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Leading vocal tracking...compression or not?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #181
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play/record's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i was talking about those singers who measure loud in terms of spl, not those who aim at getting the impression to sing loud but don't (as a 'special case', add david coverdale to the latter in later years, add him to the former in earlier years)...
Yes. I was trying to describe the same, but probably didnt very well.. haa

I guess the only viable reason a singer would sing really loud is because they want that power tone and grit that comes with it. If they always sing that way, there shouldnt be much of a dynamics issue, since they wont need extra gain for the soft sections, which necessitates the heavy compression and pulling way off mic which can ruin the sound.

A talented singer with vocal control, (add Coverdale to that list for sure, and many others too, I was just try give a few examples) can change their tone with less change in SPL, gives a more uniform level with less excessive pulling away and the thinness in tone that comes with it.

I saw footage of Zeppelin doing Babe Im Gonna leave You, and Plant blew me away when he hardly pulled off the mic for the power sections and although he sounded like he was laying into the mic with everything he had (which is what most singers covering the song would have to do) he was pretty relaxed and under control. And to think he was just 19 years old with that level of talent, it really is remarkable.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
collins and peart!? not really hard hitters compared to kenny aronoff and cozy powell...

...or even ronald shannon jackson if you ever heard him with 'last exit'!
Lol ... it wasn't a competition.

But they're all hard hitters compared to Dave Wekl
Old 3 weeks ago
  #183
Almost always track lead vocals with compression going to tape. The few exceptions have been the occasional folk singer with a huge voice and decent mic tecnique.

Used to commit to EQ but had a few incidents where a singer wanted to make fixes on a take that was done a month or two ago and life is too short to write down the specifics of every EQ i touch. Also my old multitrack machine was a hissy beast, current one ain't so SNR rarely major concern. Stacked backing vocals is a completely different story though, want those ****ers airy... also after bouncing and 200 passes.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #184
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play/record's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie Mumbles View Post
They really do set the tone. I was always a fan of those dynamic drummers like Levon Helm, such a nice feel on them, and watching him play you can see he listened great. Heard himself last as were supposed to. Drummers who hear themselves last generally won’t play too loud, at least that’s what I found, and that too goes for all musicians. I had a guitar player that would play so loud. We (I) called it “musically obtrusive”. Lol
Agreed. I appreciate those rare instances of playing with a band of guys where everybody is listening to the music as a whole and play accordingly, instead of paying attention to their own part of it.

It's similar to how you can make a track sound great by its self while soloed, but when you put it back into the context of the whole mix with the rest of the band, it doesnt sound so good.

Yeah I know those Volume Monsters very well...
A guitar player used to blast me all the time.
It felt like I was being shot with a Laser gun.. I called it the "Treble Yell!" Lol
Old 3 weeks ago
  #185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie Mumbles View Post
Oh yeah right on. I read that a few weeks ago when you and another member were talking about it. Cheers man. If I remember you produced much of it too right? It’s nice to have your hands on that many genres, prob keeps things fresh. I was never a big fan of 80s and 90s RnB. It all felt overproduced, and rather adult contemporary (I was born 73 and raised mostly on rock, tho steady diet of Motown and 70s “parents” music ala Carpenters and Bee Gees lol). Of course I loved 70s soul and that’s why Neo soul resonated with me so much. I felt the throwback to Al Green type records where there wasnt any Pretense in the production. Sadly Neo Soul was short lived lol
I'm a little older lol, like born in 55, I saw the Beatles and that started me, I've been playing guitar since I was 8 professionally since I was 17. I grew up with all of that great english rock, and and was influenced by Hendrix, Clapton, Page, and then I was into the prog rock thing. I got into R&B in the late 70's when I played with the Gary Toms Empire, also on my block when I was learning there was a guy who had played with Don Covay, he hipped me to all that Curtis Mayfield guitar stuff that Hendrix was doing chordally. As far as the 80's there were songs that were well done and well written, the gated reverb definitely got old. Lol.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #186
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmJetGuitar View Post
Almost always track lead vocals with compression going to tape. The few exceptions have been the occasional folk singer with a huge voice and decent mic tecnique.

