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"Dry" Vocals - Processing Tips
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Scinx
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#1
4th September 2005
Old 4th September 2005
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"Dry" Vocals - Processing Tips

As seen in another post (I didnt want to hi-jack)

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
There are ways to mix the vocal where it feels dry but isn't.

When someone tells me they want the vocals dry it means they don't want to hear the processing.
Just wondering if anybody has some tips in dealing with vocals which need a little extra strength/energy/etc. but end up still sounding dry.
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4th September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scinx
As seen in another post (I didnt want to hi-jack)


Just wondering if anybody has some tips in dealing with vocals which need a little extra strength/energy/etc. but end up still sounding dry.

The energy & strength is in the right dynamic processing.

By that i mean EQ/compression on the lead vocal track at mixdown.

The right combination can be deadly.

Which combinations work best?

You will have to experiment.

I have my own chains that i like that really bring out the vocals.

In terms of of effects processing for dry sounding vocals i like a combination of a mono flanger, 2 PCM 42's set at around 20ms and some H3000 dual H910 tucked right in there.
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22nd April 2006
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Hi guys,

Can anyone recommend a plug-in equivalent of the H3000 / H910? (vocal doubler kind of effect). I need something that runs on OS9 and PT Mix Plus 5.1

Thanks.
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22nd April 2006
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22nd April 2006
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Uhh.. you mean the actual hardware H3000? (I don't have one... that's why I'm looking for a plug-in equivalent)..
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22nd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockman
Hi guys,

Can anyone recommend a plug-in equivalent of the H3000 / H910? (vocal doubler kind of effect). I need something that runs on OS9 and PT Mix Plus 5.1

Thanks.
digidesign stereo delay + digidesign pitch ...
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22nd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockman
Uhh.. you mean the actual hardware H3000? (I don't have one... that's why I'm looking for a plug-in equivalent)..
Yes, the real deal.

I am sure you could try some emulation with plugins. Try duplicating vocals to 2 tracks pan them L/R, pitch one up about +9 cents one down -9 cents. Delay one 15ms and the other 30ms. Put your dry vocal in, pull down affected tracks, increase their volume till you hear 'em, then pull them back a bit. Experiment with delay and pitch shift settings. Give it a shot, I have never tried it, but it might work.

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22nd April 2006
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well use a aux track ... saves you some audio tracks
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23rd April 2006
Old 23rd April 2006
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Thanks guys. I'll try that... I appreciate the advice.
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23rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockman
Uhh.. you mean the actual hardware H3000? (I don't have one... that's why I'm looking for a plug-in equivalent)..
There is a Factory H3000 included in the Eventide Anthology bundle.

Very cool!!!!

The DigiDesign Pitch plug-in (with built-in delay) works well, also.
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23rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtstudi@pacbell
I am sure you could try some emulation with plugins. Try duplicating vocals to 2 tracks pan them L/R, pitch one up about +9 cents one down -9 cents. Delay one 15ms and the other 30ms. [/url]

forgive me if i'm preaching to the choir here: short delays using plug-ins, mixed in a digital buss, sound like really bad comb filters, nothing at all like their analog counterparts. rather than getting deeper and wider the way they do with a couple of 42's, or even se50's, things just get thinner. i think a lot of guys who've never worked with anything but daws scratch their heads when they try these tricks and get less than stellar results, wondering what they're doing wrong.

combining really close facsimiles (short delays, pitch shifted sends, chorus/flanged duplicates) is where digital falls shortest, imo. sometimes, it really IS the tools.


gregoire
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23rd April 2006
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Thanks Gregoire, for your input. So.. what you're saying basically, is that without the proper tools (i.e. a real hardware version of the H3000, or a similar product), it would be hard for me to get a pitch shift effect that actually sounds good?
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23rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
forgive me if i'm preaching to the choir here: short delays using plug-ins, mixed in a digital buss, sound like really bad comb filters, nothing at all like their analog counterparts. rather than getting deeper and wider the way they do with a couple of 42's, or even se50's, things just get thinner. i think a lot of guys who've never worked with anything but daws scratch their heads when they try these tricks and get less than stellar results, wondering what they're doing wrong.

combining really close facsimiles (short delays, pitch shifted sends, chorus/flanged duplicates) is where digital falls shortest, imo. sometimes, it really IS the tools.


gregoire
del ubik
Great observation... You hit the nail on the head with that one ! I´ve been trying to get better vocals by using digital delays and choruses and all it does is piss me off ! You think it would work better if I sent the delayed tracks out to my mixer and then back into the pc....some type of analoge mojo will help this "digititis" ?
#14
23rd April 2006
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There's no reason why software delay can't be as good as a hardware digital delay. With the exception of the noise and coloration of analog converters.

