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  #1  
Old 11-21-2009, 06:07 PM
Mattitude Mattitude is offline
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Default Recording vocals - sound dry in song. Help with EQ, etc

Hey everyone,

I am new to recording... I am recording my music for the first time.

So I've got all my music recorded. Now all I need is to add my vocals to the track. I have a large diaphragm condenser microphone plugged into an Digi 003 Rack. I am using Pro Tools LE 8.

I record the vocals fine... I hear myself through the headphones fine, and everything gets recorded. But the only problem is, when I listen to the vocals back, they don't sound part of the music, they just sound really DRY and separated from the music and not mixed in. I understand that I need to add things such as compression and EQ. I honestly don't know much about using compression and EQ. I know what they are for.. but I just can't figure out how to use them with vocals. I don't know what to adjust or anything! I've ended up using loads of the presets that come with the compression and EQ in Pro Tools but it only makes a small difference. I want the vocals to be nicely layed within the music so it sounds natural if you get what I mean?

I was just wondering if any of you guys could help me out? What are the main things you use on your vocals when mixing them? What do you adjust, and how much? My music is Pop/Rock - I have some uptempo songs and some slower ballad-type songs.

Sorry if I don't make much sense when talking about the stuff about vocals, EQ, Compression and what not.

Thanks everyone,
I appreciate it,
Matt.
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2009, 06:15 PM
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basslik basslik is offline
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Default Re: Recording vocals - sound dry in song. Help with EQ, etc

Hey bud, this will help you.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2009, 06:16 PM
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basslik basslik is offline
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Default Re: Recording vocals - sound dry in song. Help with EQ, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattitude View Post
Hey everyone,

I am new to recording... I am recording my music for the first time.

So I've got all my music recorded. Now all I need is to add my vocals to the track. I have a large diaphragm condenser microphone plugged into an Digi 003 Rack. I am using Pro Tools LE 8.

I record the vocals fine... I hear myself through the headphones fine, and everything gets recorded. But the only problem is, when I listen to the vocals back, they don't sound part of the music, they just sound really DRY and separated from the music and not mixed in. I understand that I need to add things such as compression and EQ. I honestly don't know much about using compression and EQ. I know what they are for.. but I just can't figure out how to use them with vocals. I don't know what to adjust or anything! I've ended up using loads of the presets that come with the compression and EQ in Pro Tools but it only makes a small difference. I want the vocals to be nicely layed within the music so it sounds natural if you get what I mean?

I was just wondering if any of you guys could help me out? What are the main things you use on your vocals when mixing them? What do you adjust, and how much? My music is Pop/Rock - I have some uptempo songs and some slower ballad-type songs.

Sorry if I don't make much sense when talking about the stuff about vocals, EQ, Compression and what not.
Sorry, here you go.

Thanks everyone,
I appreciate it,
Matt.
YouTube - Tutorial 1: Mixing Vocals in Pro Tools Series Part 1
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:25 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Recording vocals - sound dry in song. Help with EQ, etc

+1 for that tutorial. Here's a little "nuts and bolts" for you as well. First, insert an EQ plugin(the DigiRack 4 band is fine for now). This is what I call "subtractive EQ". Take one of the mid bands, make the Q narrow and boost to +9. Now play the track(you can SOLO the vocal if you want) and sweep the frequency across its range(low to high and back). When you hear something jump out as really ugly, grab the boost knob and pull it down to -3(all the numbers are starting points, you will fine tune as you learn this method better). Repeat with the next filter. What you are doing here is finding the peaks and smoothing them out. Next, I would insert a compressor(BF76 is quite useable). With the BF76 as an example, turn the INPUT knob up till the "needle" starts dipping while the vocal track is playing(start with the 4:1 button). Set the INPUT level so the needle moves 3-4db max. Adjust the OUTPUT knob so the track meter hits above halfway to just into the yellow. The vocal should be getting smoother now. Next, I would add an AUX send on the vocal track(pick any open stereo bus). Create a stereo AUX track, set its INPUT to the same stereo bus and insert a reverb plugin. When you add the SEND to the vocal track, a popup window with a fader appears so push that fader up to -0. Now bring up the AUX track fader to mix reverb into the track. What I usually do for general mixing is to bring the reverb track up till I can hear it, then back it down 3-4db. You can also add a second send and aux track with a delay plugin. Sometimes, delay is a better choice than reverb, but that's a matter if taste and genre. At this point, its about your goal and your taste so try to have fun while you figure out what works best for your music.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2009, 07:35 AM
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basslik basslik is offline
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Default Re: Recording vocals - sound dry in song. Help with EQ, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
+1 for that tutorial. Here's a little "nuts and bolts" for you as well. First, insert an EQ plugin(the DigiRack 4 band is fine for now). This is what I call "subtractive EQ". Take one of the mid bands, make the Q narrow and boost to +9. Now play the track(you can SOLO the vocal if you want) and sweep the frequency across its range(low to high and back). When you hear something jump out as really ugly, grab the boost knob and pull it down to -3(all the numbers are starting points, you will fine tune as you learn this method better). Repeat with the next filter. What you are doing here is finding the peaks and smoothing them out. Next, I would insert a compressor(BF76 is quite useable). With the BF76 as an example, turn the INPUT knob up till the "needle" starts dipping while the vocal track is playing(start with the 4:1 button). Set the INPUT level so the needle moves 3-4db max. Adjust the OUTPUT knob so the track meter hits above halfway to just into the yellow. The vocal should be getting smoother now. Next, I would add an AUX send on the vocal track(pick any open stereo bus). Create a stereo AUX track, set its INPUT to the same stereo bus and insert a reverb plugin. When you add the SEND to the vocal track, a popup window with a fader appears so push that fader up to -0. Now bring up the AUX track fader to mix reverb into the track. What I usually do for general mixing is to bring the reverb track up till I can hear it, then back it down 3-4db. You can also add a second send and aux track with a delay plugin. Sometimes, delay is a better choice than reverb, but that's a matter if taste and genre. At this point, its about your goal and your taste so try to have fun while you figure out what works best for your music.
WOW, albee1952 you rock, you should do a vid on that technique.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2009, 08:09 AM
Mattitude Mattitude is offline
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Default Re: Recording vocals - sound dry in song. Help with EQ, etc

Hey guys,
thanks for your replies.

basslik thanks for that tutorial video, I'm gonna check that out now!

and albee1952 thanks for taking your time to post that! It looks very useful! I can't wait to try it out.

I really appreciate it guys,
I'll post again if i'm confused with anything.

More posts are welcome from anyone else!

Thanks,
Matt.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2009, 10:02 AM
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basslik basslik is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Default Re: Recording vocals - sound dry in song. Help with EQ, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattitude View Post
Hey guys,
thanks for your replies.

basslik thanks for that tutorial video, I'm gonna check that out now!

and albee1952 thanks for taking your time to post that! It looks very useful! I can't wait to try it out.

I really appreciate it guys,
I'll post again if i'm confused with anything.

More posts are welcome from anyone else!

Thanks,
Matt.
You bet bud, I'm still a noob also, and I thank everyone here for getting me where I'm at now. let us here you mix when your done (10-4)
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