Recording vocals


New member
i would like to know how do you get vocal
tracks to have that "In Front of the Mix"
sound as apposesd to just somewhere in the mix? And also,..Do I record with eq, compression, efx, etc., or wait till mixdown?
I've got a Mackie 1604vlzPro...and a computer,(If that really matters) HELP!!!
Hello Smoovie One:

You can put your vocal on two tracks while recording and this will definitely give you more "up front" when you run a mix.

Also, using a mic pre-amp will enhance your vocal dramatically.

Using too much FX reverb/echo can bury your vocal.

Using a good vocal mic will also be an "up front vocal" asset.

When you listen to a cut before mixing down to tape or whatever, what do you hear? This is when you can tweak the vocal a bit, add the right reverb room and adjust volume levels of vocal plus backing music.

If you get too much FX on the music and the vocal is in the same FX room, you will not get an up front vocal.

Keep twiddling the dials,
Green Hornet
HI SMoovdj,

On vocals I usally record directly to TAPE,(lol... Tape is a 6 gig hard drive) useing dynamic exfixs and EQ. This is not something you want to do unless you are pritty confident you can get the sound you want.

I usally go EQ into the compressor then into any weird stuff like deSors or excitors.

My EQ settings depend on the person singing of course, but I uselly boost everything a little and cut the low mid about 5db at 700hrz.

The lows, high mids, and highs are all boosted about 4 to 6db. The fequency I like to boost in the lows tends to crawl around 200hrz to 240hrz. As for high mids I like to boost something like 2800hrz to 3000hrz this is an important area cause the High mid is very audioable to human beings play with these fequency you'll see the bigest change in you tone. As for the highs I boost around 4db 6db at 5khrz to 6khrz.

With the compressor I like to just reduce the dynamic range a little, there is always time to crush the signal in the mixdown.

Also I agree with hornet. Choose the right mic, and a good mic pre-amp, it can make your tone bigger, pluse sometimes if you have a good mic-pre, will help reduce noise.
Or wont produce much noise I should say.... lol

Im sorry I didn't mean to chew your ear off.

Practice around with these ideas, you don't want to try this in a real world situation until your confident with doing them. Once your through to tape your stuck there is only so much you can do in mix down. The practices I posted are what I do just to help the whole recording session go more fluidly and I also get a better sounding product doing things this way.
Also pardon my spelling, I need to stop buying these ausio toys and buy a spell checker lol...

Good Luck,
Thanks Hornet.."u da man!"

Thank you Signa1 for your insightful, but TOTALLY mispelled advice. (LOL):-)

[This message has been edited by smoovdj (edited 10-28-1999).]
Try this:

Attenuate the upper middle Frequencies of the other instruments....2K 4K ...
Slightly boost these same Frequencies on the vocal track. It will stand out! Just how much you want it to stand out, will determine how much EQ to cut or boost. Be subtle with this, so as not to make the vocal sound harsh or piercing. This is called "making a hole" for the vocal to be placed in.

Dom Franco
When I can use a decent pre and a decent mic, and position the singer at the distance I want, then it's very rare for me to use eq on lead vocals; providing their a decent singer.
Most definately! However usually, the tweaking in most cases of the good singer needs positioning tweaking. I can't count how many times even good vocalists can't restrain from eating the microphone.

If I can, then a decent pre, a decent mic, and just a simple 2:1 compression will work fine for the majority of those good singers who control themselves. When I do use EQ, it's to reduce boosts on microphones where that boost doesn't doesn't sound to good a that particular singer.
I most definately agree. That's why in a previous post of mine, I ask for suggestions for pop-filter manufactuers since I need a new one. However, all I got was the pantyhose answer. Yes this does work perfectly (I know), but I need a manufactuered one for the reason you brought up. Who's gonna take a studio who puts pantyhose in front of their client's face as a "real serious studio"?
Hey Recording Engineer! About the panty hose....
I had no problem snuggling up to the panyhose at a particular studio in Van Nuys, Ca. because the panty hose had a story. They 'supposedly' had belonged to Pia Zadora.
He told of a session (at another studio) wher she was gonna sing and there was no popper stopper around so they whippedout a coat hanger and much to the delightment of all te guys around, she yanked her panty hose off right there. Then, a few hours later, the guy I know snatched (no pun intended) the panty hose and uses them in his studio.
Rock n Roll
I think when it comes to all homemade gear, the professionalism is in the presentation and use of the item. If you hang a cheezy looking coat hanger with a pair of panty hose just hanging there then you might be right. Last time I was at my sister's house I grabbed one of her cross stitch hoops and made a pop filter out of my wife's hose. It looks and works just like the thirty dollar variety. In fact, you can't tell the difference. It's the same thing we do everyday...making our tapes, cd's, and MP3's sound and look like the pros.
You can get a professional one at any Peavey dealer as well as the adaptors to hook it up to the mic stand. It's sold as an accessory. I know the panty hose companies
will hate to hear this....sorry......Later....pete o