#1
Ive gotten pretty good at mixing and recording screaming vocals, but clean vocals still give me some trouble. I find it hard to make the clean vocals really sit in the mix well. It's almost as if there being recorded over the finished product. I use reverb/compression/ etc. My mic pre is a Focusrite ISA one and the mic's I use are AT 4040 and/or Shure SM7B. I'm just wondering what are some peoples methods/tips for clean vocals. It might be as simple is that I use the shitty compressor/limiter that comes with pro tools. I just ordered the Mcdsp Ultimate compressor 6030. Let me know how you guys get your clean vocals sounding awesome! thanks
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#2
I can't really tell with ou an example, but the equipment (compressor) is hardly the reason.
Most of the time all it takes is just a little EQ-in, which is very dependent on the mix.
I usually have to scoop the mids a little and use an exciter on the highs to get it sit in the mix right.
#3
I'm a big fan of using delay to help vocals sit in the mix. Just a subtle, mono setting just helps to hold it down. Experiment with double tracking vocals too and by this I mean cloning the track and experimenting with pan/EQ.

However, as the above post said, it's really down to EQ.
#4
Quote by EdawMail
I'm a big fan of using delay to help vocals sit in the mix. Just a subtle, mono setting just helps to hold it down.

This is a good technique, but make sure the delay or reverb isn't too noticeable (unless it suits the song) and doesn't affect the tone negatively. You can also automate the volume of the effect to stand out at the end of key lines/held notes etc.

Experiment with double tracking vocals too and by this I mean cloning the track and experimenting with pan/EQ.

Can be a decent idea when used well, but that is not double-tracked vocals. Double tracking, as the name suggests, is tracking something twice (i.e record two takes and then combine them). It works because of the differences between each take, but I'm not saying more as many of us on here have answered the same questions about double tracking with the same responses countless times.

However, as the above post said, it's really down to EQ.

You and the above post are right in that sense, but I'd be very surprised if you found a vocal track that didn't need quite a large amount (relative to other instruments) of compression or volume automation to make every line clear and intelligible in the mix.
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#5
Quote by DisarmGoliath

You and the above post are right in that sense, but I'd be very surprised if you found a vocal track that didn't need quite a large amount (relative to other instruments) of compression or volume automation to make every line clear and intelligible in the mix.


This is very singer dependent really.
Some singers better at controlling dynamics, others need a lot of automation (and a single compressor can't help there, at least not for optimal quality)
Also, to point out that you don't need a magical, high-end compressor to make a good mix, any good compressor plugin will do it (even free ones like reacomp)
#6
i absolutely suck at singing. the things ive learned are:
dont over EQ - it ends up sounding fake
ride the vocal fader - even out the levels just enough to keep dynamics but kill the odd variations
learn to use reverb as a send - sounds oh so much better than 'verb on the actual track.
make sure the vocalist doesnt suck - still working on a solution to this one...

essentially you want to keep the vocals at a fairly even level without killing dynamics and add reverb in a way that doesnt destroy the attack and dynamics. for me, each time i try working with vocals, i learn new tricks to improve. if you can record enough tracks and work them differently, you learn ways to not kill the mix.
#7
EQ is the best thing to do. if your a stronger singer doing harmonies and turning them down low does so much for the vocals it's crazy. If your average or worse it prob won't work amazing but could help a little.
#8
Well, your problem certainly isn't your gear.

Quote by Kenova
It's almost as if there being recorded over the finished product.


This makes me think of a couple of things:
-too much reverb on the vocals can really make them sound like they don't belong in the mix... as if they were recorded in a separate room from the rest of the band.
-they might simply be too loud in the mix. For them to blend in, it may simply be a matter of turning them down a bit. However, you need to get your compression settings right so that you don't lose parts of them underneath the mix when the vocals get quieter.
-Personally, I rely more on delay than on reverb to give the vocals a bit of space. It allows them to sound "drier" and therefore, more likely to be heard as if they were in the same room.

CT
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

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#9
Basically, my Vocal tracks look something like this:

EQ
Comp
Doubler (depending on where in the song)
Delay
Light Reverb

I've been relying a ton on the Doubler. Basically, when used right and not abused (Aka, Satan voice), it feels like theres an extra singer in the mix. Good for just where it needs some extra oomph
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#10
If it sounds like it was recorded over everything else, then it's too loud and/or you used a different reverb than everything else.
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#11
Depends heavily on the type of music. Honestly.

If you are mixing clean vocals for *core, the first thing you want to do is tune up every single syllable that the singer sings. (This is done in 99% of pop music as well). Then you want to compress the hell out of the vocals. Not only does this even them out, but it helps them to sit right. Also, don't use a cheap compressor plugin. Personally, I use the CLA vocal compressor from Waves. It's awesome is all I can really say. I will do some slight EQ adjustments as well, but for the most part, getting a good take, tuning it up, and compressing with a good compressor will get the vocal sitting just about right. Then I will add on delay and slight reverb and that usually works quite well to get it sitting perfect.
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#12
what u use for tuning up the syllables the singer sings?
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#13
Personally I use the graph mode in Auto-Tune, and by tune-up, I only mean like make every note perfectly in tune. Get the takes as close as possible, and then it doesn't sound unnatural.
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Last edited by Brendan.Clace at Aug 8, 2011,