Digital delays, both hardware and software, struggle to give a good echo because it's simply unnatural to have a delay come back at you so perfectly. In nature, an echo comes back at you after traveling hundreds, thousands of feet through air that is in motion. The highs are rolled off, and the whole sound gets diffused and degraded, and it sounds fantastic.

The old analog bucket-brigade delays messed up the sound really good, and they sounded fantastic. There is something about bouncing the sound through literally thousands of capacitors, so that the signal is barely recognisable at the other end. Even with the noise created.

Tape, with tubes and transformes, did an impressive job too. Especially with the tape speed wobbling and slipping, and maybe helped along with some stuff jammed in the tape reel to make it wobble.

I find with digital delays, some modulation is helpful. Convolution using samples of analog gear can help too.

I haven't found many chorus plugins that don't suck majorly when mono'd. Usually the are a minefield of phase issues. A lot of '80's music, when people where going crazy with chorus and digital trick, sounds like poo on a mono TV set.

I think a major advantage of tape and analog delays is that they were mono. To get stereo, you had to engage your brain, and were less likely to make some phasey nightmare.

My 2c.
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23rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
forgive me if i'm preaching to the choir here: short delays using plug-ins, mixed in a digital buss, sound like really bad comb filters, nothing at all like their analog counterparts.
you could duplicate the vocal track and time compensate it, send it to the aux only and you get no shifting .
#16
23rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
forgive me if i'm preaching to the choir here: short delays using plug-ins, mixed in a digital buss, sound like really bad comb filters, nothing at all like their analog counterparts. rather than getting deeper and wider the way they do with a couple of 42's, or even se50's, things just get thinner. i think a lot of guys who've never worked with anything but daws scratch their heads when they try these tricks and get less than stellar results, wondering what they're doing wrong.

combining really close facsimiles (short delays, pitch shifted sends, chorus/flanged duplicates) is where digital falls shortest, imo. sometimes, it really IS the tools.


gregoire
del ubik
Not to make TOO shameless of a plug, but I'm wondering if you've ever given EchoBoy a try for this kind of stuff? If you have, and you don't like it, why?

-- Ken (from SoundToys)
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23rd April 2006
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i do a little eq and add compression to the lead vocals, then i send a little bit of that track to a real short stereo delay and an extra long delay in time with the song. on the short delay i cut all the lows and some of the highs and throw the tape head distortion plug on it. then i send some of this aux to a ambient or small room reverb aux. sounds good to me!
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23rd April 2006
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isnt this the same concept and effect charles spoke about in mix it like a record that he called split harmony? I use waves doubler 2. It does delays pitch control and modulation for both left and right channels.
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23rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themaestro
i do a little eq and add compression to the lead vocals, then i send a little bit of that track to a real short stereo delay and an extra long delay in time with the song. on the short delay i cut all the lows and some of the highs and throw the tape head distortion plug on it. then i send some of this aux to a ambient or small room reverb aux. sounds good to me!
Hey ! That sound neat..I´m gonna try it !!
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23rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
forgive me if i'm preaching to the choir here: short delays using plug-ins, mixed in a digital buss, sound like really bad comb filters, nothing at all like their analog counterparts. rather than getting deeper and wider the way they do with a couple of 42's, or even se50's, things just get thinner. i think a lot of guys who've never worked with anything but daws scratch their heads when they try these tricks and get less than stellar results, wondering what they're doing wrong.

combining really close facsimiles (short delays, pitch shifted sends, chorus/flanged duplicates) is where digital falls shortest, imo. sometimes, it really IS the tools.


gregoire
del ubik
That is why I said "Give it a shot, I have never tried it, but it might work." And that is why I don't "ITB". Honestly, everything done in the box is compromised. For some folks, that is all they have to work with. What bothers me is when they charge over $20 an hour for it. That is when I say "You paid how much for this?"


