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Thread: Vocals, more bass

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    Vocals, more bass

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    Bit of a silly question coming through
    When recording vocals - I want them to sound a bit thicker. My busking amp (roland street cube) has a bass knob for the vocals making the vocal sound nice and thick. Yet we are advised to cut out all the low frequencies when we EQ in our DAW, but aren't these frequencies where the bass comes from? (I'm a bit confused here)

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    Advised by whom? Many people get into the habit of removing the bottom end to clear it for bass instruments, but why ruin a nice voice if you have to. The only rule is there are no rules sometimes. if it makes the voice better having LF in it, and maybe enhanced LF to - go for it. Check out Julia Fordham or Alison Moyet's music on Spotify for examples of female singers with decent bass eq.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Advised by whom? Many people get into the habit of removing the bottom end to clear it for bass instruments, but why ruin a nice voice if you have to. The only rule is there are no rules sometimes. if it makes the voice better having LF in it, and maybe enhanced LF to - go for it. Check out Julia Fordham or Alison Moyet's music on Spotify for examples of female singers with decent bass eq.
    99% of the tutorials, it's the first thing they do, they cut off everything below about 100Hz: 3 Simple Moves That Will Improve The Clarity Of Your Mix — Spectrum Sound

    I might give that a listen.

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    Hi Boris,
    The opening paragraph there adds some context.
    "The most common mistake I hear in amateur recordings is boomy vocals and muddy acoustic guitars."

    The idea of cutting everything below 100hz, or whatever, in that article, is built on the idea that there's a problem to fix, which may or may not be the case for you.
    That said, a lot of the time there's nothing useful down there in a vocal track, particularly in a reasonably built up mix.

    Like everything else it comes down to your judgement.

    Regarding your vocals, how did you get on with trying different rooms, or positions within your room?
    The very audible reverb/ambience we were talking about before can contribute to lack of focus+definition, and lack of body/fullness.
    The fewer reflections there are the closer, fuller, stronger, and more defined something is going to sound.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    Hi Boris,
    The opening paragraph there adds some context.
    "The most common mistake I hear in amateur recordings is boomy vocals and muddy acoustic guitars."

    The idea of cutting everything below 100hz, or whatever, in that article, is built on the idea that there's a problem to fix, which may or may not be the case for you.
    That said, a lot of the time there's nothing useful down there in a vocal track, particularly in a reasonably built up mix.

    Like everything else it comes down to your judgement.

    Regarding your vocals, how did you get on with trying different rooms, or positions within your room?
    The very audible reverb/ambience we were talking about before can contribute to lack of focus+definition, and lack of body/fullness.
    The fewer reflections there are the closer, fuller, stronger, and more defined something is going to sound.
    Oh ok, I actually thought it was a general rule.

    I've only tried 2 rooms, the one I recorded the video in (which is pretty empty and explains the ambience). The one I sleep in (more like a study) has more furniture but wooden floor board and not much stuff that would absorb the sound. Thinking of getting a carpet in to see if that helps. Will let you know.

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    Hi Boris..........as Steen has said......there's no hard and fast rule about how to EQ a vocal. As with all songs you record and mix.......it comes down to what you like and nothing more.......unless you're doing the work for someone else. Every voice is different. You haven't mentioned what will be in your final mix. What instruments? What type of song is it? Ballad....rock....etc....etc. More instruments / voices will add to the overall buildup of frequency levels in your mix. Maybe it's a vocal and single guitar. That might lend itself to a different EQ for the vocal. Maybe it'll be layered mix with heavy bass and drums....etc....etc. I'm a believer in recording the vocal as raw as possible. No roll-off no hype......no effects. Just watch your mic proximity......stay on pitch and deliver the performance as you hear it in your head. You can do everything else in your DAW later. You may want to add some reverb (dry signal) to help how it sounds in your headphones as you sing.

    All that being said.....get the track down......and then listen to it. You'll know what to do. As always....this is only my opinion.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickster View Post
    Hi Boris..........as Steen has said......there's no hard and fast rule about how to EQ a vocal. As with all songs you record and mix.......it comes down to what you like and nothing more.......unless you're doing the work for someone else. Every voice is different. You haven't mentioned what will be in your final mix. What instruments? What type of song is it? Ballad....rock....etc....etc. More instruments / voices will add to the overall buildup of frequency levels in your mix. Maybe it's a vocal and single guitar. That might lend itself to a different EQ for the vocal. Maybe it'll be layered mix with heavy bass and drums....etc....etc. I'm a believer in recording the vocal as raw as possible. No roll-off no hype......no effects. Just watch your mic proximity......stay on pitch and deliver the performance as you hear it in your head. You can do everything else in your DAW later. You may want to add some reverb (dry signal) to help how it sounds in your headphones as you sing.

    All that being said.....get the track down......and then listen to it. You'll know what to do. As always....this is only my opinion.
    Thanks. Yeah I always add a bit of reverb as I sing, don't like my voice being dry with no effects (but that's just my preference)

    My idea is just acoustic guitar and vocals with some improv lead solos over the top to make the track sound a bit more fun, very simple nothing fancy and want to use up as much music space as possible to make the song sound full. I take any genre and just turn them into a chilled easy going style, the only real difference being finger picking and strumming - depending on what kind of song it is.

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    The trouble with tutorials is making the decision to continue watching or click away because the tutorial is being given by somebody you cannot respect or trust. So many are formulaic, and worse, following somebody else's formula without realising their speciality is a different area of music. Sometimes people grown up on poorer performing equipment and develop 'rules' to cope with the technology. Then, they get better performing technology and continue their rule!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    The trouble with tutorials is making the decision to continue watching or click away because the tutorial is being given by somebody you cannot respect or trust. So many are formulaic, and worse, following somebody else's formula without realising their speciality is a different area of music. Sometimes people grown up on poorer performing equipment and develop 'rules' to cope with the technology. Then, they get better performing technology and continue their rule!
    Their method seems to be working based on their deductions.
    Many of these people seem pretty knowledgeable and respected, but yes I understand you always need to be careful what you believe/read into.

    I follow Graham Cochrane from Recording revolutions (his own business) - even kind enough to give us free tutorials and also gives courses in many aspects of recording. Look him up and tell me what you think. From memory some of his tutorials also involve cutting out those lower frequencies. For now I think I'll just experiment with my sound, treat my room firstly and see how much of a difference it makes, because from where I stand my recordings are not recorded well enough RAW to begin with.

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    Sort of a recap and to add a few thoughts here..
    -True the very low stuff typically isn't helpful, and trimmed as needed.
    -Thickening' on a vocal to my mind implies lower mid frequencies, and generally above those unhelpful filtered frequencies.
    -The band accentuated by proximity effect on directional mics extends well into these lower mid freqs that can be had (and 'tuned in or out) via close (or not :>) working distances.
    -The fewer instruments sharing in a mix mean more latitude -less filtering needed to fit them in.
    Last edited by mixsit; 4 Weeks Ago at 19:04.
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