Producing Great Vocals

Have an urge to learn, or a calling to teach? Want to share some useful Youtube videos? Do it here!
User avatar
Boombastix
Competition Winner
Posts: 1929
Joined: 18 May 2018
Location: Bay Area, CA

Post 01 Dec 2019

Creativemind wrote:
29 Nov 2019
I have 3 questions regarding this.

Vocal processing chain....

Compress, EQ, De-Ess then Reverb.

1) You would add the compressor, EQ and De-Esser as inserts wouldn't you and then Reverb as a send? how does having 3 effects as inserts and reverb as a send effect the order, reverb needs to be last but would it be added as a send?

2) Regarding EQ, would you leave the EQ untouched until after the vocal was recorded then cut / boost what you needed after or apply before? I'm inclined to think EQ after as you wouldn't necessarily know where needed cutting or boosting right?

3) What about layering vocals?
I say, you can do a conservative hi pass on the recording (around 100Hz), but then set it as a standard so you always do it. It is about being able to go back and fix something and have the identical sounding raw vocals. You can EQ before and/or after compression. I use a LA style compressor with another behind it. LA may hit 6dB the second 3dB. If you need more it is better to fix it in the audio file in the sequencer. I normally put dly+rev as inserts on my vocal bus. But tune+eq+comp on each track. Has a bit to do with qty of tracks, needed processing and cpu. If you have big de-ess issues, you may need to educate the singer to sing with quieter esses, something good vocalists do, especially for the backups. Automate when neede, eg between verse and chorus so the levels fit each section. You may want different reverbs for chorus and lead, but you can do as sends if you want.
10% off at Waves with link: https://www.waves.com/r/6gh2b0
Disclaimer - I get 10% as well.

User avatar
NekujaK
Posts: 631
Joined: 09 Oct 2016
Location: USA

Post 01 Dec 2019

Creativemind wrote:
29 Nov 2019
1) You would add the compressor, EQ and De-Esser as inserts wouldn't you and then Reverb as a send? how does having 3 effects as inserts and reverb as a send effect the order, reverb needs to be last but would it be added as a send?
You could put reverb as an insert, but there are a couple of important benefits to having reverb as a send: 1) by sending multiple tracks thru a single reverb, it helps to create the impression that the instruments and vocals occupy the same "space". Of course, there may be reasons to have different reverbs for different tracks, which can still be accomplished via sends to different reverb units. 2) it's more CPU efficient to send multiple tracks to a single reverb instance, as opposed to having having multiple reverb inserts.
Creativemind wrote:
29 Nov 2019
2) Regarding EQ, would you leave the EQ untouched until after the vocal was recorded then cut / boost what you needed after or apply before? I'm inclined to think EQ after as you wouldn't necessarily know where needed cutting or boosting right?
I prefer to let the vocal get recorded raw so I have maximum processing flexibility in the DAW, but if there's a problem with the recording environment or with the vocalist, EQing the recorded signal may make sense. Many mics and preamps have a low-cut switch that filters out low frequencies. This is particularly helpful to negate proximity effect or any rumble that might be present. Personally, I would avoid pre-EQ unless there was a compelling reason to do so.
Creativemind wrote:
29 Nov 2019
3) What about layering vocals?
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, but here are some things to keep in mind:
- If you're talking about doubling the lead vocal... this is a common technique to thicken the voice, and I also find it helps create a better-sounding vocal when working with an inexperienced singer, or a singer whose tone isn't fully developed. Doubling can be achieved thru chorus and other doubling effects, but it's always better to have the singer actually perform the parts instead, if possible. This will yield a more natural sound. When recording the second part, the singer should hear the first part and try to match it as closely as possible. One technique that I occasionally use if a singer has recorded a large amount of vocal takes, is simply to make a duplicate of the vocal track and then comp the two tracks differently, so each track's comp uses different takes. This won't always work, and you may need to adjust the timing of some phrases in the Slice Editor so the tracks match, but if the vocalist is unavailable to record the double, it's a possible solution.

