#1
Hey guys

At the moment i'm recording vocals through an NT2A to a separate pre amp to an interface then into Logic. Im not worried about damaging the microphone and i'm aware its a condenser, everything seems to be fine at the moment if I just watch the levels.

The vocals are okay but they are really lacking in thickness and they just aren't powerful enough so i'm looking for any tips or methods you guys have for recording and mixing harsh vocals and as much details as possible about any plugins or doubles etc, stuff like that.

Thanks
Last edited by MikeCore94 at May 13, 2013,
#2
Always consider that the vocalist might not be good. As for processing: smash the shit out the vocals with compression > delay > reverb.
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#3
+1 to compress the crap out of them. I find too much reverb makes them sound mushy and horrible, but a bit of stereo delay doesn't hurt. A parallel distortion track does wonders for it too, I like to use a tube screamer emulator like TS-999 with the tone and gain right up.
#4
If the vocalist is capable of performing it consistently, consider double-tracking the vocals - depending on the ability of the vocalist to hear their own timing, it can be time-consuming, but as long as it is done well, it can thicken up the sound if the vocalist sings in a higher register or has a thin voice (or if the mic has a harshness to it... dunno about the NT2A as it has a valve, I believe, which should warm up the sound a bit, but I dislike the NT1A because I find it has a harsh quality on many voices).

And then, as said, if you want quick results you can compress the living crap out of them (ratios in the region of 10:1 or so) if you're careful and still get a good sound but more consistent level, and as Adam (Odirunn) said, you can get good results bussing to a channel with delay into reverb on it, but make sure you're using a delay that has a dry/wet control, and don't set it to full or the reverb will be just on the delay signal (unless you send to a different bus for each effect and blend them together).

That being said, I would try to keep any delay and reverb to a level where you barely notice it unless the channel is solo'd, so it adds to the mix without being an 'effect' to the listener - although if the vocal style allows (DG songs in my profile, for example) when the singer holds long notes at the end of a line you can automate the wet control of the delay and the same for the reverb to increase at the end of the line and accentuate the note being held... gives a really nice effect, particularly suiting Iron Maiden-style vocals, but if you're purely recording screamed vocals then this is less suitable

If you don't get what I mean, in Propaganda on my profile - in the first verse, I automate the delay/verb levels half way through the word 'brings' in the line "You have seen the dark sickness that it brings", and then the "Oh yeah! Invasion of thought" is soaked in it, but it adds atmosphere to that part of the song. Well, that's the idea anyway
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#5
Thanks for the replies guys!

I recently got one of the Waves bundles, which compressor would be the best to use on these type of vocals to compress it to hell like 10:1 ratio? I read somewhere I should record through a compressor (i have an Art Pro VLA) going in at 2:1 as well. The pre amp i use is an Art Pro MPA forgot to mention this stuff because I just got a heap of second hand hardware.

On a separate note I experimented recording vocals with dynamics I tested an SM57, Beta 57 and an SM58 for the flexibility of being able to record holding the dynamic and for some reason the Beta 57 sounded great, the other microphones picked up way too much clicking and popping. These weren't mine so I couldn't experiment that much with them but i'm definitely going to pick up a Beta 57.
Last edited by MikeCore94 at May 13, 2013,
#6
Quote by MikeCore94
Thanks for the replies guys!

I recently got the Waves plugin bundle, which compressor would be the best to use on these type of vocals to compress it to hell like 10:1 ratio?

Which bundle?

Waves has like 20...

Personally, I don't like to track with effects on the way in, but with screamed vocals it'd probably be alright, since I know I'm just going to slam it with compression in the end, anyway.

For compression on vocals, an 1176 clone does wonders. Press the "All" button and you're in business. My vocal chain is usually:

Waves RVox (Adds a little saturation)
Waves CLA-76 (Slams the track with compression)
ReaEQ (Chop out some low mids and roll off the lowend - Sometimes I'll add a high-shelf if it needs a little more air)
Antress Deathcore (Distressor clone - Smashes the vocals even more with compression and adds a little distortion if you drive it enough, which thickens up the vocal a little)
Waves Ren DeEsser (Mitigates the splosives)
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#7
Quote by MikeCore94
Thanks for the replies guys!

I recently got the Waves plugin bundle, which compressor would be the best to use on these type of vocals to compress it to hell like 10:1 ratio? I read somewhere I should record through a compressor (i have an Art Pro VLA) going in at 2:1 as well. The pre amp i use is an Art Pro MPA forgot to mention this stuff because I just got a heap of second hand hardware.

