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Ganstafied Rap Vocals
Old 16th July 2006
  #31
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by overdose
Ya'll need to get VocALign.
........................
Awsome program will make you say damn.
It´s great, for sure, but then again, since what it does is quantize based on following the volume envelope, you can save over $300, use BeatSlicer, Recycle or whatever you like, cut the vocals in pieces, trigger them via MIDI and use the quantization options of your DAW/MPC/sequencer.

learn the basics - save money

now if you can write it off - don´t read my post lol
Old 16th July 2006
  #32
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brian_delizza's Avatar
 

That's true if you are on a limited budget there are probably things you would want to get before VocAlign, but there is no denying that it makes things much faster than the method you described....

I also think programs like recycle focus more on locating transients, VocAlign does a little more than quantize just the transient of the signal you are editing....

You can also just quantize audio if you are following your method, eliminating the need to assign it to a sampler and triggering it...

Besides, I don't know too many people who are tracking vocals on MPCs heh
Old 16th July 2006
  #33
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brian_delizza's Avatar
 

Just a little something to see what it does....

This took me a whole 5 seconds to sync the two....

And I could have got them synced even closer, but hey, you get the point...
Attached Files

Vocalign_Before.mp3 (53.8 KB, 480 views)

Vocalign_After.mp3 (50.8 KB, 578 views)

Old 16th July 2006
  #34
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaKid
I def. think double tracking is always something to do... a must almost...
I disagree. In fact I think over tracking the vocal is what seperated a good rap recording from s bulls**t demo recording. MCs who sound thin sound that way for a reason.. Be it bad mic, bad pre, bad room, the fact they they only wiegh like 120 lbs, sh*t, they might be suck ass rappers... Stacking those parts usually just result in a big wash of thin parts.

And why should you have to vocalign. All the real PRO Rappers I ever worked with dont even really like to PUNCH IN a part. TELL em to DO IT AGAIN. S*it I know one big rapper that wont even fly Hooks STILL (altho I suspect its simply because of the way he tracks, but that a different story all together)

It really seems to me that guys who are REALLY Doing it in the game right now (Dre, Jay, 50 or Kanye, as much as I hate to say that) are only doing 1 vocal the whole damn way thru the song. They might stack the Hook but, damn Kanye didnt even do that on Late Reg. And the cats that were doing it back in the day, your Pacs, Big, Kane, LL, They used double tracking as an effect to make certin thing stand out, not as a standard way of working.

What Im trying to say is that SOMETIMES doubling tracking is a great thing. Listen to Em, he doubles alot of parts, but hes TIGHT (or vocaligned, but I dont think so) and thats cool, but it definitly startes to get that "Stacked UP" sound to it.

When Im workng with younger MCs thats the first habit I find I have to try and Break them of. 5 stacks of somthing will NEVER be better than 1 track or really KILLER Lead Vocal. You gotta work with thier tone, get them to back off the mic a lil, tell em to STOP YELLING.

Its a long fight to make it happen but if you have the luxury of developing artists its a MUST.

R and B On the other hand......
Old 17th July 2006
  #35
Gear Addict
 

[QUOTE=Im That Guy]I disagree. In fact I think over tracking the vocal is what seperated a good rap recording from s bulls**t demo recording. MCs who sound thin sound that way for a reason.. Be it bad mic, bad pre, bad room, the fact they they only wiegh like 120 lbs, sh*t, they might be suck ass rappers... Stacking those parts usually just result in a big wash of thin parts.

And why should you have to vocalign. All the real PRO Rappers I ever worked with dont even really like to PUNCH IN a part. TELL em to DO IT AGAIN. S*it I know one big rapper that wont even fly Hooks STILL (altho I suspect its simply because of the way he tracks, but that a different story all together)

It really seems to me that guys who are REALLY Doing it in the game right now (Dre, Jay, 50 or Kanye, as much as I hate to say that) are only doing 1 vocal the whole damn way thru the song. They might stack the Hook but, damn Kanye didnt even do that on Late Reg. And the cats that were doing it back in the day, your Pacs, Big, Kane, LL, They used double tracking as an effect to make certin thing stand out, not as a standaNG.


mmmmmmmm.......... I disagree. Double tracking is everywhere
Old 17th July 2006
  #36
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brian_delizza's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Im That Guy
And why should you have to vocalign. All the real PRO Rappers I ever worked with dont even really like to PUNCH IN a part. TELL em to DO IT AGAIN. S*it I know one big rapper that wont even fly Hooks STILL (altho I suspect its simply because of the way he tracks, but that a different story all together)
I completely agree. I am one of those do it in one take emcees, very very few punches, and I've never used VocAlign on my own stuff...

