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Compress before controlling Proximity effect or after?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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Compress before controlling Proximity effect or after?

I track close mic'd vocals without EQ or compression on the way in, and I control proximity effect ITB with transparent EQs and then afterwards I control dynamics.

I like the results I'm getting but what would be the old school approach (when it was all analog) to tame the proximity effect?. Did you deal with proximity before compression or after in the tracking stage. was it tamed in the mixing stage?

Just curious. Maybe someone could shed some light on how it was done
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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My thought process is correct eq / tone balance problems like that up front -especially if they may tend to adversely effect how the compressor reacts.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
My thought process is correct eq / tone balance problems like that up front -especially if they may tend to adversely effect how the compressor reacts.
+1

hpf (and possibly signal split) before compression on the way in or the comp will react mainly to exaggerated lf...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cesarnsanchez View Post
what would be the old school approach (when it was all analog)
it still is all analog down here. so to answer your question.

the desk has a hi pass filter which deletes the very low frequency content. much like you are doing in software. there is an analog Eq in the console which is used to adjust the tonal character, and then it gets bussed out to an analog Compressor.

so, Hi pass, EQ, comp. thats old school standard.

some engineers put the EQ after the comp, but doing it that way forces the comp to work harder, dealing with rogue frequencies that will later be removed.

sometimes, if i am getting all Trick, i do the following

Hi pass, EQ, Comp, EQ, Tape or DAW

analog all the way.

Buddha
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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I've tried using the HPF @75hz on my UAD interface, but I feel the cutoff is too high when I apply it on most vocals, is it just me?

I also realized the HPF on my UAD interface is after the A/D, so it's not a hardware HPF.

Is it worth it (does it sounds better?) to include a hpf in the analog chain before the A/D as opposed to just add it later on ITB with plugins?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cesarnsanchez View Post
I've tried using the HPF @75hz on my UAD interface, but I feel the cutoff is too high when I apply it on most vocals, is it just me?

I also realized the HPF on my UAD interface is after the A/D, so it's not a hardware HPF.

Is it worth it (does it sounds better?) to include a hpf in the analog chain before the A/D as opposed to just add it later on ITB with plugins?
Q1. yes too hi. 45 or 50 is safe

Q2. Correct. the analog signal has not been HPF at all. its full bandwidth.

Q3. people will argue either way, but in million dollar pro studios, when there are hardware HPFs available, engineers almost always use them.

its been done that way since Day One. personally i would say yes its better to process before the A/D converter, and a HPF before the A/D is good.

some good mic Preamps have filters on them. i have a 9098 AMEK which has filters and Eq in the one unit. tidies up the sound and helps to get it right. i use it as my main vocal Pre, and send the analog signal output of the 9098 to an 1176 before it gets sent to the A/D.

hope that helps. Buddha
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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Helps a lot! Thanks.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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i have no problem going much higher with my hpf's on vocals, especially when using cardioid ldc's at short distance...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i have no problem going much higher with my hpf's on vocals, especially when using cardioid ldc's at short distance...
Agreed and to add sometimes a combo of a fairly conservative HPF and finish with a low shelf. It is all about in song/style and context.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG BUDDHA View Post
it still is all analog down here. so to answer your question.

the desk has a hi pass filter which deletes the very low frequency content. much like you are doing in software. there is an analog Eq in the console which is used to adjust the tonal character, and then it gets bussed out to an analog Compressor.

so, Hi pass, EQ, comp. thats old school standard.

some engineers put the EQ after the comp, but doing it that way forces the comp to work harder, dealing with rogue frequencies that will later be removed.

sometimes, if i am getting all Trick, i do the following

Hi pass, EQ, Comp, EQ, Tape or DAW

analog all the way.

Buddha
reductive eq that is a near certainty before compressor [why would you want your compressor reacting to that which won't be there?]

additive eq and any other reductive you desire later after the compressor [ lol if you are adding 2k before the compressor you just wind up pushing down at the compressor]

plus you want a set and forget at the head because compressors are threshold set and eq's are freq dependent volume level controls..so you don't want to be futzing with the compressor threshold every time you adjust your eq


a no brainer
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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Just curious why you’re not correcting the proximity effect by backing up a bit from the mic. What are you trying to achieve by being that close if not proximity effect?

I do a lot of vocal recording, some close, some a bit further, and I always track in parallel, 1 clean and 1 going through a hardware 1176. I never eq on the way in, preferring to get the desired sound as much as possible from mic choice and placement. Sometimes I do hpf for rumble, sometimes I don’t.

But depending on the track, even if the compression sounds amazing while tracking, I just as often prefer the clean track once the rest of the mix is coming together. Why not try to get your tone with mic placement before considering eq/compression?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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I prefer to track vocals close mic'ed because I like to add the early reflections with algorithmic reverbs. That way I'm not stuck forever with a vocal take with ambience that I probably don't want in the mix, because you know, there's halls, rooms, chambers, etc, and they all give different feels and texture.

Also the level of the ambience makes a difference in the presentation of the vocal. Sometimes you want a dry presentation, other times, a little wet makes sense for the song.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cesarnsanchez View Post
I prefer to track vocals close mic'ed because I like to add the early reflections with algorithmic reverbs. That way I'm not stuck forever with a vocal take with ambience that I probably don't want in the mix, because you know, there's halls, rooms, chambers, etc, and they all give different feels and texture.

Also the level of the ambience makes a difference in the presentation of the vocal. Sometimes you want a dry presentation, other times, a little wet makes sense for the song.
You can still get a pretty dry vocal from a few inches back, just out of the proximity zone. It doesn’t take much. Like even six inches, attach a pop filter to keep the singer at the correct spot. I too use a lot of digital and analog reverbs and it’s never an issue. If for some reason your room is crazy reflective, like if it’s in a home, non-treated, space, you can kill any extra reflections easily by draping a few blankets over mic booms or whatever you have handy. But my point is with just a little bit of experimentation I’m confident you really can get the source closer to your desired sound without recording something right off the bat that you know you’re going to have to eq to make useable.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Quote:
I track close mic'd vocals without EQ or compression on the way in, and I control proximity effect ITB with transparent EQs and then afterwards I control dynamics.
Why fix it afterwards? Back off an inch or 2.
Quote:
I like the results I'm getting but what would be the old school approach (when it was all analog) to tame the proximity effect?.
If you like the results, there is no taming it, right?
In the recording stage, if you are hearing something that you do not like, like the proximity effect, then you would just back off the mic a bit.

If its was something you overlooked int recording stage and now thew vocal is too 'basy' form the 'proximity effect', then there can be 1,000 ways to deal with it. I would analyze the vocal in the context of the entire mix and then use every tool i have at my exposure to make it sound its best. It can be as simple as placing a high p[ass filter on it or as complicated as adding 4 different effects to it.
Every situation like the proximity effect doesn't have a one fix for all.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zasterz View Post
You can still get a pretty dry vocal from a few inches back, just out of the proximity zone. It doesn’t take much. Like even six inches, attach a pop filter to keep the singer at the correct spot. I too use a lot of digital and analog reverbs and it’s never an issue. If for some reason your room is crazy reflective, like if it’s in a home, non-treated, space, you can kill any extra reflections easily by draping a few blankets over mic booms or whatever you have handy. But my point is with just a little bit of experimentation I’m confident you really can get the source closer to your desired sound without recording something right off the bat that you know you’re going to have to eq to make useable.
I book pro studios just for the acoustics.

Thanks for the suggestions. Also, I've got good results today having the mic at eye level, with mic upside-down tilted backwards from the perspective of the singer. Feels a little less crispy but feels right
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