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  #1  
Old 08-23-2000, 04:33 AM
Kickin.da.speaker Kickin.da.speaker is offline
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Default How do you treat a bad singer?

I'm trying to mix my first finished song.
The main difficulty is the vocal. Since it's me singing, it's a pain to mix. I've used a SM 58, compression plug-in, EQ and reverb. I tried to follow a little bit the level with the fader.

But here's the problem: it either sound too present and detached from the mix or burried and unintelligible (my accent doesn't help, granted...). I think it might be too loud right now....?
What do you do (aside from hiring a pro singer) to get your vocals to sound more like on the "pro" records?

my audio samples in MP3
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Old 08-23-2000, 06:25 AM
Sortasonic Sortasonic is offline
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Default Re: How do you treat a bad singer?

Man, that chorus smokes! You have everything panned nicely to give the vocal space. I think it sits pretty well considering everything going on in the mix.... course I'm also listening on cheap headphones on my coffee break. You could double and delay a few ms to thicken it up allowing you to bring the level down a bit in the mix and still have it cut through.
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Old 08-23-2000, 10:01 AM
lwilliam lwilliam is offline
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Default Re: How do you treat a bad singer?

I could be wrong but it sounds like you recorded the verse vocal at probably 6-8" from your 58. For added presence and punch, you could try moving closer to the mic (say around 2-3" - or even closer) in the future.

To "fix it in the mix", you could try adding some 175-275hz boost of around 3-4db...maybe reduce the reverb send a bit. During the chorus, you could then back that range down again. This can be easily automated.

For this style, you could also try - as an experiment - squashing the heck out of the vocal for a more "in yer face" sound. Try two or three separate comps in-line, each with more and more compression (ratio + threshold).

I didn't think the balances were very far out of whack except the low end seemed to be a bit strong compared to other MP3s I've heard on my little computer Altec system (with subwoofer).

Just my $.02. YMMV...


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  #4  
Old 08-23-2000, 11:53 AM
Kickin.da.speaker Kickin.da.speaker is offline
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Default Re: How do you treat a bad singer?

Thanks!
Actually, I'm quite proud of the chorus, but it's the verse which is a problem, especially the first one. I'm going to try the bass boost and squashing in-line compressors, thanks Iwilliam!
Any other ideas are welcome.....

my audio samples in MP3
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2000, 02:18 PM
AEW AEW is offline
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Default Re: How do you treat a bad singer?

Hi Kickin
How can I listen to your song after I click the link.

Nick
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2000, 02:48 PM
unclemurray unclemurray is offline
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Default Re: How do you treat a bad singer?

Try the bombfactory LA-2A compressor plugin. It's bitchin on smoothing vocals and pushing them through the mix.
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  #7  
Old 08-23-2000, 04:24 PM
parker9 parker9 is offline
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Default Re: How do you treat a bad singer?

I like your song. I hear a lot of hard work there.

It helps me to think of the MIX as a pipe and the faders/tracks as flowing into this metaphorical opening. There is a theoretical (and actual) maximum amount of sound that can pass through the opening at one time. Once the pipe is full to make something louder or more apparent something else must come down, either in overall volume or through equalization or creative compression, to make room.

My observation regarding your mix is that there is no room left for the vocal when the guitars and cymbals are playing. That bandwidth becomes saturated. I would suggest that you consider rolling off the highs on the guitars and a contouring the cymbal EQ to make room for the vocal (particularly the vocal sibilance). If the guitars loose their "oomph" you can try compressing them quite a bit to make them sound more insistent.

In my experience, learning to get sounds out of each other’s way while still retaining their character is one of the real challenges of production.

But then what do I know...

Good luck…
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2000, 07:17 PM
coaster coaster is offline
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Default Re: How do you treat a bad singer?

hey kickin,

neat tune. i like the distorted drums- very nice.

i think i may be able to help you with your mix, if you can handle some constructive criticism.

i believe the main problem in your production of FASTER is compression. way, way too much on the main buss, and not enough on the individual tracks. this "openess" within your mix will result in a transient smear, where definition of the individual tracks becomes lost. simply, you may find pleasure in removing some transients from the tracks rather than the mains. hearing is subjective, and our ears are fooled into hearing proximity, response, intensity, and else by use of modifying dynamics of each track.

try this:

run ALL your keyboard tracks (drums, ect...) into a stereo limiter. set the limiter to a 0.10 attack, 3 sec release, and threshold to take off about 4 db. ajdust gain back to normal.

now route your vocals and lead "doodle" (i like) guitar to a similiar return. this time set the limiter to 80ms attack, 300ms release, take off about 7 db.

Finally, take the rhythm guitar track- nice transistor tone here- and place it in a different space than your vocals- try a stereo delay or better yet play the guitar track over and pan a little. a chorus would work too- i would keep it subtle.

i think these minor changes could help you improve your mix; i know they help mine.
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  #9  
Old 08-23-2000, 07:48 PM
agentd agentd is offline
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Default Re: How do you treat a bad singer?

i love the distorted drums, and the chorus. what did you use for the drum sounds if you don't mind me asking?

keep up the good work

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  #10  
Old 08-23-2000, 11:21 PM
onemanband onemanband is offline
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Default Re: How do you treat a bad singer?

Hello Kickin

I'm not sure if I'm going to address your concerns but here's something to consider. First, I agree with lw on getting close to the mic. Also, a problem I sometimes have when singing a line low in my range and also low in volume is not using enough diaphram support and intensity. Maybe you could try singing the low verse part with the same intensity as the chorus (not louder, just use the same tension in your body to deliver the soft line - as if all through the quieter singing of the verse you were about ready to explode). You could experiment with breathiness and practically swallowing the mike too.

I know this won't help if you're already through recording the track, but as far as mixing goes, I'm a moron trying to save myself by reading the DUC. I know enough about singing to get in trouble every now and then. So far have not been able to get arrested though
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