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Thread: How to tame multi Vocal tracks, VOl, EQ

  1. #11
    Mr Clean's Avatar
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    Where exactly have I said that someone's advice won't work? Get back in your box with your normalize button.
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    pure.fusion is offline Dedicated Member
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    ... ok. So lets assume that normalize is not what I'm going to do. Actually thinking about it, that still wouldn't get me to where I need to be because the 4 and 5 part harmonys will need different volumes on different parts any way.

    I'll come clean. This project was sung in different stages, on different days, examined and the part that were too rough gone over again. So (for example) one out of the four parts of a harmony may have a quiet first line, and loud second line and a medium third line.

    It's actually not as bad you *could* imagine but the above issue does exist and If I have to address the problem in one bar or the whole song, I still need a method.

    Currently I have 10 vocal tracks. I could probably do it with 5 but this would take more automation and mucking around and PC resources isn't my limitation so....

    Mr Clean, "You could cut up all the vocal tracks into bits and automate the volumes of each bit in turn to get an average level throughout". I think this was my go to method, except I wasn't going to cut anything, just Volume automate (Cubase) each part until it sounds balanced. Loooooong process though.

    Gonzo, if I group into Soft and loud, I'll still have to mix each line of vocals so the harmony sounds balanced - so I may as well not group because a soft part might actually be needing to stay soft for that bit? I dunno.

    Mr Clean "I cut tracks up because it is easier for my workflow. Especially in Reaper. If the first word of a line is too high, cut it after and reduce the volume of that slice.". So, you edit the WAV file and make a permanent dB adjustment? I don't use Reaper.

    Whatever I end up doing, I'm (obviously) tryinbg to make it so that I don't have to go back and adjust balances again.

    ...Oh, and reading back my original post, I don't know about hte EQ. If I balance all these volumes and then apply EQ, will I have to balance again?

    So options are

    EQ individual tracks, then balance volumes, then group for mixing.
    Balance volumes (to get rough mix), EQ them, then balance again?

    Cheers.
    FM

  3. #13
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    Not sure what normalize would 'destroy', but the great thing in Reaper is that everything can be reversed. 'non-destructive editing' is what they call it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    Not sure what normalize would 'destroy', but the great thing in Reaper is that everything can be reversed. 'non-destructive editing' is what they call it.
    And that right there is why I love Reaper!
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    CMB Studios is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Clean View Post
    Where exactly have I said that someone's advice won't work? Get back in your box with your normalize button.
    i actually never normalize because i never need to, but "get back in your box" ??? you can do better than that mr clean.

    anyways.... you have 10 vocal tracks.... a capella? is this a choir type setting? full music?

    basically each vocal range should be "one" track... make each track of a particular vocal range and adjust the individual volume of each take to make it sound like 1 consistent take... if it doesnt sound like 1 consistent take then .... good luck fixing it without retracking.... if its a question of dynamics, that what compression is for.

    the 2 tools you want to even them out is automation and compression.

    Normalizing could work because it takes the highest peak of a track and brings it to the hottest level it can get to without clipping, so if the track is broken up correctly, then normalizing can achieve what your doing.

    Normalizing got a bad name from 90's music... everything was normalized and over compressed and limited and raised the floor noise and blagh.... but thats not to say normalizing is always bad, as i stated before it can be a useful tool if used correctly... however its rarely reached for in my case. and as stated before nothing is permanent or irreversible.

    is it possible for you to bounce the part so we can hear it?

    if you want you can send me the tracks and i can run them through melodyne... which allows you to adjust the volume of each transient individually (along with correcting pitch if necessary or desired)

    this is definitely something that you can fix... rather easily

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure.fusion View Post
    Mr Clean, "You could cut up all the vocal tracks into bits and automate the volumes of each bit in turn to get an average level throughout". I think this was my go to method, except I wasn't going to cut anything, just Volume automate (Cubase) each part until it sounds balanced. Loooooong process though.
    I don't know about Cubase but in reaper when you split a file, you can adjust the volume of the split clip with the mouse pointer at the top of it, click and pull down. It shows you the volume change on the wave as you do it. Does Cubase have a similar thing? Item processing? Trim for clips? I've not used Cubase in years so I have no idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure.fusion View Post
    Mr Clean "I cut tracks up because it is easier for my workflow. Especially in Reaper. If the first word of a line is too high, cut it after and reduce the volume of that slice.". So, you edit the WAV file and make a permanent dB adjustment? I don't use Reaper.
    It's not a permanent adjustment in Reaper as you can just turn the volume back up or down further on the clip. As in pic.

