Example of Waves Vocal Rider

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Marco Raaphorst
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11 Jan 2018

Waves Vocal Rider is a handy tool for getting a vocal more constant in level. I use it a lot for documentary work. Must say that the only issue with it is that the decay is rather slow. So it "recovers" from high peaks way too slow. But you can fix that using automation. So it's like using audio detection and finetuning it a bit.

Listen to my example:
(Interview with Henny Vrienten in Dutch)

First part is without Vocal Rider. Second part is with Vocal Rider. Peak level of both parts are the same (-1 dB) but average loudness has increased thanks to Vocal Rider.

This creates a voice sound which has a more constant loudness without making it sound compressed or in anyway artificial. Because of this it will be much easier to listen to these voices (think: podcast, documentary etc) even when listening in a car or on a train with a lot of background noises. And even when listening using the speaker of a smartphone.

Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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normen
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11 Jan 2018

Vocal Rider is indispensable when you're doing a lot of speech stuff. I usually use it in combination with a compressor and then I mostly don't have to do much more in terms of dynamics.

My typical chain for voiceovers or discussion panels is:
low cut ->
vocal rider ->
compressor with large knee (6-12dB) and hard compression (>10:1) ->
EQ for "sound" (typical "smile" for TV/broadcast, not much for live)

That way you get a very consistent sound from your speakers/panelists.

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Ahornberg
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11 Jan 2018

looks pretty similar to Selig Leveler https://shop.propellerheads.se/rack-ext ... g-leveler/

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normen
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11 Jan 2018

Ahornberg wrote:
11 Jan 2018
looks pretty similar to Selig Leveler https://shop.propellerheads.se/rack-ext ... g-leveler/
Its a very different thing really, it basically does the work of doing the coarse volume automation that you usually do directly in the track before any compressors or other processing. Like changes of 20dB because the speaker leans back or something. You can actually export the plugin automation to track automation in most DAWs.

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Marco Raaphorst
Posts: 1986
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11 Jan 2018

normen wrote:
11 Jan 2018
Vocal Rider is indispensable when you're doing a lot of speech stuff. I usually use it in combination with a compressor and then I mostly don't have to do much more in terms of dynamics.

My typical chain for voiceovers or discussion panels is:
low cut ->
vocal rider ->
compressor with large knee (6-12dB) and hard compression (>10:1) ->
EQ for "sound" (typical "smile" for TV/broadcast, not much for live)

That way you get a very consistent sound from your speakers/panelists.
I am still not happy with my config for voices. The Vocal Rider has in my opinion a irritation problem: the decay is extremely slow (I have been asking Waves for a decay parameter, but no luck). It doesn't recover fast enough from peaks. I always need to correct that via Write automation and changing the envelopes. Still time consuming.

The best compressor I know for voices is the McDSP Moo. 100% clean and using the slow settings it works like a fader. Unfortunately only as RE. Since I am using Ableton for audio editing I have been searching for something else. The Klanghelm MJUC comes very close and is more flexible.

Here's an example of the interview recorded on my Sony D-50 using firstly the MJUC and then the Vocal Rider:



The MJUC is currently my fav compressor for taming dynamics without making it sound compressed. I tend to believe it sounds better than the Vocal Rider and without the need to refix things with automation.

Editing a big podcast series at the moment. Maybe I will delete the Vocal Rider for this project and go for the MJUC...
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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normen
Posts: 3341
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11 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
11 Jan 2018
I am still not happy with my config for voices. The Vocal Rider has in my opinion a irritation problem: the decay is extremely slow (I have been asking Waves for a decay parameter, but no luck). It doesn't recover fast enough from peaks. I always need to correct that via Write automation and changing the envelopes. Still time consuming.

The best compressor I know for voices is the McDSP Moo. 100% clean and using the slow settings it works like a fader. Unfortunately only as RE. Since I am using Ableton for audio editing I have been searching for something else. The Klanghelm MJUC comes very close and is more flexible.

