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  #1  
Old 06-16-2010, 09:00 PM
kje kje is offline
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Default Workflow!

How is your workflow regarding vocal recording and comping?
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:24 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Workflow!

Kind of an ambiguous question, no? I like to record 3 complete passes, punching in to make each as solid as possible. Then go thru and comp to a single track. Most of the singers I work with are not so great and if they don't deliver a killer track by the third take, I know they won't ever, so it becomes up to me to make a good final with what I have.

Once that is done, I will go thru the entire track and even out the lowest and hottest sections with the Audiosuite GAIN plugin(so the vocal hits the compressors more evenly. Next, I run parts(or the entire track) into Melodyne and do manual pitch correction(if needed). Once that is done, I fly the tuned track back into the session and spot it onto the track on another playlist. By duplicating the comp playlist(before tuning) I can use the un-tuned audio as a reference for spotting the tuned audio in the exact original position in the timeline. If I need any Elastic Audio fixes, those get done last by taking the parts that need EA, and copying them to another track. Once the fixes are made/rendered and sound good, I paste them back to the final comp track. By doing the EA edits on a separate track, if the audio gets garbled by EA artifacts, I can delete it and try again(if you use EA on the main track and ruin it, you have screwed yourself). Someday, hopefully, Elastic Audio will get better enough that it doesn't ruin the audio(at this time, it seems to ruin about 25% for me, hence the routine of copy>fix>render>paste.
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2010, 12:56 PM
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O.G. Killa O.G. Killa is offline
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Default Re: Workflow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kje View Post
How is your workflow regarding vocal recording and comping?
It's very good, thank you for asking!
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  #4  
Old 06-17-2010, 05:30 PM
kje kje is offline
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Default Re: Workflow!

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Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
Kind of an ambiguous question, no? I like to record 3 complete passes, punching in to make each as solid as possible. Then go thru and comp to a single track. Most of the singers I work with are not so great and if they don't deliver a killer track by the third take, I know they won't ever, so it becomes up to me to make a good final with what I have.

Once that is done, I will go thru the entire track and even out the lowest and hottest sections with the Audiosuite GAIN plugin(so the vocal hits the compressors more evenly. Next, I run parts(or the entire track) into Melodyne and do manual pitch correction(if needed). Once that is done, I fly the tuned track back into the session and spot it onto the track on another playlist. By duplicating the comp playlist(before tuning) I can use the un-tuned audio as a reference for spotting the tuned audio in the exact original position in the timeline. If I need any Elastic Audio fixes, those get done last by taking the parts that need EA, and copying them to another track. Once the fixes are made/rendered and sound good, I paste them back to the final comp track. By doing the EA edits on a separate track, if the audio gets garbled by EA artifacts, I can delete it and try again(if you use EA on the main track and ruin it, you have screwed yourself). Someday, hopefully, Elastic Audio will get better enough that it doesn't ruin the audio(at this time, it seems to ruin about 25% for me, hence the routine of copy>fix>render>paste.
Nice answer! :)

Do you use playlist view and record verse1 three times, chorus1 three times, verse2 three times etc? (It`s a lot of playlists this way?) Do you use the same take in chorus2 as chorus1? And do you record single word(s) for perfection?
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:25 AM
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O.G. Killa O.G. Killa is offline
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Default Re: Workflow!

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Originally Posted by kje View Post
Nice answer! :)

Do you use playlist view and record verse1 three times, chorus1 three times, verse2 three times etc? (It`s a lot of playlists this way?) Do you use the same take in chorus2 as chorus1? And do you record single word(s) for perfection?
all of the above and then some...

nobody scrutinizes the process, only the end result. Whatever you have to do to get it there, is what you do to get it there.
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2010, 01:48 PM
jeremyroberts jeremyroberts is offline
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Default Re: Workflow!

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Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
Most of the singers I work with are not so great and if they don't deliver a killer track by the third take, I know they won't ever...
Most of the singers I work with are world-class professional artists, and they usually don't find their sound or voice in only 3 takes. Discovery of what the song is, the point of view, full ownership of the vocal, etc...

I wish I could get a vocal in 3 takes... but sometimes it takes a dozen or 30.

If I had a 3 and out policy, we'd never make anything worth buying.

So the point is: there are no rules when it comes to vocal production.
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:28 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Workflow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kje View Post
Nice answer! :)

Do you use playlist view and record verse1 three times, chorus1 three times, verse2 three times etc? (It`s a lot of playlists this way?) Do you use the same take in chorus2 as chorus1? And do you record single word(s) for perfection?
I am not lucky enough to work with great singers much of the time. The reason I stop at 3 takes is; with a poor singer, it simply does not get any better(a great singer will know they can do better and usually asks for another take. Something I am always happy to do). I generally work on 3 playlists for the entire song/vocal and comp from that. If I have one chorus that is best, I will fly it into the others. Sometimes, just a word or phrase is enough to give the choruses a little life(ie, not all identical). I won't go for a single word punch in as I prefer to punch a phrase or line(even if I only need a single word, the whole phrase may be better, or I can always pull a word out of a phrase). Sometimes this will happen on an additional playlist(assuming I have some good ones). Ultimately, I have to agree with jeremy...........there are no rules when it comes to vocal production.
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2010, 03:46 PM
jeremyroberts jeremyroberts is offline
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Default Re: Workflow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kje View Post
Do you use playlist view and record verse1 three times, chorus1 three times, verse2 three times etc? (It`s a lot of playlists this way?) Do you use the same take in chorus2 as chorus1? And do you record single word(s) for perfection?
Every song and every singer should be approached in their own way.
Some songs, some singers, will want to focus on the out choruses first -- then come back to the verses. Some will want to treat the song as a linear thing... can't do the last chorus before the first. Some singers will blow their voices out if they have a screaming part later in the tune, so they want to accomplish the top first. Some can only sing the low notes at the beginning when they are cold. Some can only sing the low notes when they are warm. Some can sing the same part 5 times, 5 different ways. Some will give you 5 crappy performances, all the same. Some will learn from playback, some will quit.