    Name:  example.JPG
Views: 24
Size:  45.0 KB

    If you were to do something like this with lines of a song, rather than single words, it could be quite quick. Single words however would take an awful long time.

    Personally, I would get the levels sorted before EQ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMB Studios View Post
    i actually never normalize because i never need to, but "get back in your box" ??? you can do better than that mr clean.
    I could of indeed done better than that but for the sake of the forum and being personal over the internet being absolutely pointless, I left it at that
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    CMB Studios is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Clean View Post
    I could of indeed done better than that but for the sake of the forum and being personal over the internet being absolutely pointless, I left it at that
    ooohhh dont hold back... i love it :P get as personal as you can

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    Quote Originally Posted by CMB Studios View Post
    ooohhh dont hold back... i love it :P get as personal as you can
    I have no need to. And for 2 people who DON'T use normalize at all, this discussion has no bearing.
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    pure.fusion is offline Dedicated Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMB Studios View Post
    anyways.... you have 10 vocal tracks.... a capella? is this a choir type setting? full music?
    It's everywhere. Think something like Bohemian. Multi vocals, panning, overlapping, some split stereo, some centred, some with backing, some no backing. You name it....

    Quote Originally Posted by CMB Studios View Post
    basically each vocal range should be "one" track... make each track of a particular vocal range and adjust the individual volume of each take to make it sound like 1 consistent take
    Yeah, I'd like to have one track per part, but that becomes a but harder to manage when that one part serves different functions (as mentioned above). It was easier (at this stage anyway) to separate off the same part into another track.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMB Studios View Post
    ... if it doesnt sound like 1 consistent take then .... good luck fixing it without retracking.... if its a question of dynamics, that what compression is for.
    Ha! Retracking is my middle name. I'm a home recorder, for no monatary gains. My motto is that there's nothing I can't record, if you have unlimited time, and that best 1 take out of 58 is the perfect one to use. This thread is discussing one of the down side of this method. The info you should take from this point is that *withought doubt* my standards of output will be less than the standards of those studio-engineer-types offering advice in this forum. ... remembering of course that I'd like to think that my home recording standard is "ok" and not utterly crap. Samples in my blurb if you're keen.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMB Studios View Post
    the 2 tools you want to even them out is automation and compression.
    Got it. That much I got!

    Quote Originally Posted by CMB Studios View Post
    Normalizing could work because it takes the highest peak of a track and brings it to the hottest level it can get to without clipping, so if the track is broken up correctly, then normalizing can achieve what your doing.

    Normalizing got a bad name from 90's music... everything was normalized and over compressed and limited and raised the floor noise and blagh.... but thats not to say normalizing is always bad, as i stated before it can be a useful tool if used correctly... however its rarely reached for in my case. and as stated before nothing is permanent or irreversible.

    is it possible for you to bounce the part so we can hear it?

    if you want you can send me the tracks and i can run them through melodyne... which allows you to adjust the volume of each transient individually (along with correcting pitch if necessary or desired)

    this is definitely something that you can fix... rather easily
    Yeah, I don't see normalizing as a great go-to for me. After normalizing, I'd still have to balance multi part vocals. I have to do this with or without Normalizing, and after the heate discussions I'll assume that it's something you only go to ifd you have to, ir if it really solves your problems.

    I can do the adjust of volumes etc. I have mixed down multiparts before with success (depending on your standard of quality of course).
    .. and yes I could bounce a sample for you, and I'd be happy to but as you see from above, it'd be a big job to get a bounced, "rough-in" track to post.

    I'd be doing ok on my own, thank you. The method of a few years ago would be to start at one and and finish at the other and spend an enoumous amount of time and pain getting the finaol outcome right, usually at the expense of audio quality and final result.

    This post is all about best method to minimise the pain and maximise results, since there are many more parts than usual to deal with.

    Oh.... and the EQ question, and when I apply it.

    Cheers,
    FM

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