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In which order would you proceed?

Discussion in 'Studio Techniques' started by pete3006, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. pete3006

    pete3006 Logician

    Hi all,

    I am relatively new to the art of music production, although I have been playing in bands for almost 30 years. I have now invested in the equipment below (in my signature) nd have started to play around with some music pieces. My question is in which order would you proceed to produce the vocal recordings in a song?

    I have recorded our singer in the band, who is a brilliant live performer, but when it comes to recording he is not so good, so here we have:

    The lead vocals recorded in mono, but with some words stretched too much, and some volume differences, so I thought of proceeding as follows:

    1. Flex time - to get the stretched words to the right length
    2. Automation - to get the volume right
    3. add effects

    Is that the right way, or would you do it different.

    Second question I have is, what effects and / or filters do you use when mixing vocal lines?

    In the short amount of time I have been doing this, I tend to use

    1. EQ
    2. Delay (instead of reverb)
    3. Compressor
    4. Adaptive limiter

    Let me know what you think please. Thanks

  3. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    As an alternative:

    1. If you have recorded several passes, in the form of takes, comp them to a final take.
    2. Flex Time - correcting any timing. As well as this, if pitch correction is required, this is the time to do it. That way, you have optimized the singers performance. Now on to sound:

    3. as part of your mixing process, set levels, then add EQ and compression as required.
    4. Automate to adjust levels where necessary
    5. Add Time/Space/Modulation FX.

    There aren't any rules cast in stone, other than, if the results are right, with hindsight, the way you chose was the right way :)

    USing Delay instead of reverb sounds to me like referring to a specific project/song or sound you are trying to achieve. Particularly with the close miked, overdubbed sounds we tend to use these days, I would not dismiss reverb. Try experimenting around with the order of your signals - EQ before compression, COmpression before EQ, EQ before and after Compression, a "soft Comp, then EQ, then a compressor more dealing with any remaining peaks (could be more of a limiter). There are so many different methods, try them all, gather your experiences and in time you will come to learn what a given situation may best require.

    HTH, kind regards

  4. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, but that may not be convincing. Stretched words are differently articulated than short words. No problem if the words are just slightly stretched. Flex is worth a try.

    If the changes in volume do not fit at all, there can be several reasons for that:
    • If he is used to a dynamic mic but you recorded with a condenser, he might not have the proper microphone technique yet.
    • he is nervous and will need some time to get used to the recording situation.
    • you did not deliver an optimal headphone mix. Don't send the raw studio mix, make it more beautiful. Give enough bass, if he wants add a little reverb. Especially singers depend on a good monitoring mix, they have to build up emotions.
    For volume corrections, yes, use automation. Best in this case is fader riding. If you have a good hardware fader, that can do wonders on vocals. And it is quick, you can try as often as you want and it can dramatically reduce the amount of compression you need.

    Nobody can forbid you anything but this limiter is rather thought for the sum, when all mix channels are as good as they can go. And the AdLimiter introduces a lot of latency which can be a problem for recording the other instruments or for overdubs.

    As Mark said, there are no rules at all. But I would like to mention a general rule of thumb: The compressor with the higher compression ration should go before the one with a lower ratio. Means, if you need a limiter that does more than just suppressing a tiny peak here and then, put it rather in front of the compressor. Otherwise you may compress to much and the sound can be loud but still small due to overcompression.
  5. pete3006

    pete3006 Logician

    Hi guys, thanks very much for the replies. I will for ure try these techniques out. As said before, I am relatively new to this, so will be experimenting quite a bit.

    Thanks again, and best regards


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