The first time I ever used it was for a session I was asked to mix that totally needed it. Even though I was just mixing it the lyrics were so horribly off that I would have been embarrassed to have my name attached to it. I called the guy up and told him I could fix it, I did, and he was VERY impressed....

Some people need it, and as engineers that is why we are here, to make them better. If we can save ourselves time by using plug-ins like VocAlign, why not use them?
Old 17th July 2006
  #37
Gear Nut
 
overdose's Avatar
 

I mentioned VocAlign because it does what it does really well. The rapper I fixed with it is supposed to be a pro. However I do agree it is best to try and do it right while tracking. When I record myself. I record the whole song. One take Jake. If I mess up I do it over. Studio is at my home I can do it when I have time. Not everyone is a pro and even those who are like stacking vocals.
For example we have a sone with Haystack. He likes to turn off the lights and record bars 1- 4 stack it like 6 times then record bars 8-12 repeat stacks, go back and add bars 4-8. Stack and continue untill he is done. He does not write his lyrics down either. He comes in listens to the track. Then hangs out for about an hour shooting the ****. While in his head he writes his lyrics. Goes in the booth and spits. Quite impressive but a little weird at first.
Especially when he asks you to turn the lights out and his Security is standing there strapped like everyone else in the studio.

Anyway, I do like to use VocAlign when needed.
Old 17th July 2006
  #38
Lives for gear
 

[QUOTE=Im That Guy]I disagree. In fact I think over tracking the vocal is what seperated a good rap recording from s bulls**t demo recording. MCs who sound thin sound that way for a reason.. Be it bad mic, bad pre, bad room, the fact they they only wiegh like 120 lbs, sh*t, they might be suck ass rappers... Stacking those parts usually just result in a big wash of thin parts.


I disagree with that... Tupac stacked vocals on top of vocals and I wouldn't consider his vocals "a big wash of thin parts" at all.....


And why should you have to vocalign. All the real PRO Rappers I ever worked with dont even really like to PUNCH IN a part. TELL em to DO IT AGAIN. S*it I know one big rapper that wont even fly Hooks STILL (altho I suspect its simply because of the way he tracks, but that a different story all together)


I think you misunderstood me, or perhaps I wasn't clear. I think going into the mixing stage with one "good take" isn't enough. (for me IMO) Having more to work with than not enough to work with is better for me...

It really seems to me that guys who are REALLY Doing it in the game right now (Dre, Jay, 50 or Kanye, as much as I hate to say that) are only doing 1 vocal the whole damn way thru the song. They might stack the Hook but, damn Kanye didnt even do that on Late Reg. And the cats that were doing it back in the day, your Pacs, Big, Kane, LL, They used double tracking as an effect to make certin thing stand out, not as a standard way of working.


I hate Kanye's vocals. The vocals Dre does are definitely on point, and I like him and his artists vocals even if they are one take... I'm just saying it's good to have 2 takes to open up opportunities for creativity... Plus just because someone can do one take throughout the whole thing doesn't make them a great rapper... Big Pun (arguably one of the best of all time IMO) did his takes a couple bars at a time (Big boy)


What Im trying to say is that SOMETIMES doubling tracking is a great thing. Listen to Em, he doubles alot of parts, but hes TIGHT (or vocaligned, but I dont think so) and thats cool, but it definitly startes to get that "Stacked UP" sound to it.

When Im workng with younger MCs thats the first habit I find I have to try and Break them of. 5 stacks of somthing will NEVER be better than 1 track or really KILLER Lead Vocal. You gotta work with thier tone, get them to back off the mic a lil, tell em to STOP YELLING.


I never said that you should use stacking as a way of getting around weak MC'ing.... I simply said during the tracking stage I think doubling is a must.... and I believe I said in another post (Might be on this thread... maybe on another) that I don't always use a Lead Vox, and plop the 2nd one (the doubling one) right under... Most of the time I have that one lead vox/good take, and automate the 2nd take and bring it up at the end of each bar to accentuate the words the artist is rhyming at the end of the bars....
Old 17th July 2006
  #39
Gear Head
 
djsmuv's Avatar
 

Look dude -

You work on cubase , and prolly have no outboard stuff .

i get decent results with my plugins .

I use an AKG 414eb and a bellarri rp 220 into a digi 001 or an rme pst/8 as my vocal chain . Crappy as hell stuff .

however

I can insert any plugin effects into the input channel of cubase and track thru that .