- For background vocals, a general rule of thumb is to double every part. This will create a thick smooth sound, and enables you to pan the backgrounds left/right so they don't collide with the lead vocal. But this also depends on the style of music you're recording. Doubling the backgrounds is great for pop, rock, and any song that has a big multipart background, but for more intimate harmonies, especially with a duo (think Everly Brothers, The Civil Wars, Avett Brothers), you wouldn't double the harmony.
wreaking havoc with :reason: since 2.5
:arrow: https://soundcloud.com/nekujak-donnay/sets

aslam0010
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Dec 2019

Post 24 Dec 2019

Hi everyone, just a quick question I would appreciate your help with. I recently sent vox tracks by wav files to a guy who is doing some tuning on them. The thing is there are a lot of tracks, it was recorded in an unconventional way. I have the song mixed already and I am wondering how can I take all these tracks when he sends them back and put them back in the channels just as they were, in a fast way instead of individually, as it would take too long. There are effects, automation, panning etc already assigned to each vox channel so I don’t want to create new channels. Thank you in advance!

User avatar
pushedbutton
Posts: 1543
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Lancashire, UK

Post 16 Mar 2021

aslam0010 wrote:
24 Dec 2019
Hi everyone, just a quick question I would appreciate your help with. I recently sent vox tracks by wav files to a guy who is doing some tuning on them. The thing is there are a lot of tracks, it was recorded in an unconventional way. I have the song mixed already and I am wondering how can I take all these tracks when he sends them back and put them back in the channels just as they were, in a fast way instead of individually, as it would take too long. There are effects, automation, panning etc already assigned to each vox channel so I don’t want to create new channels. Thank you in advance!
Without seeing what you mean it's hard to say. My initial thoughts are no, there's no magic button. If you've been organised from the start and can import them in the same order you exported them then you could possibly import them to new channels then drag and drop the clips to the right lanes all in one go but that's on you to be that organised in the first place.
@pushedbutton on twitter, add me, send me a message, but don't try to sell me stuff cos I'm skint.
Using Reason since version 3 and still never finished a song.

User avatar
pushedbutton
Posts: 1543
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Lancashire, UK

Post 16 Mar 2021

I may have been making the wrong assumptions about pitch corrections so rather than guessing I'll ask.
I assume the best results come from the cleanest signal so where would you put a neptune in your vocal chain?
@pushedbutton on twitter, add me, send me a message, but don't try to sell me stuff cos I'm skint.
Using Reason since version 3 and still never finished a song.

User avatar
man made material
Posts: 51
Joined: 13 May 2021

Post 13 May 2021

I'm new to the forum so only just discovered this, but what a brilliant overview on recording vocals, loads of great tips and I discover I had my mixing chain in the wrong order, I've been using a d-esser first, compressor last - don't know why, but this info is really helpful - cheers!

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 11963
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 13 May 2021

man made material wrote:
13 May 2021
I'm new to the forum so only just discovered this, but what a brilliant overview on recording vocals, loads of great tips and I discover I had my mixing chain in the wrong order, I've been using a d-esser first, compressor last - don't know why, but this info is really helpful - cheers!
There is no “wrong order” IMO, there is only what sounds best for the source material and the desired results. Plenty of folks swear by de-Essex before compression, probably as many that swear by the opposite order! There is, in my experience, no “one size fits all” with most aspects of music production. The best you can do is to learn all options, and try other options if your first choice isn’t giving you the expected results.
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
DaveyG
Posts: 2599
Joined: 03 May 2020

Post 13 May 2021

selig wrote:
13 May 2021
Plenty of folks swear by de-Essex
I know that's an autocorrect thing and also that you may not understand this comment because you are from over the pond but I think a de-Essexer could be a big seller if you can make a working one. :thumbup:

User avatar
pushedbutton
Posts: 1543
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Lancashire, UK

Post 13 May 2021

I personally feel less Essex would be a good thing, but I'm northern.
@pushedbutton on twitter, add me, send me a message, but don't try to sell me stuff cos I'm skint.
Using Reason since version 3 and still never finished a song.

victor1
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 Mar 2023

Post 31 Mar 2023

Thanks, brilliant.

JC1
Posts: 42
Joined: 30 Apr 2023
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Post 01 May 2023

Great guide! Enjoyed reading that. I work with a guy that's learning Audio Engineering and production for some songs but he is still learning so there is a bit of information in here that I'll take in when doing my recordings.

