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What is an acceptable level for the noise floor on when recording rap vocals?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

What is an acceptable level for the noise floor on when recording rap vocals?

So I have an sm7b bc I knew I wouldn't be in a professionally treated room to record vocals, but I can't help but feel like I'm missing something. I feel like I'm recording and producing/mixing vocals properly, but something just isn't right. It almost seems like I need to make a cut to make the vocals less "boxy" but I've swept frequencies and messed around for days on multiple different vocals with a vocal that's either boxy or paper thin with tons of highs. It seems that I can either achieve the oomph (parallel comp) or crispness (air eq, aural exciters, compression then boosting highs, etc), but never both at the same time. See: Drake's vocals on the song Yes Indeed with Lil Baby...

The only two things I'm unsure of is how much I should eq out of the instrumental to get the vocal to sit properly and to sound less amateurish (if at all); or if the noise in my recordings is just too much (I use a gate but I fear that the noise is compounding on top of the words which are obviously above the gate's threshold). I've seen Logic use this exact mic backstage in a concrete room with probably far more noise than me. He most likely doesn't re-record these vocals either and the finished product sounds professional: https://youtu.be/9s2d01R4NpM?t=156

The chain I'm using is sm7b -> cloudlifter (tried with and without) -> audient id4

When I rap into the mic at just below shouting I peak around -8dbfs with the noise peaking around -57dbfs. Is this unacceptable? I like to monitor my voice pretty loudly and not sure of any sort of standard there. Would love to hear any and all thoughts anyone might have
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Head
What are you mixing on? Because it may be possible you are missing something that you can't hear because of the source, or can't hear because of the room.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeys View Post
So I have an sm7b bc I knew I wouldn't be in a professionally treated room to record vocals, but I can't help but feel like I'm missing something. I feel like I'm recording and producing/mixing vocals properly, but something just isn't right. It almost seems like I need to make a cut to make the vocals less "boxy" but I've swept frequencies and messed around for days on multiple different vocals with a vocal that's either boxy or paper thin with tons of highs. It seems that I can either achieve the oomph (parallel comp) or crispness (air eq, aural exciters, compression then boosting highs, etc), but never both at the same time. See: Drake's vocals on the song Yes Indeed with Lil Baby...

The only two things I'm unsure of is how much I should eq out of the instrumental to get the vocal to sit properly and to sound less amateurish (if at all); or if the noise in my recordings is just too much (I use a gate but I fear that the noise is compounding on top of the words which are obviously above the gate's threshold). I've seen Logic use this exact mic backstage in a concrete room with probably far more noise than me. He most likely doesn't re-record these vocals either and the finished product sounds professional: https://youtu.be/9s2d01R4NpM?t=156

The chain I'm using is sm7b -> cloudlifter (tried with and without) -> audient id4

When I rap into the mic at just below shouting I peak around -8dbfs with the noise peaking around -57dbfs. Is this unacceptable? I like to monitor my voice pretty loudly and not sure of any sort of standard there. Would love to hear any and all thoughts anyone might have
You've actually opened several possible things to respond to, but just to ask this then--
-8peaks with only -57 noise floor is rather narrow. So.. Is that with a lot of the processing mentioned above, or your dry recorded voc before the processing?

And might "I like to monitor my voice pretty loudly" mean do to monitoring bleed into the mic -whether phones or speakers (some like to use them)..?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
You've actually opened several possible things to respond to, but just to ask this then--
-8peaks with only -57 noise floor is rather narrow. So.. Is that with a lot of the processing mentioned above, or your dry recorded voc before the processing?

And might "I like to monitor my voice pretty loudly" mean do to monitoring bleed into the mic -whether phones or speakers (some like to use them)..?
That is with no processing done, just dry vocals into the daw. I take it this means my room has way too much noise . I've even shut off lights that are 15 feet away from my mic that were barely causing noise. I live in a studio and there's a refrigerator 25 ft away, but I can't believe it's showing up that much on the mic? I'm monitoring into in ear buds, but I guess that could contribute. If you watch the video I linked in my original post, you can hear headphone bleed from that rapper's headphones from across the room, so I should be ok shouldn't I? The final result of that video he's recording in is the song 44 more by Logic. I just don't understand how he has that much bleed and such a trash room AND the same exact mic as me, but I'm having problems. From the care he's taking in laying down that verse (and the complexity of it) I highly doubt they re-recorded that in a different room.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

So it's looking like that -57' is room background noise? Wow. Leads to ask are you right up on the mic? (The SM7's screen set you back a few inches min IIRC.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Unless the noise is actually a problem in the final mix you are just chasing numbers.

Even with the SM7b close up I can (in headphones easily hear the room sound in the video you linked to, not so much noise but it sounds like a hard untreated room.

Background noise and bad room sound are seperate events, you can have one, the other, or both.

Except for cutting frequencies that are low enough not to matter much to the vocal (stuff below 100 cycles) you can't really eq away background noise or bad room sound.

