#1
So me and some friends are forming a band to play at our school's talent show, and I'm going to be singing. I'm pretty experienced on guitar but I've never taken singing lessons and I've just been trying to teach myself with videos and experimenting. We're going to cover a strokes song, so I wanted to get the cheap behringer knockoff of the sansamp to run my vocals through. I tried running vocals through a pod and recorded, and found that when I applied a compressor it sounded 10x better. So what do you guys recommend for a cheap compressor? I will hardly use it so I dont want to spend very much. Or will I be able to get compression with the "sansamp"? thanks
#3
Guitar effects are made for instruments with a certain bandwidth... like guitar. Vocal processors are different. A simple proof of this is to try plugging In a mic to a guitar amp. No matter how good the mic, or how clean the setting, it is not going to sound very good.

A keyboard amp, on the other hand, should be fine, if you have access to one. Is there not going to be a PA of any kind at this talent show? Even just a small vocal PA?

I'd also add a caution regarding compression on live vocals. It will complicate things as far as making your mic more susceptible to feedback. A gate, fairly modestly applied, would be preferable. Maybe *then* a compressor after the gate.

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

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#4
Unless you are fairly familiar with compressors and how they work (rate, threshold, release, etc.) I would suggest you forget about it. Compressors (like multiband EQ's), can be your best friend or your worst enemy. This is especially true with compressors. It depends largely on your PA system, your microphone and your knowledge of compressors. A compressor can't improve your vocal ability but it can help with dynamics and overall consistent levels. That being said Chris is right it makes your mic more susceptible to feedback. A lot of that can be better handled by a good vocal microphone and staying consistent on how loud or soft you sing and learning to use your distance to the microphone to affect the sound. You didn't mention what kind of PA and microphone you will be working with but I would start by spending $100 on a Shure SM58 before I started thinking about compressors. What microphone are you using and what kind of PA will you be going through?
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jan 24, 2017,
#5
At this stage I'd say best thing would be to cover microphone technique, basically how to get the best volume and not bring in feedback.
I wouldn't spend $ for a vocal processor at this stage as the school should have the board with the effects and hopefully a soundman that will apply compression and effects.
If you want to get something later, you can look at vocal processors. First thing to do is get a good dynamic stage mic. I like EV ND767A for baritone male vox, the Shure SM58 is popular, AKG e835 is another stellar mic. Make sure the mic is a dynamic stage microphone, there are dynamic stage condensers that are good once you get better but at this stage condensers can introduce a level of noise that might cause a problem with cheaper sound systems.

Vocal preamps/processors:
there are various options, including pitch shifters, correctors, etc. so you can get really involved or as basic as needed. Vocal channel processor are probably good to have but usually a mixer will have most of this. One unit that I have that I really like is the JoeMeek TwinQ - two vocal channels, opto compressor, eq, gain, high pass filter.
Some of the big name vocalists nowadays have pitch corrector units for live as well as studio work, so when they're off it slides their notes into the right scale for the song. At this level probably too early to talk about this but it might be something to look into later.
#6
I love my Sennheiser e835 for live vocals. it beats the pants off an SM58 any day. Given that it comes in at the same price-point, it is pretty much a no-brainer.


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

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
^ same with my EV ND767, after hearing that, it is hard to go back to SM58. The reason most people buy them are that every venue is most likely to have one so if you can do well on them at rehearsal, there's no need to take your own mic there, although I find it a little nasty to be singing through other people's mics.