Best Plugins/settings for Mixing Rap Vocals in pro tools?
Old 30th January 2007
  #1
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Best Plugins/settings for Mixing Rap Vocals in pro tools?

What are the best plugins or some that you have tried?

Whats the normal order you do your mixing in? Comp - EQ - Reverb?

Drop some settings as well and let me know what would be some good plugins to buy.

Regards,
Old 30th January 2007
  #2
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i like waves and mcdsp for my processing...i usually eq then compress... but theres no general rule, sometimes i go the other way. and u ask if u reverb follows in the chains... are u inserting reverbs as inserts on the tracks themselves? i hope not
Old 30th January 2007
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Actually I would not specialize the chain for Rap. A good chain belongs much more to the individual voice and how it should sound in the context of the track than to the style of music.

You may get good results with McDSP, UAudio, URS, Metric Halo, Sony Oxford, Waves SSL or Rennaissance (List of my priority. Actually I do not have much experience with the Sonys!).

My chains for most rappers and singers in the last months was like this: Recorded the voice through the BAE Pre with the Peluso 2247 or sometimes the CAD E350. Mixed with URS Nevestyle EQ and 1970 Compressor (alternatively I found my hardware compressor often much better The Ted Fletcher or sometimes the Alan Smart). For reverb I used the internal Plate Reverb from DP5 or the Waves Rennaissance Verb/Waves IR1L.

I often switched betwenn EQ Pre or Post Compressor. Depended a lot on the signal I had!

Good luck and remember: The best unit in your studio should be your ear!

P.S.: I fear the same as SubaroOo does. Please use the plate as a send effect! Inserting is possible, but you should know a lot about mixing before you do that!
Old 30th January 2007
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I was originally using Audition and was compressing then Para Eq(custom settings) and then adding slight reverb to the vocals and dubs.

Is this not a good idea? Definitely agree with the ear being the best tool!

Very new to pro tools mixing! Got the waves diamond bundle what else is recommended!? Does anyone have any compression settings i could try input to get me started!?

Regards,
Old 30th January 2007
  #5
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Remember that the goal of a good mix is that it all fits together in very nice way. If you add verb wo your vox that does not add to anything else you vocals will march a different route than the other stuff. sometimes it is okay, often not!

A good basic start for compression? Hmm... Well at all it is always a different approach, but try a mediium attack setting, fast release and a ratio between 2 and 4! This will not be the ideal solution, but you can go on from there!

If you use the Diamond bundle (Who the hell did recommend that one to ya? So many crappy shit in it, that you have to pay for) I would use the stuff that you could have bought with the Broadcasrt and Production Bundle for a less price thean the Diamond Bundle! These Pluggies are better than the other ones! Ren EQ and Comp behave very nice on vocals. If you have enough nice flavour on you recording use the phase linear EQ and Comp! They are also real nice in the things they do! The Rennaissance Reverberator is also very nice on your tracks I am sure.
Old 30th January 2007
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I 'usually' compress before I eq. As a theoretical: you eq first, lets say you make a +3dB boost at 120Hz. Then your signal hits a comp which will actually act to squash the changes you just made to your signal.

The only situation in which I'll always eq first is if I'm making really corrective (mostly subtractive) cuts. for example, a LPF on a bass line or kick drum...

as usual, there's no concrete rule, but that's a starting point
Old 30th January 2007
  #7
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Ahh thanks for that!

Last edited by masta1; 30th January 2007 at 04:18 PM.. Reason: double post
Old 30th January 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrif08 View Post
I 'usually' compress before I eq. As a theoretical: you eq first, lets say you make a +3dB boost at 120Hz. Then your signal hits a comp which will actually act to squash the changes you just made to your signal.

The only situation in which I'll always eq first is if I'm making really corrective (mostly subtractive) cuts. for example, a LPF on a bass line or kick drum...

as usual, there's no concrete rule, but that's a starting point
real nice explanation!

think most of the times i do it too. if i remember the last mixes i eqed most jobs after compression like you did
Old 31st January 2007
  #9
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Andrew J take a listen to this top one -

www.myspace.com/mastacraft - this was mixed using :

rvox
rcomp
rverb
L1

In that order - i really like the way my vocals sound with this mix and was hoping to try re-create it as such. I have worked out how to use the plugins just really don't have to much of an idea where i should roughly be putting the settings. EG:



I have this open just not sure whats a good preset! Any help or if you could perhaps reccomend a product/link me to it that i should purchase...I have these so far:

Waves 360 surround Tools
Diamond Bundle
IRx v5.2
L3 Mitimaximizer
Q-Clone

Regards,
Old 31st January 2007
  #10
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At all your stuff sounds better than a lot of the stuff I heard already released. You should try using only one Compressor and see if it will bring you to a result as nice as the one you got. As I mentioned before I would use the Rennaissance Tools and the Masters Tolls from Waves. For reverb you can use the IR-L.

Play with the sliders a bit, your ear should tell you what to do!

i would be very careful with the sliders. The compression that you nearly do not hear is often the best one!
Old 31st January 2007
  #11
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I will say that the URS 1970's compressor sound great on rap vocals. The Waves SSL channel strip on the Chris Lord Alge Preset (Lead VOX) helps tremendously in my setup. But you could just use the compressor in pro tools (if that's what you're using) and use the Comp 3 with the (vocal comp) preset. I know it sounds silly that I keep talking about how great presets are. But if you're not making real Major Label rap records...alot can be achieved with them.
Old 31st January 2007
  #12
Old 1st February 2007
  #13
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Wow real interesting.