Thanks for taking the time to put all that together, I appreciate it! ✌️
ESP Edwards | VOX Valvetronix AD100VTH | TC Electronic | RODE | KORG | Reason 8 :reason: |

robussc
Posts: 550
Joined: 03 May 2022

Post 14 Jun 2023

Just read through this for the first time as well and it's an incredible resource for Reason vocal recording and production. Kudos to the OP!
Software: Reason 12 + Objekt, Vintage Vault 4, V-Collection 9 + Pigments, Vintage Verb + Supermassive
Hardware: M1 Mac mini + dual monitors, Launchkey 61, Scarlett 18i20, Rokit 6 monitors, AT4040 mic, DT-990 Pro phones

choomanching
Posts: 26
Joined: 11 Jan 2023

Post 31 Jul 2023

NekujaK wrote:
16 Sep 2018
The following tips and techniques are gleaned from nearly 20 years of working closely with a professional singer and vocal producer.
--------------------------
do you sing ?

choomanching
Posts: 26
Joined: 11 Jan 2023

Post 31 Jul 2023

Most of us can't sing like Jason Mraz or Adele - we don't have the range, intonation, groove, or tonal qualities to be Grammy-winning singers. But that doesn't mean our voices don't deserve to be heard.



there’s plenty of women doing open mics every week who can sing like adele she has a lower voice for a woman

jason mraz just has a naturally high voice for a man

this sounds like a negative straight away

it’s there confidence and determination that sets them apart from
other

tbh forget all this stuff and just sing often you’ll get better

good advice but be careful not to start with a negative

why i didn’t read it all cheers

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 11963
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 01 Aug 2023

choomanching wrote:
31 Jul 2023
Most of us can't sing like Jason Mraz or Adele - we don't have the range, intonation, groove, or tonal qualities to be Grammy-winning singers. But that doesn't mean our voices don't deserve to be heard.
************
it’s their confidence and determination that sets them apart from others.
Truth.
Which is one really important reason why most of us really can’t sing like Jason Mraz or Adele. Sorry to be negative…

Even folks that don’t have great range etc. can use confidence and determination to set themselves apart.

I’ve recorded some amazing singers over the years, and would agree these qualities are super important, and are a big part of what sets these amazing singers apart from others.
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
moalla
Posts: 545
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: DDR WEST

Post 01 Aug 2023

Selig you say most of us, but be or not to be, be a singer or only a crow.....
I hope I can testify this with more practise and a new much better tube microphone in my studio
SE 2200t
Image

But at this moment I´m hard with myself, do I need a vocal vca compressor for latency free processing, for example a Drawmer DL241 / B. MDX1000
or is vocal compression mostly needed as a send effect in the chain afterwards???

The only thing I know after years of singing, a cheaper mic could be nice for rock or some kind of hip hop, but if you need more transparency and accuracy it gets several times expensiver, or you can snap something used for a great price like the today received tube condenser for 170bugs, as well my SP C1 has more a compressed sound and clips earlier, the tube mic is much flatter sounding, the harmonics are more in the mids than the heights to recognize, after 30minutes warm up the SE2200t sounds a bit like a TLM102 (still tested a MXL V69m before what sounds compared noisy and cheaper than the the SE gives more this height harmonics what can be to much, especial if the room sounds "bad" and it records to much ambience). A U47 fet is much darker, more intimate. A Sm7b has compared with most condensers much more bass no athmo. All tested with a Fredenstein VAS micpre and BLA Auteur mk2, Mackie onyx preamps and a Fireface UC pres.

First of all a trained/nice voice, a good microphone, a well engineered low impendance preamp with low self noise and some coloring if it´s welcome (interface preamps mostly not the yellow of the egg, but audient interface pres sounds compared with most other interfaces good my experience) and than maybe some compression, a eq if it´s good for the precense or the opposite. For me the de-esser is a question of how the voice works together with the mic, or rather the sibliant sensitivity of the mic, but otherwise a good trained singer does mostly not need so much de-essing, and finally space.
Space could be the right room or the right amount of reverb, but who owns the perfect vocal booth of us :lol: so post processing is the answer
https://soundcloud.com/user-594407128
Reason12.5, Yamaha EG112, Ibanez PF10, RhythmWolf, Miniak, Ipad+SparkLE
SE2200t :arrow: VAS micpre MOTO:better repair-mod well made stuff than buy the next crap

  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests