The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Are these vocals really that bad? Channel Strip Plugins
Old 14th September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Are these vocals really that bad?

So I just rendered out a version of a song my band is recording for our drummer (it has a drum solo in it he wanted to be able to listen to before the actual recording was done). And he claims that the vocals in it are just terrible. It sounds more like he's complaining about performance than the actual audio, but I think they sound fine, both the performance and mix. Better than fine!

So I'd like an objective opinion from people outside the band, people who know what they're talking about (Gearslutz ). Here's a small snippet of a verse and chorus. And so after hearing, tips? Re-record? Is the mix just bad? Tell my drummer to shove a stick up his *** ? (he's been known to criticize unnecessary crap in a mix).

Ignore the lousy mastering/maximizing (I just attempted my own mastering job because being a drummer, he doesn't understand why a mix sounds so quite XD as well as to practice a master, we'll be getting these done at a studio). Also I did the fades on an mp3, so it's got some double mp3 compression going on, but that shouldn't affect the performance of the singer.

Thanks for any help and advice.

Here's the audio
http://soundcloud.com/neilwuzhear/vocal-cut-outs

Edit: Thanks, I'll keep going with this then . What our drummer said just really killed my confidence for a little bit.

Last edited by morrock; 14th September 2011 at 08:07 PM.. Reason: Resolved issue :D
Old 14th September 2011
  #2
I think it sounds fine and suits the music great, I actually like the tune, catchy!
Old 14th September 2011
  #3
Gear Addict
 
JakeKalka's Avatar
 

Sounds fine to me. Maybe could be better though, I don't know your singer.
Old 14th September 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
KenHR's Avatar
 

Doesn't sound like a bad performance at all, imo.
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the reassurance. It's not omgwtf amazing, but I think it's still really good. Just our drummer said verbatim: "What? I think he sounds lie crap. I feel like right when the vocals come in the song dies." Which really killed my confidence in this track.
Old 14th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Jimsi's Avatar
 

its good for this type of music, but could improve with another take later...not bad....singer is good
Old 14th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Silent Sound's Avatar
I've noticed that when you know the singer on a personal level, some people tend not to appreciate their singing voice as much as they would if the singer were a stranger. Case in point, I was once told by a friend that he didn't much care for my voice. Then about a month later I was in his car with him when one of my songs came up on his MP3 player and he said "I love this song" and he cranked it up. He didn't believe me when I told him that was me. Since then, he said he's been warming up to my voice.

But those vocals sound fine to me. In fact, they fit the song rather well, I'd say.
Old 14th September 2011
  #8
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

I suspect he (the drummer) thinks he's in the Foo Fighters whereas it's more Green Dy. Or something like that.

Vocal is fine - couple of bum notes but nothing hideous.

Funnily enough the drum sound is cool, but the drum playing isn't really reflecting what the riff is doing.... ah well
Old 14th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
I suspect he (the drummer) thinks he's in the Foo Fighters whereas it's more Green Dy. Or something like that.

Vocal is fine - couple of bum notes but nothing hideous.

Funnily enough the drum sound is cool, but the drum playing isn't really reflecting what the riff is doing.... ah well
+1.

The vocals are loud, kinda shouty and attitudey with lots of vocal accent coming through....so in other words, the perfect style for the genre!

I agree with the comment about the drums to some extent. They work, but maybe suggest to him that he should play semi-quavers on his hats instead of quavers.....or in American terms, 16ths instead of 8ths. Basically get him to play it with both hands playing alternating 8ths.

Just a suggestion....it would give it a faster flow from the drums..

Sounds good though as it is!
Old 15th September 2011
  #10
To be blunt, it sounds like the drummer just doesn't like the band. It's not the performance that bothers him, it's the style. Not really my cup of tea, either, honestly, but it sounds like a reasonably professional take of that style of singing. He probably prefers a cleaner vocal style, like dude above said - Foo Fighters.

The other side of this is if he knows the part in excrutiating detail, and the recorded performance deviates from what he hears in his head. I do this to myself quite often. But in your case, I'd expect the former.
Old 15th September 2011
  #11
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
I think your vocalist is a fine singer, but I think you probably want a stronger take than that on the final mix. I would suggest a more exaggerated enunciation for this style. I also think the vocals are too out front in this mix, and should probably be compressed more and brought lower in the mix. I would probably stack the chorus, too. But that's just the opinion of some guy out on the Internet somewhere.
Old 15th September 2011
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Didn't expect anyone else to reply. From the opinion of "some people out on the internet somewhere" the advice is really appreciated. The drummer definitely is more of a paramore person (though Green Day is his absolute favorite band, but I think that's just because of the drummer ) I've since told him to shut his mouth.

