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Recording vocals... exciters, compressors

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Anonymous
January 7, 2005 1:16:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I'm trying to figure out what it is that makes studio recorded vocals
mix so well with the instrumentation. I have some decent equipment,
but it seems like no matter what i do, the vocal track seems separated
from the rest of the mix. it's like band is in one place, but the
vocalist is standing right next to me. Compression seems to do a
little for me. I've also heard that exciters do a lot to help with
this. I'm doing digital recording on my computer, so is there a better
software i could be using that would have an exciter programmed in? is
there a direct box that has an exciter built in?

I'm using an m-audio firewire 410(which works quite nicely), and i have
an sm57, a decent condenser mic, and a pop filter at my disposal.

bottom line: what should i be doing to get my vocals to mix with the
instrumentation?
Anonymous
January 7, 2005 4:21:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

gretsch27 <Gretsch27@gmail.com> wrote:
>I'm trying to figure out what it is that makes studio recorded vocals
>mix so well with the instrumentation. I have some decent equipment,
>but it seems like no matter what i do, the vocal track seems separated
>from the rest of the mix. it's like band is in one place, but the
>vocalist is standing right next to me. Compression seems to do a
>little for me. I've also heard that exciters do a lot to help with
>this. I'm doing digital recording on my computer, so is there a better
>software i could be using that would have an exciter programmed in? is
>there a direct box that has an exciter built in?

Most of what does it is arrangement. The parts are arranged so as not to
step on the vocals. Some of what does it is equalization, again to help
keep the backing tracks and vocals from stepping on one another.

>bottom line: what should i be doing to get my vocals to mix with the
>instrumentation?

Hire Billy May to do your arrangements.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
January 8, 2005 2:21:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Are you using a separate strip for slapback?

SM 57 not the best for vocals, check out their 58.

Methinks you need to study up on the recording and mixing processes.

Look around at www.musicbooksplus.com for titles that interest you.

The Mixing Engineer's Handbook by Bobby Owsinski is indispensable.

Cheers.

-bg-

www.thelittlecanadaheadphoneband.ca
www.lchb.ca


"gretsch27" <Gretsch27@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1105121812.215635.97000@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> I'm trying to figure out what it is that makes studio recorded vocals
> mix so well with the instrumentation. I have some decent equipment,
> but it seems like no matter what i do, the vocal track seems separated
> from the rest of the mix. it's like band is in one place, but the
> vocalist is standing right next to me. Compression seems to do a
> little for me. I've also heard that exciters do a lot to help with
> this. I'm doing digital recording on my computer, so is there a better
> software i could be using that would have an exciter programmed in? is
> there a direct box that has an exciter built in?
>
> I'm using an m-audio firewire 410(which works quite nicely), and i have
> an sm57, a decent condenser mic, and a pop filter at my disposal.
>
> bottom line: what should i be doing to get my vocals to mix with the
> instrumentation?
>
Related resources
Anonymous
January 8, 2005 4:11:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <%PEDd.4298$6l.4082@pd7tw2no>,
"**bg**" <info@thelittlecanadaheadphoneband.ca> wrote:

> Are you using a separate strip for slapback?
>
> SM 57 not the best for vocals, check out their 58.
>
> Methinks you need to study up on the recording and mixing processes.
>
> Look around at www.musicbooksplus.com for titles that interest you.
>
> The Mixing Engineer's Handbook by Bobby Owsinski is indispensable.
>


Thanks for the plug. More pertinent in this case is my latest book,
"The Recording Engineer's Handbook", which just came out a little while
ago. This is a book of miking techniques, with multiple different ways
to record just about everything you can think of, as well as the reasons
why you place the mic as well as where.

The book also contains a history of vintage microphones as wells as
interviews with Ed Cherney, Al Schmitt, Steve Albini, Frank Filipetti,
Michael Bishop, Bruce Botnick, Eddie Kramer, and more specifically about
their tracking methods and mic selection.

Of particular interest is an interview with Ross Garfield "The Drum
Doctor" where he describes the tuning techniques required to get a great
drum sound.

Available from Amazon, music stores, Borders, etc.

I hate to make a gratuitous plug, but it seemed appropriate here.