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#21
23rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenBogdanowicz
Not to make TOO shameless of a plug, but I'm wondering if you've ever given EchoBoy a try for this kind of stuff? If you have, and you don't like it, why?

-- Ken (from SoundToys)
Use it all the time for this kind of thing (and a lot for different things - I have four in the session I´m working on at the moment). IMO it works very well on short vocal doubler settings. Doesn´t sound like digititis to me.

Regards,
Bill
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23rd April 2006
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Sound Toys

Its funny because I was going to recommend sound blender(by soundtoys) as a useful doubler program. I havent used echo boy for that yet but I will try it next mix.

Does anyone still use the ams dmx for vox dbling or does it excell more elsewhere, Ive been using it with varying luck recently, sometimes it just sounds like I tracked vocals in the bathroom.
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24th April 2006
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Echoboy is all over my sessions.
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24th April 2006
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My current setup for getting dry sounding vocals still doesn't shy away from sending very small amounts (barely, but still audible to me, most likely un noticable to the musician ) to slightly darker sounding reverbs, (I've been using a 480 L with a bit of top end cut off , using the 480l's HF cut) that just seem to help give the vocals a bit of breadth, but dont push them back in the mix and make them sound wet. Along with a hint of H3000 on micropitchshift (ha sounds like I'm being a TV chef), compressing with an 1176 or a Distressor (for doing rock stuff) and EQ ing the vocals back through the Console, (which in My case is usually through a 1081, with maybe some pultec in there if needed. so my conclusion is still use a small amount of less noticble reverbs to add to the overall sound of the vocals rather than using it as another element or obvious effect. so the vocals still have a bit of shimmer, but are still dry and In your face sounding.
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24th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenBogdanowicz
Not to make TOO shameless of a plug, but I'm wondering if you've ever given EchoBoy a try for this kind of stuff?

i haven't, but that's probably because i made a vow to only buy hardware in the future, and no-holds-barred stellar hardware at that. so the next delay purchases for me are a 42 and a fulltone tape. meanwhile, an mpx-1 on a console send does short delays for me.

no doubt, plug-ins keep getting better and better... i just prefer boxes in a rack.


gregoire
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24th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
i haven't, but that's probably because i made a vow to only buy hardware in the future, and no-holds-barred stellar hardware at that. so the next delay purchases for me are a 42 and a fulltone tape. meanwhile, an mpx-1 on a console send does short delays for me.

no doubt, plug-ins keep getting better and better... i just prefer boxes in a rack.


gregoire
del ubik
Cool, no problem there - I like boxes too. The PCM-42 is really nice - it's got this crazy pumping limiter that really gives it a sound of it's own. The TTE is nice, but a little bright for my taste. I'm more a fan of old Space Echos or EP-1/2 (for guitar, though, haven't tried the TTE on vocals).

Have you tried the AMX 15-80? It'll give you that H3000 micro-shift vocal doubling thing, but it's got it's a sort-of built-in distortion that gives it a special sound. Pretty expensive, though, and impossible to fix.

-- Ken (from SoundToys)
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24th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenBogdanowicz
Have you tried the AMX 15-80? It'll give you that H3000 micro-shift vocal doubling thing, but it's got it's a sort-of built-in distortion that gives it a special sound. Pretty expensive, though, and impossible to fix.

-- Ken (from SoundToys)

Still rocks though on acoustic guitars.thumbsup


Especially with the delay set to zero and using the latency of the converters.


You get the crisp distortion and the chorusing as well on an acoustic.


On a lead vocal it can be the ticket as well.


Different sonically to the H3000 Dual H910 preset(delay set to zero as well) which sounds great on background vocals.
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25th April 2006
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Hey, Ken!

You should make EchoBoy as a hardware box.
It´s one of the best delay (and chorus and saturator and and and) thingies I´ve ever used!

Peter
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25th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
some H3000 dual H910 tucked right in there.
Tried that today, I think I like it better than the MicroShift Pitch Preset.

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25th April 2006
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I find that if I want a dry vocal to work release time on the compressor is something a spend a lot more time on than i normally would if I had things a little wet.
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