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Slutz pls help....vox too sweet!
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Buddhaman
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5th June 2003
Old 5th June 2003
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Slutz pls help....vox too sweet!

Fellow Slutz--

I have a problem with my vocal chain. I am recording my own voice in my home studio using the following:

Blue Cactus---> Yamaha PM1000 pre and EQ -----> KSP 8 converters ----> KSP 8 compressor----> KSP 8 Adat out ----> Nuendo

I have a voice similar to the guy from Disturbed when he croons (or the guy from Staind when he actually sings)...genre is Hard Rock. The problem is that my voice is too smooth and sweet...I'm looking to inject a little aggression into the basic tone.

Will a different pre help me out? The PM-1000's do great on Dist Guitar...I think they are aggressive.

Or will a different compressor help me out? Should I try a Distressor?

I love the Cactus...its very detailed and musical.

I do not get a chance to try out lots of stuff as I live in East Bum**** New Hampshire so I need opinions before I ebay.

Thanks ---Buddhaman
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5th June 2003
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Re: Slutz pls help....vox too sweet!

Quote:
Originally posted by Buddhaman
Fellow Slutz--

Will a different pre help me out? The PM-1000's do great on Dist Guitar...I think they are aggressive.

Or will a different compressor help me out? Should I try a Distressor?

I love the Cactus...its very detailed and musical.
Hey good questions!

I got one for you though:

What do you mean by aggressive sounding vocals? Do you mean more high frequencies? Do you mean more midrange? Faster/Sharper transients? Low fi 8 bit sound?


While you answer, I'll spit out some semi-random suggestions.

Compress with a higher ratio.

Compress with a lower ratio.

Compress with a lower threshold.

Compress with a high threshold.

Compress with a faster attack.

Compress with a slower attack.

Mess with the release.

Back off from the mic. Like over 10 inches if your room can handle it.

Move the mic around to try to get the tone you want. Up, down, in, out.

Try mic technique, AKA moving around while you sing to change the recorded tone.

Try a different mic. Got a SM57 or 58? They're not sweet mics and you might be able to get what you need with it.

Smoke some cigarettes.

Gargle with borox.

If I had to reccomend one thing, it would be to try a different mic, and mic positioning.

I don't know the KSP8 compressor, but in my experience "sweetness" (meaning pleasant sound) comes from voice, mic, and pre. Not really compressor, unless the compressor is used to thicken the vocal ala LA2A style.
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I'd suggest a Shure SM-7 Mic (the SM-7B's are a little more HI FI, which you probably aren't looking for), or some other dynamic mic like an RE-20. (rumor has it this worked for even Micheal Jackson when looking for a more agressive vocal tone when doing Thriller). I usually prefer the API pre's with it on vocals. This was my goto "scratch vocal" mic for a long time, and eventually we ended up keeping so many of the scratch takes, it graduated to one of my goto mic's on the heavier stuff. I'd suggest an LA-2A compressor, or maybe a Gates Level Devil (which is a little more than just a compressor). It will help darken your sound a bit, even if you aren't compressing with it.

I'd start with the mic as well.
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I'm of the same mind as the previous suggestions. Go with a dynamic mic, that's simply the right tool for the job. I would try a 57, maybe with a windscreen, slow attack, fast release.

I thought the only real difference between the old sm7 and the sm7b was that the sm7b is a little hotter. No? I'm sure you would know ecue, I've only tried out the new one.
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An SM-7 did wonders on my voice for a few things. It's just nasty :-) Just because it's not the most expensive mic in the world doesn't mean it's not right for certain things on a final vocal track. I'm going to get one.
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Don't be afraid to experiment with the unobvious.

Like try singing through an AKG D112 (or whatever other kick mic you have).
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Another idea for a vocal mic- the SR69 from Earthworks has been my go to mic for 3 years now. I find it usable for any source and really optimal for some specific ones.
Buddhaman
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5th June 2003
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Guys....

thanks for all of the replies and ideas...I was cursed with the voice of a choirboy....maybe I should become a Lounge Singer.

My wife calls me Tom Jones lite

re: Compression....The KSP8 has really smooth and nice compressors...I thought maybe a Distressor or ADR Vocal Stressor or a 1176 would mess up the voice more. I don't mean distorted....just meaner...more intense....thicker...more concentrated...tonally more focused...

I have a Beta 58 and a SM7B....the trouble is they make my voice sound too boxy and strangled ( I have a very middy voice)...alomost pinched. Before I got the cactus I actually liked my voice through an Ocktava 219 and hated my voice thru a Baby Bottle (too middy)

I guess my best bet is to pack my Laptop and Cactus and head on down to Mercenary Audio. Its only 2 hours away and maybe Fletcher will help me decide on a vocal chain.