--
Bobby Owsinski
Surround Associates
http://www.surroundassociates.com
Anonymous
January 8, 2005 11:08:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"gretsch27" <Gretsch27@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1105121812.215635.97000@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> I'm trying to figure out what it is that makes studio recorded vocals
> mix so well with the instrumentation. I have some decent equipment,
> but it seems like no matter what i do, the vocal track seems separated
> from the rest of the mix. it's like band is in one place, but the
> vocalist is standing right next to me. Compression seems to do a
> little for me. I've also heard that exciters do a lot to help with
> this. I'm doing digital recording on my computer, so is there a better
> software i could be using that would have an exciter programmed in? is
> there a direct box that has an exciter built in?
>
> I'm using an m-audio firewire 410(which works quite nicely), and i have
> an sm57, a decent condenser mic, and a pop filter at my disposal.
>
> bottom line: what should i be doing to get my vocals to mix with the
> instrumentation?

Are the instruments being recorded simultaneously, with the vocals added
later?

Peace,
Paul
January 8, 2005 1:40:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Bobby Owsinski" <polymedia@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:p olymedia-F07F56.17102907012005@news1.west.earthlink.net...
> In article <%PEDd.4298$6l.4082@pd7tw2no>,
> "**bg**" <info@thelittlecanadaheadphoneband.ca> wrote:
>
>> Are you using a separate strip for slapback?
>>
>> SM 57 not the best for vocals, check out their 58.
>>
>> Methinks you need to study up on the recording and mixing processes.
>>
>> Look around at www.musicbooksplus.com for titles that interest you.
>>
>> The Mixing Engineer's Handbook by Bobby Owsinski is indispensable.
>>
>
>
> Thanks for the plug. More pertinent in this case is my latest book,
> "The Recording Engineer's Handbook", which just came out a little while
> ago. This is a book of miking techniques, with multiple different ways
> to record just about everything you can think of, as well as the reasons
> why you place the mic as well as where.
>
> The book also contains a history of vintage microphones as wells as
> interviews with Ed Cherney, Al Schmitt, Steve Albini, Frank Filipetti,
> Michael Bishop, Bruce Botnick, Eddie Kramer, and more specifically about
> their tracking methods and mic selection.
>
> Of particular interest is an interview with Ross Garfield "The Drum
> Doctor" where he describes the tuning techniques required to get a great
> drum sound.
>
> Available from Amazon, music stores, Borders, etc.
>
> I hate to make a gratuitous plug, but it seemed appropriate here.

You mean this one:

http://tinyurl.com/6gepk

"Xcuse me for asking but is the book relevant also to Analog tape recording
? Would the book be also suited to a beginning home recordist (one man band)
who wishes his demos be as good as possible ?

Thanks!

~Daniel

>
> --
> Bobby Owsinski
> Surround Associates
> http://www.surroundassociates.com
Anonymous
January 8, 2005 9:48:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Are the instruments being recorded simultaneously, with the vocals
added
later?



Yes.
Anonymous
January 8, 2005 11:25:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <JMODd.11919$6l.3887@pd7tw2no>, "Daniel" <NotReal@yahoo.com>
wrote:

> "Bobby Owsinski" <polymedia@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:p olymedia-F07F56.17102907012005@news1.west.earthlink.net...
> > In article <%PEDd.4298$6l.4082@pd7tw2no>,
> > "**bg**" <info@thelittlecanadaheadphoneband.ca> wrote:
> >
> >> Are you using a separate strip for slapback?
> >>
> >> SM 57 not the best for vocals, check out their 58.
> >>
> >> Methinks you need to study up on the recording and mixing processes.
> >>
> >> Look around at www.musicbooksplus.com for titles that interest you.
> >>
> >> The Mixing Engineer's Handbook by Bobby Owsinski is indispensable.
> >>
> >
> >
> > Thanks for the plug. More pertinent in this case is my latest book,
> > "The Recording Engineer's Handbook", which just came out a little while
> > ago. This is a book of miking techniques, with multiple different ways
> > to record just about everything you can think of, as well as the reasons
> > why you place the mic as well as where.
> >
> > The book also contains a history of vintage microphones as wells as
> > interviews with Ed Cherney, Al Schmitt, Steve Albini, Frank Filipetti,
> > Michael Bishop, Bruce Botnick, Eddie Kramer, and more specifically about
> > their tracking methods and mic selection.
> >
> > Of particular interest is an interview with Ross Garfield "The Drum
> > Doctor" where he describes the tuning techniques required to get a great
> > drum sound.
> >
> > Available from Amazon, music stores, Borders, etc.
> >
> > I hate to make a gratuitous plug, but it seemed appropriate here.
>
> You mean this one:
>
> http://tinyurl.com/6gepk
>
> "Xcuse me for asking but is the book relevant also to Analog tape recording
> ? Would the book be also suited to a beginning home recordist (one man band)
> who wishes his demos be as good as possible ?
>
> Thanks!
>
> ~Daniel
>
>

Yes, that's the one. It doesn't matter if you're recording analog or
digitally. Recording is recording regardless of format. It's relevant
if you want to know about miking technique. Even if you record
everything direct except vocals, then it's still relevant since a lot of
vocal tricks and techniques are outlined.

