Login / Register
 
Laying vocals on an already mixed down beat.
New Reply
Subscribe
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#1
4th May 2010
Old 4th May 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Laying vocals on an already mixed down beat.

Hey there slutz. Here is a problem that I been having for a very long time now... when you get a beat off of the internet, how do you record your vocals over it without sounding like two separate tracks? I added an example with the post. The vocals are done with a rode nt1a with no effects what so ever, just the dry signal. The beat I got from soundclick.com. I just took one quick stab at it so you can hear what I'm talking about. What can I add, subtract, ect to make the voice sound "meshed together" with the beat more properly? Thank you for any advice you can give me.
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 new.mp3 (462.6 KB, 944 views)
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#2
4th May 2010
Old 4th May 2010
  #2
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Hey there dave... why did you delete your message?
#3
4th May 2010
Old 4th May 2010
  #3
Gear maniac
 
davew's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: north and south
Posts: 155

davew is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gear_Lover View Post
Hey there dave... why did you delete your message?
because there is no track for me to hear....yet.
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#4
4th May 2010
Old 4th May 2010
  #4
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by davew View Post
because there is no track for me to hear....yet.
lol, my bad :P Uploaded now... just did it on one quick take just so people can get an idea on what I mean. It has no eq, compression or anything. I know that would help out but, I just wanted to leave it raw for the example.
#5
4th May 2010
Old 4th May 2010
  #5
Gear maniac
 
davew's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: north and south
Posts: 155

davew is offline
mixing ANYTHING done in different environments has it's challenges!
first of all i think doubling up the vox would do alot, and i don't mean using an fx to double it, actually do another vocal track! then play around with some parametric-eq to bump up the sweet spot of the vox for added clarity.

here is an example of myself playing along on drums (beer tempo!) to an isley bro's song. the kit i used is similar to a led zeppelin type kit, but tweaked quite a bit...done on my electronic drum kit live. i would have thought it to be a bad choice but imo, it blended pretty well for a quick example.
http://www.audiocdmasters.com/drumtracks/isllybro.mp3

reverbs may help, ya never know what will work...ya just have to keep trying many different things.... go with the double vox first though! after hearing the 2nd version...bring the music UP!
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#6
4th May 2010
Old 4th May 2010
  #6
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by davew View Post
mixing ANYTHING done in different environments has it's challenges!
first of all i think doubling up the vox would do alot, and i don't mean using an fx to double it, actually do another vocal track! then play around with some parametric-eq to bump up the sweet spot of the vox for added clarity.

here is an example of myself playing along on drums (beer tempo!) to an isley bro's song. the kit i used is similar to a led zeppelin type kit, but tweaked quite a bit...done on my electronic drum kit live. i would have thought it to be a bad choice but imo, it blended pretty well for a quick example.
http://www.audiocdmasters.com/drumtracks/isllybro.mp3

reverbs may help, ya never know what will work...ya just have to keep trying many different things.... go with the double vox first though! after hearing the 2nd version...bring the music UP!
Sounds pretty good. Has a nice flow and feel to it. Thanks for the advice on the reverb and the doubling. I've tried it all but I'm still not getting the results that I want. When you record a vocal, is there some kind of trick to make it sound "sonically better" with the beat? Should I record 3 separate lead vocals and pan them left, right, middle? What other things can I do to make it mesh sonically?

See, My problem is my vocals don't sit sonically in with the mixed down beat and they just sound like two different things you see what I'm saying?
#7
4th May 2010
Old 4th May 2010
  #7
Gear maniac
 
davew's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: north and south
Posts: 155

davew is offline
i get you, and what i'm saying is you just have to keep trying different things....there is no magic formula that i'm aware of after 25 years in the biz. if nothing else, try a different mic and preamp setup. it can be done with patience.
#8
4th May 2010
Old 4th May 2010
  #8
Gear addict
 
CityDump Records's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 410

Send a message via Yahoo to CityDump Records
CityDump Records is offline
I record over stereo mp3 beats all the time. Here are some things I do

1.
EQ the beat. Pull down frequency's in the beat that interfere with the vocal so in other words pull down the mid range, that should carve a slot for the vocal.