We'll give doubling up on the hats a try, we've actually tried it before in that song and it just sounded too fast, but one more attempt can't hurt.


What people are saying about knowing the singer, or knowing the part in excruciating detail, might also be right. Our singer sings this one a bit differently live, usually once he's running low on breath mid-set. I like this way better though, and so does he. The mix certainly isn't final (but close), I can hear it now that I've stepped away, the vocals need to be brought back a bit. We actually do have the chorus vocal double tracked already, can you hear it? Should I make it more obvious (the other take is -6db or so quieter and a bit more compressed)? more tracks?
Old 15th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

NOTHING is wrong with the vocals. Now, I didn't listen to this on my near fields, I listened on my headphones, and it sounds like the problem isn't the vocals, but the instrumental mix. It sounds cluttered...and the drums seem way over compressed (kick and snare in particular). There is no dynamics in the mix (not the first part, but def the 2nd part), so it sounds like the vocalist, and all the other instruments are fighting for stage space.
Old 18th September 2011
  #14
Gear Head
 

I agree with everyone who's said the take is fine, but would add that if you can put some harmonies over the chorus, really low in the mix but there, that would improve the sound to me a lot- seems like a common thing in that genre. And turning up the double wouldn't hurt either. I can hear it but it's faint!
Old 18th September 2011
  #15
Gear Addict
 
studio825's Avatar
Is the drummer the producer??
Old 19th September 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Honnestly, it is not bad but people here are just too encouraging... The mix sounds awful (sorry, sounds 2d, too scooped, mids are not detailed, not puncy).

I will give you my opinion, and I am sure it will help you make a better song.

First, if I compared this to the work of homerecordist, you are pretty good. If I compare it to a pro mix, it is far from being good.

The singer sounds too far, he needs to be IN YOUR FACE, the guitars are really the weakest link, they have no dynamics at all, they are muddy, and they are extremely untight...

The performance of the singer is pretty bad (as stated by the others, pronounciation is very poor and I do not feel any energy coming from his voice, and he has some pitch issues (when he sings for example: BUT THEY`RE STILL DEAD at 0:15)

Many other stuff, but at least that gives you a starting point... I suggest you put more work into it.
Old 19th September 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
I think the vocals sound alright as a take. Not that fond of the mix, the thin guitar, HH and Cymbals but this kinda music isn't my cup of tea so maybe I'm just not familiar with what it's 'supposed' to sound like.

Perhaps your drummer is commenting on the mix in general. The vocals are up front and dense while the rest of the mix is a little thinner in comparison. Maybe that's why he thinks it 'kills the song'?
Old 19th September 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 

The mix does sound rough and unfinished, but the vocals fit the vibe. Harmonies on the chorus?
Old 19th September 2011
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Am I the only one who thinks the vocals are OFF and that they do not sound PRO at ALL? Yes, they are ok for your average bedroom production, but is that the ultimate goal? Not saying you can't produce a nice demo or anything but...
Old 20th September 2011
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

The vocals actually sound great! Clear, full, not to over compressed, and lots of presence. What kind of mic, pre ext did you use? As for the music, i actually thought the drums was from a cheap drum machine. ooppss sorry..
Old 20th September 2011
  #21
I also thought the vocals were great. Great for the song and for the style. In that recording the drums were the weak link, and the guitars could use less gain.

Otherwise a great tune!
Old 20th September 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
 
gainstages's Avatar
as with some of the others, i think its all workable. nothing terrible about it at all, and your drummer might want to look in the mirror at himself if he wants to complain about something not being quite up to par.

3 main suggestions -

i get that this is a punk variation but you need some more dynamics. the chorus has got to be a bit bigger sounding than the verse and thats impossible when you are clipping the beejeebees out of the mix. try to give the song a little more room to breath. Compression often makes things sound bigger, fatter, stronger but when overdone or done improperly it actually makes things sound weaker and smaller. just give the individual tracks and the mix both a little more dynamic range.