--
Bobby Owsinski
Surround Associates
http://www.surroundassociates.com
Anonymous
January 9, 2005 2:19:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 7 Jan 2005 13:16:52 -0500, gretsch27 wrote
(in article <1105121812.215635.97000@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>):

> I'm trying to figure out what it is that makes studio recorded vocals
> mix so well with the instrumentation.

Good mics, good voices, careful EQ, some limiting, some compression, some
careful gain riding, some judicious use of effects.

have some decent equipment,
> but it seems like no matter what i do, the vocal track seems separated
> from the rest of the mix. it's like band is in one place, but the
> vocalist is standing right next to me. Compression seems to do a
> little for me. I've also heard that exciters do a lot to help with
> this. I'm doing digital recording on my computer, so is there a better
> software i could be using that would have an exciter programmed in? is
> there a direct box that has an exciter built in?

Forget exciters.

> I'm using an m-audio firewire 410(which works quite nicely), and i have
> an sm57, a decent condenser mic, and a pop filter at my disposal.
>
> bottom line: what should i be doing to get my vocals to mix with the
> instrumentation?

Not hearing where you're at makes it pretty much impossible to tell you where
to go.

Regards,

Ty Ford





-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
January 9, 2005 8:10:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ty Ford wrote:

> gretsch27 wrote

> > I'm trying to figure out what it is that makes studio recorded vocals
> > mix so well with the instrumentation.

> Good mics, good voices, careful EQ, some limiting, some compression, some
> careful gain riding, some judicious use of effects.

Did anyone mention _arrangement_? If the music doesn't leave space, the
gizmos don't help so much.

--
ha
Anonymous
January 9, 2005 11:30:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"gretsch27" <Gretsch27@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1105238882.688349.220500@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>
> Are the instruments being recorded simultaneously, with the vocals
> added
> later?
>
>
>
> Yes.

There's part of your answer. The instruments have a certain amount of bleed
going on, and if it's not excessive (e.g., comb-filtering problems), bleed
can help the individual instruments gell into a unified mix. The vocals, on
the other hand, have nothing but silence in the background, no bleed,
nothing else playing, and sometimes it's hard to get them to blend into the
rest of the mix.

One trick that's useful is to carve out a bit of midrange from the
instruments around the frequencies the vocal primarily inhabits. Use some
*gently* compression on the vocal. Then put the whole mix through a single
stereo reverb processor -- make it very subtle so you can't really hear it
as reverb, just something you notice if it's turned off, and once you get to
that point, turn it down another 3dB. Have the wet part of the reverb sound
darkish, with a treble rolloff or shelving EQ.

There are tons of ways to get vocals to sit in a mix; those are just a few.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 8:51:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Sun, 9 Jan 2005 00:10:27 -0500, hank alrich wrote
(in article <1gq39dn.1y3q6yw278p4lN%walkinay@thegrid.net>):

> Ty Ford wrote:
>
>> gretsch27 wrote
>
>>> I'm trying to figure out what it is that makes studio recorded vocals
>>> mix so well with the instrumentation.
>
>> Good mics, good voices, careful EQ, some limiting, some compression, some
>> careful gain riding, some judicious use of effects.
>
> Did anyone mention _arrangement_? If the music doesn't leave space, the
> gizmos don't help so much.
>
> --
> ha

Arrange this!


Smiles,

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 9:30:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

How about the engineers expertise... where he takes the instrumental mix
and puts a 3 db notch between 700-1.8 khz and 3db of boost to the vocal
mix in the same frequencies. This gives the vocals room to breath and
the orchestra becomes a frame around them... levels dont have to
overpower the other.

Just an old timers (50yrs) suggestion

dnw

--
---
don ward <dward7@earthlink.net>
ward
!