#1
I've got an AKG Perception 200 condenser mic with a pop protector and I haven't been able to get any worthwhile results out of it, and I know I can get better than what I'm getting, so it has to be something with my recording technique, compression, equalizer settings or something.

I think it has to do with using a compressor the right way, or an equalizer. Like should I compress my vocals while I'm recording, should I compress em afterwards, should I not compress em at all or what? and that question goes for the Equalizer too.

and with the equalizer what I've been doing is cutting the mids, (-12 on the EQ thing on the bottom in the second pic) and boosting the bass (+12 on the same thing) and then I set both of em at the bottom to 1.6k cause I thought that's what sounded best, but I don't even really know.

and when recording should I use delay and reverb, or should I only add those after the track is recorded, because if I record with it, there's no way I can remove it once it's recorded, only add.

All of that is mainly in my program Riffworks. A bit amateur I know, but it gets the job done for now.

and then I also use Acoustica Mixcraft, and sometimes use the compressor and equalizer in it.

I'm also including several pics of so you guys have a good idea what I'm talking about. Just like what are some good settings for all of that, when recording vocals especially the original settings in the first pic at the top like "bass, gain, mid, presence etc" Those are the settings it gives me automatically for "Vocal Dry"


I'm just fed up after all these poor results. Also on my mic's pre-amp I've got it set to +48v, and Gain and Drive are almost off.

Here's the pics, thanks for any help guys.


http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/7310/musictools1eg0.jpg

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/8866/musictools15in6.jpg

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/4823/musictools2pr9.jpg

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/3949/musictools3la0.jpg

http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/6586/musictools4gv3.jpg
My username is old, don't judge me (but old 311 is good)
#2
Recording vocals:
http://www.tweakheadz.com/how_to_record_vocals.htm

Editing vocals:
http://www.tweakheadz.com/how_to_process_vocal_tracks.htm


Theres talk about EQ and comp. in there as well.

Line6 gearbox let me down quite a bit when I tried a Toneport a while back. I never did like how the vocals came out in the end TBH...
There were some usable settings in Gearbox though.


set a hardware comp between the preamp and interface and then set it so you dont do much other than limit peaks so you dont clip.
After you record, set a software comp. and EQ in there to do the main adjustments.
Last edited by moody07747 at Jun 14, 2008,
#3
thanks man, I'll be doing some reading tonight
My username is old, don't judge me (but old 311 is good)
#4
i cant read all that but when you record, keep the EQ and things normal so when its recorded, you can change it how you like and be able to do more with it (i hope that makes sense lol). read up about mic placement and different techniques till you find the sound your after. good luck
#5
I'm reading the "how to record vocals" right now, but it doesn't look like it covers this, and i'm not sure if people usually have to deal with this or not, and it doesn't look like this article is going to cover it.

but if one of you could look at the first pic there and see the first thing I have circled (top to bottom) it says "Drive, Bass, Middle, Treble, Presence".

what are some good settings for those, the settings you see are what it automatically gives me when I use the setting "Vocal Dry".
My username is old, don't judge me (but old 311 is good)
#6
Don't know whether you've tried this yet, but if I were you I'd record vocals pretty much dry of all effects....maybe a touch of compression if the song has crazy dynamic variation, but for more subtle variations it's best just to teach the singer to lean back a bit when singing the louder parts.

As for EQ, I'd leave that normalised, unless there's an obvious problem with the sound eg too bassy/boomy. EQing for me is more of a mixing technique to make everything sit well in it's own space in the mix

I don't know what the software you're using is like, or what the style of music is like but it may be an idea to try to silence the bits where there is no singing and where the singer takes a breath - sometimes that sounds unnatural, but sometimes the breaths are too intrusive in the song

Reverb should be the last thing you'd add to it I would have thought. Be very careful here not to add too much - unless the song requires a distant sound - different styles of music need different amounts of reverb and even different styles of reverb. All depends on the song you're recording

Think I've covered more or less everything there. Of course, feel free to ignore all that and just do whatever sounds good to you, but the above advice worked for me


Edit: You posted while I was typing that.

Keep everything normalised pretty much. Only use corrective EQ at that stage to remove any obvious problems.

Also something else I forgot to mention; it seems pretty stupid, but it has actually caught out a few people I know. The mic you're using is a cardiod pattern I believe, which means if you've got it the wrong way round everything will sound like its in a tunnel. Easy mistake to make, and it makes a drastic difference to the sound.
Last edited by The_Godfather at Jun 14, 2008,
#7
Quote by The_Godfather
Don't know whether you've tried this yet, but if I were you I'd record vocals pretty much dry of all effects....maybe a touch of compression if the song has crazy dynamic variation, but for more subtle variations it's best just to teach the singer to lean back a bit when singing the louder parts.

