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Thread: feedback on vocals

  1. #1
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    feedback on vocals

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    hi

    i recorded the instruments on this song a while ago, but people said the vocals were too bland, mixed badly and too crap. so i've tried to do another version on it.

    please give me feedback on what u think of it this time. i've tried to be more aggressive, sorta more "emotional". and i've tried laying some reverb on it for presence.

    i'm kindda sick of this song, i really just want to finish the vocals and put it on the shelf and move on. but this song does mean a lot to me, and i do want to at least make the singing decent.

    http://www.nowhereradio.com/waiholiu/singles
    song is called "burnt"

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    For the vocals, try some breath control. Kinda cool song. Too nasaly. And remember, Just because you double the vocals doesnt cover it if you cant sing. Sorry you asked. Thats definetly my pet peave. Nothing ruins a cool song like bad vocals.

    Stockton

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    Clearly you have some writing talent - it's a pretty good song - but if you really take yourself and your music seriously (pretty obviously), you should look around for a singer to better realise your creativity.

    If you really have to sing, try your hand at backing vox (requires less of a distinctive voice, but still the ability to be in tune - you should have no problem there), which means you'll still be singing, but not hashing up an otherwise decent song. (^:

    Hey, I can say something like that - I'm a crap lead singer, too, but I can hold a harmony for the most part, with practice and familiarity, and it's fun to work out the parts. Not to mention that harmonies can really take a song in some interesting directions.

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    Clearly you have some writing talent - it's a pretty good song - but if you really take yourself and your music seriously (pretty obviously), you should look around for a singer to better realise your creativity.

    If you really have to sing, try your hand at backing vox (requires less of a distinctive voice, but still the ability to be in tune - you should have no problem there), which means you'll still be singing, but not hashing up an otherwise decent song. (^:

    Hey, I can say something like that - I'm a crap lead singer, too, but I can hold a harmony for the most part, with practice and familiarity, and it's fun to work out the parts. Not to mention that harmonies can really take a song in some interesting directions.

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    I was really diggin' the vocs. The pitch problems aside.

    My advice,... work on the pitch issues,..but keep tryin' man. Cool tune,..and I really do like your voice. Also,..for this tune in my opinion,..play with the verb on the other instruments. Give the whole tune that airy feel that the vocs have.

    Take 'er easy,..
    Calwood

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    hey guys thanks for the comments.

    i'm disappointed that you guys didn't like the vocals, but thats what its all about and i thank you for your honesty.

    you're right that i do need work on my singing, it's one of the things i've struggled with when recording my songs. also i sorta find this song a hard song to sing, just because it's sorta high in the chorus.

    i just want to ask you guys honestly, despite the vocals being poor, do you guys think that it is that bad that i have to re-do it? i mean, from a production point of view, with my singing ability, do you really think i could do any better? does the vocals totally render the whole song unlistenable?

    i'm sorry if this post sounds like i'm just trying to validate my performance as opposed to trying to improve it, but basically, i've been working on this song for a very long time, and i've recorded many, many versions of the vocals trying to fix it, and i'm at a point, where i'm just sick of it, i just want to move on.

    robin - i've been thinking about writing songs for a different singer. like using a female singer because i really dig the female voice. i think they can be so much more emotional and expressive. but i think there's certain songs you write for yourself and certain songs you write for other people and i probably wouldn't feel it is part of what i "envisioned" some of my existing songs to become, if i replaced myself, even through i know someone would do it beter justice. it's strange, i guess, theres like a conflict between thinking as a songwriter and a producer (is that what i would be?) where sometimes personal sentiments (or pride?) override striding for quality.

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    Hey, Calwood really digs your vox!

    Whenever our singer finds he's crafted a melody in too high a register for himself, he changes it. No melody is 'definitive,' of course. Moreover, singing it in your register, where you feel comfortable with it, will always sound better than outside your range. In doing the latter, it's no longer you - it's you trying to be someone else, or aspiring to some other melody that's in your head, not your heart.

    The vocals aren't 'terrible,' just not finished yet. Starr would tell Lennon all the time "that sounds shit, John," which would be followed by a swift "Fook off, Ringo," and then he'd go and change it. So, a simple fuck off will suffice, but you have to change the melody in return!

    You're obviously not satisfied with it yet, and if the song means that much to you personally, perhaps it's a good idea to shelve it for a while, move on (as you say) and come back to it. 'You can't hurry love,' as they say!