On a separate note I experimented recording vocals with dynamics I tested an SM57, Beta 57 and an SM58 for the flexibilityof being able to record holding the dynamic and for some reason the Beta 57 sounded great, the other microphones picked up way too much clicking and popping. These weren't mine so I couldn't experiment that much with them but i'm definitely going to pick up a Beta 57.


Why do I get the feeling you didn't pay for the waves bundle?

Which one hint of the many was it I wonder? xD
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Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
Last edited by ChemicalFire at May 13, 2013,
#8
Quote by MatrixClaw
Which bundle?
For compression on vocals, an 1176 clone does wonders. Press the "All" button and you're in business. My vocal chain is usually:

Waves RVox (Adds a little saturation)
Waves CLA-76 (Slams the track with compression)
ReaEQ (Chop out some low mids and roll off the lowend - Sometimes I'll add a high-shelf if it needs a little more air)
Antress Deathcore (Distressor clone - Smashes the vocals even more with compression and adds a little distortion if you drive it enough, which thickens up the vocal a little)
Waves Ren DeEsser (Mitigates the splosives)


Thanks a heap that really helped me out, as for Waves lets just say I bought a complete recording setup from a friend. Aside from the first line I don't see how the text ChemicalFire put in bold is relevant to the point he is trying to prove though :/
#9
For something as expensive as the waves bundles, unless I'm missing something here and you're not referring to this: http://www.waves.com/

You'd expect the person in possession of such overly expensive plugs to know that the mics you listed are not go to microphones for vocals as well as the fact that you readily admit to not knowing how to mix vocals or even owning basic recording mics such as the sm57...

The fact being, is that at the newbie level you're at. There's no fuqing way you could of justified buying "the" (Which one? There are loads) Waves bundle as they range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

I mention it because we have a no piracy rule on this forum.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#10
Quote by ChemicalFire
I mention it because we have a no piracy rule on this forum.

Good thing I never admitted to any piracy then isn't it. Go elsewhere you didn't need to butt in and everyone else here has been very helpful, besides we all have to start somewhere. In regards of you accusing me of readily admitting I don't know how to mix vocals like I said I am in the process of learning and obviously when mixing scream vocals there are different tips and tricks people use. I don't need to try and explain myself to you anyway LOL.
Last edited by MikeCore94 at May 13, 2013,
#11
So...in other words, you're getting butthurt over Chem asking if you pirated it rather than explaining how you bought a recording setup from your friend. That makes me think you probably pirated it, and it wasn't included in the setup from your friend.
#12
Quote by MikeCore94
Good thing I never admitted to any piracy then isn't it. Go elsewhere you didn't need to butt in and everyone else here has been very helpful, besides we all have to start somewhere. In regards of you accusing me of readily admitting I don't know how to mix vocals like I said I am in the process of learning and obviously when mixing scream vocals there are different tips and tricks people use. I don't need to try and explain myself to you anyway LOL.


Getting aggressive isn't helping your case XD

And you kinda DO have to explain yourself to us... the regs won't help you if they suspect you of piracy.

And to get facts straight, I didn't accuse you of not knowing how to mix vocals, I suck at it too. What I was accusing you of was piracy, the general lack of knowledge (which ISN'T a bad thing) is merely evidence.

My whole comment was to draw the possibility to others attention, which is why I didn't come right out and say it and made a joke about it first.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
Last edited by ChemicalFire at May 13, 2013,
#13
Omni Pattern.
EDIT: having any waves bundle when your learning is a terrible idea. You need to get to know the 'shit' stuff. It will allow you to appreciate how much better waves is to stock.
Last edited by roaraudio at May 13, 2013,
#14
Quote by ChemicalFire
My whole comment was to draw the possibility to others attention, which is why I didn't come right out and say it and made a joke about it first.

Sure, but even in the case that you're right...who cares?

His OP has nothing to do with piracy and will help anyone who has a similar question. We're not cops here.
#15
Quote by ChemicalFire
My whole comment was to draw the possibility to others attention, which is why I didn't come right out and say it and made a joke about it first.


I think that's ridiculous, you've not contributed anything to the topic at all, and he's asking for help. As for the newbie thing, I bought a large collection of EWQL products before I even starting composing with orchestras, as I knew I wanted to get into composing, and using the best equipment is always best. If he knows he wants to get into mixing, what better way to start than investing in the Waves bundle?
#16
The cheapest general waves bundle is $800. Why would any newbie, especially a teenager or young adult (as most members of this forum are) spend that kinda cash when it's not even a little bit necessary? That was the logic that went through my head at the time and I've not been given a reason to think otherwise yet.

