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  #1  
Old 06-06-2000, 07:29 PM
Somebody Somebody is offline
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Default Any tips on blending old vocals with new vocals?

Hello I have a problem in recording vocals- I'll have the artist sing some initial ideas at first, and we'll play the hook over and over till we get the entire song written- the problem is that when we go to record the over dubs, we want to keep the initial recording, because it usually sounds the freshest, and it has molded it's self into the song; but the over dubs, which may be several days later, have a whole different vibe and feel that they sound terrible next to the originals. How do you producer's blend old recording with new ones to make everything flow? Are there any engineering tips that would help this out? Any plug ins that may be recommendable to tinker with? Thank you.
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Old 06-06-2000, 08:53 PM
George Cumbee George Cumbee is offline
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Default Re: Any tips on blending old vocals with new vocals?

Seems you have a continuity problem....

Obviously, you need to have the same singer, same mic, same console or outboard setup, ie: mic pre, eq, comp, etc. Same studio or booth will help.

Then the main things is that the singer hear what he/she did and try to match it. Sounds like they aren't doing that.

I have done master vocals weeks/months/even years apart and punched in lines or even words and got them to match.

Case in point, last summer did and album with a lady from Atlanta. She came back several times, weeks apart to keep fixing lines, till nearly Christmas. If you listen to the final CD, you can't tell. We do this all the time.

You also, as a producer, have to have the ears to hear the match and know when it is right...

I have even had to do it on vocals done at other studios and on completely different gear. It is not as easy as noting everything and setting it back up the same. But, we have done it and do all the time..

Hope that helps

George Cumbee
Classic Recording, Franklin (Nashville), TN www.classicrecording.com
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Old 06-06-2000, 09:40 PM
Somebody Somebody is offline
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Default Re: Any tips on blending old vocals with new vocals?

So you basically do enough takes until you nail it, and it really has nothing to do with engineering.
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Old 06-06-2000, 11:46 PM
Stratman Stratman is offline
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Default Re: Any tips on blending old vocals with new vocals?

Yo Somebody,

This happens all the time to the best of engineers and producers. The prime example is in live recordings.

A mix engineer is asked to mix a live performance. The label loves the tracks but they want the vocalist to re-record some of the out of tune bits. The engineer has no idea what mic they used, so guess what he has to do...match the sound! So guess what it comes down to...ears...big ears.

This is what separates the men from the boys in the audio engineering world. You do what it takes to match the sound. You ask yourself things like, how much compression is on the vocal, what is the eq shape and, is the vocalist wrapping his/her hand around the the mic (therefore changing the characteristic of the mic) and they continue this thought process until they match the sound. No secret.. just experience and hard work.

The next step is to start experimenting with EQ, compression ratios and so on and so on.

We are lucky in the Pro Tools world because there are many tools to analyze sonic info. You have an advantage because you have the knowledge of your chain that you used when you recorded the vocal.

It's important to remember is that there are no rules in recording, so don't stop yourself from trying things that seem unconventional.

All your favorite engineers (Bob Clearmountain, Andy Wallace, Tom Lord Alge, or whoever you love), have one thing in common....they have learned how to solve the very problems you are talking about.

The problem with the new digital world is that everyone thinks that there is a software replacement for talent and experience.

There is no software that I know of that can match a rough vocal performance that is inspired with one that is bland and lacks direction.

Welcome to the world of being a producer.




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  #5  
Old 06-07-2000, 07:56 AM
George Cumbee George Cumbee is offline
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Default Re: Any tips on blending old vocals with new vocals?

It has everything to do with experience and coaching a singer and yes, engineering. You have to listen and match and know what to tweak to get it there. It is a combination of the artist and the gear and the ears of the producer and eng.

Yes it may take a lot of takes. I have also done a redo from months ago in one take and it was perfect.

You never know...

George
Classic Recording www.classicrecording.com
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2000, 08:38 AM
Jules Jules is offline
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Default Re: Any tips on blending old vocals with new vocals?

This is one of the 'gutsyest' aspects of engineering, nailing a sound match before the singer gets tired of sound check! It's a sweaty palm, now or never deal! You need the right tools set up and then the ability to use em, & quick!
Jules

[This message has been edited by Jules (edited June 07, 2000).]
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