Recording Vocals

Posted on

Member Since: Jan 12, 2011

Hello All,

I used to plug microphone directly into my laptops built in Audio jack which sounded just horrible. So I purchased an MXL 990 microphone and M-Audio Fast Track USB Audio Interface which increased the quality greatly. When I lay down a vocal track over whatever intrumental parts I have, the vocals sound pretty amateur still. While I am not a world renound singer, I can tell the difference between a bad vocals and a recording issue.

When I hear some professionally recorded songs by other artists, I always wonder how they get that clear quality vocal sound. Also, I suspect I might be mixing intrumentals poorly with my vocals. I play with all sorts of effects (compression, gating, EQ) but can't figure it out.

I would love to be able to send a clip of one of my songs to be analyzed by someone who can help out. Thanks

[ Back to Top ]


bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 12, 2011 08:04 pm

hi kiwi, welcome to HRC.
You can upload a track to your profile here, and I'm sure some people will be willing to give some tips.

For my vocals, usually I add compression, eq, a slight reverb and a de-esser. While these will help, comparing your vocal to professionally recorded songs is a tough task, considering they are probably using a dedicated studio with much higher quality tools than what you are using. With that being said, don't get discouraged, alot of getting the sound you want is in the mix and that requires patience and experience.

http://www.reverbnation.com/2ndg
Member
Since: Nov 27, 2007


Jan 12, 2011 08:44 pm

try doubling the vocal track with a separate take.
lots of people do that, though i find its not always suitable to be honest.

you will hear a big difference, whether you like it or not is up to you i guess.

Vocals can be a bit of a task because
a) youre listening to your own voice
b) as Coolo said, pro quality gear helps, mainly pre amps.

i use a mediocre quality pre and i still hate the sound of my own voice.
I dunno how many times youve reocrded your voice but i would say get used to it as quick as you can hahaha,
i know its hard at times but i can tell you this, no one would think your voice sounds much different than whats on your recordings only yourself.

good luck.

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jan 13, 2011 12:24 pm

I personally like some compression and reverb. Maybe a tad of echo/delay on a clean singer or metal vocals. Just try to track as clean as possible without cranking the gain on your pre too much, you can make it louder once in your DAW and it will maintain the dynamics better imo as it does not stress the pre so much.

On that note, I stumble through everything so take it with a grain of salt ;)

But yeah, upload something to your profile and I'm sure you will get some opinions be they good or bad, they will help in the long run.

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 13, 2011 01:01 pm

Without hearing the track it is hard to say but you should be able to get close with the gear you have. I would guess that the limitation you are getting is mostly due to the room you are recording in.

Quasimojo
Member
Since: Nov 08, 2010


Jan 18, 2011 09:26 am

Deleted By Bigbluesman

Quasimojo
Member
Since: Nov 08, 2010


Jan 18, 2011 09:35 am

I love my MXL mic...stay with it! ...there is a vst called "ADT" which is a doubler that gives you the effect that Dematrix described when you double your vocal track. It probably doesn't sound as good as actually doubling, but a lot easier and quicker.

Mastering Engineer
Member
Since: Jan 09, 2011


Jan 24, 2011 07:10 am

Some tips:

Make sure there is no distortion, a peak input level of -18dBFS is fine at 24bit resolution, make sure there are no red lights anywhere on your preamps.

Use a nylon mesh pop shield.

Try and deaden the room you record in as much as possible, dry vocal recordings give you more dynamic and reverb flexibilty as a bad room appears on the recording less.

Try a little compression, nothing too stifling, 3-5dB of GR on peaks.

Mic proximity should be around 6 inches from vocalists mouth, thereabouts.

Then it's a lot about, eq, compression, fader riding, effects for the mix stage.

Some tips:

Make sure there is no distortion a peak input level of -18dBFS is fine at 24bit resolution.

Use a nylon mesh pop shield.

Try and deaden the room you record in as much as possible, dry vocal recordings give you more dynamic and reverb flexibilty as a bad room appears on the recording less.

Try a little compression, nothing too stifling, 3-5dB of GR on peaks.

Mic proximity should be around 6inches from vocalists mouth, thereabouts.

Then it's a lot about, eq, compression, fader riding for the mix stage.

cheers

SafeandSound Mastering
www.masteringmastering.co.uk






http://www.reverbnation.com/2ndg
Member
Since: Nov 27, 2007


Jan 24, 2011 07:33 am

just on the compression.
Im doing metal vocals, so to a point, top notch musical tone isnt a major concern. desirable, but not life ending if not achieved.

Ive mucked with alot of different settings compression wise lately and have found that nothing short of 5:1 with a fast attack and reasonable release will do.

Im using an sm7b which i really have to drive to get some decent vol out of it.

Im guessing those comp ratios and settings would differ alot with a condenser.

Related Forum Topics:



If you would like to participate in the forum discussions, feel free to register for your free membership.