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Why are my vocal recordings sounding so bad?
Old 16th June 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Why are my vocal recordings sounding so bad?

I have recorded my voice several times, and I can't seem to reproduce the fullness of my voice.

I'm using:
an 06 MacBook
an older version of garage band
an M-audio firewire 1814
an AKG Perception 100 mic
an AKG C 535 EB mic

I'm a baritone singer. I've tried recording with both mice(simultaneously and separately), close up, farther back, I even built a makeshift sound booth out of blankets.

It sounds a little better (still not great) when I am right up on the mics, but then it distorts unless I'm really quiet. Or if I adjust the preamp for the louder parts, there is almost nothing in the quiet parts. It's really getting frustrating.

can anyone tell me which part of my set up might be causing such a poor sound, or do I need to just get a whole new setup or what?
Old 16th June 2013
  #2
TNA
Gear Maniac
 

I can't be totally sure of what exactly you dislike about your recording, but I'll give you some things to try. It's hard for me to tell if there is an actual "problem" or if it's just you not be satisfied with the sound.

From you saying that it sounds better when you are closer to the mic. This makes me think preamp. A better preamp will help with those gain problems. You should be singing about 4-6 inches from the mic using your perception mic and it should have no problems picking up anything.

You could also try some different mics if you are not happy with the sound. Some mics sound better on some than others.
Old 16th June 2013
  #3
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Mr. Lau's Avatar
Don't worry much about the quieter parts being too soft. It will sound ok.

If you adjust the height of your mic so it's not directly in front of your mouth, but lower, you will get more chest voice.

For a fuller voice tone, try to record in the biggest room you can. Not an empty room, maybe a living room, furnished.

Experiment placing the mic in different spots of the room, not too close to hard surfaces. Use your improvised booth, thick hanging duvets to tame reflections.

Everything before upgrading your gear. Professional studios have acoustical treatment. I highly recommend Rod Gervais' book, "Home Recording Studio". There is acoustical treatment explained. Not the easier to read, but there is everything you need to get your studio sounding better.
Old 16th June 2013
  #4
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Thanks for the advice! I definitely need to pic up that book.

After thinking about it, my room probably has a lot to do with it. It's pretty much a square with nothing on the walls, hard floors, and 9ft ceilings. the only soft thing it it is my bed.

I thought if I turned the mic down and stayed close to it, it wouldn't pick up the room enough to matter. I'm starting to think I was wrong.
Old 16th June 2013
  #5
Gear Nut
 
LIMiT's Avatar
 

Take a look at this quick video

http://therecordingrevolution.com/vi...id=vpEi_B12DtY
Old 17th June 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitardoodjosh View Post
After thinking about it, my room probably has a lot to do with it. It's pretty much a square with nothing on the walls, hard floors, and 9ft ceilings. the only soft thing it it is my bed.
Bingo.

There is a reason major studios spend million$ to build recording spaces and it's not to look cool....
Old 17th June 2013
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitardoodjosh View Post
I've tried recording with both mice
That's your problem. Get rid of the mice, their squeaking ruins a mix
Old 17th June 2013
  #8
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Mr. Lau's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kesh View Post
That's your problem. Get rid of the mice, their squeaking ruins a mix
Old 18th June 2013
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kesh View Post
That's your problem. Get rid of the mice, their squeaking ruins a mix
Lmao!

Um OP, idk man. Try some EQ on that voice to bring some of the fullness back into your range after you record. ALSO probably the most important part is to go readjust your equipment. Your pre shouldn't be too hot and if you have a pre on your interface that shouldn't be too hot either. I use both to compliment one another instead of turning one all the way down and turning the other all the way up. Readjust your equipment until you get something that you like.

If you don't like that then I would suggest that you figure out what you're doing physically that you can't reproduce the fullness of your voice. Try to get closer to the mic, that should bring some of that fullness back. Just make sure to adjust your gain to compensate for your proximity.
Old 2nd July 2013
  #10
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I upgraded mics to the Shure SM7b and there is a 1000% improvement. The Perception 100 sounded so nasally and had weak lows. The SM7b is so much warmer, and gives me that rich baritone sound I was seeking. Plus, I'm sure it helps that the dynamic SM7b isn't as affected by all the squeaky mice.
Old 9th August 2013
  #11
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Bad sounding vocals

I am used to doing video production work but am a dummy when it comes to audio (specifically voices) and have mostly avoided it up until now. My company just built a sound deadened room in the corner of our warehouse and we are using a Rode NT1-A microphone for recording voice overs. However the voice we recorded just doesnt sound right. We need help determining what we're doing wrong. I have no idea why it sounds bad but i can at least tell that it doesn't sound good at all.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 9th August 2013
  #12
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NYCruiser's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwstechgeeks View Post
I am used to doing video production work but am a dummy when it comes to audio (specifically voices) and have mostly avoided it up until now. My company just built a sound deadened room in the corner of our warehouse and we are using a Rode NT1-A microphone for recording voice overs. However the voice we recorded just doesnt sound right. We need help determining what we're doing wrong. I have no idea why it sounds bad but i can at least tell that it doesn't sound good at all.

Thanks for any help!
If that's a raw, unprocessed track than I would say the source is too far away from the mic and the room sounds like crap. Use a pop filter and move the mic much closer for starters.
Old 9th August 2013
  #13
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Fizzyhair's Avatar
 

4-6 inches with a pop shield which is really a must! if you dont have one a coat hanger and a pair of your mothers or GFs Tights will do nicely! If you Rotate the mic so it's off axis and then get closer you'll get away with alot. The closer you are the less room you'll get in the sound. But ultimately try all the rooms in the house and try not to stand in the middle of the room to avoid standing waves at mid frequencies.
Old 9th August 2013
  #14
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stella645's Avatar
 

Quote:
My company just built a sound deadened room in the corner of our warehouse
Small room deadened with foam by any chance??
Old 9th August 2013
  #15
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Thanks for all the quick advice. Turns out that we were using the wrong side of the mic (told you i was a dummy). Rotating that sucker did the trick.
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