Here's an example of the interview recorded on my Sony D-50 using firstly the MJUC and then the Vocal Rider:



The MJUC is currently my fav compressor for taming dynamics without making it sound compressed. I tend to believe it sounds better than the Vocal Rider and without the need to refix things with automation.

Editing a big podcast series at the moment. Maybe I will delete the Vocal Rider for this project and go for the MJUC...
Thats the thing, its not a compressor and you can't treat it like one. Thinking in terms of "release" is probably the wrong approach.

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Marco Raaphorst
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11 Jan 2018

normen wrote:
11 Jan 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
11 Jan 2018
I am still not happy with my config for voices. The Vocal Rider has in my opinion a irritation problem: the decay is extremely slow (I have been asking Waves for a decay parameter, but no luck). It doesn't recover fast enough from peaks. I always need to correct that via Write automation and changing the envelopes. Still time consuming.

The best compressor I know for voices is the McDSP Moo. 100% clean and using the slow settings it works like a fader. Unfortunately only as RE. Since I am using Ableton for audio editing I have been searching for something else. The Klanghelm MJUC comes very close and is more flexible.

Here's an example of the interview recorded on my Sony D-50 using firstly the MJUC and then the Vocal Rider:



The MJUC is currently my fav compressor for taming dynamics without making it sound compressed. I tend to believe it sounds better than the Vocal Rider and without the need to refix things with automation.

Editing a big podcast series at the moment. Maybe I will delete the Vocal Rider for this project and go for the MJUC...
Thats the thing, its not a compressor and you can't treat it like one. Thinking in terms of "release" is probably the wrong approach.
But still there's an issue when you have a loud part in the vocal. Vocal Rider fader jumps down and stays down for a long time. That really sucks. A serious design flaw imo because you then need to Write the automation and fix that.

We seriously need a better Artificial Intelligent vocal rider :) Or maybe the variable-mu is the best method yet.

Have you tried the McDSP Moo? That thing is insanely good. Best compressor imo ever. Mind blow.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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normen
Posts: 3341
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11 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
11 Jan 2018
But still there's an issue when you have a loud part in the vocal. Vocal Rider fader jumps down and stays down for a long time. That really sucks. A serious design flaw imo because you then need to Write the automation and fix that.

We seriously need a better Artificial Intelligent vocal rider :) Or maybe the variable-mu is the best method yet.

Have you tried the McDSP Moo? That thing is insanely good. Best compressor imo ever. Mind blow.
I still don't know if we're talking about compressors or vocal rider, you seem to mix the topics all the time :)

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Marco Raaphorst
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11 Jan 2018

normen wrote:
11 Jan 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
11 Jan 2018
But still there's an issue when you have a loud part in the vocal. Vocal Rider fader jumps down and stays down for a long time. That really sucks. A serious design flaw imo because you then need to Write the automation and fix that.

We seriously need a better Artificial Intelligent vocal rider :) Or maybe the variable-mu is the best method yet.

Have you tried the McDSP Moo? That thing is insanely good. Best compressor imo ever. Mind blow.
I still don't know if we're talking about compressors or vocal rider, you seem to mix the topics all the time :)
Can't explain myself well enough. Sorry.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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dvdrtldg
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12 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
11 Jan 2018

The best compressor I know for voices is the McDSP Moo. 100% clean and using the slow settings it works like a fader. Unfortunately only as RE.
MooTube is part of the McDSP 6030 compressor suite - requires physical iLok key, but apart from that it's the same gear as the RE

http://mcdsp.com/plug-ins/6030-ultimate-compressor/


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Marco Raaphorst
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12 Jan 2018

dvdrtldg wrote:
12 Jan 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
11 Jan 2018

The best compressor I know for voices is the McDSP Moo. 100% clean and using the slow settings it works like a fader. Unfortunately only as RE.
MooTube is part of the McDSP 6030 compressor suite - requires physical iLok key, but apart from that it's the same gear as the RE

http://mcdsp.com/plug-ins/6030-ultimate-compressor/
Yes I know. I don't like a physical iLok.

