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Thread: "Come As You Are"

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    "Come As You Are"

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    Another tune from that Addison Lane record I'm producing. We're actually about 8 songs in, and I've only posted 1 or 2 already, but this vocal is throwing me for a loop.

    It's all over the place, so I'm having a little trouble keeping it consistent. I think I'm close though, so any feedback would be great. I've totally lost perspective, so I need a break. (My wife did the vocals, and I can only handle her yelling at me for so long...)

    Mix was totally done on headphones, had to rearrange the studio for some rehearsals, so I don't trust the speakers where I temporarily have them set up.

    I did all the guitars/bass/drum programming, and helped with the arrangement. The wife on lead vocals and both of us on backgrounds.

    The drums could definitely use more fills probably, and maybe just be 'busier', not sure yet, but I'll get to that later. Trying to get this vocal squared away.

    Where am I at?

    Dropbox - ComeAsYouAreMix3Demo.wav
    Last edited by JohnnyAmato; 08-10-2018 at 13:42. Reason: New mix
    Pro Tools 12.7 - Superior Drummer 2.0 - Sound Forge Pro 10

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    It's a pleasant tune. The vocal is a bit up and down. Quite loud during the doubled parts especially, maybe just back off the levels there. If your compressor is not doing the whole job you'll need to ride the faders. It's also quite dry maybe some reverb would get it sitting better. Dodgy edit at 0.45. Maybe have a listen to some Pat Benetar for some ideas, she's got similar power and variation. Guitars sound great

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    What if you recorded her lead vocal using two mics, one about 6ft away to capture the loudest notes.
    Failure - - the path of least persistence
    And, uh, oh - hire a decorator to come in here quick, 'cause... DAMN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulls Hit View Post
    It's a pleasant tune. The vocal is a bit up and down. Quite loud during the doubled parts especially, maybe just back off the levels there. If your compressor is not doing the whole job you'll need to ride the faders. It's also quite dry maybe some reverb would get it sitting better. Dodgy edit at 0.45. Maybe have a listen to some Pat Benetar for some ideas, she's got similar power and variation. Guitars sound great
    Thanks Bulls. Oddly enough, that thing at :45 isn't an edit, that's just how she sang it. I had 3 full takes to comp from, and she did that in every one. Might have to re-track that line. There's actually a decent amount of reverb on her too, plus a slapback, but I also noticed it still is a little dry. Solo'd you be surprised just how much reverb there actually is, that's why I'm surprised it still sounds dry. That, along with getting her vocal more consistent, are the things I'm struggling with.
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    Don't get sued by Nirvana!

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    I see the problem you'er having. That vocal sounds inconsistent in the mix--in places it pops out, in others, it's partly buried.

    I think the vocal is a bit on the loud side to begin with. It's especially noticeable in the verse, but also lines in both verse and chorus where the vocalist is belting it out. But then you have lines like the one that begins at 1:58, where she drops down in her register by comparison to the lines before and after, and the energy level dips too. I can understand every line of lyric on either side, but not what she is saying there.

    A couple things are going on, seems like. First, you probably need to do some (or some more) detail editing of lines like the one I mentioned. Clip around it and adjust the level manually. Takes the pressure off the compressor.

    Second, there are some midrange frequencies that get out of control when your singer belts it out. I've noticed this with a lot of female singer that have powerful voices. You can get that piercing, air horn thing that jumps right out of the speaker and comes after you! Listen to "they" at 1:05. There are quite a few lines like that. The tendency is to lower the fader when that happens (and raise the guitars to compete--more on that in a moment), but that just causes the quieter lines to drop out and intelligibility to suffer. You might try to tame those frequencies with EQ.

    Before you do anything else, I'd try taking a couple of dB off the lead vocal track. Give that a listen. You'll probably find that the guitars are masking the vocal, so lower the rhythm guitars until the vocal is poking out again. Give that a good listen. I'm guessing the way forward might become clearer.

    I'm hearing some kind of distortion at 1:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robus View Post
    I see the problem you'er having. That vocal sounds inconsistent in the mix--in places it pops out, in others, it's partly buried.
    Thanks for the great insight, Robus. I might have to separate her belting parts to another track, which I was avoiding due to laziness, but think I have to. I did plenty of clip/word/phrase automation already, but knew I wasn't done.

    The parts where she's belting also seem a little darker, I think because she backed off the mic a little. Separating should help this too.

    I'll check out those specific spots you mentioned and see if I can get a handle on it. I'll check that spot you hear distortion as well, I don't remember her clipping on input at all, although it was close at times, I had to ride the fader a little bit while tracking.

    I'll start by lowering the vocal 2db as a whole, then split out the belting to another track, then go phrase by phrase again to try and bring the quiet parts up. We'll see where I end up after that...

    Thanks a bunch for the listen and suggestions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nola View Post
    Don't get sued by Nirvana!
    Lol I almost headed my OP with "not the Nirvana song!" Anyways, I didn't name it, she's just a client. You're not the first to mention that though, maybe I should suggest a title change...
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    Quote Originally Posted by spantini View Post
    What if you recorded her lead vocal using two mics, one about 6ft away to capture the loudest notes.
    Only have one nice condenser, the Slate VMS; I have a few 58s and a 57, just not sure if I would like the results. Not a bad idea though, something to think about the next time she's screaming at me like this...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyAmato View Post

    I'll start by lowering the vocal 2db as a whole, then split out the belting to another track, then go phrase by phrase again to try and bring the quiet parts up.
    I bought it awhile ago, though I've yet to try it out... but Waves makes a Vocal Rider plugin, which is supposed to do just that. Takes the tediousness of that job away. I'm actually going to use it for the first time either today or Saturday - whenever I get done editing/comping these vocal takes. Been doing it all day, and yesterday, for current project, and I'm about to die of boredom.
    "No healthy person waits in line with a slew of geriatrics on a Sunday morning for pancakes" - RFR https://soundcloud.com/andrushkiwt

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