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Old 22-10-2016, 17:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
When You're Low
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, 20:37 PM
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Hey David...hope that bounder of a bass player wasnt me
Wish I had to compete with the kick drum and bass....instead of the cymbal.....
You're being a bit hard on yerself I think...you have a deep resounding and resonating voice (very manly: ) and ya have to roll with it, just as it is. Don't get caught up in all this 'cheating' ...trying to FX everything...you have a rock n roll vocal...so work with it!

Listen...Ive said it before, but I wish I had an ounce or two of your depth and grit, instead of being stuck with a weedy octave or four higher. I don't wanna sing like me...I hate the sound of my own voice...I used to try to be (sing) something Im not....now, I couldnt give a flying fiddle...if I sing like a bunch of lady socketts...so be it! haha. But it's probably to my own strengths...so what the hell.
Kallen Sisters?...Bah! Bring 'em on haha.

I'd gladly swap tones with you...maybe there is an opp? I always wanted to sing like Chris Rea...not bleedin' Mrs Rea....but me trying to sing low is like : dressing Christy up in a full-beard and army boots....(Have asked but got a flat refusal for some reason : ) Apologies Alison if ya ever read this...
Hope I cheered ya up a bit....just be thankfull ya not a Sockett....
What Im trying to say is don't let it bug and consume ya matey....just use it to your own advantage...I do!! haha

Last edited by kallen; 22-10-2016 at 20:52 PM..
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Old 22-10-2016, 20:47 PM

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EQ is definitely the answer
Do you use EQ on each individual track? Not sure of your setup.
It's always a good idea to remove or at least shelve off any frequencies which are surplus to requirement on each track. They all add up in the overall mix.
Reverb is only gonna muddy the vocal so you need to shelve that off too.
Do you use compression? Have you tried mild sidechaining of the bass to your vocal?
You do have a very low register lol.

Btw I think rollover refers to shelving off the lower frequencies. The opposite of the cut off frequency...which shelves off the highs.
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Old 22-10-2016, 20:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KtA View Post
EQ is definitely the answer
Do you use EQ on each individual track? Not sure of your setup.
It's always a good idea to remove or at least shelve off any frequencies which are surplus to requirement on each track. They all add up in the overall mix.
Reverb is only gonna muddy the vocal so you need to shelve that off too.
Do you use compression? Have you tried mild sidechaining of the bass to your vocal?
You do have a very low register lol.

Btw I think rollover refers to shelving off the lower frequencies. The opposite of the cut off frequency...which shelves off the highs.
I've been at this for a few years now and it still sounds like chinese
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Old 22-10-2016, 20:59 PM
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Ha ha, Kallen, no man, it's any bass. Frustrating for me, because I absolutely love havin' a bass in on a song, it prompts people to move as much as havin' drums in there and I love playing with those too.

Gettin' folks to move is an important factor for me. Years ago, little brother walked in on me playing my acoustic, sitting on my bed, struggling with something I wrote and jumped my ass out. "Why are you always playing that "sit-down" music?" Ever since I've played, and recorded most everything standing up...ya can feel it that way. At least I can.

So I gotta have the bass, gotta have the drums, gotta find a way to get my lyric understood without gaining my vocal to the point of annoyance.

I'm a needy fellow, aren't I
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Old 22-10-2016, 21:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KtA View Post
EQ is definitely the answer
Do you use EQ on each individual track? Not sure of your setup.
It's always a good idea to remove or at least shelve off any frequencies which are surplus to requirement on each track. They all add up in the overall mix.
Reverb is only gonna muddy the vocal so you need to shelve that off too.
Do you use compression? Have you tried mild sidechaining of the bass to your vocal?
You do have a very low register lol.

Btw I think rollover refers to shelving off the lower frequencies. The opposite of the cut off frequency...which shelves off the highs.
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
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Old 22-10-2016, 21:13 PM
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David, you have a great voice. never doubt that and not that hard to put up front. Just remember, less is more. If the mix is busy, take out most of the verbs and tails and that will clean it up and make a space for your vocal. Just adding gain won't work as it will just crowd the mix all the more. Mixing a song is like driving on the highway and leaving enough space on the road in front and behind so everyone gets along without crashing into each other. Subtractive EQ or a HPF can do wonders on heavy elements in a mix. I always love using an aggressive Compressor on my vocal with fast attack even while tracking to get it to sit in it's own space.

Good mixing,
rich
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Old 22-10-2016, 21:14 PM

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Don't get caught up in all this 'cheating'
I don't think it's cheating,Keith. It's just optimizing what you have to make the most enjoyable listening experience.
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Old 22-10-2016, 21:26 PM
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Thanks Rich! What prompted this inquiry (this time, I've been struggling with this for years) is I recently saw someone on a youtube vid encouraging guitarists to max out their treble and bass eq gains on their guitars for a particular "sound" the demo was showcasing. I liked it, and thought why not try it on vocals? Pass it On, the song with Tristyn and Ant, has vocal treble and bass gained 75%. I initially had it at 100% but that seemed a little intimidating alongside their tracks

So maybe applying eq adjustments to all of the tracks is the answer. The same tune, Pass it On someone mentioned wanting to hear the keyboards clearer, but simply gaining them up drowned out Tristyn's guitar and that wasn't an option for me.
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Old 22-10-2016, 21:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DJC View Post
Thanks Rich! What prompted this inquiry (this time, I've been struggling with this for years) is I recently saw someone on a youtube vid encouraging guitarists to max out their treble and bass eq gains on their guitars for a particular "sound" the demo was showcasing. I liked it, and thought why not try it on vocals? Pass it On, the song with Tristyn and Ant, has vocal treble and bass gained 75%. I initially had it at 100% but that seemed a little intimidating alongside their tracks

So maybe applying eq adjustments to all of the tracks is the answer. The same tune, Pass it On someone mentioned wanting to hear the keyboards clearer, but simply gaining them up drowned out Tristyn's guitar and that wasn't an option for me.
This is where compression comes in handy. It if there's verb on the keys, take it out and up gain if compression isn't an option.
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