Post production of classical vocal

balky

Member
Hey, everyone!
Hope you are all well :)

Back in 2015 I recorded my friend's singing a classical piece from Verdi:
the instrumental was provided and we recorded the voice. Them, I mixed it.

I do not know if I did a good job or not. A few days ago, I revisited this recording and made some modifications. Trying to figure out if they were for the better of this recording or not.

Any input is very much appreciated.


Thank you.
 

Attachments

  • Lena Shtefan - Bolero 2015.mp3
    7.2 MB
  • Lena Shtefan - Bolero v.2022.mp3
    7.2 MB

rob aylestone

Well-known member
This is actually comfy for me as opera singers are something I'm comfy with. I've made the assumption that the first recording was the Bolero 201 recording and Bolero v.20 is the latest one? We actually thought alike, I suspect and you felt the orchestra was too 'light' and the singer too 'dark'? This was my first reaction to the 201 version (can't see the full title on my screen). You fixed it by warming up the orchestra to match the singer - good job. I probably would have left the orchestra and cooled her down to match. My reason is that the apparent (real or simulated) RT60 is quite long, and the orchestra treatment means that the lower end loses a bit of definition. The cellos start a pizz section and the sound is lost a bit, comparing versions. Much of the reverb is at the bottom end, so it gets murkier? Her voice and the orchestra blend better in version two - they appear to be in the same space. The track she is singing to is very open and clean, so her warm voice sounded a little separate. In v.20 she is in the same space - but a murkier one. I probably would have tweaked her to match them, rather than tweaked them to match her, but that's your personal preference - the end result has great balance and blend - just a bit too LF busy for me - the reverb tail on the original is neater than the second version - it decays in a slightly processed way maybe?

If I had to choose, it would be v.20 that sounds the most real, but with just a tad too much going on at the bottom for me personally - but presented with it as a finished product, I'd have made no complaints - the comparison between the two is interesting. Thanks for sharing it - it is always good to hear these. I'm slowly changing my techniques to use modern tools to fix previously unfixable recordings.

My guess is you EQ's the orchestra and made them fit her, and also changed the reverb type - not much, but it sounds like a different space they're in?
 

balky

Member
This is actually comfy for me as opera singers are something I'm comfy with. I've made the assumption that the first recording was the Bolero 201 recording and Bolero v.20 is the latest one? We actually thought alike, I suspect and you felt the orchestra was too 'light' and the singer too 'dark'? This was my first reaction to the 201 version (can't see the full title on my screen). You fixed it by warming up the orchestra to match the singer - good job. I probably would have left the orchestra and cooled her down to match. My reason is that the apparent (real or simulated) RT60 is quite long, and the orchestra treatment means that the lower end loses a bit of definition. The cellos start a pizz section and the sound is lost a bit, comparing versions. Much of the reverb is at the bottom end, so it gets murkier? Her voice and the orchestra blend better in version two - they appear to be in the same space. The track she is singing to is very open and clean, so her warm voice sounded a little separate. In v.20 she is in the same space - but a murkier one. I probably would have tweaked her to match them, rather than tweaked them to match her, but that's your personal preference - the end result has great balance and blend - just a bit too LF busy for me - the reverb tail on the original is neater than the second version - it decays in a slightly processed way maybe?

If I had to choose, it would be v.20 that sounds the most real, but with just a tad too much going on at the bottom for me personally - but presented with it as a finished product, I'd have made no complaints - the comparison between the two is interesting. Thanks for sharing it - it is always good to hear these. I'm slowly changing my techniques to use modern tools to fix previously unfixable recordings.

My guess is you EQ's the orchestra and made them fit her, and also changed the reverb type - not much, but it sounds like a different space they're in?
Hey, Rob! Thank you so much for your input :)

This is one of those instances when you rely on auto anything lol Izotop "tonal balance" suggested some changes for "orchestral" I made these changes (master bus) It affected everything. And I was listenning and thought that she sounded better and clearer, but the orchestra sounded sort of like when you listen to it backstage.
As far as reverb: I did not change much, except for lesser hi freq and smaller ER and TAIL delay from 150 to 100, I think. I need to revisit this after your comments and try to hear it myself.

I do not have much experience with anything sound related... I do as I think it should be (my ear taste), but the references are somewhat vague or absent. When I look at Ozone plugin, I know that something someone would change, tweak... sometimes it sounds ok without anything. I do auto thing and then change something that I die snot sound good to me. I use it as a starting point (hint). I personally like the sound of orchestra ai the 201 (2015) and the voice in 20 (2022).
 

Papanate

Active member
Hey, Rob! Thank you so much for your input :)

This is one of those instances when you rely on auto anything lol Izotop "tonal balance" suggested some changes for "orchestral" I made these changes (master bus) It affected everything. And I was listenning and thought that she sounded better and clearer, but the orchestra sounded sort of like when you listen to it backstage.
As far as reverb: I did not change much, except for lesser hi freq and smaller ER and TAIL delay from 150 to 100, I think. I need to revisit this after your comments and try to hear it myself.

