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Postby John » Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:35 pm

Can anyone give me any advice on how to create a good vocal track. ( apart, of course, from having an brilliant voice!)

My vocal tracks always either end up swamped in the background mix, or sound as if they are coming from up the street from the rest of the music.

What best effects, echo to use? sound levels?

Any help will be appreciated.
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Re: Vocals

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Postby John » Mon Feb 16, 2004 4:38 pm

Hmmm, deafening silence.....

Is this a problem for everyone, I wonder?
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Postby GretscGuy » Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:12 pm

Assuming you have a great performance - it sound like you need to rethink the way you are mixing.

If your vocal is not being heard, mute everything else and get the vocal up to a good level. Once that is done add a bit of compression (I always track vocals with compression).

Next add the drums and bass - get a nice feel going between the kick and bass. If you need to tighten things up, consider putting a gate on your bass triggered by the kick drum. Make sure you set a good release as you don't want to lose notes or decays. Things should sound tighter now - if your bass is week try some eq (a bit) or maybe a chorus to fatten up the low end. Try to give your kick some space as well.

Next bring in your guitars or keys. Make sure they have a place to sit in the midrange without muddying the vocal. Once this is done - set up a reverb or delay on your vocal - use a send for this and just use a little bit! It's easy to go overboard with reverbs.

By building your mix, things stay much clearer.

To track, try using a good mic - some inexpensive vocal mics that are great for recording are the Rode NT-1 or NT-1A, Marshall V69, AKG C3000, etc... If you can't swing the 200-300 range, look into a Shure SM-58. Antares also makes the mic modeler which makes your 58 (or other source) sound like a Neumann, etc... Doesn't work quite that well but does give some decent sounds.

Good LucK!
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Postby John » Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:36 pm

Errrmmm.. . what's Compression?
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Postby andychap » Sat Feb 28, 2004 5:03 am

PM sent John. Post it in here if you think it's any good.
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Postby vinni smith » Sun Mar 14, 2004 5:30 am


Have you tried doubling your vocal? Not with effects but actually singing it twice. This is a great technique that George Martin used on Lennon's voice.

Try it at least once. Use one as a ghost image in the mix and the other as the main vocal track.

vinni smith

Postby jasbags » Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:19 pm

further to Vinnie's post. Another pretty sweet effect is layering a whisper over your initial vocal track.

For example, sing your verse. Then record a second track, this time raise the input level of your microphone and whisper the entire verse. Then simply, reduce the whisper volume until you can only just hear it. When you play it back you will find this will offer some highlights to your original vocal track and a lot of your words and can sound very effective (depending on what kind of music you are creating).
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