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Old 12-12-2018, 03:01 AM
yl956 yl956 is offline
Join Date: May 2018
Location: houston
Posts: 52
Default Re: r&b vocals mixing tips

Originally Posted by arche3 View Post
It's part your gear and part your lack of experience.

I worked as a tracking and mix engineer in NYC for many years. I'm a producer and composer now but I still cut vocals with the writers I work with. I really enjoy this. Always have.

RnB/pop artists that I have recorded their vocals .

Whitney Houston
Beyonce Knowles
Maria Carey
Boys 2 Men
Christina Aguellera
Justin Timberlake

Tons more that were not as big.

Imo cutting vocals is when the magic happens. When you get the hairs on your neck to rise and you just know the song is a smash hit.

Technically I had a preference for certain microphones. And gear. Simply because I knew how to work it and I knew it would sound good so I almost never deviated.

A lot of the nuance of that sound is gear given a top level talent. I'm not saying cheap gear would sound bad. But I sort of am. Rather I can get a sound faster and at times i don't even need a singer to do a mic check if I use specific gear. I've used it so many years I can set it in the general setting that I like and it will work and I can adjust as they cut the 1st few vocal lines.

For RnB vocalists I always wanted a very detailed mic.

I always asked for a specific U47 from a specific rental company If that was not available I asked for a telefunken 250 or a 251. or as a last resort a U67. A neve 1073 mic pre and a LA2A compressor. Sometimes 2 of the same compressor. this is everytime I cut vocals with top artists.

Over the years I gravitated to a Sony C800g and Avalon 737sp mic pre. Because it had a built in opto compressor and eq. And I can use this same setup for rappers. This is what I still use for just about every vocalist in my own studio.

For tracking. For your situation. Get a good clean microphone. You don't want any distortion in your signal chain. And you need a large diaphragm TUBE mic. TUBE. The mic pre needs transformers. And tubes as well if possible. But transformers more important. You need to have a low cut filter in an eq. Preferable it's on the mic pre. And you need an optical compressor. If the gain structure is setup properly in this type setup you can hit so much compression. And it will not sound like it is compressing even with extreme amount of compression. So you get that bigger than life sound.

Some people used to lift the high end with a shelf going in. But I never did as I preferred to add it later in the mix.

If I was doing a budget vocal chain these days I would just get a used avalon 737 mic pre and a u47 clone. You will nail that classic RnB vocal sound with it. I know I would be able to with it. Well it might not be budget but imo this is minimum level of gear for that vocal sound. Otherwise it's too hard to get it to my standard fast enough.

If you used a u87 and a SSL console mic pre and compressor it just will not sound the same as a c800g and avalon imo. It will lack some girth and air.

I've tried tons of gear. But I always went back to my go to setups because to me it sounds the best with minimal fuss.

To Clif note this.

And optical compressor.

That's the sound for tracking.

(Mixing is another different thing. )

This is rather gear focused but imo that specific vocal sound is part what gear we chose to be used when recording these top artists.
ok thanks for the response really helpful
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