But the Klanghelm is like the Moo so I am satisfied.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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selig
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12 Jan 2018

LA-2a is still king of vocal compressors for me. I only have the LA-610 at present, but it’s pretty much the same compressor (and a sweet pre and EQ to boot).



Sent from some crappy device using Tapatalk
Selig Audio, LLC

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Marco Raaphorst
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12 Jan 2018

selig wrote:
12 Jan 2018
LA-2a is still king of vocal compressors for me. I only have the LA-610 at present, but it’s pretty much the same compressor (and a sweet pre and EQ to boot).



Sent from some crappy device using Tapatalk
Yeah great but it has an obvious compressed sound. It's fast. For documentary work I love the slow variable-mu stuff like the Moo and Klanghelm MJUC. Moo is the slowest compressor I am aware of.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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selig
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12 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
12 Jan 2018
selig wrote:
12 Jan 2018
LA-2a is still king of vocal compressors for me. I only have the LA-610 at present, but it’s pretty much the same compressor (and a sweet pre and EQ to boot).



Sent from some crappy device using Tapatalk
Yeah great but it has an obvious compressed sound. It's fast. For documentary work I love the slow variable-mu stuff like the Moo and Klanghelm MJUC. Moo is the slowest compressor I am aware of.
I would have to totally disagree here (isn't audio fun!). I can't get anything useful from the slow variable-mu stiff like Moo - they either don't do enough or sound too compressed to my ears. But I LOVE the sound of the LA-2a, which is hard to make sound bad IMO. Not necessarily talking about plugins here, but they work well too in most cases.

By transparent, I don't mean like vocal rider, Selig Leveler, or fader rides. If I WANT compression, that's when I reach for a compressor IMO. I learned how to ride a vocal so it sounds like you're not doing anything, I use Leveler when I want a non-compressed compressor sound, but for a vocal compressor nothing beats an LA-2a in my opinion (and it's just one opinion of many).

Note: if I want to "hear" the compression, I'd lean towards a more aggressive comp like an 1176 or similar.

It's just a love of the classics I guess, not saying one is better than the other in any "factual" way!
:)
Selig Audio, LLC

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Marco Raaphorst
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12 Jan 2018

selig wrote:
12 Jan 2018
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
12 Jan 2018


Yeah great but it has an obvious compressed sound. It's fast. For documentary work I love the slow variable-mu stuff like the Moo and Klanghelm MJUC. Moo is the slowest compressor I am aware of.
I would have to totally disagree here (isn't audio fun!). I can't get anything useful from the slow variable-mu stiff like Moo - they either don't do enough or sound too compressed to my ears. But I LOVE the sound of the LA-2a, which is hard to make sound bad IMO. Not necessarily talking about plugins here, but they work well too in most cases.

By transparent, I don't mean like vocal rider, Selig Leveler, or fader rides. If I WANT compression, that's when I reach for a compressor IMO. I learned how to ride a vocal so it sounds like you're not doing anything, I use Leveler when I want a non-compressed compressor sound, but for a vocal compressor nothing beats an LA-2a in my opinion (and it's just one opinion of many).

Note: if I want to "hear" the compression, I'd lean towards a more aggressive comp like an 1176 or similar.

It's just a love of the classics I guess, not saying one is better than the other in any "factual" way!
:)
I can relate to this. But working with documentary material is totally different that working with voices, singing etc.

Check for example this example:


This is recorded not closed miced. Often there's a bit of background noise. For documentary work it doesn't work to put a fast compressor over it because the background noises will start to pump etc. You need something that sounds almost like uncompressed. The Moo is a magic tool for this imo.

For radio often heavy compression works. I put LA-2A on my voice overs, but not on the dynamic recorded parts with background noises.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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mbfrancis
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12 Jan 2018

All the discussion has been around VO work - how is vocal rider on actual vocals? Feels like in the time it take to tune it, I could have automated the part or manipulated clip gain.