Sometimes, it's best to use playlists, but usually, simply using tracks is a better way to accumulate information. Unless it's better to use playlists.

THE BEST WAY TO LEARN THIS: intern with a top vocal producer. Learning this from a book or an online forum is not really going to work. There are few things more important (if any) than vocal production and session flow. The only way to truly master this is to sit in on a few thousand hours of high-level vocal tracking, and then maybe after a few thousand hours, they'll let you touch the machine. Then after a few thousand more hours, they'll let you talk. Then maybe after a few thousand more hours, you'll know enough to try this on your own... maybe.

Or try to figure it out for yourself.

But you are better off watching the big boys work.

Every singer and every session has its own unique dynamic. There is no one "right way" to do it. If you can learn how to adapt to any situation, you'll have the tools to try this for real.

But there are no rules, so toss anything I say here. I don't know much of anything.
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2010, 01:52 AM
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DrFord DrFord is offline
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Default Re: Workflow!

Hey,
I'm no super producer (yet... hehehe) but I have found that the chief ingredient to getting vocals and workflow, in any minor experience all the way to world class acts is the way you talk to people. The Engineer walks a fine line of opinion being directed at getting the best fidelity, or sonic character. If you are an Engineer hired by a producer, it is the Producer's role to provide creative direction and opinions influencing that. Engineer's who step on the producer's toes will quickly find themselves getting phased out due to lack of "synergy." If you have the luxury of being the Producer and Engineer then you need to keep people around you that you trust to give valuable opinions. The painter who paints them self often finds the painting to be a masterpiece.

Vocalists... (dare I say it) are the most temperamental artists in the lot, and voices are the one instrument that do not have an inherent sound associated with the instrument. They are bearing their soul / identity (even rappers rapping about how much money they have) in a way that none of the other elements do. And so they are much touchier and insecure. Underline insecure.

What I mean is if you alter the mood of a singer away from being "artistically open" then you can get A: Fired, B: Bad recordings, & C: Long and arduous sessions of recording to "find it," and "explore."

First, build rapport with your artist / clients by letting them see how much hard work you personally are putting into the project and how invested you are - but you can't throw it in their face blatantly, they have to arrive at it themselves. Then, learn what your role allows you to have as an opinion. If you are new, and / or anything below chief engineer don't ever offer an opinion, even when asked. You're just so happy to be here! Once your artists believe in you and respect your opinions as "the right opinion" you have a much more exciting role. I have this one long standing client (over 9 months on an album) that I sent home one day to re-write the entire song. It happened a second day. The third day the lyrics were deep / poetry about his father leaving his mother and his daughter who passed.

In fact...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pjHuVsXkzw

Don't judge the mix please that is a pre-release for the album set up for the label. That final vocal track took about 3 hours to record because he was emotionally attached and had to find the right delivery.

Second, many singers need to be babied and told their recordings are amazing from the 1st take. With each take in the talk-back I often say...
"Niiiiiiice. This is really gunna be hot. Let try another and this time ________." This implies great current achievement and still says "not good enough." Because as a producer you have to imagine the end product in your head and then lead the horse to water... so to speak. As far as workflow goes, depending on time I usually wait and comp vocals / tune / retune / stretch / pre-mix without the artist present, because the second they hear their voice solo'd they get hugely self conscious and insecure. They are thinking "I sound horrible" no matter what they sound like. I think this is where Albee is correct, in that a singer sounds like themselves whether it's one take or fifty. With amateur and mid level singers you may find that 3 takes does the gig.

My girlfriend is a vocal coach and goes to studios to warm up pro singers. They do 45 minutes of warm ups (scales, ear training, interval training, harmony exercises, breathing exercises) and she is well worth the time when budget allows.

Jeremy Roberts said the important line when:
"Every song and every singer should be approached in their own way."
I would like to amend that with...
"The Engineer's workflow should follow the method that best supports the singer's favored recording style."

I caution you with one tale of woe... one of my best buds in college stopped being my friend for a while because in a session I was saying... "(his rap name)... I need you to give me more (his rap name)!" And then "(his rap name)... you're just not giving me enough (his rap name.)" To which he screamed, "I don't know what the f&$k you are asking me to do!" stormed out and he hasn't recorded with me since (2005.)

Now the point of me telling you this is that I was not clear and concise with my request for specific delivery. He felt annoyed because I wasn't guiding him with positive feedback and wasn't able to give me what I was asking him because he didn't understand me. I should have said, "This sounds amazing, hey lets try something I think will sound badass. Maybe you aren't putting enough energy behind your vocal. What if you push harder, be louder, more rugged like you just busted into a cipher (sp?) and were dissing another rapper to his face. Let's try it and see how it sounds..." We'd probably have stayed closer friends. On the flip side, when you are learning your craft you should be allowed to make mistakes, just make them on your own projects not on somebody else's.

My rant.
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2010, 08:56 PM
nerd513 nerd513 is offline
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Default Re: Workflow!

i like loop record. i dont like to stop alot so set up loop record do 5-10 passes then comp those. stopping and starting i find alot of vocalist can loose there flow.
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