#1
On my profile I recorded a song (AKA What A Life) and I like how it sounds.


However, during my recording I moved away slighty at points when I felt like I was going to loud (as you do)


There's a couple of lines where I'd like to boost the volume to make it the same as everything else, but when I use a compressor it sounds like ass.


Anyone help me out here?
#3
Quote by SchecterDean
What recording software do you use? There should be things you can doctor it up in the program; I.E...normalize, filter, echo, enhance, etc..



I just got Reaper. I mixed "AKA What A Life" with Audacity and headphones (currently saving up for monitor speakers.)


I tried normalizing and it didn't do much. Echo sort of drew attention from the vocals you know? Made them sort of wishy-washy and distant.
#7
Quote by truiteleague
In any case just record it again!!! It's as simple as that!!!



This doesn't bother me. I'm happy with it right now (I like to record covers before I start on my own stuff, practice mixing basically)


Quote by SchecterDean
Yeah you probably will have to, over and over, to get it how you want it to sound.
Also invest in a cheap pop-filter so you don't get the sudden bursts to where it clips.



I have one. Thanks for that Audacity tip man, I'll give it a shot. I'm always turning down when recording cause I'm quite a loud singer, I guess it's easier to make something quiet than it is to make something loud eh?
#8
I dig your song, "what a life," see if you can get a woman vocalist to fill in the parts where you go high, it seems fitting. I learned how to use DAWs and VSTs in about a day, still have some tweaking to do, but once you get it down it's pretty simple and helps out a bunch. If you learn that, get some drum loop software that you can throw into the mix. EZ drummer is pretty easy for the price, you can do a s*** ton in fruity loops by adding extra effects like piano and such, I don't know there is alot of good software that you could use for recording, I'm using for vocals right now Adobe Audition 3 (even though there is a newer adition) and doing every thing else in FL9 even though FL10 has a program called NewTone, it's pretty handy. I wouldn't recommend FL for anybody, but it does what I need and I can put all my programs to record in it, I'm pretty sure there is software out there that is alot better than it. I'm almost thinking about investing in Amplitude, because I can't get a good sound of my recordings (even though I barely have anything on my page, what I do have, I did in Audacity). Just keep expermenting, so far on your page sounds good.
#10
Set your pre-amp so that it is just short of clipping when you are as loud as possible. Then, learn to use a microphone effectively. It's an instrument too.
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#11
Really guys? I know we can do better than this...

Ok, for starters, don't normalize it. Learn how to use a compressor. They take time to get down right, but they're pretty important for stuff like this. Even barely touching it just to clean up the peaks is a great place to start. When I do it, my first compressor never hits harder than a 3dB reduction. Feel free to compress more than once too. It makes it easier to get more compression without hearing it.

Automation is your next best friend. You'll probably need to do this in Reaper. You simply turn down the parts that are too loud and turn up the parts that are too quiet. You'll want to get really picky about it and zoom way in at times, but it's what you have to do to get an even vocal track.

Re-recording only gets you so far as most takes that have any amount of emotion will not be even. Even though you want the volume to stay fairly flat, you want the tone of singing louder/quieter.
#12
volume automation. it is exactly what you are looking for. it allows you to change the volume of a track over time, based on an envelope you set. you can automate just about any other parameter as well, making automation an extremely powerful tool. look it up in the help menu of reaper (not sure audacity can do it).
#13
Ignore everything everyone said except sandyman and jof1029.

Quote by SchecterDean
I wouldn't recommend FL for anybody, but it does what I need and I can put all my programs to record in it, I'm pretty sure there is software out there that is alot better than it.

I only recommened FL to people who have never recorded before or don't like Cubase or Reaper.

I have used FL for a number of genres from electronic to rock to country and more. Its just different from other DAWs. The Cubase to FL Studiowas an odd jump for me (I jumped ship for the sequencer for a song), but I haven't gone back to Cubase. I like the workflow of FL and I have pretty deep knowledge of FL, that I picked up a lot faster than Cubase. Aside from the horrible tempo automation in FL it is just as good as Reaper and Cubase. In fact I have only used Repear and/or Cubase on projects people had already started sessions on that needed help since then.

You just have to approach things different for most recording programs (and in a way that makes a lot more sense to me). Any my friends who had no experience recording at all I have taught FL Studio. If they have used some other DAW I usually teach basics on Reaper.

