to me. Like a totally different form of art.

Anyway, thanks for your advice!
#5
Quote by sandyman323
For a more natural guitar sound, I would suggest not panning out the two mics very far. A little bit is ok, but generally that mic setup is best kept together. If you want to go stereo with it, go for an XY or spaced pair but further back. That way your brain will be able to locate the direction the guitar is coming from but you get the room in there so it's more like you're sitting in the same room as the guitar. The reason I dont like to go hard left & right on your kind of setup is because it's not a natural sound. Unless your head is right up next to a guitar, you'll never hear that much in each ear if it's coming from a single instrument and you wont be able to place it in the stereo field.

For the singer, unless for some reason you're using an omnidirectional mic, the closer you get the more bass you pick up, so for each mic and each singer you'll have to find the sweet spot and learn to make up for every time they get out of that spot. Also, make sure you use a pop filter, there were a few times that your plosives were a bit strong. Personally I liked #2 a little more. Some volume automation would be helpful too. Did you compress it? that would help a bit as well.

EDIT:
I feel I should add one more piece of advice. If you're new to all this stuff and aren't too up on your mixing/mastering like you said, I suggest not even thinking about "mastering" until your mix is finished and you're so happy with it you wouldn't think about changing anything. The second you get to thinking "oh well mastering will make that better" or anything of the sort, you mix and final product starts to suffer. Get your mixing down and THEN work on your mastering.

Just a friendly tip...

It all sounds good. You're doing a good job. Keep up the good work and happy recordings to you.



Thank you very much for your advice! I was starting to realise that sometimes having a little too much guitar in the mix can affect the outcome of the whole track.

I will need some time to fully grasp what you have just said to me, and probably revisit this thread several times for reference.

Thanks once again!
#6
Well if you have any more questions regarding that, or anything else, feel free to pm me. I'll be able to go more in depth that way without boring too many people.