2.
I like to use more delays and less reverb

3.
Mix LCR , so everything 100L Center or 100R

4.
Stack vocals 2 times on EVERY take

try around 4 times on hook

stack highlights/adlibs and pan hard

5.
Take your time and record a lot of takes and make sure your hooks are bigger and verses are crispy clean

6. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!
__________________
ICON
CityDump Records - Indianapolis Recording Studio
www.citydumprecords.com
317-506-3135
#9
4th May 2010
Old 4th May 2010
  #9
Gear nut
 
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 144

soultrappa is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by CityDump Records View Post
I record over stereo mp3 beats all the time. Here are some things I do

1.
EQ the beat. Pull down frequency's in the beat that interfere with the vocal so in other words pull down the mid range, that should carve a slot for the vocal.

2.
I like to use more delays and less reverb

3.
Mix LCR , so everything 100L Center or 100R

4.
Stack vocals 2 times on EVERY take

try around 4 times on hook

stack highlights/adlibs and pan hard

5.
Take your time and record a lot of takes and make sure your hooks are bigger and verses are crispy clean

6. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!
Yea id go with this - Your vocals definatley need more depth and a wider sonic range - try stereo expanding your centre vocal or adding a chorus to your centre vocal while leaving your LR without(via send - not on the insert).
different effects can help to thicken a vocal so experiment.
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#10
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by CityDump Records View Post
I record over stereo mp3 beats all the time. Here are some things I do

1.
EQ the beat. Pull down frequency's in the beat that interfere with the vocal so in other words pull down the mid range, that should carve a slot for the vocal.

2.
I like to use more delays and less reverb

3.
Mix LCR , so everything 100L Center or 100R

4.
Stack vocals 2 times on EVERY take

try around 4 times on hook

stack highlights/adlibs and pan hard

5.
Take your time and record a lot of takes and make sure your hooks are bigger and verses are crispy clean

6. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to help.

All these suggestions sound great! I just have a few questions;

on number 3, when you say LCR, do you mean I should record one lead vocal and duplicate it two more times and then place one hard left one center and one hard right? or do you mean that I should record 3 lead vocals separately and then LCR them?

on number 4, when you say "pan hard" does it matter if it's right or left?
and then after I pan it, should I record another take and pan it hard in the opposition direction as well? Or just duplicate the same take and then pan it?
#11
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Bender412's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 2,019
My Recordings/Credits

Bender412 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gear_Lover View Post
Thank you so much for taking the time to help.

All these suggestions sound great! I just have a few questions;

on number 3, when you say LCR, do you mean I should record one lead vocal and duplicate it two more times and then place one hard left one center and one hard right? or do you mean that I should record 3 lead vocals separately and then LCR them?

on number 4, when you say "pan hard" does it matter if it's right or left?
and then after I pan it, should I record another take and pan it hard in the opposition direction as well? Or just duplicate the same take and then pan it?
Stacking or layering means recording additional takes, not duplicating. Big difference.
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#12
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #12
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender412 View Post
Stacking or layering means recording additional takes, not duplicating. Big difference.
lol, I know that. I was asking what he meant by LCR on suggestion number 3. Stacking was suggested on number 4.
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#13
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #13
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by soultrappa View Post
Yea id go with this - Your vocals definatley need more depth and a wider sonic range - try stereo expanding your centre vocal or adding a chorus to your centre vocal while leaving your LR without(via send - not on the insert).
different effects can help to thicken a vocal so experiment.
Welcome to GearSlutz and thanks for the hand. thumbsup Yeah, I noticed that yesterday to, in regards to the stereo expanding. The vox sounded a lot more "balanced" in with the beat. But if that's the case, why not just record the vocals in stereo to begin with? I know that a voice is mono and should only be recorded in mono but, if the stereo expanding seemed to "work" Then why not just record in a stereo track to begin with? What would be the downside in that?
#14
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #14
Gear maniac
 
Starshine's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 174

Starshine is offline
It doesn't work at all. I just think you'll have to find another instrumental because the mix on this one is terrible. It lacks punch, depth and groove.