Is the fairchild the one from UAudio?

Stevens: I would say a lot can be achieved starting with presets and letting your ear optimize them!
Old 1st February 2007
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Old 1st February 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj View Post
Wow real interesting.

Is the fairchild the one from UAudio?

Stevens: I would say a lot can be achieved starting with presets and letting your ear optimize them!
it's the one from bomb factory.
Old 1st February 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjamm View Post
it's the one from bomb factory.
Is the UAudio also a good one?
Old 3rd February 2007
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj View Post
Is the UAudio also a good one?
it's "supposed" to be a "better/truer" emulation and from what i've read people like it. but i think this shows that pensado doesn't give a ****, he simply uses what he likes.

"I rented maybe 7 or 8 Fairchilds, and on a blind test on a Christina Aguilera vocal, I liked this plug-in better."
Old 4th February 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XHipHop View Post
The best advice I can give people who ask for presets came from Dave in this article...

Quote:
“My settings won't work on anything other than what I used them on,”
Old 10th June 2008
  #19
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(sorry complete n00b)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subaro0o View Post
i like waves and mcdsp for my processing...i usually eq then compress... but theres no general rule, sometimes i go the other way. and u ask if u reverb follows in the chains... are u inserting reverbs as inserts on the tracks themselves? i hope not
where else would you insert the reverb?

(sorry complete n00b)
Old 13th June 2008
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbangermany View Post
where else would you insert the reverb?

(sorry complete n00b)
make a stereo aux track, set the input as a bus in, put reverb-of-choice on it as an insert. make a send on the vocal track(s) to that bus, and send the vocals to the aux reverb.

when you add a reverb as an insert on the vocal track, it dulls the sound a bit.
Old 1st November 2010
  #21
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Right now I have the Slate virtual console(US A, input cranked), a UAD 1176, and I just can't find a good EQ to put on it. What would you guys recommend for a lead vocal on a rap song? His voice is like a dulled down drake
Old 2nd November 2010
  #22
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There is no such thing as a "best plugin" or a magical preset setting or cookie cutter plugin chain for rap vocals, rock guitars, flutes, or anything else. It's strictly program-dependent on a case-by-case basis, and all boils down to your ability to track and mix, and understand what you are doing and what you're working with.

Presets will do absolutely no good if you don't understand what's going on, and if you don't, then you won't be able to tell a good plugin from a bad one anyway.

Anyone with Waves Diamond who is asking for recommendations on more plugs to "purchase" shouldn't have to ask how to use them, imho...

A better question would have been "What are some good mixing techniques for Bone/Jay-Z/Jeezy/etc. etc. style vocals?"

You ever heard that old saying "give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he'll eat forever"? You've got plenty of fish homie, go get your pole...
Old 2nd November 2010
  #23
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The only thing I have found to make my vocal sounds much better is a really nice mic...
Old 4th November 2010
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bino_5150 View Post
There is no such thing as a "best plugin" or a magical preset setting or cookie cutter plugin chain for rap vocals, rock guitars, flutes, or anything else. It's strictly program-dependent on a case-by-case basis, and all boils down to your ability to track and mix, and understand what you are doing and what you're working with.

Presets will do absolutely no good if you don't understand what's going on, and if you don't, then you won't be able to tell a good plugin from a bad one anyway.

Anyone with Waves Diamond who is asking for recommendations on more plugs to "purchase" shouldn't have to ask how to use them, imho...

A better question would have been "What are some good mixing techniques for Bone/Jay-Z/Jeezy/etc. etc. style vocals?"

You ever heard that old saying "give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he'll eat forever"? You've got plenty of fish homie, go get your pole...
You know, your post inspired me. It made me stop looking for an answer to my problem and just made me figure it out and after a little research, I did it.
Thanks dude, you were right
haha
Old 4th November 2010
  #25
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what gear are u using?
Old 4th November 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DopeMusicEnt View Post
what gear are u using?
Lawson 251>great river NV pre> then SS virtual channel strip>API 550b>CLA-2A

Pretty happy with it
Old 30th July 2011
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Old 30th July 2011
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subaro0o View Post
i like waves and mcdsp for my processing...i usually eq then compress... but theres no general rule, sometimes i go the other way. and u ask if u reverb follows in the chains... are u inserting reverbs as inserts on the tracks themselves? i hope not
I do pretty much the same thing..but I rarely use reverb, I prefer using delay instead...I eq most of the time after compression because if you bump a certain freq. high enough that will effect the compressor differently...
Old 31st July 2011
  #30
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
lead vocal bussed to aux track with:
pro tools high pass filter -> api 560 eq (lead vox setting) -> api comp (lead vox setting) -> c4 (pop vocal setting) -> pro tools de-esser (around 3db of reduction) -> bbe harmonics plugin (lead vocal setting) -> air delay


sends going to waves ir1 reverb / air quarter delay with "center" plugin on "spread" and modulation

for hooks i add the stereo imager, h delay and waves chorus (in the supertap delay) sends added

for backing tracks switch the api 560 to backing vox, api comp to backing vox, c4 to dave pensados backing vox



this my fav chain by far thank me later... tweak these presets though but these are a great starting point imo
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