But in the end Reaper, Cubase, FL, Logic, Pro Tools it comes down to what works best for the user. Or even in Gary's case...hardware multitrackers...
Last edited by FireHawk at Oct 18, 2011,
#14
Yes, Firehawk is right.

Don't learn to use the microphone efficiently.

By the time you hit up Melodyne, all of the compression sound will be turned into 'that radio sound.' j/k
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#16
You can use a compressor, but I would only hit it lightly. Something like a 4:1 ratio with the threshold set so you're getting about 3dB of gain reduction on peaks. That's a starting point of course.

The kind of volume changes you're describing are best handled through writing volume automation to the track in your DAW. That way you can tailor exactly what you want. The compressor is really just to smooth things out, like a final coat of polish.
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#17
Quote by SchecterDean
*text* Just keep expermenting, so far on your page sounds good.



Thanks for the advice man, I guess there's a reason albums can take so long. I've only been recording for just under 2 years so it's all pretty new.


Quote by muso_catolico
Set your pre-amp so that it is just short of clipping when you are as loud as possible. Then, learn to use a microphone effectively. It's an instrument too.



Pre-amp? I record with a condenser mic plugged into my 8 track and essentially I sing the loudest part and try to get it loud as I can without clipping. Is that in anyway correct? and definitely, microphone technique is something I'll need to research.


Quote by sandyman323


Automation is your next best friend. You'll probably need to do this in Reaper. You simply turn down the parts that are too loud and turn up the parts that are too quiet. You'll want to get really picky about it and zoom way in at times, but it's what you have to do to get an even vocal track.

Re-recording only gets you so far as most takes that have any amount of emotion will not be even. Even though you want the volume to stay fairly flat, you want the tone of singing louder/quieter.



Is automation those little points on a track where you can raise/lower the volume? I can't believe I missed that lol. And yeah, that's where I'm having trouble. I like "live" sounds you know? I want my quiet parts quiet and the loud parts loud (I'm a Pixies fan, you get the idea.)


Quote by jof1029
volume automation. it is exactly what you are looking for. it allows you to change the volume of a track over time, based on an envelope you set. you can automate just about any other parameter as well, making automation an extremely powerful tool. look it up in the help menu of reaper (not sure audacity can do it).


Thanks man, I'll check this out.


Quote by FireHawk
Ignore everything everyone said except sandyman and jof1029

But in the end Reaper, Cubase, FL, Logic, Pro Tools it comes down to what works best for the user. Or even in Gary's case...hardware multitrackers...



I record onto an 8 track first then mix on the computer.


Quote by ns9977a
You can use a compressor, but I would only hit it lightly. Something like a 4:1 ratio with the threshold set so you're getting about 3dB of gain reduction on peaks. That's a starting point of course.

The kind of volume changes you're describing are best handled through writing volume automation to the track in your DAW. That way you can tailor exactly what you want. The compressor is really just to smooth things out, like a final coat of polish.



How exactly can I use a compressor without messing up? It always sounds so severe.


Thanks to everyone for the great advice.
#18
Quote by rocknrollstar


How exactly can I use a compressor without messing up? It always sounds so severe.


Generally, a fast attack, mid-slow release, and a ratio of 1.5 - 3 (I wouldn't go above 3 for the first step unless you know exactly what you're doing). Again, start with just a few dB of gain reduction. You're not looking to squish the crap out of the track, just tame the peaks a bit. It would probably help you to do a Google search too and learn more about compressors and get more professional opinions than you'll find here.

I start with one compressor, automation, then if it still needs a little something, I'll slap on a different compressor and maybe hit it a little harder. Of course ever vocal track is different so even if I start with that, I may change my mind completely if it's not working out.
#19
i would suggest riding the fader before compression, but always watch the gain reduction. different kinds of compressors work differently. i wrote an article that details it. might be worth a read
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#20
^^Thanks for the tips guys. I figured out how to ride the faders on Reaper and it sounds a lot better to me. I'm going to read on compressors and learn a bit more so if there is anything specific I should know (e.g. a site) then please let me know.


Currently going to get myself a drum machine program as well so I can fill in the sound. I used to have Beatcraft but I think there might be more realistic sounding programs on the market.
#21
Quote by SchecterDean
I wouldn't recommend FL for anybody.



I'd just like to add that I downloaded the trial version and it is the most ridiculous program I've ever used. Seriously you must be a genius or a saint to put up with it.


Gonna check out the others you mentioned