I do not have much experience with anything sound related... I do as I think it should be (my ear taste), but the references are somewhat vague or absent. When I look at Ozone plugin, I know that something someone would change, tweak... sometimes it sounds ok without anything. I do auto thing and then change something that I die snot sound good to me. I use it as a starting point (hint). I personally like the sound of orchestra ai the 201 (2015) and the voice in 20 (2022).
Of the two the second one is more exciting - more immediate - the orchestra is slightly louder - so are the Singers Vocal - I think the Orchestra is too quiet in 201 - How did you raise the level?
 

balky

Member
Of the two the second one is more exciting - more immediate - the orchestra is slightly louder - so are the Singers Vocal - I think the Orchestra is too quiet in 201 - How did you raise the level?
Thanks :)
I did not purposely try to make the singer louder. I believe it happened on its own when I unmasked some high fq by lowering some low FQ and the vocal became more prominent :)
The orchestra and vocal are two deparate tracks, so it is easy to make one of them louder or quieter :)
 

balky

Member
OK, here is the new attempt :). Please see if you hear any difference :). I hope it has become better
 

Attachments

  • Lena Shtefan - Elena's Bolero2.mp3
    7.2 MB
Last edited:

TheSynthDev

Member
I'm not a professional classical vocal producer, so I can't really say how well or not well you did. But from what I can hear, it sounds like you did a pretty good job! The vocals sound clear and well balanced with the instruments. If there are any improvements you could make, it might be to add a bit more dynamic range to the mix - maybe make the quieter parts a bit louder and the louder parts a bit softer. But overall, it sounds like you did a great job!

--
Jason Hook. I enjoy remixing old songs using Audacity together with UnMixIt for vocal removal or isolation
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I'm not a professional classical vocal producer, so I can't really say how well or not well you did. But from what I can hear, it sounds like you did a pretty good job! The vocals sound clear and well balanced with the instruments. If there are any improvements you could make, it might be to add a bit more dynamic range to the mix - maybe make the quieter parts a bit louder and the louder parts a bit softer. But overall, it sounds like you did a great job!

--
Jason Hook. I enjoy remixing old songs using Audacity together with UnMixIt for vocal removal or isolation
I'm sorry that what you are saying makes no sense!

Dynamic range is the ratio between the largest and smallest values that a certain quantity can assume. To make the quiet parts louder and the louder parts softer is reducing the dynamic range.
 

balky

Member
I'm sorry that what you are saying makes no sense!

Dynamic range is the ratio between the largest and smallest values that a certain quantity can assume. To make the quiet parts louder and the louder parts softer is reducing the dynamic range.

I agree. And I think, it is not good to squash the sounds... I tried to compress the vocal a bit to make it a bit even. and some overall processing. That is all ....
 

balky

Member
I'm not a professional classical vocal producer, so I can't really say how well or not well you did. But from what I can hear, it sounds like you did a pretty good job! The vocals sound clear and well balanced with the instruments. If there are any improvements you could make, it might be to add a bit more dynamic range to the mix - maybe make the quieter parts a bit louder and the louder parts a bit softer. But overall, it sounds like you did a great job!

--
Jason Hook. I enjoy remixing old songs using Audacity together with UnMixIt for vocal removal or isolation
Thank you, I am glad you like it :)
 

harveysa801

New member
I have never liked vocal classical music and so far I have ignored it.

But I have been doing some reading recently and often the vocal works are amongst the most recommended works for many composers. Not to say Wagner, whose operas seem to be of high fame.

So I decided to give it another chance and listened to excerpts from Parsifal and several popular requiems and masses. But I didn't find anything likeable for me there. Melody, pitch and overally voice of the singing was highly unpleasant to me.

While I like overtures to some operas and I even noticed some nice background music in Parsifal, I don't see a point in listening to a piece if I have to filter out the main sound to like it at all.

So basically I would like to know if there are others like me who only focus on instrumental classical music and ignore the vocal works? Or is appreciation of vocal pieces considered essential to gain full advantage of classical music?

Also I would like to know what exactly do you like about the vocal works? Is it actually the singing part of it, instrumental background music, or something entirely else?

Thanks for any insights.
















 
Last edited:

balky

Member
I have never liked vocal classical music and so far I have ignored it.

But I have been doing some reading recently and often the vocal works are amongst the most recommended works for many composers. Not to say Wagner, whose operas seem to be of high fame.

So I decided to give it another chance and listened to excerpts from Parsifal and several popular requiems and masses. But I didn't find anything likeable for me there. Melody, pitch and overally voice of the singing was highly unpleasant to me.

While I like overtures to some operas and I even noticed some nice background music in Parsifal, I don't see a point in listening to a piece if I have to filter out the main sound to like it at all.

So basically I would like to know if there are others like me who only focus on instrumental classical music and ignore the vocal works? Or is appreciation of vocal pieces considered essential to gain full advantage of classical music?

Also I would like to know what exactly do you like about the vocal works? Is it actually the singing part of it, instrumental background music, or something entirely else?

Thanks for any insights.


Thanks for sharing your experience with opera.
I can't say that this is my favorite genres of music BUT, I enhoy very much to listen to it sometimes. It depends on my mood. and by all means the singers' voice (for me at least) is the key! If the voice sounds shitty, I won't listen to it no matter how skillful the orchestra is. The voice with proper soundforming and no wobbling is great to listen. Also, there are different textures, registers of voices... soprano, mezzo soprano, coloratura soprano, tenors, etc... I will share a few that I love... they give me joy and goosebumps :)


- coloratura soprano
- Diana Damrau - she is a great singer!
- mezzo-soprano

I am curious to hear from you and see if you like these :)
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
The snag with some vocal classical music is that you have to work so hard to understand it. I do lots and some is incredibly tiresome. Some is also quite close to what in more popular music would be called bad. As in not nice to listen too, very hard to perform competently, and probably not received that well. Nowadays it's common for the audience to stand up and clap at the end of a modern music gig. If this was how classical music was appreciated, there is lots that nobody would ever stand up for. Some classical music is sort of lyrical, but lots is close to being discordant. Mozart is often quoted as being a genius and while certainly clever, it's often very strange!
 
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