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Recording vocals!

Recording vocals!

Postby paulnewns » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:14 am

Does anyone have any advice on this?
I know it isn't a simple question but I hate recording vocals.
It's bloody hard.
And should I have the input/output recording latency checked in renoise during recording of audio?
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Postby organic io » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:26 am

Step 1) Turn on the microphone
Step 2) Hit record

??? :P

But seriously, I think you do just fine with your vocal tracks man.

One thing that helps me these days is having a super loud monitor of myself piping back through the headphones. In my track in Renoise that has the #line-in device, I just add about 4 gainers after it and max them out. Usually does the trick, then I can stand back as far as I want from the mic and can still hear myself.

A few times I've even toyed with using Decabuddy to pitch correct my vocals live while recording. (But not using Deca in the recording, just for monitoring). It seems like it helped me sing better, but I did not do that for cerulean serenade.

To answer your question, I've honestly never used that button.
But my guess is that you don't want to use it while recording vocals because you want as low latency as possible. If you have any noticable latency on your soundcard while recording, you will have to set up some other way to monitor ... The latency on the monitor will freak you out and you won't be able to sing right.

Good luck and let me know how it goes :D
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Postby chunter » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:07 pm

You indeed do fine with your vocals; I've already given a few pointers regarding the "official" way to do vocals in different comments. First, I disclaim that this is just junk I picked up, mostly in college, some from the web. These aren't rules.

Don't EQ the input. If you can help it, don't EQ the output either. If there are noises, in your track, try to notch them out. Try your hardest to avoid noise in the track in the first place. If the vocal is boomy, roll off the lows gently.

If your vocal is illegible or sounds too quiet, compress it instead of turning up the gain. Consider using a compressor before boosting your vocal by any other means, otherwise you'll end up with hissy sibilance, popped 'p's and distortion. Keep in mind that so-called De-Essers are compressors that work only on highs. Although it's not gospel, I've observed that the worse the source, the more compression will be desired, but I bet that's not a whole truth.

When you sing, sing directly into your mic's happiest place until you use a plosive (like 'p') or sibilant (like 's') consonant. Develop a habit of cocking your head a little bit to the side when those sounds come. If you get good at this, you'll sound golden and you'll never need a pop screen.

Condenser mics (like AKG's) pick up the detail of the voice better than dynamic mics (like Shure's,) but dynamic mics can take more pain, can be better for improvisation, and can color a voice in a favorable way. Bono, Phil Collins, and Paul McCartney are known as habitual dynamic mic users, though there are always exceptions. If you're serious enough and can afford it, you should own one of each kind of mic and try them both in several situations.

Don't forget organic_io's steps too, in fact I should've put them at the top because practice with your own voice and your own equipment is the best advice of all. The more you record, the better you will become at the recording process, whether you record in a voice-memo machine, a tracker, Reaper, Pro-Tools, or open-reel analogue tape. (A certain mentor of mine repeated this sentiment, though at the time he listed a boom box and a four-track...) The tools are never more important than the final result.

Hope that was helpful.
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Postby organic io » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:09 pm

I'm proud that I used a headphone for my vocals this round and they sounded so decent. :D I think it's gonna be my permanent mic for a while even though it's awkward to hold. :)
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Postby paulnewns » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:30 pm

This is my mike... http://www.shure.com/ProAudio/Products/ ... CN_content

This is what confused me... http://www.renoise.com/indepth/tutorial ... recording/

I have read somewhere that being to close to the microphone can make the sound quite bassy.

Thanks for the help.
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Postby chunter » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:03 pm

paulnewns wrote:I have read somewhere that being to close to the microphone can make the sound quite bassy.

Thanks for the help.

Yes, it can, and shures are quite famous for it. I've heard that called "proximity effect". Practice using it in a positive and musical way. Practice with different mic positions, and if things get too boomy, try rolling off some lows from the recorded result with an EQ or subtle highpass filter. Compression may help too. See if you have a multiband compressor, or use a send channel that notches out all highs and/or all lows.

How far was your mouth from the mic when you did Music By Numbers? Do you remember? The raw vocal on that had a couple of places where it sounds like you might have been a bit away from the mic, but it was nothing that the compressor couldn't fix.
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Postby fbjon » Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:45 am

organic io wrote:I'm proud that I used a headphone for my vocals this round and they sounded so decent. :D I think it's gonna be my permanent mic for a while even though it's awkward to hold. :)

Haha, I used to do that too! I put one cup behind my neck for support. Then I got fed up and bought this one, recorded everything with it since. It's not the best mic for some uses though.
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Postby chunter » Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:32 pm

fbjon wrote:Haha, I used to do that too! I put one cup behind my neck for support. Then I got fed up and bought this one, recorded everything with it since. It's not the best mic for some uses though.

There is no "best mic for everything," that's why, once you know you're going to be using them, you should have several, and they should be different kinds to suit situations.

That looks like a pretty good first choice of a condenser; does it come with its preamp and everything?
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Postby fbjon » Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:32 pm

chunter wrote:There is no "best mic for everything," that's why, once you know you're going to be using them, you should have several, and they should be different kinds to suit situations.

That looks like a pretty good first choice of a condenser; does it come with its preamp and everything?


I know, but it does the job decently, so I haven't bothered finding another one yet.

The Solidtube comes in a case with preamp/power supply and cable, yes. Nice for a novice like me, so I don't have to worry about other parts than the mic.
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Postby paulnewns » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:46 pm

So when you get a microphone Scott will you use this for monitoring? :wink:
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Postby organic io » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:16 am

No because remember only 1 side works and I took them apart. :)
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