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Vocals in the "null"/control room
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AlexLakis
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#1
15th October 2005
Old 15th October 2005
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Vocals in the "null"/control room

Hey all! A discussion started in the "work in progress" section, so I wanted to open it up. I found a few old threads on the subject from a few years ago, but I wanted to get some fresh opinions/experiences...

Every once in a while (or more often than not), we run into a vocalist that just doesn't take well to recording with headphones...so, recording in the control room (or in the live room) with monitors/PA blasting turns out to be the option. For me, this seems to be a more natural, comfortable way to record vocals in general, it tends to bring out more energy from many vocalists...So, how do you do it while minimizing bleed and phasing issues?

Some point the monitors/PA speakers towards each other and place the mic at the spot exactly in between them. This is usually done using a ribbon or other figure-8 patterned mic, as the null of the pickup pattern lies in the direction of the incoming sound waves. Some will sum the mix to mono, and even reverse the phase of one of the monitors to control bleed. Also, EQ can be applied, specifically in the lows and highs, to maximize phase coherence. Tracks that the singer deems "unnecessary" to sing along with may be muted to provide further aid with phasing issues and bleed (and in case they get taken out all together later!) Some engineers have had success using a "triangular"-type setup with cardoid microphones.

So, what are your experiences with recording vocals this way? Summing to mono is an option, but flipping the phase always seems a little drastic for me...I know I couldn't put up with it, but if the singer can, I suppose it might be worth it. It would be best for me, in terms of setup time and gear selection, if I could get the "triangular" method down, although I've only tried it once, and have had questionable results. This technique would expand the mic selection a bit. Also, I find that fitting a mic with the vocalist is especially crucial (as it always is) in this practice, because any drastic EQ you might need may accentuate bleed/phasing issues. Any thoughts?
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15th October 2005
Old 15th October 2005
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borau is offline
Turn of every reverb and other fx. that will change from playback to playback.

Record your vocals.

Record the same part with the vocalist standing in the same spot, with the same mix and the same volume.

Flip the polarity of the second recording and mix as loud as the one with vocals.

The bleed is pretty much gone, do it all the time.
AlexLakis
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16th October 2005
Old 16th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borau
Turn of every reverb and other fx. that will change from playback to playback.

Record your vocals.

Record the same part with the vocalist standing in the same spot, with the same mix and the same volume.

Flip the polarity of the second recording and mix as loud as the one with vocals.

The bleed is pretty much gone, do it all the time.
I don't understand...you're doubletracking vocals then? Wouldn't turning of the effects be just as much of a change as changing the reverb?
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16th October 2005
Old 16th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis
I don't understand...you're doubletracking vocals then?
No, i don´t think that borau is talking about doubletracking the vocals.
Like he says: Track the vocals, then track again with the singer standing...
NOT singing.

That would result in two tracks. One with vocal and one without. Flip the
phase on one of these tracks and there you go...

The singer has to stand in front of the mic because of his "damping" and/or
"reflection" factor.
AlexLakis
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16th October 2005
Old 16th October 2005
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Ahhhh, it all makes sense now...I swear, this virus is eating away at my brain...Hope it isn't that bird-thingy.

Thank you for your replies.

I suppose you could theoretically do this at any position in the room, as long as that position was kept static between the two takes? No need to reposition your monitors, eh? Sounds like a good solution. Anyone else have feedback for this technique?
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16th October 2005
Old 16th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis
I suppose you could theoretically do this at any position in the room, as long as that position was kept static between the two takes?
Yeah, i think so. If you would the monitors around between the two takes,
then no useful cancelation effect would be possible...

And hey: Wouldn´t this be another tough task for the LittleLabs IBP?
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