With that said, if you still want to record vocals on it, I think that you should eq out resonance around 300hz, High pass at 100hz, add some air around 6/8khz and compress.
You might have to eq out some of the high mids on the instrumentals because the guitars are clashing with your vocals.
#15
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #15
Gear Head
 
icestormaudio's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: ATL

icestormaudio is offline
You can do it and get decent results, but it will likely never sound as good as a properly tracked out beat. The simple reason is that you can mix individual instruments to make them "fit" around the vocal tracks.

My experience is that you will need a great sounding preamp/mic/recording room, as well as being a talented mix engineer - like the people said before you will need to experiment a bit before you get it right.

Tip: Try Muting your beat, and just listening to the vocal track(s). Do they sound good by themselves? If not you probably need to adjust them, try panning, then add some effects. Slowly, bring up the beat volume until it sounds perfect. Check the mix in headphones too.thumbsup
#16
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Bender412's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 2,019
My Recordings/Credits

Bender412 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by CityDump Records View Post
4.
Stack vocals 2 times on EVERY take

try around 4 times on hook

stack highlights/adlibs and pan hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gear_Lover View Post
on number 4, when you say "pan hard" does it matter if it's right or left?
and then after I pan it, should I record another take and pan it hard in the opposition direction as well? Or just duplicate the same take and then pan it?

Did I read something wrong?
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#17
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #17
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender412 View Post
Did I read something wrong?
lol I see where your getting at now. My bad. Guess I was just trying to get some more opinions on that.
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#18
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #18
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starshine View Post
eq out resonance around 300hz, High pass at 100hz, add some air around 6/8khz and compress.
I kinda get the gist of it but, could you walk me through it just a bit so I can get a better understanding on what your trying to say please? lol I don't wanna seem like I need someone to hold me by the hand but, dude, I really want to learn and sometimes it's hard going through all the mistakes by myself. :(
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#19
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #19
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by icestormaudio View Post
You can do it and get decent results, but it will likely never sound as good as a properly tracked out beat. The simple reason is that you can mix individual instruments to make them "fit" around the vocal tracks.

My experience is that you will need a great sounding preamp/mic/recording room, as well as being a talented mix engineer - like the people said before you will need to experiment a bit before you get it right.

Tip: Try Muting your beat, and just listening to the vocal track(s). Do they sound good by themselves? If not you probably need to adjust them, try panning, then add some effects. Slowly, bring up the beat volume until it sounds perfect. Check the mix in headphones too.thumbsup
Thanks for the suggestions Ice. I've been giving the mic/preamp thing a lot of thought lately and I think I'm gonna be saving up for some real high end music gear soon. I'm sure that will help the sonic quality of my vocals tremendously.
#20
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
 
superiorsound's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Seacoast NH
Posts: 508

superiorsound is offline
Heres what to do!

Alot of my client buy leases which are just stereo files heres how to get the vocals tucked in without sounding to seperate. These are just starting points use your ear but heres where Id start.

1. I typically eq vocals to my liking (cut some of the low mids/mids helps allow the vox to cut through)
2. Cut beat in 400hz semi wide Q(helps the brunt of the voxs cut through...Thanks Mr. Tony Maserati!)
3. Use reverb as a space tool to tuck the voxs in.

These three things are all you need to get the vocals in the mix. Odviously Id rather have the beat stems but sometimes you need to make it work.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
__________________
www.superiormediagroup.net
603-866-4404
#21
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
superiorsound's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Seacoast NH
Posts: 508

superiorsound is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starshine View Post
It doesn't work at all. I just think you'll have to find another instrumental because the mix on this one is terrible. It lacks punch, depth and groove.

With that said, if you still want to record vocals on it, I think that you should eq out resonance around 300hz, High pass at 100hz, add some air around 6/8khz and compress.
You might have to eq out some of the high mids on the instrumentals because the guitars are clashing with your vocals.
If the beat sucks it sucks!! I had a guy bring me some crap last week I said wtf you want me to do with this it was like a low quality low stream poorly mixed Mp3!
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#22
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #22
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by superiorsound View Post
Alot of my client buy leases which are just stereo files heres how to get the vocals tucked in without sounding to seperate. These are just starting points use your ear but heres where Id start.

