So I had a baby...

Anyway that basically means that doing grim black metal vocals properly is not compatible with my current lifestyle, BUT I have a solution (possibly...)

My car is basically a mobile vocal booth. It's about the right size, fairly quiet and small. No resonance or reverb to speak of. Not ideal, but not bad!

Honda Civic, btw...

So I'm going to use a large diaphragm condenser with a pop filter. This will be connected to an Alesis portable USB interface, which will then be connected to my Macbook.

My recording software (for now) is Audacity (at least on the Mac).

My plan is the following:

1) Make a mix of the track in question on my home studio (PC, works great.)
...this mix should have an 8-beat count in
2) Set up in my Civic, USB with phantom power!
3) Clap or snap along to the count-in (high hat or side stick, whatever)
4) Record, record, record...

Finally I will download the WAVs to my PC and line up the takes via my snapping along with the high hat (8 counts should do it.)

I will eventually get this working. I find this situation interesting as I am going to get a studio sound out of a slapped-together rig in a freakin' CIVIC!!

I highly doubt my first attempt will work, but we'll see. As I encounter problems and find solutions I will let you know. A car is actually a great place to record vocals if you don't have access to a studio.

Let the fun begin!
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

Improvise vocal booth - open wardrobe doors to 90 degrees, hang blankets on both doors, place mic in center, just away from clothes. Sing into mic.
^^ Works, but I have to get away from my baby!

The wife doesn't want him getting nightmares, which I take as a compliment to my black metalling skills.

"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

First of all, congratulation on the baby, wish for you and the baby a wonderful lifetime/

Second of all, to answer the topic, can't you simply use a normal shure microphone and plug it into the laptop ?

It seems to work fine for me, no filters needed
The symphonizer
Congrats on the baby!! Your life is now changed forever, but I don't need to tell you that by now. :-)

I don't see why it shouldn't work just fine. Just curious, though.... assuming you have all the parts recorded and just need to sing over it, why do you need a count-in, and then to clap along with it in the car?

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
i would assume a car would be too dead to get a real good sound...but maybe thats just my car...

with that said sweetwater started off as a studio ran out of a van...
Last edited by FireHawk at Jun 28, 2011,
Do whatever works for you. In general though, small rooms are not the ideal choice for the "best" vocal tracks. They are, however, used quite often and so I dont see why it wouldn't be ok for you since you're in a bit of a pinch.

Btw. Every room has resonance/reverb. Small ones are often too short to really hear it at first, but besides anechoic chambers, every room has something. Even if you cant pick out the reverb on the recording, you'll get that feeling that the sound is in a very small space.

In the end, it comes down to what you can do with what you have and the sound that you're after. I say at least give it a shot and see if you can work with it.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17643004/A%20Demonic%20Demo.mp3 "Demonic Prophecy" (demo) so far.

It's real tight death metal, so I want a real closed-in, almost dead sound. The count-in is necessary because for now all files are on the PC in Cubase, and the vox are being recorded in Audacity on a Mactop.

So I'm doing a count/clap-in so I can line all of the takes up. I'm taking a long WAV file - 20 minutes or so - and chopping it up into little 10-15 second segments. Then I line them up on 5 or 6 tracks and pick and choose the best takes of each segment.

If they're not lined up perfectly it sounds like poop. Case in point the second verse is off by, like, 2 ms or something. I can hear it. It's got to be pretty much spot-on or it will sound bad.

Vox on the demo start at, like, 3 minutes. Beginning will feature some low-fi radio talking about aliens and abduction or whatever... 50's footage or something I will get later. Perhaps military radio stuff. For now it's just drums and guitar.

I think this turned out pretty good, though I learned a few things:

first it gets REAL HOT in there, so I have to do this in the morning
second it's better if I do a little stupid beat-box, like "doop - doo - PAH - doop, doop - doo - PAH" because as ridiculous as that sounds (and I hate to listen to myself do that crap!!) it does line it up better.

2nd verse would have been tighter if I had done that.

My verdict, though, is a Honda Civic makes a fine vocal booth if you can stand the late June heat!
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

have you thought of lining up vocals when selecting best takes? assuming you are in write pitch you can move words where they need to be. many times i have gong in to move a word over a little bit after everything has been created.
Why not download reaper, import the files and do it like any ol' session? It seems like it would be much simpler to turn your laptop into a more complete recording rig and not have to worry about count ins and lining everything up like that. If you don't like reaper as much, just import it all back into your main computer when you're done with the vocals and mix in Cubase.
Actually I just realized that the Cubase LE that came with the Alesis iO2 is compatible with Mac, so I'll just install it on there. I have SE on the desktop, so LE should work in a portable situation.

As far as lining the vox up, yes I line them up prior to selecting the best one. I choose the best take overall and replace any shaky bits from another strong take.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

We have achieved brutality!


I recorded both the highs and lows (separately) using a Sennheisser 421 dynamic set on "M" and an MXL 1006 large diaphragm condenser, both on-axis through a pop filter. Both mics are cardioid and I am taking advantage of proximity effect, especially on the dynamic. I hooked the pop filter up to my vanity mirror and hand-held the mic pair!

F-it! Noise can be edited out later, and it was.

The lows are mixed primarily with the 421, and the LDC just adds intelligibility. The highs are the opposite with the LDC providing bite, spit and gnashing of teeth and the 421 thickening it up a bit, giving it ROAR.

Overall I'm pretty happy, although I am still stuck with Audacity. Cubase LE is too frackin' STUPID to allow me to monitor through the Mac and record through the Alesis interface.

Whatever, it worked anyway! I will bring more evil in the future.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

Last edited by Bubonic Chronic at Jul 1, 2011,