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Thread: Newbie to logic pro 9..dealing vocals on a mp3 instrumental Help

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    Newbie to logic pro 9..dealing vocals on a mp3 instrumental Help

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    Hi guys,
    So i bought a mac, as i wanted to get better vocal quality from my mic.
    Weirdly just by using cubase on a mac people have started saying my qualitys got better and my vocals seem 'clearer'.
    So anyway i decided to go over to logic pro 9 and treated myself.
    I'm facing two problems:
    (1) I record on a Focus Saffire 6 audio interface with a se x1 electronics miC. Firstly i have to turn my audio interface all the way to the top volume to really be on top of a mp3 instrumental (even when the instrumentals down to say -6) in the logic pro mixer. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong here? On cubase i only had my mic on 6-7 as a input volume on the audio interface..now i have it at 10.
    (2) I've tried watching a few tutorials, but is there any normal method to deal with rap vocals on top of mp3 instrumentals, as i've found alot of the tutorials online i couldn't really hear any difference. And alot of people tended on the tutorials to use eqs, compressors etc which arent included in logic pro, i think theres so many eqs and compressors in it you dont really need to?

    If anyone could help be appreciative..

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    1. The program you're recording in shouldn't make a difference as to how loud you interface needs to be, unless you had a compressor or something on the master bus in Cubase. As general reference, you shouldn't set the gain on your interface based on how loud the recorded track sounds in relation to the other tracks in your project. You should set the gain for your mic to be averaging somewhere between -18 dB and -12 dB, peaking a little bit above that. This way you'll never have to deal with any possible clipping in your recordings. You can check where you are peaking at by opening up Logic's level meter on your armed track (plugins>metering>level meter).

    Once you have your gain set to where it should be based on those guidelines, you then lower/raise the volumes of the tracks in Logic to make everything sound balanced, even if you end up lowering some tracks WAY low. Your instrumental track will probably end up being lowered very far down, because it has already been mastered to a very high volume.

    2. There's no "normal" method for mixing. Every mix requires something different and, as a mixer, it is your job to identify what the mix needs in order to make it sound right. That being said, you will find that there are regular workflows and procedures to get to a good starting point in your mix. You seem to be on the right track with EQ and compression. The next step is to learn as much as you can about EQ and compression - learn about how the plugins work and what some common starting points are in those plugins. Then experiment until you get a result you are happy with.

    Also, don't worry about the plugins other people are using. The plugins you have in Logic will work just fine for your needs right now.

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    yeah, sorry i should have been clearer. But I understand what your saying.
    My problem is my vocals seem to sound very dry and not mixed, now ive tried playing with eq/compression and i cant seem to get it to sound 'professional' or like any track i like/want it to. What are general methods for dry vocals?

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    That's part of the problem with mixing vocals to pre-made instrumental tracks. You don't have control over all the aspects of the instrumental track, as it's already pre-mixed and usually pre-mastered, so you have to do your best to fit your vocal into it. It's hard, but it can be done. To fix "dry" vocals, try some reverb/short delay. (When I say short I mean REALLY short). Try using some of the presets for vocals in your compressor/EQ plugins and go from there. Don't give up; keep tweaking until you get it as close as you can to a professional sound.

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    thanks for the advice..ive re recorded another mix am so happy with, under your advice and also some of my own reading/tutorial research. Now the problem i have is my vocals the main rap ones, they sound not mixed in, whilst my adlibs and everything else does..i've tried changing the volume on the mix for the instrumental but either overpowers or underpowers the vocals..whats a solution for this..
    and also if you find your vocals sound 'thin' whats a solution for this?

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    If your adlibs sound good, why not apply the same settings you did for the adlibs to the main vocals?

    Sounding "thin" can mean a few different things. Maybe you should post the song up in the MP3 clinic?

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    As Guitarplayer mentioned, you're dealing with a fully mixed track and trying to slot dry vocals in over the top. They haven't been 'blended' together during the mix process. Interestingly, there's actually a commercially released track from a couple of years ago (the name of which I can't think of at the moment) where this has obviously happened as well...maybe the record company was in a rush to have it released.
    One solution is to add across the whole mix a very, very subtle short reverb. If you can hear it, it's too much. This may help give the perception of everything being in the same 'space'.
    Also gently compressing the mix buss can also help glue everything together. Try 1.5:1, fast attack, slow release, threshold giving about 2-3dB reduction. Don't slam the mix. Just stroke it
    See how you go.

    Dags
    I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Dags I've never heard of the light verb over a premixed track thing but it sounds genius. Going to play with it a little myself just to see what happens.

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    the verb has worked and perhaps your right definetely the same effects to adlibs.
    But now my problem is that when i put the song on my phone ,the beat and my vocals sound distorted..but nothing in my mixer is at higher than 3+ in volume and originally these were recorded at 6 out of 10 on my audio interface in terms of volume..the original vocals aren't distored neither adlibs etc..what am i doing wrong? as apparently my friend says the song sounds distorted on his huge sound system too in his studio?..any advice be appreciated and i'll definetely post the track

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    heres the track..
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