1. I typically eq vocals to my liking (cut some of the low mids/mids helps allow the vox to cut through)
2. Cut beat in 400hz semi wide Q(helps the brunt of the voxs cut through...Thanks Mr. Tony Maserati!)
3. Use reverb as a space tool to tuck the voxs in.

These three things are all you need to get the vocals in the mix. Odviously Id rather have the beat stems but sometimes you need to make it work.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Can you give me a visual screenshot on what the "400hz semi wide q" should look like? Sorry I just don't understand. :( It would be greatly appreciated bro.
#23
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #23
Gear Head
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 59

slapsideent.com is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by superiorsound View Post
Alot of my client buy leases which are just stereo files heres how to get the vocals tucked in without sounding to seperate. These are just starting points use your ear but heres where Id start.

1. I typically eq vocals to my liking (cut some of the low mids/mids helps allow the vox to cut through)
2. Cut beat in 400hz semi wide Q(helps the brunt of the voxs cut through...Thanks Mr. Tony Maserati!)
3. Use reverb as a space tool to tuck the voxs in.

These three things are all you need to get the vocals in the mix. Odviously Id rather have the beat stems but sometimes you need to make it work.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
This is what I do also, I just use slight compression to get the vocals smoothed out.
__________________
http://slapsideent.com
#24
5th May 2010
Old 5th May 2010
  #24
Gear Head
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 59

slapsideent.com is offline
[QUOTE=Gear_Lover;5375777]Can you give me a visual screenshot on what the "400hz semi wide q" should look like? Sorry I just don't understand. :( It would be greatly appreciated bro. [/QUOTE

Make the eq bandwidth wider, for example try dialing in 1.75 bandwidth while subtracting -3.1 DBs in the 400hz range. Then adjust to your likings. Eq sweeping helps to because every mic is different.
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#25
6th May 2010
Old 6th May 2010
  #25
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapsideent.com View Post

Make the eq bandwidth wider, for example try dialing in 1.75 bandwidth while subtracting -3.1 DBs in the 400hz range. Then adjust to your likings. Eq sweeping helps to because every mic is different.
After reading;

BenVesco.com

I got a much better understanding on what you guys were trying to tell me. I see I need a fully parametric eq band to do this huh? To be honest, I'm pretty lost when it comes to all this music lingo, but because of all the advice I'm getting, it's all pointing me in great directions. Keep em coming! lol :p
#26
6th May 2010
Old 6th May 2010
  #26
Gear maniac
 
OneWerd's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 185

OneWerd is offline
That's pretty important stuff. You may want to look up some tutorials on eq and compression on youtube, this site, etc. Your Q is generally how wide the region that you are boosting/cuttin gin the frequency spectrum is going to be. Visually, this would be the difference between boosting a big 'ol bump on the eq (when I push up the frequency @ 500 hz, I might end up boosting from 100hz up to 1000 kz as well) or a skinny little spike (only affecting 490-510, with 500 being the top of the bell/ spike). I'd suggest a little heavier compression for your vox as well.
RTR
#27
6th May 2010
Old 6th May 2010
  #27
RTR
Lives for gear
 
RTR's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 4,782

RTR is online now
I didn't know people rapped over this kind of music..guess I may have a gig after all
Gear_Lover
Thread Starter
#28
6th May 2010
Old 6th May 2010
  #28
Gear Head
 
Gear_Lover's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 46

Thread Starter
Gear_Lover is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR View Post
I didn't know people rapped over this kind of music..guess I may have a gig after all
Hey there bro, is that pro tools still up for sale? I'm In dire need of an upgrade.
#29
24th June 2010
Old 24th June 2010
  #29
Gear Head
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 45

bp104 is offline
If I may chime in as just an artist and not an engineer, I would respectfully say that working on your delivery would help it fit better as well. say the words with More meaning , the flow of it was nice but it sounded like you were reading it from a cue card, say it with more feeling. and that should also help it fit better.
#30
3rd July 2010
Old 3rd July 2010
  #30
Gear nut
 
