View Full Version : How to record a"LOUD" singer?

10-21-1999, 09:50 AM
I'm trying to lay down vocals tracks for a really loud singer. I use logic with Digi PT24/882-20. I put her away from the mic (AKG Solidtube and Neuman 103), use lots of compression/limiter and still get distortion. Any suggestions. My pre is a Focusrite Green Strip.


Pete Church

10-21-1999, 02:52 PM

Urei 1176

10-21-1999, 03:31 PM
agree, (where are you getting the distortion? are you driving the pre too hard to get a good output? if so, recalibrate the I/O inputs)


Kenny Gioia
10-21-1999, 10:00 PM
I'd have to disagree with the past two replies. You are most likely getting distortion at the Mic Pre. Your Mics are pretty hot and if your Mic pre is turned down low (-20) and you're still getting distortion then hopefully there's a pad on the Focusrite to engage. Other wise you'll need to buy an external one

Steve MacMillan
10-22-1999, 02:36 AM
One of the most common mistakes recording vocals to ProTools is driving your recording chain too hard in order to get good level at the converter. I usually calibrate my 888|24 to a 12db headroom alignment for vocals. Try the pad and if it is still dirty use another mic pre/compressor. A pop screen (or two) can help.

10-24-1999, 06:18 PM

We perform alot of testing on the FOCUSRITE VOICEBOX (similar). It is a little decieving with its gain structure.

First off...the output knob (again, VOICEBOX) is merely attenuation. It is post a fixed gain stage. In other words, the "output" knob cannot cause the distortion. We run our Focusrite's wide open when tracking to PT. Why throw away the 8db.

Of all the gain stages, the Mic pre will distort before the others. The way we setup the unit is to disengage the Compressor/EQ/DeEss. Turn the Output to full and have patch to an PT input. Using only the Mic gain knob set the unit for the appropriate level ON PRO-TOOLS. Don't use the meter on the Green series. It does not represent an accurate informaiton.

Once the mic gain is set to handle the loudest parts from the singer without Overdriving PT, you can engange compression. You can usally add 2-4 db more gain over and above compression at this stage, especially if you are not using massive EQ adds. Again, I know the meter on the Focusrite will barely light when the singer is singing normal. We leave the meter set to show compression reduction. After awhile, you will be able to set the Focusrite input gain by obtaining desired compression.

Anyway...Once we learned all this...the Green series has worked very well.

If you are perceiving very small amounts of distortion, it is also possible the singer's voice is spreading. Both the vocal cords and the singer's oral cavity can produce distortion and harmonics at high volumes.

Good Luck

10-25-1999, 12:31 AM
Are you using the compressor on PT? If so, you're probably clipping when you record and the compressor can't remove clipping distortion after the fact.

If you're compressing BEFORE going to PT, try turning down the output level on your compressor. If THAT doesn't work, then it must be clipping either in the compressor itself or in the mic preamp. In that case it would EITHER be a matter of turning down the input gain on the mic pre, or turning down the input level of the compressor.

10-28-1999, 07:51 AM
danisrael, what I meant was that if the compressor was feeding the A/D at too loud of a level, the signal might be clipping at the A/D. Since the 888 doesn't have a trim control, the only way to control the input level (if it was coming directly from the compressor) would be to turn down the output level of the compressor.

I did not mean to suggest that the output level of the compressor was causing distortion in the compressor.