New Acoustic Track

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Contributor Since: Dec 30, 2002

Here's a bit of 12 String + Female vocals - let me know what you guys think if you have the time - also, I was thinking of adding a beat and some strings - another other ideas that spring to mind?

And is her voice too nasal?

Cheers guys.


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Maniacal Genius
Since: Dec 30, 2002

Jun 11, 2003 01:45 pm

I think it sounds great man. I don't find her voice too nasal at all. I think the song works just as it is, but I would love to hear it with a little of your magic added to it. I love the sound you got from the 12 string. There so much "space" in it. Very nice indeed!

Music Enthusiast
Since: Jan 24, 2003

Jun 11, 2003 09:52 pm

Hey Jues,

Nice song. I especially liked the part "It's too late baby..." Delightful. I think she has a really nice voice. I like the effect you put on it, it feels really close but has some nice echo. Do you feel like revealing your technique? ;-) I agree with blueninjastar that the track is fine as it is but I can totally hear percussion adding some punch to it as well and even a warm bassline. It be neat if it be an acousitc bass or a cello. Cheers

Since: Dec 30, 2002

Jun 11, 2003 10:24 pm

Thanks guys :)

I was thinking an acoustic bass guitar as well, but I have never mic'd up one of those before ... :| I presume it's pretty similar to mic'ing up a standard acoustic guitar?

As for technique,.. yeah - all right :)

First off, all the 12-string was double tracked (obviously) - but the important thing is where the signal is captured. I used to record acoustic guitar in my spare room - however, this always give it a sligthly boxy sound as it picked up too much of the room (not so much a problem with vocals as they are sung against a wall and are very close mic'd. So, I began experimenting and found that the bathroom gave excellent results - even flat it sounds pretty funky. I tracked using the the NT-1 into the Joe Meek Pre-Amp (the ones on my Behringer do nasty things to mic signals.... blergh!) - little bit of a mid-cut (very gentle) and a tiny bit of compression. Once inside SX, I applied a fair amount of "valve emulated" compression to warm the signal up. Then some plate reverb with the high- end rolled off (to make it less bright) [LPF @ 4khz) - then I applied some gentle (and transparent - that's the important thing) compression (2:1 ratio - pretty low threshold) to really phatten up the reverb. The guitars were then panned 35% either way - not too wide so as to be distinctly seperate, but enough to give a full sound.

The vocals were close mic'd again using the NT-1 in the spare room - home made pop shield, mild compression from the Joe Meek and no EQ. She was a little fussy over her foldback (headphone) mix, and just wanted reverb in one ear (odd girl... singers eh? who needs em :) - this was done using my ART reverb unit via an AUX send on the behringer - this meant that a raw (no reverb) version of the vocals went straight to tape (into cubase that is) - and the other was fed through the desk to be reverbed for her foldback. This was possible because the Joe Meek M3Q has 2 outputs, however, you can achieve this easily enough by getting a "Y-Splitter" cable that turns one signal into two (however, it does obviously suffer a slight drop in signal strengh - but not a major problem).

I let the song play - she has a practice run through which I didn't track. I then preceded to record the next 2 takes. After the second she said she was ready to do a take - hehehe, what she didn't know eh :) I let her do that one take and she said she was happy with it, but wanted to do one more - I told her we already had 3 that were perfect - she was happy, I was happy - I love it when recording vocals isn't the usual nightmare :D

I arranged the 3 vocal takes and created one "uber" take from the 3 (using the splice and mute tools in Cubase SX) - I had to work quickly here, because vocalists don't like hearing their mistakes - hehehe. Turns out we had a take that she was happy with after the editing and so didn't need to do anymore. (there are 2 noticable pitching problems - but these are easily fixed by gently (and correctly) using an auto-tuning plugin - what she doesn't know won't harm her :)

I then compressed the vocals pretty heavily and applied a good bit of "valve saturation" using BlockFish (my fave vocal comrpessor - and it's free!) ( A simple 2-tap tempo synched delay was then used to thicken the vocals - panned the taps 60% left and right and then applied a nice smooth chamer reverb to this - tiny bit of compression right at the end (like with the acoustic 12-string) and there we have it.

Sorry, that turned into a bit of an essay - still hope you find it useful / interesting reading :)

I will let you know how things go - I will be doing lots more work on it come sunday...


Music Enthusiast
Since: Jan 24, 2003

Jun 12, 2003 12:03 am

Yeah, it was very detailed, but I enjoyed it very much. Always so much to learn from you Jues. Have fun on sunday.

Since: Dec 16, 2002

Jun 12, 2003 05:53 am

Thanks very much for the post - the sound of the guitar you achieved was excellent. Her voice sounded like it needed a bit more top to me to bring out the breathy quality, but maybe that was lost in mp3 conversion?

The explanantion was very good BECAUSE it was long an detailed (the devil is in the detail, or should that be Angel in this case?)

Anyway, what you said about the boxy room got me thinking about my vocal recording efforts. I have often read on groups like this that people are not happy with the sound of the room and go to extraordinary lengths to change rooms, add softening materials, or record in a closet, etc. I could never understand what they meant, I didn't seem to notice the sound of the room at all. It wasn't an issue for me.
Then I got to thinking about the mic I use and a limitiation someione said it had. Apparently the Sure SM58 is meant for live work and really close up. So more than about 4 inches away it doesn't pick up too well. This is why I have never noticed a problem with room conditions influencing the vocal sound I achieve - I am simply too close up on the mic for it to pick up an significant ambience from the room I'm in, so I don't have the problem.

Now I have been told to buy a condenser mic as the next step in improving my setup. The down side then might be that all of a sudden I start to notice the room sound as I can afford to stand further away from the mic and boost the input?

...bringing sexy back
Since: Jul 01, 2002

Jun 12, 2003 01:42 pm

sounds the dogs!

love the twelve string sound, and to my ears that girl sounds wonderful...i could listen to this all night, were i not also listening to the stones...

good work as per!

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jun 13, 2003 04:58 pm

Jues, it is a great sounding piece for sure. I dont think she is too nasel either, might start slightly that way but its not really noticable. I love it as it is. But I can allready hear possible strings and such gently in the backround.

I have been using bathrooms for recording for years and as you said they work great. youcan easily tune it and get a great sound.

Again great tune, and cant wait to hear if you do a second version of it.

Since: Sep 09, 2002

Jun 20, 2003 08:28 am

beautiful! the 12-string complements her voice so well. superb production, as always. man, the only thing i would have done differently is not have made it so loud/compressed or saturated or whatever. I would like to have heard a softer version that got loud in all the right places. But you're the expert!

Tell me more about the project if you have a minute. Did she write and perform everything and come to you to record it, is there a third person playing the guitar, or is it a joint venture between the two of you?

all in all, well done. ;O) -j

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