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  #1  
Old 03-06-2005, 11:45 AM
dharkon8 dharkon8 is offline
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Default Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

Hi,

I was hoping that some of you may be able to help me.

A friend of mine is doing some vocals for me on my latest project and she seems to have a real aversion to me treating her voice with any kind of reverb.

No....I am not drenching the vocal in reverb.

My normal practice is to treat the vocal with minimum compression [normally via the waves renaissance compressor - the vox compressor just doesn't do it for me] and then to add a touch of reverb [d-verb] that is mostly used to "place the vocal in the mix" - ie give it some depth and space in relation to the other parts.

So my problem is that the vocalist would prefer her voice to be totally untreated and this simply doesn't sound good to me. I'm hoping that you all might have some suggestions as to things I might try in order for us both to be happy.

thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2005, 11:50 AM
guitardom guitardom is offline
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Default Re: Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

try a small to medium plate reverb, almost cant tell its verb and gives it some nice space in the right situations.
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2005, 12:11 PM
peter kuchar peter kuchar is offline
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Default Re: Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

Try bussing in a slap delay set at about 157 ms and try panning the slap a bit.
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2005, 12:23 PM
tempest18 tempest18 is offline
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Default Re: Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

I think no matter what you do, some voices will just not sound good dry. Depending on the mic and pre combo also. Even on the track itself. Sometimes it will require more verb but usually pop stuff I use very little to keep the vocal right up front. You can smooth a vocal over with the right compression to make up for the lack of verb.

Often delays work better for creating space but keeping the place dry than a verb plate. Small delays make the singer sound like they're in a room while larger create big echoy spaces. A little bit of delay send and a small amount of verb can sound better than one verb.

Id say play around with it, once you get the spaces created with the instruments she may blend in better. I like to put a gate on the return so it cuts off the echo pretty sharp between pauses so people dont notice theres verb on the vocal at all.

Chris Tempest
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2005, 12:44 PM
Third Eye Studios Third Eye Studios is offline
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Default Re: Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

When she is there don't press stop in PT while the vocal is running through the verb, or she'll hear tons of it.

You could try a bigger room to record the vocals in, maybe with an omni mic or something, even micing the room separately. She's probably heard something that she really didn't like that had tons of reverb on it. I worked with an artist that had an "aversion" to reverb, because they had always associated it with the spring reverb on their guitar amp. Ask her to bring in an example of what she wants the vocal to sound like. Reverb is a part of life, it's natural, and we hear it constantly everywhere we go. We would all have to live in vaccuums to avoid it. Turn up the reverb where you can just start to hear it, and then back it off a little.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:00 PM
SimpleNatureSpirit SimpleNatureSpirit is offline
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Default Re: Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

Often a vocal doubler set very tight is all an artist is willing to put up with so it sounds a bit wider than the true mono voice. A doubler is simply a delay to one side of the stereo image. Somewhere in the neighborhood 10-25ms. There is also a bit of pitch shifing going on to again widen the effect while minimizing phase problems.
One artist I've worked with in the past said the same thing "I like it the way it is!". But he can't sing and has no musical voice. Once I started compressing and EQ'ing his eyes lite up and started saying "more, more". He never noticed the doubler I turned on in the meantime. I let him drive the EQ and the compression, and was a happy camper and the song became bearable.
If you insist on reverb, loose the D-Verb. It is tinny and digital. The best reverb to use for this situation is a ducker, where the reverb is not as active during voice. Duckers can be made using sidechained compressors. It is a bit of a technique to master and is often done with a hidden sidechain track heavily compressed to avoid pumping. The ducking track is mixed back into the source.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:09 PM
Obsidian Dragon Obsidian Dragon is offline
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Default Re: Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

Hmm. I've read everybody's replies here and it seems everyone still wants to put some form or reverb, delay, slap back, or doubler on the vocals. The client pays the bills and should get what he/she wants. You can recommend something like reverbs and try to educate them on the purpose of placing the vocals in the mix and that this is what most people do. If they "insist" on a completely dry vocal, then I would simply comply. It is their product after all. At times they pay for your expertise and skills. At other times, they want to call the shots.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:18 PM
SimpleNatureSpirit SimpleNatureSpirit is offline
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Default Re: Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

@ Obsidian

I wish my 'clients' paid the bills.
My clients are starving artists.
Don't forget that your name goes on the works too.
Subtle education of the artist is an artform in itself.
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2005, 01:30 PM
dharkon8 dharkon8 is offline
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Default Re: Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

First......thanks for all the replies. They are very helpful and give me a good range of options to try.

Just to clarify things, the vocalist is recording for me...ie she is singing one of my songs rather than paying for studio time.
Of course this does mean that I can simply impose my will on the process but I'm much more interested in getting an outcome that we can both be proud of.

Any additional ideas are more than welcome.

thanks again.
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2005, 01:34 PM
SimpleNatureSpirit SimpleNatureSpirit is offline
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Default Re: Non-reverb vocal Treatment?

Friends and business are a difficult mix. You might take a careful look at copyright issues if you are not paying the artist. Heaven forbid you need to pull out the dreaded forms. But yes, with friends, you are bound to have common agreement.
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