BTW great heads up on the API pre's. On the Listening Sessions I keep going back to the API examples...I love the detail and the crunch on Vocals and Guitars.

Buddhaman
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The Distressor can do what I think your talking about quite well. Between the two distortion modes and the link detector I think you could find something. As a matter of fact I'm sure you can.

I'm not familiar with the Yamaha PM1000, but how about hitting the pre harder?

I'll second the Sm57, 58 idea.

A bit more extreme, but I'm never afraid to either insert or re-amp though a pedal. Don't have to slam it, just give it character. You could even insert a plug with Nuendo.
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split your vocal signal and distort the hell outta one and mix in with original to taste.
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Drink and smoke more.
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Re: Slutz pls help....vox too sweet!

Quote:
Originally posted by Buddhaman
[B]Fellow Slutz--

The problem is that my voice is too smooth and sweet...I'm looking to inject a little aggression into the basic tone.
Doesn't sound like a gear problem to me.

Buddhaman - reach inside.




I'm serious.

-R
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I think the key to the puzzle was "liked my voice through an Oktava 219".
The 219 sounds similar (though not as good IMHO) as a Sennheiser MD421.
So...

Make sure to try a 421, in addition to a '57, out on your voice.
I have the same "dilemma" as you do as a singer BTW.
A 421 has more sonic detail at the top than the 57.

Be aware that the current MKII version of the 421 is brighter/
less smooth than any of the previous incarnations,
and won't deliver the same kind of sound.

Chris
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Just wanted to add, in line with RKrizman's perceptive post,
that adding (appropriate) emotional intensity to an inherently melodic vocal will work just fine. No need to buy those cigarettes or Borox!

Chris
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6th June 2003
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faeflora....thanks for the suggestions...

I ended up tweaking the KSP 8 compression program I was using and got the sound I was looking for by:

1/ setting the Cactus pattern to 2 positions less than Omni

2/ Using a soft knee compressor set 6 to 1 with a 35 ms attack time and a 75 ms release time...threshhold at -30db and makeup gain at 6db

3/ Backing off of the mic to about 1 and a half feet!!

Thanks guys...the vocals are much more full bodied but very aggressive....bouncy upfront and intense....

Just goes to show that the answer isn't always new gear...but learning how to use the gear you have mo' better

Buddhaman
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Quote:
Just goes to show that the answer isn't always new gear...
True. Very true. But that's no gearsult answer.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Buddhaman
faeflora....thanks for the suggestions...

I ended up tweaking the KSP 8 compression program I was using and got the sound I was looking for by:

1/ setting the Cactus pattern to 2 positions less than Omni

2/ Using a soft knee compressor set 6 to 1 with a 35 ms attack time and a 75 ms release time...threshhold at -30db and makeup gain at 6db

3/ Backing off of the mic to about 1 and a half feet!!

Thanks guys...the vocals are much more full bodied but very aggressive....bouncy upfront and intense....

Just goes to show that the answer isn't always new gear...but learning how to use the gear you have mo' better

Buddhaman
Yay! I'm glad for you!
Jax
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Quote:
Originally posted by Buddhaman

Just goes to show that the answer isn't always new gear...
I'll take a friendly swipe at that one, too -

Heretic! (shakes fist in the air)
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7th June 2003
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Glad it worked for you-even though you "cheated" by not getting a 421!

Chris
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try and mike said... the mult idea and then running a dirtbox/ampfarm/sanamp whatever on the duped track.

Sm 57 into a two neve pres strapped together for the most expensive distortion tone around.... but **** its a good one!

Distressor set to 'kill krush & destroy' setting with all the distorion modes on.

Spectrasonics 610.. or shure level loc
try crusty mics... EXPERIMENT!

bucket bongs! .lol


PEACE
Wiggy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Buddhaman

Just goes to show that the answer isn't always new gear...but learning how to use the gear you have mo' better

Buddhaman
I have passed your details onto Jules and you are now officially 'under review'. If you can't be nice on these forums and stick by the rules then I am afraid you may have all your gear removed by everyone else here so we can play on it while you go and get your 'gearless' sound elsewhere. 'The answer isn't always new gear' ..pah
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#23
8th June 2003
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my voice sounds good on a 219, and even better on a beyer m69 (my piece of sleeper gear)

another thing to do without buying mo' gear (boo, hiss), is trying different positions around the mike, all faces are assymetrical, especially when it comes to vocalisations
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cheers
max
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"I find love the most important thing in the world.
It’s much more important than songs or music or bicycles or cars or mansions.
And so, I’ve always chosen to write about love."

Harlan Howard
#24
8th June 2003
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my voice sounds good on a 219, and even better on a beyer m69 (my piece of sleeper gear)

another thing to do without buying mo' gear (boo, hiss), is trying different positions around the mike, all faces are assymetrical, especially when it comes to vocalisations
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