Used to commit to EQ but had a few incidents where a singer wanted to make fixes on a take that was done a month or two ago and life is too short to write down the specifics of every EQ i touch. Also my old multitrack machine was a hissy beast, current one ain't so SNR rarely major concern. Stacked backing vocals is a completely different story though, want those ****ers airy... also after bouncing and 200 passes.
I pretty much never eq on the way in if you define that as patching in an equalizer. I prefer mic choice and placement to be my eq going in. I find that works better for me. Of course there is always the odd exception, but they are pretty odd.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #187
Quote:
Originally Posted by play/record View Post
Agreed. I appreciate those rare instances of playing with a band of guys where everybody is listening to the music as a whole and play accordingly, instead of paying attention to their own part of it.

It's similar to how you can make a track sound great by its self while soloed, but when you put it back into the context of the whole mix with the rest of the band, it doesnt sound so good.

Yeah I know those Volume Monsters very well...
A guitar player used to blast me all the time.
It felt like I was being shot with a Laser gun.. I called it the "Treble Yell!" Lol
Hahaha. Yeah man. It’s beautiful thing when a band is grooving and firing and all cylinders like that and everybody is listening properly. Certainly we’ve all been guilty of playing too loud. I played bass in one band and I can recall my guitar player saying hey, my balls are rattling over here! Hahaha. That was a good one.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #188
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boombapdame's Avatar
 

Man @ Musiclab you seem like you got some stories! I became familiar w/Don Covay via Pete Rock's

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFdRMJk9huk

which I didn't know existed until now and it led me to

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNB5AlLD_30
Old 3 weeks ago
  #189
Quote:
Originally Posted by boombapdame View Post
Man @ Musiclab you seem like you got some stories!
That's what happens when you get old.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #190
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And always remember to... "Never let the truth, get in the way of a good story"! (that old Irish saying)
Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
I'm a little older lol, like born in 55, I saw the Beatles and that started me, I've been playing guitar since I was 8 professionally since I was 17. I grew up with all of that great english rock, and and was influenced by Hendrix, Clapton, Page, and then I was into the prog rock thing. I got into R&B in the late 70's when I played with the Gary Toms Empire, also on my block when I was learning there was a guy who had played with Don Covay, he hipped me to all that Curtis Mayfield guitar stuff that Hendrix was doing chordally. As far as the 80's there were songs that were well done and well written, the gated reverb definitely got old. Lol.
Man that’s good stuff. You were born right when rock n roll hit. What a time coming of age in the late 60s and early 70s. Those guys you mention, to me, set the benchmark quite high. I relayed more to that music, then I did music of my gen. I dug some 80s bands, Smith’s, REM, Metallica, but the rockers of the 60s and 70s held my heart. Keep rocking out man!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #192
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Lou, do you get a chance sometimes, to play guitar in Curtis' style? I know Curtis wished he had trained some guitarists, to carry that on.
Like Santana's lyric style, I really loved Curtis' too. Special mention for Pop Staples' too.
Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #193
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Lou, do you get a chance sometimes, to play guitar in Curtis' style? I know Curtis wished he had trained some guitarists, to carry that on.
Like Santana's lyric style, I really loved Curtis' too. Special mention for Pop Staples' too.
Chris
some of those licks and the 6 chord thing are just a part of me now, so I sneak it in wherever I can. I came there through Hendrix, and then I saw where it came from, Curtis and what soul guitar players were doing back then. It was their vocabulary, I always loved and still do to this day The Wind Cries Mary, lots of that in there and even the solo.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #194
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Speaking of Patti...
I love Laura Nyro's 5th Album, "Gonna Take A Miracle", they did together (also the rest of Patti's vocal group too).
Huge Nyro fan to begin with also! What a songwriter, and a beautiful voice to go along with that.

I read that Patti loved cooking for all of them, when they took it out on the Road.
Must've been amazing to hear them live!
Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #195
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mictester View Post
I always limit on the way in - a hardware limiter, based on an old Pye design, which has a 320µs delay line built-in. The sidechain is driven from the direct input, and the gain cell is after the delay: The attack time of the sidechain is of the order of 320µs, and the release is around 400ms. This gives real, hardware-based look-ahead limiting. There's no pumping, breathing or overshoot.

I also apply EQ on the way in too. If I've chosen an appropriate microphone for the singer's voice, a small tweak on the desk will usually improve things a little. I mostly add some compression (again with the delay line type of processor) at about 3 : 1, particularly if the singer is inexperienced. This can overcome the worst excesses of a singer who moves around a lot in front of the microphone.

I find distorted vocals to be particularly irksome, so never use valve ("tube" - US) pre-amps. The distortion added by these highly prized pieces of junk is invariably horrible. The colouration is also horrible. Valves have no place (apart from inside guitar amplifiers) in a modern recording studio.

I don't want to recreate the distorted messes of yesteryear. My (all analogue) gear is capable of very high recording quality, with low distortion and noise, and with a frequency response from the subsonic to the ultrasonic. Why mess with a winning combination?

Lots of very strong opinions in there!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #196
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmJetGuitar View Post
Almost always track lead vocals with compression going to tape. The few exceptions have been the occasional folk singer with a huge voice and decent mic tecnique.

Used to commit to EQ but had a few incidents where a singer wanted to make fixes on a take that was done a month or two ago and life is too short to write down the specifics of every EQ i touch. Also my old multitrack machine was a hissy beast, current one ain't so SNR rarely major concern. Stacked backing vocals is a completely different story though, want those ****ers airy... also after bouncing and 200 passes.
it was Sigma rules to always write down compressor settings and eq for all lead vox tracks..hey today all ya gotta do is use your cell phone to take a picture and put that picture in your session folder..when I became cheif eng my tech wrote a procedure to run pink noise into the compressor and write that data down..we were nutz to be the best we could be

Last edited by Sigma; 2 weeks ago at 10:29 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #197
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Lots of very strong opinions in there!
yeah that are total BS.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #198
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Old 2 weeks ago
  #199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
it was Sigma rules to always write down compressor settings and eq for all lead vox tracks..hey today all ya gotta do is use your cell phone to take a picture and put that picture in your session folder
I should probably start doing that for sure. But if you had seen my phone you would understand why it ain't THAT easy Ancient Vodaphone that can barely run any apps. My limited funds goes into feeding my mic addictionm, tape machine and console maintenence, food and the fuel that makes 15 hour sessions possible without suffering. The irony of firing up my almost pristine MTR-90 MKII, recording a singer into a rental U87 while struggling to pay the bills.

What's your experience with tracking vocals with two compressers in series? In theory I could have my TL Audio 5021 and Drawmer DL-251 serve as a poor mans LA2A+1176. I know they can't compare directly, but the principle of big/full sound and as fast attack as you could ever want is what makes me wanna give it a shot. Possibly using the limiter on the Drawmer to deal with peaks for types of singers/tunes where a bit of accidential tape saturation on peaks wouldn't be inaudible/cool/irrellevant or when running SM900 where the MTR-90 electronics sometimes starts crapping out before the tape does.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #200
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmJetGuitar View Post
I should probably start doing that for sure. But if you had seen my phone you would understand why it ain't THAT easy Ancient Vodaphone that can barely run any apps. My limited funds goes into feeding my mic addictionm, tape machine and console maintenence, food and the fuel that makes 15 hour sessions possible without suffering. The irony of firing up my almost pristine MTR-90 MKII, recording a singer into a rental U87 while struggling to pay the bills.

What's your experience with tracking vocals with two compressers in series? In theory I could have my TL Audio 5021 and Drawmer DL-251 serve as a poor mans LA2A+1176. I know they can't compare directly, but the principle of big/full sound and as fast attack as you could ever want is what makes me wanna give it a shot. Possibly using the limiter on the Drawmer to deal with peaks for types of singers/tunes where a bit of accidential tape saturation on peaks wouldn't be inaudible/cool/irrellevant or when running SM900 where the MTR-90 electronics sometimes starts crapping out before the tape does.
Today post capture I use a 12 to 1 peak limiter followed by a vari mu..back then I recorded with a peak limiter that's it..the Intent , to me was not to necessarily capture a dynamically correct performance..but to get all parts with greatest S/N ratio then recreate the correct dynamics in the mix..you asking this begs asking a lot of others here of their I tent in the days of tape..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #201
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmJetGuitar View Post
I should probably start doing that for sure. But if you had seen my phone you would understand why it ain't THAT easy Ancient Vodaphone that can barely run any apps. My limited funds goes into feeding my mic addictionm, tape machine and console maintenence, food and the fuel that makes 15 hour sessions possible without suffering. The irony of firing up my almost pristine MTR-90 MKII, recording a singer into a rental U87 while struggling to pay the bills.

What's your experience with tracking vocals with two compressers in series? In theory I could have my TL Audio 5021 and Drawmer DL-251 serve as a poor mans LA2A+1176. I know they can't compare directly, but the principle of big/full sound and as fast attack as you could ever want is what makes me wanna give it a shot. Possibly using the limiter on the Drawmer to deal with peaks for types of singers/tunes where a bit of accidential tape saturation on peaks wouldn't be inaudible/cool/irrellevant or when running SM900 where the MTR-90 electronics sometimes starts crapping out before the tape does.
I gas up on the same fuel.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #202
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmJetGuitar View Post
I should probably start doing that for sure. But if you had seen my phone you would understand why it ain't THAT easy Ancient Vodaphone that can barely run any apps. My limited funds goes into feeding my mic addictionm, tape machine and console maintenence, food and the fuel that makes 15 hour sessions possible without suffering. The irony of firing up my almost pristine MTR-90 MKII, recording a singer into a rental U87 while struggling to pay the bills.

What's your experience with tracking vocals with two compressers in series? In theory I could have my TL Audio 5021 and Drawmer DL-251 serve as a poor mans LA2A+1176. I know they can't compare directly, but the principle of big/full sound and as fast attack as you could ever want is what makes me wanna give it a shot. Possibly using the limiter on the Drawmer to deal with peaks for types of singers/tunes where a bit of accidential tape saturation on peaks wouldn't be inaudible/cool/irrellevant or when running SM900 where the MTR-90 electronics sometimes starts crapping out before the tape does.
I'd recommend you using which ever of those 2 compressors does the least amount of messing with the audio and tracking with that. Sigma used to ride the vocal into the limiter as he stated. I don't know the Drawmer, or that TL Audio piece but years ago I had couple of their TL Audio EQ 1's which were supposed to be their higher end tube EQ gear and I was not impressed, so I'm naturally suspect of that compressor. But do yourself a favor, do an A/B test of a source bone dry and on another channel must the same audio and patch the compressor and A/B them. Make sure they aren't hurting anything . In the mix you can mess with it when your recording you want to get that right in the capture.
Old 1 week ago
  #203
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmJetGuitar View Post
MTR-90 MKII,
if you are going to tape you are much better off regarding vocal compression.

the tape is a compressor itself, so you can do less before you hit tape.

most machines will handle Plus 3 on the VUs, with little or no negative side effects regarding vocals.

of course thats not the target level (zero is better) but if it peaks out it doesnt distort horribly like Digital if you exceed the maximum level.

i only use 1 comp before the tape machine. no need for a limiter.

Buddha
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