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Old 12-17-2017, 02:41 AM
Kurout Kurout is offline
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Default Getting a clearer voice in my mix

Hey y'all,
I've been a rapper for last 5 years but a sound engineer for a year now. Earlier I just paid for the mix but now I myself do them in the studio I work at upon PT 10.3.5 HD. Now the issue I face is I get a dampy or muddy or bassy don't even know how to put it in words kinda voice instead of a clear one in my songs. I don't understand if its the reverb I use or the eq or the Sans Amp plug in to add some distortion. Now I'm at least sure that the Sans Amp send I put up is never too much and the frequencies I boost are never responsible for this problem as I never boost or cut beyond 3 DBs unless there's a really great one to boost at times. Is there something I'm missing out? Something that is going wrong? Or is it just the wrong reverb I use (Plate 1 usually)? Please help.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-17-2017, 04:53 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Getting a clearer voice in my mix

Where to start......
Step 1-remove everything that you are not sure of(there is no point in putting plugins, sends, etc on a track when you don't know WHY you want/need them).

2-it all starts at the source. What mic? What preamp? How far off the mic are you? How well is your recording space treated acoustically? How hot is the signal coming out of the preamp(if its separate from your interface)? Are you going thru your track and using CLIP GAIN to level out spots that are too soft or too loud?(this helps compressor plugins to work more consistently) Are you using a hardware compressor on the way in? Go easy(its simple to add MORE compression, but nearly impossible to remove when you have too much).

3-once you get a clean/clear track recorded, then decide what you need to add and why, starting with inserts. Suggestions:
EQ-to hi-pass(and nothing else at this point)
Compressor-something gentle to just grab the peaks
Compressor #2-something with a bit of "character"(SMACK!, Waves CLA2A)
Pultec EQ(or Maag4) to add some "air"(10/12/16KHz)
Vocal Rider(a waves plugin that rides the volume so you don't need to)

4-notice there are no effects listed so far? Continue

Effect plugins are best used on an AUX track(for each effect) and use sends on your audio track to feed the effects(which would usually be set for a 100% wet mix). Suggestions:
1-reverb-plates are good for vocals. Reverb time would be shorter as the tempo gets faster(IOW a 4 second reverb trail might be great for a ballad, but uptempo stuff needs to be shorter/tighter)
2-short delay
3-long delay(something in time with the beat). You might only send single words or phrases to this AUX for special treatment
4-doubler(something that emulates the Eventide H3000 to pitch-shift, such as +7 cents on the left and -7 cents on the right). Soundtoys Little Microshift is a good "budget" plugin for this
5-distortion. I left this last as you may or may not want/need it. Mangling a vocal can be a cool effect in places but I would rarely treat the entire song(that's just me). another cool trick is to send the vocal(using a send to a mono AUX track)(this keeps the main track clean). On this AUX, insert EQ III and enable the hi-pass and push the frequency up to around 3-4KHz(so nothing but high frequencies continue on). Next, insert a distortion plugin(like sansamp or AIR Distortion and go for some mild clipping. adding this behind a clean vocal can make it "pop"(stand out) in a mix without making it just louder(which doesn't always work)

quick recap, if the original vocal isn't clean and clear, go back to the starting point(because you can't fix a crap track)

All of this is suggestions. There are no "rules"
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Old 12-17-2017, 05:10 PM
Kurout Kurout is offline
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Default Re: Getting a clearer voice in my mix

Dave you've already been there for my questions and here you are again. Thank you so much man, I'll get back to this once I get to the studio and try this out.
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Old 12-17-2017, 06:28 PM
amagras amagras is online now
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Default Re: Getting a clearer voice in my mix

Have you tried Audified TNT vocal?
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:24 PM
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EGS EGS is offline
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Default Re: Getting a clearer voice in my mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurout View Post
... I get a dampy or muddy or bassy don't even know how to put it in words kinda voice instead of a clear one ...
I agree with albee. You should not have to tweak much, IF it's a great mic in the right place/room. Hi-pass at 90hz usually a good starting point for me. You "might" be too close to the mic, which can add more proximity effect than desired. On some voices, I do a slight EQ cut somewhere near 125~175hz to cut some muddiness; plus a slight EQ boost near 3~5k to add intelligibility. Tell us about your gear signal chain and mic placement, and maybe we can help further.
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Last edited by EGS; 12-17-2017 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:57 PM
Kurout Kurout is offline
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Default Re: Getting a clearer voice in my mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by amagras View Post
Have you tried Audified TNT vocal?
I don't think I own it, will check it soon if I get a chance.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:06 PM
Kurout Kurout is offline
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Default Re: Getting a clearer voice in my mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by amagras View Post
Have you tried Audified TNT vocal?
Quote:
Originally Posted by EGS View Post
I agree with albee. You should not have to tweak much, IF it's a great mic in the right place/room. Hi-pass at 90hz usually a good starting point for me. You "might" be too close to the mic, which can add more proximity effect than desired. On some voices, I do a slight EQ cut somewhere near 125~175hz to cut some muddiness; plus a slight EQ boost near 3~5k to add intelligibility. Tell us about your gear signal chain and mic placement, and maybe we can help further.
Now here I see, I guess I was too close and loud on the mic and it definitely is giving me the over-proximity effect. I was kind of spitting directly into the mic although I tried to keep an angle to avoid blows. Is it the cause of my problem?

My gear goes - Rode NT1-A mic, HD Omni (Gain was 25, a parallel compresser about -16dB threshold while recording), PT 10.3.5.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:54 PM
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Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is offline
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Default Re: Getting a clearer voice in my mix

NT1-A ... thats one huge problem. It is a crappy mic I actually have one here that has been left from a school that was recording and i tried it for fun .. NOT FUN ..
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:35 AM
Kurout Kurout is offline
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Default Re: Getting a clearer voice in my mix

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Originally Posted by Southsidemusic View Post
NT1-A ... thats one huge problem. It is a crappy mic I actually have one here that has been left from a school that was recording and i tried it for fun .. NOT FUN ..
Lol yeah sometimes the same problem occurs with voice overs too and I'm like how much better can this mix be??
Well the NT1-A is in the studio I work at, I have AT-2020 at my home with PT First. I guess I should just record it at home then.
Any suggestions?
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Getting a clearer voice in my mix

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Originally Posted by Kurout View Post
... the NT1-A is in the studio I work at, I have AT-2020 ... Any suggestions?
Neither of those mics are very good ... save up for a better mic. My opinion.
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