the vocals do need to be a bit more clear, as in better pronunciation of the words - have the singer take a few lines at a time and really work on articulating it - exaggerate a bit if necessary when rehearsing, and by the time you track again it will likely be better. I suspect that he can get a better take, and definitely layer in a little more vocal on the chorus, harmony might be nice, but even just doubling or tripling and then getting the gain and stereo placement right will help give it a bit more umph


last but not least, i would work on helping each track find its own space in the mix. there is a lot of fighting for space between the tracks. when you think of this dont just think of left to right, think front to back as well, and think sonically as well. left to right is obvious - find a place on the virtual stage for each track. front to back is 2 things - volume, and ambience. volume on its own might just make things sound quieter, but when combining volume and reverb, with a little tweaking you can push stuff a little farther back. as for sonic placement - you find that through changing the sonic texture of each track, this is mostly done with EQ but compression and some effects help as well. in other words - if you have 2 guitars, try carving out complimentary dips and peaks so that they sit differently together. ie - one guitar coming through more in certain frequency ranges than the other. scoop a bit of the bottom off the guitars to make more room for the bass, and tailor the kick drum and the bass guitar carefully so that they aren't fighting quite as hard for the same frequencies. some tracks i've seen the kick panned very slightly to the right and the bass very slightly to the left and that has worked in some cases. with casual listening still feels center but they aren't actually quite on top of each other. So, just play around a bit with making a bit more space for each track. one last note on this, you can make all the space you want for each track but if the timing between tracks sucks, the song will still sound like the tracks are fighting against each other

and of course its punk, so clipping, screaming, crushing, and otherwise beating the music to death is generally acceptable LOL But even an in your face punk mix benefits from the items myself and some of the others have mentioned.
Old 20th September 2011
  #23
Gear Addict
 
vierge99's Avatar
 

Your singing is your singing. He may be asking you to sing it a way that he's familiar with. You have to do what you think is best. Conforming isn't always the answer but sometimes it is. To me, the audio is pretty good.
Old 22nd September 2011
  #24
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquid360 View Post
The mix does sound rough and unfinished, but the vocals fit the vibe. Harmonies on the chorus?
We still need to do the backing vocals for the chorus and parts of the verse, yes, but those won't get recorded until the lead is done.


Quote:
Originally Posted by offthewallstudio View Post
The vocals actually sound great! Clear, full, not to over compressed, and lots of presence. What kind of mic, pre ext did you use? As for the music, i actually thought the drums was from a cheap drum machine. ooppss sorry..
I actually think they're a little overcompressed xD Mic is a cheap ST51, preamp is just my Tascam US-1641 interface. The magic might be from Izotope Nectar. I (and the rest of the band) actually really like that overcompressed drum sound (I deal a lot in electronic music as well) so I do overcompress the kick and snare, but I love the sound of it. It's cool if it sounds like a machine, I'm proud to say nothing is sampled, even if it sounds like it (I take it as a compliment)

Quote:
Originally Posted by studio825 View Post
Is the drummer the producer??
No, I am, lead guitar (though I recorded both guitars on this). He's still a band member though, and gets a say in how it sounds (not when he's outvoted 1 to 4 (+gearslutz).


Quote:
Originally Posted by tenkas View Post
Am I the only one who thinks the vocals are OFF and that they do not sound PRO at ALL? Yes, they are ok for your average bedroom production, but is that the ultimate goal? Not saying you can't produce a nice demo or anything but...
Not everyone has to like them, and that's cool, I was expecting way more negativity when I first posted. So thanks, we probably will give tracking this one another try, but I don't think the takes are going to get a lot better than this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gainstages View Post
as with some of the others, i think its all workable. nothing terrible about it at all, and your drummer might want to look in the mirror at himself if he wants to complain about something not being quite up to par.

(rest of quote removed for brevity)
Haha, it's hilarious how everyone is turning on the drummer. As for all the advice provided on the mix, clipping, etc, I'll keep it in mind it's great advice, but like I said, I did my own mastering/maximizing job here and for the finished products we'll be going to a professional (I'm very novice at mastering, so I most likely over compressed on the overall track), and it's got double (maybe even triple, depending on how soundcloud processes) mp3 compression on it because of how I rendered the original into an mp3 (just for the drummer to hear) and then took that mp3, cut out pieces and applied fades, and rendered as another mp3, so it sounds pretty nasty. Mainly concerned about performance here.


I actually thought this thread had died and stopped checking, so thanks again to anyone who's posted.
Old 22nd September 2011
  #25
i'd prefer a little more "gruffness" in the vocal. maybe another take octave below with a slight variation in pattern to add the occasional dischord & harmony. the chorus would probably make a nice "gang vocal" chant if anybody else in tha band is comfortable with a mic.
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump