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Old 05-02-2005, 01:59 PM
snowgie snowgie is offline
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Default making vocals sound.....better

I am looking for ideas on how to thicken a single vocal track. What is typically done in professional studios, or by Pro Tools users, given the software suite with PTLE?

* pan boosted EQ-highs to the L, pan boosted EQ-lows to the R?
* avoid panning, keep the track centered and apply reverb/chorus?
* double track with a second take of the same vocals?
* use soft-synth pad behind the singer to match what they sing?
* etc?

Anybody have a preferred technique they use? As reference, this vox track is accompanied by acoustic guitar, trumpet, synth drums, synth strings.
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:05 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: making vocals sound.....better

A good voice into a good mic into a good pre gets you off on the right foot. Doubletracking is one of the best methods if you have singer that can be very consistent. Some will use a pitch shift plugin and tune the left to -6 cents and the right to +6 cents(actually from 4 to 9 cents either way). You can also play with small delays on those shifted signals. You can also try straight delay of 20-35ms on one side and 35-45ms on the other. Maybe add a small/slow LFO to the delays. I don't see EQ as a way of thickening a vocal. Its how I eliminate problems in vocal tonality(such as rolling off lows to compenstae for too much proximity effect or using a de-esser to ease sibalance). A nice compressor plugin helps(not the stock digicomp). Waves Rcomp and BF76 are 2 good ones. The lead vocal will usually stay panned dead center. You may want to EQ some cuts on your instrument tracks to make "room" for the vocal. Anything playing in the same register can mask the vocal so its good to make frequency "space". This same trick helps when mixing bass/kick or multiple guitar tracks.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:09 AM
snowgie snowgie is offline
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Default Re: making vocals sound.....better

Thanks for the advice, albee.
The singer is not the next Sinatra, the mic is a Samson Q-7 dynamic, and for micpre's I'm recording through the focusrite pre on the Mbox. I will try the pitch shifting and time delays you suggested. The singer's voice is pretty low / baritone register, what is a good area to roll off EQ to compensate for proximity effect? Roll off everything below around 40 kHz or so?
Thanks.
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:41 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: making vocals sound.....better

40K!!!! You mean 40Hz? Actually 80-125 is more like it unless you have a singer that gets WAY down like the bass singer in the Oakridge Boys. You're going to want a better mic real soon.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:21 PM
snowgie snowgie is offline
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Default Re: making vocals sound.....better

whoops. right, 40Hz, not kHz.
thanks.
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