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Thread: Recording vocals into TASCAM DP24

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    Recording vocals into TASCAM DP24

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    Hi.
    I have finally (with help from many on this forum) achieved a good sound recording guitars, bass and drums with the DP24. But the one thing
    im still struggling to record, is vocals. Im using a Rode NT1-A and a DBX 286A preamp. I realise these are not top end units but the sound im getting is not even usable. Its very flat, quite, dull and uninspiring. Im compressing on the way in, which i know alot of people don't recommend but its all i really have right now.
    If i don't use the compressor it is loud but clips, but when i compress it really dampens the vocals.
    If there's anyone who uses a similar method with the DP24 could let me know how they achieve there sound, or if anyone has just got any tips that would be great.

    If i put this question anywhere else people just assume i have a DAW, which i don't. So if anyone's got any tips on eqing and mixing with the DP24, that would be
    great and much appreciated.
    Thanks.

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    I don't know what type/style of vocals you're trying to record, but I'd suggest removing the preamp and compressor out of your chain and going straight into the DP24 (if you haven't tried that already). Make sure the phantom power is on and set the trim and input level with care.

    That mic should work fine unless you're doing some kind of seriously wide dynamic range like metal or screamo. You may want to try a dynamic mic like a Shure SM57 for that (although I'm just guessing here - no experience with really heavy rock music vocals).

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    Thanks for your reply.
    The kind of vocal is "blues rock" i would say, eg Paul Rodgers etc.
    I have tried going straight in to the DP24, it was ok but the levels and sound were very inconsistent, if that makes sense?
    Would you suggest trying to record as hot as possible and using the DP24s compressor?
    Thanks

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    I record vocals dry and as hot as possible (with no clipping, obviously) and use compression in the mix down to smooth peaks.

    I'm guessing, but it sounds like microphone technique problems to me - not gear.

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    Do you have access to a outboard compressor? I use the FX 2 send to send the vocal to a outboard compressor and send the return to a track on my DP 32 on mixdown. then you can blend the dry and wet vocal. Thanks

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    There's no reason for anything to clip, with or without a compressor. Recording "as hot as possible" is definitely NOT the way to go with digital recording. You should be aiming for an average level of about -18db and peaking NOWHERE NEAR clipping.
    The whole "recording as hot as possible without clipping" makes sense with tape because you want to record louder than the tape hiss, and also tape saturation is often desired. Neither of these apply to digital.

    I would take some of the advice above and record straight in, without a pre-amp and compressor. You can always add compression after tracking, and by going through a pre-amp, you're actually going through 2 pre-amps. If you still find the vocals flat and dull recording straight in, that would have more to do with your recording environment and/or technique. These units record 24bit, the problem is not with the unit.

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    I have a tangent question to the above. And please forgive my ignorance as I am just learning about recording and mixing at a late stage in life. If my question is too basic, please politely tell me so and I will go away.
    We have recorded several tracks (piano, guitar, drums, organ, and vocals). All sound pretty good - except the vocal. It doesn't seem to blend well with the other tracks. I have tried playing with various settings (volume, EQ, compression). Still not what I would hope for. So my question is this - we are using a dynamic mic (Shure SM58). Do you think we would get a better sound from a condenser mic?
    Thank you for any advice. Learning all of this at once is a bit overwhelming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSoundEng View Post
    So my question is this - we are using a dynamic mic (Shure SM58). Do you think we would get a better sound from a condenser mic?
    Thank you for any advice. Learning all of this at once is a bit overwhelming.
    There are people here much more qualified than I to answer this - but....

    Short answer: Yes.

    Even a decent quality lower-budget large-diaphragm-condenser mic like the AT2035 will be significantly better for tracked vocals.

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