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semi-OT: how to record and process these vocals


RudyS

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I'm trying to record some songs with female vocals in my home studio, just for fun. I'm really new to recording en producing myself.

 

I'm trying to get the sound in the clip below. I like how the vocals sound airy with a lot of reverb and delay, but it's still in the front. Any tips on steering me into the right direction, although I realize I probably won't get the exact results. I tried some reverb settings with a quite some of pre-delay, but it's still either not big enough, or it gets pushed to much to the back. Are there any other effects going on

 

I'm using a Røde NT1a directly into my focus rite Scarlett. Don't have any other effects plugins besides the stock Logic ones. I'm trying to learn this first before download a million plugins.

 

[video:youtube]

Rudy

 

 

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EQ and compression on the inserts, apply tastefully, don't overdo it.

 

Reverb and delay on aux sends. Maybe even a chorus to make it wider.

 

 

local: Korg Nautilus 73 | Yamaha MODX8

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home: Kawai RX-2 | Korg D1 | Roland Fantom X7

 

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1 - you will need a really good vocalist. All the processing in the world will not help if your singer sounds like Gilbert Gottfried.

 

2 - One of my favorite tricks is to clone the vocal track, put 100% wet 'verb on the cloned track, and then run the dry and the 'verb vocals side-by-side - think of it as parallel reverb processing. If you shift the 'verb track forward a little bit (10-40 ms) you also get a sort of doubling effect. Shift it forward a lot and you get your reverb pre-delay going.

J.S. Bach Well Tempered Klavier

The collected works of Scott Joplin

Ray Charles Genius plus Soul

Charlie Parker Omnibook

Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life

Weather Report Mr. Gone

 

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I'm hearing a lot of compression - really brings out the breaths between phrases. Also there's some kind of ADT (automatic double tracking) in there - could be BbAltered's trick. I can't quite work out how the vocal is so present and yet so wet - I think it's a combination of plenty of pre-delay, "ducking" the reverb tail (by side-chaining a compressor from the dry vocal perhaps) and careful EQ on the reverb return to ensure it doesn't swamp the dry signal.

 

Cheers, Mike.

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Assuming your singer can sing, you can get very close with an Izotope Nectar preset. Probably even with just a Nectar Elements preset. $99 or $199, but there is a free trial, so you could record your vocal flat and try it. Pay attention to how they achieve the sound so if you can't afford to buy it, you can recreate it with Logic plugs.

 

https://www.izotope.com/

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Can't listen at the moment, in the process of interviewing people for a reporting position (which is exactly as fun as it sounds, except a little less so)

 

In general, what I've found makes vocals pop out is carving holes in "competing" instruments...eq, levels, reverb and other effects, even ducking with compressors.....don't be afraid to mess with the competition. Something as simple as panning a guitar or keyboard away from the center (which is almost always where the vocal is) can work extremely well.

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You said you were new to recording, so I will share a couple of basic points. In general the first effect you want to apply in the signal chain is some vocal compression effect. Every pop vocal you hear in a recording has this applied. Your recording/mixing software probably has a preset compression effect which is optimized for vocals. I notice that applying compression to a vocal makes it sound fuller and warmer.

 

In general the last thing you want to apply in the signal chain is reverb. Your recording/mixing software should allow you to apply different amounts of reverb to separate tracks. When I make mixes of our covers band, I apply reverb to vocals, keys, and horn parts, but not to bass, or guitar parts.

 

You can optionally add other effects in between the two above. Some people like to add an analog delay effect *instead* of reverb. I typically add analog delay to my sax solos - it creates a fatter rock and roll sax sound.

 

Listening to the space after the word "love" at 1:03 allows more insight on the effects being applied.

 

The #1, #2, and #3 things for making a great sounding vocal recording are the vocalist, mic, and preamp. If you are using a computer to capture the recording, then you are using some sort of preamp and/or analog-to-digital "interface" component. These items #1 #2 and #3 will influence the quality of your "capture". A great "capture" will make the recording/mixing engineer look good.

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Thanks for the suggestions!

 

I would Google how to make recorded vocals sound like Enya, because, well, that's what I hear.

 

Personally I'd suggest looking at perhaps also using a gate before the reverb, based on what I'm hearing. YMMV.

 

Good suggestion, I followed it. It really does have the same vibe indeed! Only there was a lot on her multi tracking trick, rather than on here plain vocals.

 

 

2 - One of my favorite tricks is to clone the vocal track, put 100% wet 'verb on the cloned track, and then run the dry and the 'verb vocals side-by-side - think of it as parallel reverb processing. If you shift the 'verb track forward a little bit (10-40 ms) you also get a sort of doubling effect. Shift it forward a lot and you get your reverb pre-delay going.

 

 

will try that as well. Thank you.

 

@Steve, I assume that Nector is a bunch of EQ's, compressors and other FX's especially for vocals? Will give the trial a go!

 

 

Rudy

 

 

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