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 144

soultrappa is offline
@ Gear lover - to answer your question about the stereo track i must honestly say i cannot tell you a referenced answer. Why when you record something in mono and pan it hard left can you get the impression its panned further left when adding a stereo imager/enhancer? I mean isnt hard left supposed to be at 90 degrees left? I would suppose its to do with the sonics of the audio and how it is being replecated until it gets to your ear. For example (this is theoretical) a mono channel plays the same audio at the same signal strength out of both channels at the same time - when you pan it adjusts the amount of signal strength accordingly in a linear fashion. In a stereo channel you hear 2 different signals from 2 different speakers LR - in effect 2 mono channels panned hard left and hard right. When adjusting the balance between left and right you are actually turning one channel up and one down. So i would suppose that the harmonics in each individual track and heard differently as the volume is altered. sounds at 1Khz need to be played less loudly than sounds at 100Hz to be heard so we could be hearing different sonic frequencies of one of the tracks which stand out at lower volumes (panned left we hear higher freqs of right but not lower). After adding reverb etc and the stereo imager then you have sounds bouncing all over which complement and add harmonics to your signal.

Vox
Make sure your happy with your recording - eq out the bits your not happy with - you can find these by using a small q on an eq and boosting up to 10db then sweep your freq range - you will usually find them in simlar ranges - look at anything below 1k that might make the vox muddy or boxy - then look above - pay attention at 1khz-3khz. maybe add some sparkle at anything over 8-10 khz - be carefull of sibulance.
Compression - use it - dont be afraid to experiment - some vox need little - some need more, you can even go as far as harsh limiting on rap vox - sometimes squashing it to f*** can make it sound fuller and warmer.
you can do either of the 2 ways you suggested to thicken the track. Techniques i have used are
3 different recordings - 1 flat mic - centre, 1 takes with mics which add presence and warmth - u87, solid tube maybe. If you dont have that try recording using different techniques - rec one take 2 inch from mic - one 4 inch - try speaking lower on one take etc then eq them to fit nicely.
Or
Pan same vox hard left/hard right and one center. Make centre the cleanest sounding vox and loudest - try different processors on other 2 like cutting hi freqs a little to make seem a little warmer. You can even put a sample delay on them so they act like a chorus effect but be careful of phasing.
use an exciter to help bring the twinkle out which will help it seem clear and alive even when not as loud in the mix - be careful dont overdue it or it will sound terrible.
I will sometimes send them via a chours but my best trick has been to send a channel through a vocoder and play the vocoder very quitetly in the background using a warm mildly destorted sound. Sat deep in the vox you can hardly hear it but it thickens the vox quite alot.
Use a saturation plugin - helps to add warmth and sit vox better in mix
Add reverb via send - 3 in fact, gate reverb, plate reverb and short reverb drum booths seem to work well on rap - remember to eq out the unwanted lower freqs.
finally eq again - but this time considering more the balance between the vox and the instru - make sure that you eq both the vox and the instru to complement each other - this can mean with tight cues and seaminly rediculous eqing - there are no rules to what sounds good.
another thing which helps alot is having an eq, a compressor/limiter, saturation plugin and maybe an imager on your master channel. these will help also get the track as you will be effecting the track as a whole when altering these plugins.

I hope this helps and boy did it take me a while to type. Let me know what you think.
before anyone starts slating me your free to correct me and ill be happy for the info - i used to think there were rules in music and feel bad when i see people telling others 'you dont know what your doing etc'. the more people i meet in music and the more i learn, the more i realise there are no rules - just what sounds good!
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
fdamusic / Rap + Hip Hop engineering & production
9
rallycapmusic / Rap + Hip Hop engineering & production
14
KeMiKaL / Rap + Hip Hop engineering & production
5
Dopamine / Rap + Hip Hop engineering & production
10

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.