    It's not so much personal sentiment, or pride,
    it's patience.

    You should always stride for quality, why settle for anything less?

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    Production notes

    Production wise, it's really pretty OK (cohesively, it works - it doesn't sound like a bunch of tracks thrown together), but for a few things to my ear:

    The snare sounds very flat and 'off mic' - I'm guessing it's O/H only and the room sounded bad. I hate getting into all that EQ stuff - you know, tweak this freq to that dB, scoop the chest cavity out of the guitar, etc. I can't put it into words other than 'it needs more weight.'

    Guitars sound fine, can't find anything wrong with these. I can hear everything that's being played and they're not getting in the way of anything.

    Bass and kick are AWOL. Go back to listening to just the drums and bass together, nothing else. My theory is, if the drums and bass don't sound great together, nothing will. So address the drive and punch of the song, and get that bass to become more of a feature of the recording rather than it wandering around in the song like a spare prick at a wedding.

    Toms are OK - they pop out here and add their bit. If it's only OHs, you're kind of stuck with them anyway. Come to think of it, if the snare is also, you're kind of stuck with that, too, unless you cheat by adding a drum machine's snare manually, and blend it in - I've done this before on a live recording.

    Trilly solo sounds good, and adds something to the song, but too reminiscent of that Crimbo king, wotsizname - Robert Fripp (and the only aspect of the song that does make me think of someone sitting in his bedroom studio plugged into his POD). Push this further back in the mix with some effect lest it sound like a 'clever twiddly bit I threw in for good measure.' It's not a standout melody, so why make it stand out? It is, however, a nice textural touch, so use it to that end.

    Vocal reverb: I live in Japan, I've seen my fair share of Karaoke boxes in my time, and know a thing or two about poor reverb sound! People love to crank it up, because it supposedly makes them sound better....I beg to differ. It makes someone sound like they're singing in a rugby team shower room. The more I've listened to this song, the more I feel that half the problem is the reverb, or at least the tone of the reverb. What unit are you using? (Don't say Lexicon, say Nanoverb or something, pleease.)

    With the instrumental department sorted out, bring in your vocals sans reverb, zilch. How does it sound? Can you hear all the words of the song? If it doesn't sound like it's sitting well, play with the EQ (there, that's a technical description for you). Now introduce some reverb, but only enough that the vocals start sounding cohesive in the song, regardless of if you can perceive the reverb. I don't think this song lends itself to a reverb-laden vocal. I think it would drive home the emotion better if you keep it drier.

    The chorus could do with a lift (perhaps some harmony/reverb to thicken it up) - it doesn't quite take off as it could do. It's hinting at it, but perhaps a couple of flagging lines are preventing that.

    Go on, say it ("Fook off, Ringo").

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    hey robin.

    thanks for those great tips. can i just ask, what does O/H mean and AWOL stand for?

    i have read what you wrote and have decided to make a few changes. I do agree and have been told that the snare is too dry harsh sounding. i've decided to add a little extra reverb on them, probably EQ it so there's more low and mid range, lower the treble a bit. i think it sorta too piercing.

    vocals are too echoy. i think that's the problem about mixing vocals. the reverb... there's a very fine line between too little and too much of the stuff. i probably put too much on because my last mix, i did not put any on at all, and everyone said it sounded like it was on top of the music like a "karaoke track".

    apart from that, i probably won't change the solo. i actually really like it the way it is, probably my favourite part of the song (probably cause i'm not singing in it!). i might put it a little further back, but not too much. i sorta like it how it just pops up.

    so what should i do about the bass? i really don't know how i can make it a "feature"? maybe compress it a bit more, EQ it to give it more attack. i might have to make the kick stand out more too.

    anyway, ill try to make those changes and then submit a new version. hopefully, it'll be a little better.

  10. #10
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    It would be very interesting and educational to hear a remix of this song with those issues addressed.

    I guess most people would agree to giving the bass track a bit of compression, just to even it out, and will enable you to have it louder in the mix without it pulling down the global mix compression, if you are using it (if not, you should experiment with it, as it can dramatically change the sound of the recording in a variety of ways). Just try to give the bass some body, you know, so it sounds like a human being playing an instrument with big fat strings!

    AWOL = Absent WithOut Leave ,i.e., not there.
    OH = overhead mics

    Look forward to hearing the results!

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