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selig
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12 Jan 2018

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
selig wrote:
12 Jan 2018
I would have to totally disagree here (isn't audio fun!). I can't get anything useful from the slow variable-mu stiff like Moo - they either don't do enough or sound too compressed to my ears. But I LOVE the sound of the LA-2a, which is hard to make sound bad IMO. Not necessarily talking about plugins here, but they work well too in most cases.

By transparent, I don't mean like vocal rider, Selig Leveler, or fader rides. If I WANT compression, that's when I reach for a compressor IMO. I learned how to ride a vocal so it sounds like you're not doing anything, I use Leveler when I want a non-compressed compressor sound, but for a vocal compressor nothing beats an LA-2a in my opinion (and it's just one opinion of many).

Note: if I want to "hear" the compression, I'd lean towards a more aggressive comp like an 1176 or similar.

It's just a love of the classics I guess, not saying one is better than the other in any "factual" way!
:)
I can relate to this. But working with documentary material is totally different that working with voices, singing etc.

Check for example this example:


This is recorded not closed miced. Often there's a bit of background noise. For documentary work it doesn't work to put a fast compressor over it because the background noises will start to pump etc. You need something that sounds almost like uncompressed. The Moo is a magic tool for this imo.

For radio often heavy compression works. I put LA-2A on my voice overs, but not on the dynamic recorded parts with background noises.
Yea, film audio is an entirely different beast - I understand what you’re talking about now!


Sent from some crappy device using Tapatalk
Selig Audio, LLC

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Marco Raaphorst
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13 Jan 2018

mbfrancis wrote:
12 Jan 2018
All the discussion has been around VO work - how is vocal rider on actual vocals? Feels like in the time it take to tune it, I could have automated the part or manipulated clip gain.
Would not use it for this. Vocal Rider is like riding the vocal in real time. It won't give you that in-your-face compression something like a Teletronix LA-2A will give you. Also for upfront radio voices imo LA-2A or the lovely RE-2A are the best. But for dynamic natural spoken things Vocal Rider is great, although I prefer a super slow compressor like the Moo at the moment.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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normen
Posts: 3341
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13 Jan 2018

If this thread still about Vocal Rider, I got used to having it professionally but never wanted to hunt for the sale at Waves so for a long time I used this 11€ plugin instead which has basically the same features and really works just as well.

https://www.hornetplugins.com/plugins/hornet-autogain/

At some point I ran into a sale of Vocal Rider though so I also have it on my private mixing computer now.

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wireless
Posts: 71
Joined: 14 Apr 2017

22 Jan 2018

normen wrote:
13 Jan 2018
If this thread still about Vocal Rider, I got used to having it professionally but never wanted to hunt for the sale at Waves so for a long time I used this 11€ plugin instead which has basically the same features and really works just as well.

https://www.hornetplugins.com/plugins/hornet-autogain/

At some point I ran into a sale of Vocal Rider though so I also have it on my private mixing computer now.
and right now, it's 6 Euro!

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Dante
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22 Jan 2018

normen wrote:
11 Jan 2018
Ahornberg wrote:
11 Jan 2018
looks pretty similar to Selig Leveler https://shop.propellerheads.se/rack-ext ... g-leveler/
Its a very different thing really, it basically does the work of doing the coarse volume automation that you usually do directly in the track before any compressors or other processing. Like changes of 20dB because the speaker leans back or something. You can actually export the plugin automation to track automation in most DAWs.
The problem with compensating for when the speaker leans back from the mic is that the signal to mic noise ratio changes. If you bump up the gain of the section where the speaker leaned back, the background mic noise also increases in gain for that section. So the net affect is that the speaker level is steady but the noise increases for the duration.

MDTerps2015
Posts: 387
Joined: 25 Jan 2015

15 Mar 2018

Waves vocal rider on sale 29 bucks.
150 paid RExtensions and still no Grammy

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