What micpre are you using with the SM7b and how high do you have to run your gain knob(s) to get your -8db level??
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast View Post
Unless the noise is actually a problem in the final mix you are just chasing numbers.

Even with the SM7b close up I can (in headphones easily hear the room sound in the video you linked to, not so much noise but it sounds like a hard untreated room.

Background noise and bad room sound are seperate events, you can have one, the other, or both.

Except for cutting frequencies that are low enough not to matter much to the vocal (stuff below 100 cycles) you can't really eq away background noise or bad room sound.

What micpre are you using with the SM7b and how high do you have to run your gain knob(s) to get your -8db level??
You can hear the room on the final song? If you're talking about the link of him recording, I mean obviously you can hear the room... I'm using and audient id4 as the pre and the gain is at about 7.5/10 with a cloudlifter and 9.5/10 if I don't use the cloudlifter
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
So it's looking like that -57' is room background noise? Wow. Leads to ask are you right up on the mic? (The SM7's screen set you back a few inches min IIRC.
Yes I'm right on it, 3-4 inches
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeys View Post
Yes I'm right on it, 3-4 inches
3-4 inches isn't right on it.

Watch your buddy there on the video... He's right on it.

In addition to this it sounds like he is putting out some volume. If you aren't putting some good power into your vocal then the SM7b may not be the right mic for you.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Head
JLast is correct, I believe.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast View Post
3-4 inches isn't right on it.

Watch your buddy there on the video... He's right on it.

In addition to this it sounds like he is putting out some volume. If you aren't putting some good power into your vocal then the SM7b may not be the right mic for you.
I guess I could get an inch closer, but to me it looks like he's 2 inches away. I don't want to touch the mic accidentally. Can you think of anything in particular you might have to do to process his vocal from that type of environment?
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeys View Post
I've even shut off lights that are 15 feet away from my mic that were barely causing noise. I live in a studio and there's a refrigerator 25 ft away, but I can't believe it's showing up that much on the mic? I'm monitoring into in ear buds, but I guess that could contribute.
A cranked up mic and its going to pick up fans,and compressors.

If you have a long mic cable walk around with the microphone and point at different objects and see if you can find a noise source, and possible a "quietest" location too. Build a vocal booth of some kind?
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeys View Post
I guess I could get an inch closer, but to me it looks like he's 2 inches away. I don't want to touch the mic accidentally. Can you think of anything in particular you might have to do to process his vocal from that type of environment?
Get right on it. I assume you're the only person that is using the mic. Get right on it, track loudly, and turn the gain on your pre/interface down. Look into building a rudimentary booth of some kind. Moving blankets are an effective and cheap, albeit ugly "vocal booth."
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Rig up some type of vocal booth for more isolation. Hanging blankets is probably the cheapest and easiest way to go. I built one out of particle board and scrap foam. I cut the particle board in 2x6 sections and hinged two pieces at a time together and lined it with foam. Three pieces of these and you can make a hexagon shaped booth. I use for vocals and recording acoustic guitar. Works well for me. When not in use you can open them flat and store leaning against a wall.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by gosef View Post
Get right on it. I assume you're the only person that is using the mic. Get right on it, track loudly, and turn the gain on your pre/interface down. Look into building a rudimentary booth of some kind. Moving blankets are an effective and cheap, albeit ugly "vocal booth."
getting right up to mics creates the proximity affect. which is boxy/boominess.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Pay attention to the way you angle your mic. Putting your mic at your nose and angling it down will produce a different tone than putting it at your throat and angling it up. Experiment. Record your vocal several times with different mic placements and see which sounds best. A lot of times this is better than trying to EQ a sound you want after the fact. The SM7B is best for aggressive powerful vocals. If that's not your style you might consider a different mic. I found that on my voice the sm7b is too dark and boxy (my voice is deep). I prefer Warm Audio's WA87 on my voice (contrast- a brighter mic on a deeper voice) . That being said, I record a female who raps aggressively and the sm7b compliments her voice well.

Best Regards,
~J.R.A.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 80 out of 8 View Post
getting right up to mics creates the proximity affect. which is boxy/boominess.
Boomy and boxy in my opinion are two very different sounds.

Proximity boost affects pretty low frequencies (60 - 200hz) that I attribute to the word boomy. Boxy in my terms (and I think most people) is something that happens higher up in frequency like 300 - 500hz.

Getting really close up on a directional mic produces boominess not boxiness.

Boominess is one of the simplest audio problems to fix with eq. Even a pretty crappy eq works well as a cut in this range without really hurting the rest of the sound.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 80 out of 8 View Post
getting right up to mics creates the proximity affect. which is boxy/boominess.
It's an SM7- already set back by design to help in that regard. There's also HP Filtering that can be used.

He is fighting crappy sig to room noise level.
Job One.

Get up on it.

Then avail yourself to lower mic gain needed and... lower room noise!!
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeys View Post
...I don't want to touch the mic accidentally.
Why
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 80 out of 8 View Post
getting right up to mics creates the proximity affect. which is boxy/boominess.
And the other source is too much crappy small room tone.
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