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Thread: Learning to Record Vocals

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    Learning to Record Vocals

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    Hi folks -- So I'm learning to use GarageBand with a Focusrite interface. My short-term goal is to share music with other musicians for networking mainly, and to enjoy making decent recordings, and for practice of course, to hear my performances back later with a cold ear.

    I'm using reverb, EQ, and compression, either the built-ins or the Focusrite plug-ins. To be honest I don't fully understand the technical side of how these work... I play around with them to see what seems to sound right. I don't use any pitch correction or other effects.

    My question of the day is about the ordering of reverb, EQ, and compression. General guidelines? No-nos?

    Here is a sample:

    ETA SoundCloud removed my sample, I guess because I'm using a backing track? Seems like a lot of people are doing the same with backing tracks. Not sure how to share that?



    Thanks!

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    EQ-Compression-Reverb tends to be the more common order when there's no specific reason to do a different order.

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    Yup. What miroslav said

    If you want some reasons...

    -Adjusting the EQ can change the dynamic range of the frequencies you're playing with, thereby affecting the compression

    -Compression can affect the tails of your reverb quite a lot, hence you want the compression done first.

    Of the first two, the order doesn't matter too much and there can even be reasons to choose compression first. However, reverb last is pretty much a necessity.

    -
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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    Thanks! I will try these tips. What's the best way to share tracks here? SoundCloud is rejecting mine, I guess because of the backing tracks.

    Thanks

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    A couple of things.

    Try recording and getting a take you are happy with, with no EQ and no compression, move the mic around instead of reaching for EQ, the mic can be used like an EQ depending on where it is.

    Once you get the best possible sound you can get with your vocals then it's time to reach for EQ and compression, the way you sing is really important, try and sing as evenly as possible so it records well.

    I prefer having reverb on it's own fader/group channel so you can then send it from the vocal track and control the amount of reverb, instead of having reverb across the vocal itself, you can then send other tracks to the same reverb channel, like a snare or guitar, so it's easier.

    Hope that helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Btyre2013 View Post
    A couple of things.

    Try recording and getting a take you are happy with, with no EQ and no compression, move the mic around instead of reaching for EQ, the mic can be used like an EQ depending on where it is.
    I usually have the vocal dry in my headset while recording. So far, when I'm happy with the tracks, I've been doubling the vocal and panning slightly L-R, and doing the same with the backing track but pushing it back further in the mix. That's about the extent of my engineering technique at this stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CelesteMac View Post
    Thanks! I will try these tips. What's the best way to share tracks here? SoundCloud is rejecting mine, I guess because of the backing tracks.

    Thanks
    You can use a service called box.com. They're free and will stream you MP3s in a player as well as allowing downloads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbsy View Post
    You can use a service called box.com. They're free and will stream you MP3s in a player as well as allowing downloads.
    Thanks! I'll try it.

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    I'm mixing tracks for a new CD right now. I am NOT a professional recordist/engineer ... hell, barely proficient let alone professional! But just to add(?) to the conversation, I've found in this project the singer's voice is sounding best with this FX chain ... COMP->EQ->DELAY->REVERB

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyAxe View Post
    I'm mixing tracks for a new CD right now. I am NOT a professional recordist/engineer ... hell, barely proficient let alone professional! But just to add(?) to the conversation, I've found in this project the singer's voice is sounding best with this FX chain ... COMP->EQ->DELAY->REVERB
    Just out of curiosity, what's the delay for?
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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