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Thread: What makes vocals sit right and stay seated?

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    What makes vocals sit right and stay seated?

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    When I listen to my tracks I never feel like the vocals are where they should be. I dont have a good voice by any means but no matter what it always seems to be out of place in the mix. Like my vocals where recorded somewhere else. I want the vocals to blend with the space in the song but I'm not quite sure how to get closer to that.

    www.myspace.com/atlasatleast

    I know myspace isn't the best for music playback but you can get my gist. I'm looking for tips on how to make my vocals blend better with the mix. Thanks a lot for the help guys.

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    I find that with me two vocal tracks work. I record each seperate (I dont just copy the first take) and pan one a little left and the other a little right. Add a little chorus to both also. If I just do one track its as you descibed for me also. Your room has alot to do with it also. I have a big room and no wall treatments, so Im kind of screwed. But this winter I will get some up. So for me the double tracks works ok. I found a doubler plug in Im gonna try today. Hope it works better than doing two vocal takes. You can change pitch, etc. with it and actually make up to 4 different vocals out of one. Sounds too good to be true. I will find out. Try two tracks or put yourself in a closet and sing.

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    Hey dude. I'm not here to give advice on vocal placement, but I did give your tune a listen. I like the vocal style alot, as it sounds very Rob Crowe'ish at times. Nice instrumental work also. I agree there are mixing issues, but it's listenable.

    Quirky unique sound. I dig.
    [SIZE=4]It's turtles all the way down...[/SIZE]

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    Thats the best thing I've heard all day. I love rob crow. I wish I had a voice more like him. Thanks for listening to my songs regardless and thanks for the remarks. You listen to heavy vegetable? Thanks.

    Bushmaster, I do a little bit of double tracking but not so often. I'm really not that good at nailing the parts together really. But maybe I'll give it a few more tries and be a little more picky with what takes I like and dont like.

    thanks for the comments guys.

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    I listened to your tunes just now and I think your vocals are fine. Your tunes are very abstract. I enjoyed them. Put your tunes up on soundclick. Myspace playback system stinks.

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    There's three things to consider mostly:

    -- Frequency competition and
    -- Volume competition and
    -- Spatial treatment

    Carving out space for the vocal via EQ techniques ... dipping certain competing instruments that intrude on the pocket -- is one method.

    For instance, bass and kick don't have a lot of dominant frequencies in the range of a vocal, so creating space with them isn't critical.

    Piano and guitars though ... well, there's some direct frequency competition for you.

    If you pan either WAY off to the sides, you might not have too much trouble with direct competition, but as you move the competition more center, you're going to have to make some room freq-wise. Generally, it involve taking a parametric w/ a wide Q and creating a slight hollow in the area needing carving.

    Once you've addressed that, you can move onto volume issues. Having a vocal stay stable ... from a whisper to a scream, involves compression -- usually on the heavier side too. Generally, with vocals, go for a compressor w/ a slower attack and quicker release with medium sustain. Set the threshold appropriately low enough (avoid draining the life out of things -- you want it to work w/ a little coloration as possible and not drain the life) and then liberally apply make up gain to even out the delivery. This is prevent soft passages from disappearing under the music bed.

    Lastly, space is important. Delays and reverb cue the ear to depth and distance. If you mix a vocal with lots of reverb, and the snare quite dry, you're actually tricking the ear into believing the vocal is standing further back than the snare. Consequently, effects on vocals should be able to add space around the vocal, which sits it in the pocket better -- but avoid drenching if you want the vocalist to stand out in front of everyone else.

    Think of effects a "blurring the edges" of the vocalist ... thus fitting/moving the performance more "into" or "distinct from" the underlying musical bed.

    For an example of my discussion here, check out my "Sooner or Later" further on down this page to get an idea of what the results of the above techniques are.

    ... and like anything ...

    Experiment and "practice, practice, practice" ...

    Best,

    Kev-
    My Albums are free at:
    KevinWhiteMusic.com

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    Thanks a lot for the listen bushmaster. I'm glad you enjoyed listening to it. Even though you thought they were okay, I'm gonna give doubling up a chance anyways.Erockrazor.

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    Oops. I should have read your age first. My son is a mere year older. My post was inappropriate -- it's not what you were going for.

    Be careful with doubling. There are nitty gritty phase challenges with that recording technique ... you'll see when/if you attempt it. It's involves a very, very precise delivery to make it sound "right" ...

    Best of luck to ya,

    Kev-
    My Albums are free at:
    KevinWhiteMusic.com

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    K-Dubs post was very helpful, lots of good advice for mixing there. The vocals on this mix (Locomotive Sounds) are nice and clear but I would take them down a bit and add a bit more compression and reverb to them - they seem a tad dry to me. Good playing/singing.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by K-dub View Post
    Oops. I should have read your age first. My son is a mere year older. My post was inappropriate -- it's not what you were going for.

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