Rules is Rules and I don't make them up for my own enjoyment. If he had said he'd bought them when I first brought it up I'd of been inclined to believe him.

As it is I've had nothing but complaining about a rather pertinent comment, even if I've been rather aggressive about it. I honestly think that THAT is ridiculous.

Quote by Sethis

His OP has nothing to do with piracy and will help anyone who has a similar question. We're not cops here.


Both the sites rules and this sub forums rules frown upon piracy.

This has blown up far more than it needs to from my original comment. I was not out of line to question the legality of the OP's product. I am unsure as to why everyone has got their knickers in a twist about it.

I apologise if anyone thinks I have "ruined" the thread. Honestly TS has got most of the information he would of got had I not of commented anyway. Save perhaps a recommendation of a good entry LDC, which I'm sure he'll get at some point anyway. Had those outside of this discussion not felt it necessary to come to TS's aid from the mean ChemicalFire accusing him of piracy. And had my original comment been replied with an actually answer to my comment, then this whole piracy discussion would of taken up far less space in this thread.

I leave it to the other regs and moderators to use their own judgement in this matter. I shall not comment on this further unless directly spoken to.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
Last edited by ChemicalFire at May 13, 2013,
#17
Quote by ChemicalFire
The cheapest general waves bundle is $800.

Musician's 2 is $160 and includes just about everything you'd need to get started. Gold is supposedly $800 now, but it can easily be had for half that on their sales... That's actually the highest price I've ever seen it at.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#18
Sorry ChemicalFire, like you said this thread has been great and delivered a lot of information and we should leave it at that anyway.
#19
I'd like to apologise too, I may of been a little over zealous. Just remember what I said about piracy and everything will be fine, I'm sure.

So that I can perhaps get this thread back on track I'd like to point you in the right direction microphone wise. In 8 cases out of 10, you'll want a Large Diaphragm Condenser microphone to record vocals. I personally use an AT3050, which is entry level, cheap, but it does a good job for the price.

That with a pop shield and a good mic placement (so that you can minimize bad reflections) and you're gonna get a good, usable recording... assuming the singer can actually sing of course.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#20
Vocals are the least likely element of a mix to give me a headache. Providing the source is up to scratch. A good performer & good mic and it's usually plain sailing. High shelf boost + a plugin like Soundtoys Decapitator to grit it up + compression + delay/reverb is usually all I need to do. Careful sculpting of the 2k - 5k range of the overheads and guitars can be required for vocal clarity. When dealing with a shitty source it's another ball game, a real ugly one.
#21
I usually do a chain of compression, overdrive and short delay feeding into a reverb bus.
Try Camel Phat or CamelCrusher for mashing the vocals before the time effects:
http://www.camelaudio.com/products.php

Traditional vocal widening also works here, the old detune trick where you create two extra takes of the vocal, detune one by few cents down and mix hard left and the other few cents up and mix hard right, both a bit lower in volume than the main vocal which is hard centre.
Last edited by diabolical at May 14, 2013,
#22
Quote by FearComplex
Vocals are the least likely element of a mix to give me a headache. Providing the source is up to scratch. A good performer & good mic and it's usually plain sailing. High shelf boost + a plugin like Soundtoys Decapitator to grit it up + compression + delay/reverb is usually all I need to do. Careful sculpting of the 2k - 5k range of the overheads and guitars can be required for vocal clarity. When dealing with a shitty source it's another ball game, a real ugly one.

No de-essing? I just did an entry for a remix contest, and the vocal stems (professionally recorded) had tons of excess sibilance.
#23
Quote by Cavalcade
No de-essing? I just did an entry for a remix contest, and the vocal stems (professionally recorded) had tons of excess sibilance.


Yup, SPL De-Esser when required. I'm mixing a singer at the moment that just needed an 8db high shelf boost, compression and delay. Guy had flawless technique and powerful delivery. If only they were all like that
#24
Quote by FearComplex
Yup, SPL De-Esser when required. I'm mixing a singer at the moment that just needed an 8db high shelf boost, compression and delay. Guy had flawless technique and powerful delivery. If only they were all like that

Technique can soften sibilance? That's news to me. And even after an 8db high shelf.
#25
Technique can, some singers exhale more as they sing - people with good breath control barely exhale at all as they sing. I mean, I'd still probably use a de-esser on most vocal takes but it can depend. Also, if you're not close-miking the vocals, for some reason, you aren't gonna need it.
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