As for EQ, I'd leave that normalised, unless there's an obvious problem with the sound eg too bassy/boomy. EQing for me is more of a mixing technique to make everything sit well in it's own space in the mix

I don't know what the software you're using is like, or what the style of music is like but it may be an idea to try to silence the bits where there is no singing and where the singer takes a breath - sometimes that sounds unnatural, but sometimes the breaths are too intrusive in the song

Reverb should be the last thing you'd add to it I would have thought. Be very careful here not to add too much - unless the song requires a distant sound - different styles of music need different amounts of reverb and even different styles of reverb. All depends on the song you're recording

Think I've covered more or less everything there. Of course, feel free to ignore all that and just do whatever sounds good to you, but the above advice worked for me


Edit: You posted while I was typing that.

Keep everything normalised pretty much. Only use corrective EQ at that stage to remove any obvious problems.

Also something else I forgot to mention; it seems pretty stupid, but it has actually caught out a few people I know. The mic you're using is a cardiod pattern I believe, which means if you've got it the wrong way round everything will sound like its in a tunnel. Easy mistake to make, and it makes a drastic difference to the sound.



i will take all of that into consideration for sure, but for the main settings, the "drive, bass, mid, presence" should I leave that on what it says is default for dry vocals, or is something there not right and should i change it up? what i'm referring to is in that first pic.
My username is old, don't judge me (but old 311 is good)
#8
If you're not happy with that preset, set everything to the middle setting, except drive which should probably be kept where it is, and then try recording with that. If it still doesn't sound right, identify why it didn't sound right. Was it too boomy? Roll of the lower mids. Too scratchy? Roll of presence or treble a bit.

It really is a flavour-to-taste kind of thing

It's hard to really tell you when I can't hear it, and even harder when I've never used any of your set-up before.
#10
If I'm not mistaken, these settings being software plug-ins aren't actually recorded on the raw audio (could be wrong, as I'm unfamiliar with Line 6 and all that jazz).

If that is the case, then you can just play around with them after recording to get them where you like.

If not, as a rule, a good compression setting for vocals is around 3:1 (i.e. not that much). The settings for compression look OK, but the real way to know s by listening and looking. Watch the meter (make sure that it is showing gain reduction) and a good level of compression is usually no more than 6dB as an average (more for loud sections and less for quiet sections). You also want to check that your make-up gain is right, otherwise you're not getting an accurate monitoring of what the effect is doing. Basically sing through the song while playing with the make-up gain and bypassing the effect. If the bypassed vocals are roughly at the same volume as the effected vocals then you are hearing the effect doing its thing better.

As for EQ, pretty much anything built in to a low-end system will be no better than a software plug-in, so unless you really know your voice and the mic and where they have natural boosts and cuts, you might as well leave it flat.

EDIT: As for Delay/Reverb, definitely leave it for post recording unless you really know what you're doing (if there's a bathroom or something that sounds particularly nice, you may want to record in there a little way from the mic to capture the room in the recording).
Last edited by fleaflicker182 at Jun 14, 2008,
#11
Quote by Three11Rules

I'm just fed up after all these poor results. Also on my mic's pre-amp I've got it set to +48v, and Gain and Drive are almost off.


Why are the gain and drive almost off? What are you using for a pre-amp? Pump up the gain and drive til you get a clear but undistorted signal. Also, you said you boosted and cut certain frequencies +/- 12 dB. That is a very significant cut/boost. Keep everything flat, then accent the frequencies you think need to be changed. For example, I will often "feel out" the freq I want to boost or cut by dragging around the equalizer til I hear a certain freq change that sounds good. It takes experimentation. However, sometimes it is obvious, like if you have annoying peaks in the treble or booms in the bass. Or if it sounds weak in the mid, etc etc.
#12
EEEEKS... your EQ sounds like your problem...
Your cutting the Mids and boosting the bass?
It should be the other way around lol..

If you are making cuts / boosts - try only 4-6dbs which should give a good affect still...

around the 1 - 2 notch - pop it up to 4dbs and run a bass rolloff at 70htz which will smooth out your vocals and make them clear...
As for compression if you have some good outboard gear (channel strips / preamps) than run a light compression with that and come back and add more (possibly software based) afterwards...

Looking through your screen shots - you have a lot going out - try keeping it simple and working you way to understand these plugins.
#13
Looking at the picture again (the 2nd one) try changing the mid level to about 1.6 or the next dot which should be around 2 and giving it a 4 to 6 dB increase...

Turn the low cut on - by placing the twisty thing to about 80 ... you might even want to a bit further like 100 or so... but you want some bass...

You may want the High cut on as well but thats up to you

Good luck - and compression let me look at that -

You have a 13 DB gain ... that is alot! Try lowering the threshold (you would normally want that about 6 DB under how loud you are actually singing - so lets keep it at : -12 to -15 db
Bring the gain down to about 6db

As for the slope this is basically at what rate it will compress - the lowest setting is 1:1 ... thats no compression it will put in what it puts out... vocals work well with a 4:1 or 6:1 ratio ... so keep your slope where it is

Attack and release should be fast if you are recording drums - but they seem to be fine for you vocals for now.

It looks okay - make sure you are EQ'ing right
#14
It sounds like you are using WAYYYYYY too much EQ. Don't use the EQ on your preamp, don't use a software EQ during tracking, and use limited EQ during mixing.

Compression for vocals should be a single band, ratio anywhere from 2:1 to 10:1 depending on how compressed you want it, threshold at about -5dB from your peaks.