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Old 22-10-2016, 17:58 PM  
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DJC DJC is offline 22-10-2016, 17:58 PM

It can get frustrating down here. Competition from the kick, toms and the bass player makes it hard to find room to be heard without gaining your vocal above it all. And with a vocal like mine, that's frequently off key if not monotone, that's not exactly what you (or me, lol) wanna hear booming out at you.

So I've tried adding "presence" to 'em without gaining, using effects like reverb, chorus and such. For the most part I've been dissatisfied with the results, it's kind of like gilding a turd. I've had a bit more luck tampering with the eq bass & treble gains, but that's been recent, and there's something called "rollover" associated with it that still friggin' baffles me.

So cheer me up! (having a pun with the title) This thread's no joke, I'm looking for advice but I'm prepared to take a few pokes ... I'm sure my misguided attempts at vocals have raised a chuckle or two and I got 'em coming.

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Old 22-10-2016, 21:46 PM
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Compression's another issue I've struggled with for years, Rich. My mixer, the only thing I've ever recorded on other than an old reel to reel and cassette recorders doesn't have anything on it that "compresses", or if it does it calls it by another name.

I've often sworn my manual was written in Japanese and poorly translated, that hasn't been a help.

I suppose I could purchase something to help with that, but I'm a tight bastard. I've heard others talk of stand alone compression gear they've worked with
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Old 22-10-2016, 21:49 PM

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Aha! So, if I have a cymbal track for example, I should, or could add treble from it's default setting, and remove bass frequencies? Please tell me that's so, because that makes sense with my gear, an old zoom digital eight. Compression's a concept I've wrestled with for years, it's about like reading bad translations of Zen. I don't use it, or if I have it wasn't intentionally. Sidechaining is another one of those terms that sound really cool, but I'm not entirely sure about. Do you mean pairing the track with the bass track on the mixer? Because there's a way to do that on mine, but I've never tried it
I always shelve off the low end on any metals,eg cymbals,hi hats. You'll find the sweet spot just by twiddling knobs You can do that solo and then fine tune in the mix. Same goes for any instrument.
Compression can be tricky. But it helps maintain an even volume level. I like to use parallel compression on vocals. That's two signals. One with no compression and a second with a very heavy compression setting. Then it's just a case of fading up the second heavily compressed signal against the clean signal until I find the sweet spot.
Sidechaining the bass may not be so wise on second thoughts. Sidechaining creates the effect of ducking. So if the bass was sidechained to your vocal,the bass would drop in volume every time you sang a note,to make room for it. Perhaps not a good idea. Although you could try it on the guitars instead of bass.
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Old 22-10-2016, 22:03 PM
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Compression can be tricky. But it helps maintain an even volume level. I like to use parallel compression on vocals. That's two signals. One with no compression and a second with a very heavy compression setting. Then it's just a case of fading up the second heavily compressed signal until I find the sweet spot.
Alright, we're talkin' plural here if I get you right. Two tracks of the same vocal, one heavily compressed, one not, adjust the "not" to suit? I assume you drop the heavily compressed track from the mix then...or do other things with it

There is a function, other than gain, I can apply to all of my tracks, that does seem to suppress the input, the book only cautions not to let it go into the red while recording. I'm beginning to think that might be what you guys are calling compression

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Old 22-10-2016, 22:14 PM

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Alright, we're talkin' plural here if I get you right. Two tracks of the same vocal, one heavily compressed, one not, adjust the "not" to suit? I assume you drop the heavily compressed track from the mix then...or do other things with it
lol...Don't drop the compressed track. Start with the clean,uncompressed vocal signal and then fade up the second,compressed signal until you're happy with it.
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Old 22-10-2016, 22:25 PM
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Sorry Mart, had it backwards, beers might have been involved. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Rich and you have given me somethin' to experiment with, and a head start on it.

Day-um, you fellas are giving me some ideas! The second, or third one I had is I'm gonna need more than eight tracks to work with, lol. I think my gear can come to the rescue with that, it'll take some button pushing to find out, but I'm motivated now.

Last edited by DJC; 22-10-2016 at 22:37 PM.. Reason: because I had more to say, dammit!
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Old 22-10-2016, 22:38 PM

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All good solid advice, and all basically saying what i have bee saying for year, EQ is there so no tracks should be using the same freq, get that right and your 90% there, Compression is to make up for the short falls and make it even, but also Expansion can be used to brighten and bring forward certain sounds.

But it is mostly about EQing a track properly. Everything else is just icing and sprinkles.
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Old 22-10-2016, 22:46 PM
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...But it is mostly about EQing a track properly. Everything else is just icing and sprinkles.
People have been tryin' to tell me this for years, in various ways commenting on my production. Sites like this often make folks hesitant to speak up about what they might feel to be an artist's personal choices in their settings. Getting some solid info like I've gained today...priceless.

I should have spoken up sooner!

Last edited by DJC; 22-10-2016 at 22:47 PM.. Reason: why do you keep asking that?
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Old 22-10-2016, 22:55 PM

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All good advice but good ears and panning are a bonus too I find panning can make all the difference could use a spectrum analyzer but it will probably be like chinese.

I hope this isn't off the back of my comments, infact I know it is due to the keyboard reference you added above. I like to add a bit more to my comments other than cool track, tiny bit of constructive can help, I know over the years I have learn from other muso's/producers
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Old 22-10-2016, 23:08 PM
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All good advice but good ears and panning are a bonus too I find panning can make all the difference could use a spectrum analyzer but it will probably be like chinese.

I hope this isn't off the back of my comments, infact I know it is due to the keyboard reference you added above. I like to add a bit more to my comments other than cool track, tiny bit of constructive can help, I know over the years I have learn from other muso's/producers
And it is so friggin' appreciated. Didn't mention you by name, because I've been thankin' ya publicly here and there several times the last few days, didn't wanna go overboard with that. My ears have always been questionable, which why I've often relied on others, honest ears are great when you can get 'em.
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Old 22-10-2016, 23:19 PM

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I agree with whoever said don't try cheating with FX. You have a quality vocal trying to cheat natural is pointless. You just need to mix everything else around it, Its by far your greatest asset. Just getting the right EQ and compression is all that is needed. Your vocal has such a natural low that and bass is always going to fight each other. Bass central, vocal central, EQ it out To be honest, its not that simple to do either, compression and EQ used wrong can make things sound worse and I hear it time and time again. You just got to experiment. I prefer to use a Parametric EQ with a high pass filter, good for rolling off the low ends when I mix vocals. Not sure if you have access to EQ plugins but this is what I would use
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