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Taming vocal resonances with acoustic treatment
Old 16th October 2019
Here for the gear

Taming vocal resonances with acoustic treatment

Hi all,

Its my first post here and it's a bit of a newbie question!

I was watching a great vocal mixing tutorial by Acle Kahney which addressed the problem of vocal resonances, the 1kHz+ "whistle" type sounds heard in certain phrases of a vocal performance.

I currently have this problem recording in my room which has meager acoustic foam on the walls to remove flutter echo. I am wondering if proper rock wool acoustic treatment would address this issue? I also read somewhere that being too close to the microphone can also cause this issue by making it resonate.

I've had a big problem with these and would rather remove them from the source rather than fix them up using dynamic EQ in the mix!

Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear
Owen L T's Avatar
The difference between good rockwool-based treatment and "acoustic" foam (assuming it's one of the common 1 or 2 inch thickness) is about the most night-and-day differences you'll ever get from a purchase. No, it won't ever make a small domestic space sound like a nice acoustic space, nor will it eliminate all trace of room sound - if you solo the mic, you'll still be able to tell it's a small room. But if you do it thoroughly, it's the difference between never really being able to "fix" the vocal sound, and being able to say, hand on heart "in the mix, this sounds absolutely fine". No need for multiple savage EQ cuts, or heaping on more and more reverbs, hoping to drown out the sound of your room.

My room is very small, and I only truly got it under control when I added some free-standing, open-back rock-wool panels as a screen, so that with the singer facing out into the room, there are panels on all the walls, and also panels facing the singer - effectively, a vocal booth, but the important thing being that the free-standing panels facing the singer don't reflect anything back at the mic. That gave me the additional, I don't know, but let's say 15% I was looking for. But huge gains to be had from 2" or 3" rockwool panels - of medium/high density.
Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear
Dr. Mordo's Avatar

Before I did anything, I'd try building a "vocalbooth" by hanging heavy blankets around the singer. Also, move the mic closer to the singer's mouth.

But yes,if you want to fix the room, start saving for rockwool or an equivalent.
Old 4 weeks ago
Here for the gear

Thanks for your inputs ! Honestly can't wait to install acoustic panels, going to A/B a recording of the room to test the differences too. Just ordered a few (and bass traps) - stoked to set them up.

And I'll definitely give the "vocal booth" a test too, although my DIY skills are appalling so I'm half expecting it to collapse mid-way through a take haha I've tried using the closet before too and that was a bad idea
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