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Am I experiencing Comb Filtering in my Vocal? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 5 days ago
Here for the gear

Am I experiencing Comb Filtering in my Vocal?

Hi! I recorded a vocalist to tst my bedroom studio that consisted of what could be considered a closet vocal booth. Basically it is a triangle with each side being around 3 feet, with a square closet that is open behind the vocalist that has a bunch of moving blankets covering the walls to absorb reflections

the vocalist was positioned at "x" in my little illustration below, facing a thick hanging comforter (away from the box), with very little distance between the comforter and microphone.

__| \

Overall, my vox sound boxy and with a lot of low end. When I increase the highs enough to sound like my pop reference track (Chainsmokers - This Feeling), I get some harsh frequencies that seem nearly impossible to filter out with narrow Q sweeping. When I try to remove the mids to cure the boxiness, the vocal loses all presence and power. It seems nearly impossible to get it anywhere near my reference, or even acceptable to my ears. After all processing, it sounds okay on my monitors, but there is still some sort of looming blanket over it or boxiness to it when I listen on ipod headphones or in the car.

I've spent days upon days on this, starting over many times with processing, and I feel like I'm losing my mind. Take a look at my unprocessed vox EQ - am I experiencing comb filtering? Is this something you can tell from an EQ?

Thanks for your help!
Attached Thumbnails
Am I experiencing Comb Filtering in my Vocal?-screen-shot-2019-01-12-9.02.43-pm.png  
Old 5 days ago
Sounds frustrating brother.
So comb filtering waveforms typically look like that of an actual comb, as the source vocal is literally reflecting off itself in a poorly laid out environment. Yours doesn’t quite look like that. I do a lot of studio builds here in nyc in small rooms and it’s never as easy as throwing up traps and foam, there’s always some strange issue I’ve seen some wild and crazy flops in massive invested spaces!

Good news is in your small apt it should be an easy fix.

I think you’re overthinking it. If you wanna be a boss get the Smaart software and the reference pencil looking mic (presonus and DBX make cheap ones, the earthworks is the standard) and take an afternoon to learn to properly tune the room. A space like yours isn’t rocket science. You got it!

To fix it quick it is as easy as repositioning till it’s gone. Rip everything down and reposition it all. Get a se reflection field or marantz filter and it should do the trick. Other GS members can’t troubleshoot your room based on that illustration of backslashes and an x my man haha - even with specific dimensions the math is bananas. You need to tune it or just reposition. Are the walls hard surfaces? Without diffusion (other than a comforter) you certainly could be getting horrible reflections. Any room with flat untreated surfaces is gonna suck. That’s why studios cover their walls in fabric and curtains. Rehearsal studios too. Best live rooms in the world have wood floors AND walls with wood diffusion cause Sheetrock is harsh and just bounces it right back. Electric lady a rooms north wall is like 30 feet by 20 feet (I’ve changed the bulbs in the ceiling! It’s huge!!) and covered with a giant black curtain. Everything else is wood and scattered rugs.

I’m sure you’ve watched fix videos for vocal comb issues like this:
How to Creatively Deal with Comb Filtering on Vocals — Pro Audio Files

do you have any new gear in the room? I mean, have you used this rig exactly the same before wothOUT this problem? What kind of mic, pre and interface you using? Maybe it’s a bad tube in an old pre or a cap went in the mic? It happens, cheap caps fail and can be directly responsible for specific frequencies like what you’re describing. Anyway, your wav form looks odd but not like comb filtering... to me. I certainly could be wrong. Maybe upload some audio?
Old 5 days ago
Gear Addict

Unlikely comb filtering because it's a usual standing wave at about 425hrz. What is the height of your ceiling and height of the mic?
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