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Thread: Vocal FX directly on recording track?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    The transition to IEMs is a shock for live performance.
    This guy told me that when they first went to IEM they found it a strange and uncomfortable experience. What they did is set up another mike on stage to feed into the IEM system so that they could still get a sense of the performance ambience.

    Singing against a bass has its own problems. When there is a very strong bass line to can push singers flat. Some singers are able to compensate for this, but then come to grief in the studio when recording with the bass not so dominant, and they find themselves singing sharp.

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    channel 16 of our monitor mixers has the audience mic. Oddly I'm the only one who doesn't use it. The worst thing about live stuff with IEMs is the quality and lack of spill mean you have your own great mix, with panning to help you identify or discriminate, and then the guitarist wanders over and tries to shout in your ear - like SKIP THE NEXT ONE, or YOUR FLYS ARE UNDONE and you haven't a clue what he said!

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    In most indoor spaces there's a natural slapback delay that acts as confirmation of the sound you make with your voice. Our brains are conditioned to it and IEMs take that away. I find that a touch of delay or a short reverb can really help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    Singing against a bass has its own problems. When there is a very strong bass line to can push singers flat. Some singers are able to compensate for this, but then come to grief in the studio when recording with the bass not so dominant, and they find themselves singing sharp.
    So many of my songs have involved singing against just the bass part and I find the pitching relatively easy once I know where the words fit because I'll usually have the bass going with the drums or something percussive. What I find difficult is the melodicism of the bass part. Whereas it's easy to sing against a guitar or piano, a melodic bass part can be so confusing ! With perhaps one or two simple exceptions, I've never been able to sing/play harmonica and play bass simultaneously in 39 years, yet it's second nature with a guitar.
    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    Originally Posted by canus.inferni:
    which sometimes make me take the headphone cup off one ear.
    This is not uncommon. Many singers do this when recording to get a better sense of their pitching.
    I've always done this from time to time over the years but it's a lot more common for me nowadays. At the end of 2017 I had my thyroid removed and the first thing I noticed when my throat stopped hurting and I was able to try to sing was that I could no longer reach medium and high notes ! Overnight my range had just gone. I used to be able to sing from low to high which was why I used to enjoy backing and harmony vocals. Suddenly all I could sing were the low notes and the low part of my voice has never been my preferred singing sound. I utilized it in the past because it was there, but I never cared for it. Now I have to because it's the only voice I have left. Last summer, I took tentative steps to get back into singing and I did about 7 or 8 vocals in the end. I was quite pleased with them but I really had to change my approach to singing and recording a vocal, part of which involved taking it much more patiently than I ever used to. And that meant that I really had to listen with a depth and intensity that I never seemed to before, even though I rated my listening. When doing the vocal, although sometimes I could have both cups on, I found I could hear so much clearer with just one cup on, even if the music was down fairly low in volume, which also seems to be the case these days.
    Interestingly, while I'll happily record various instruments with effects, never the vocal anymore. I used to when I started back in the early 90s. And many of my vocals were a mush. Even before I got a reverb unit, for 'verb, I'd place the bass drum between the mic and I {it was both awkward and painful !} and sing through the bass drum. I can understand why many vocalists love to sing with reverb because that drummed vocal sound sounded wonderful in my phones while I'd actually be singing but listening to the playback was like putting my head in bowl of honey.

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    Ive always been confused on the bootlegs and raw tracks we get to hear so commonly these days, and I agree with the OP....so many times its lathered in REVERB.....like beatle tracks come to mind, the talking between takes and solovocals are reverb'd big time...but on the finished tune hardly even noticed.
    I know they had the old school reverb rooms and all that but was it live in that huge studio room or was it only applied later?

    I think I read if theres a bunch of different reverbs going on it can make things muddy pretty fast too.
    The other thing we know is the vibration of our heads and inner ears, so the playback of your voice doesnt have any of that, so the voice can sound odd on playback. Is that why we slap on eq and compression and reverbs to "polish" up the vocal track?

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    The voice that others hear is not the voice that we hear when we sing. That's because not only is sound travelling to our ears externally, it's also travelling through the Eustachian tubes and via bone conduction. What's worse is that our brains lie to us: they make us hear what we want to sound like, rather than what we really sound like. So we can be taken aback when we hear ourselves played back. (But even that doesn't always work if our brains continue to lie to us when we are listening.)

    As for EQ, compression and reverb, there are two main functions they fulfil: the first is remediation, i.e. to overcome flaws and deficiencies in the recording (for example, if the recording is done in a dry, anechoic studio, adding reverb compensates for its lack). The second is for effect: to treat audio in different and creative ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    What's worse is that our brains lie to us: they make us hear what we want to sound like, rather than what we really sound like
    When I first started recording, the voice I had was really not the voice I wanted. It took a while for me to get to the point where I could actually say that I liked my voice. But I got there. And now I can't even think in those terms ! I'm just happy if I'm in tune, sound as though my vocal flows and I'm not rivaling Barry White !

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    Oh yeah....what grim says is so true. In the early days I really had trouble accepting my voice sounding like it does.....even though others didn't seem to feel the same way. Over time I "learned' to like it and began to write songs that fit it. Now.......people actually comment on how well my voice fits the song...............whatever that means.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    What is more common on vocal FX, A- slow Atk/Rels compressor speed a low ratio ie 2-3:1 , or B- Fast and hi ratio 20:1 +?

    A

    Voice gate I slow down the attack to open , it cuts the plosives. No hold. I slow it to close but adjusted to keep pressure clamping down just about the thresh.

    No reverb. Some delay.

    I do some vocoding, and keyboard guided voice. Lets call it mixed results.

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    Processing to address plosives is a last resort. Use a pop screen and/or learn to control your consonants. If I do have to apply effects to address plosives it wouldn't be a gate. For the usual booming P and B I would apply a high pass filter just on the short section with the boom, perhaps by automating an eq.

    Compressor settings are custom fit to the signal. Ratio, attack and release are all set independently.

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