I track thru a Waves EQ to filter the lows and use the RVOX to control the peaks and stuff . the rvox also acts as a noise gate to reduce the room/headphone noise .

I prefer to use the psp mixpressor for my main vocal takes as an insert .

I love the waves ir1 revrb as my main reverb insert and the princeton reverb as a nice secondary insert . I also use the waves multitap 2 tap delay for alot of stuff to .

Also , hang some heavy curtains/ carpets around the mic to create a makeshift "booth" .
this will kill 70 - 90 % of the echo and reverb of your rather large room . Using the proximity effect , a vocalist can control the rest of the reflections at the mic.nalso have them stand on a a rug or something to eliminate the hard surfaces from bouncing back as much 1k-16k reflections being so near the mic .
Old 25th October 2008
  #40
Here for the gear
 

On leads I compress moderately hard (3-8db) on the way in, add a bit more transparent compression as insert effect, add some short verb with a little slap delay, maybe a comb filter or vocal exciter to pop the track more. As you send these effects, pan the sends to different spaces to add more width.

On overdubs (full back-ups) I compress harder on the way in than for the leads, cut some between 175-525Kh depending where the boomy-ness is coming from, cut sibilance on the way in - if it's a problem - because it's better to nip it before it gets too late. Garbage in, garbage out. Then tuck it beside and beneath the lead.

For adlibs and hype man tracks, I love to add more stylish effects like telephone EQ/comp, distortion, variant panning, etc. Open and close these bypasses for even more variance through out the track.

When using stylish delays, I love putting filters, phasers, distortion, etc on them for more character.
If you want the lead to punch more, try some parallel compression, a brightening comb, or a bright verb with a little pre-delay.
Hope this helps!

—Greens
CCM Studios
Denver, CO
Old 25th October 2008
  #41
Here for the gear
 

As for Vocalign, I prefer the old-fashioned way of cutting, stretching and cross-fading to align each stack for my own recordings and save the machines for efficiency. The main reason being, Vocalign functions on TCE and can add some interesting artifacts and robot pitches to the equation, especially if you stack a lot. It just sounds processed... in a bad way.
The other thing is that it's sometimes too precise and introduces phase issues. I have done both ways and am willing to drop a couple hours if it sounds better/more natural in the long-run. IMO, Vocalign has some chops in music, but is made for post-production.
In the end, I guess it comes down to the budget or time constraints at play... and the patience of the engineer. Can I get an assistant for this?
Old 27th October 2008
  #42
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superiorsound's Avatar
 

AKG C414 should do the trick
Old 29th October 2008
  #43
Gear Addict
 
bino_5150's Avatar
The mic is your first problem.

Your room is the second problem.

The lack of compression is your third problem.

The lack of experience is the 4th... lol j/k!

The sound of modern hip-hop is compression. The sound you are trying to get will come with the use of a compressor. Proper mixing techniques can help compensate for a less than standard mic, and even poor room acoustics, although room acoustics can be more difficult to deal with than a cheap mic in most cases.

Recording vocals in a big open room with vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors with no form of acoustical treatment is akin to yelling in a high school gym.

The PreSonus is about the best thing you have going for you right now in your vocal chain. PreSonus pres are actually pretty good. However, if you are running the mic in direct and not getting the gain that you are looking for, I think you should seriously consider adding an external pre-amp for the mic. Possibly one that's a channel strip with built in eq and compressor. And don't be afraid to use both hardware compression during tracking, and plugin compression when you mix.

I think that you will find that with a bit of compression and eq'ing during mixing, you might get a bit closer to the sound that you are trying to acheive. You want punchy, in your face rap vocals that stand out from the beat? Compress them. Those "spikes" in your vocals that clip, you won't have those anymore if you compress. This is what the compressor was made for. Eq the vocals and the instruments so they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

By the way, unless you are one of the few exceptions like Bone, 2pac, or TI that can pull off double stacked vocals, please don't! This is a common way people try to compensate foor poor delivery, poor recordings, and poor engineering. Focus on getting one track to sound right before you open up the pandoras box of stacked vocals...

And the only reason the rappers mentioned above sounded good with stacked vocals, is because 1. they have perfected their craft, and can actually rap on time with themselves, 2. they were recording in good studios with good equipment, and 3. they had GOOD MIXING ENGINEERS!

Anybody remember silk the shocker? lol

being in the studio with Layzie Bone opened up my eyes to a lot of things... He could write a verse, and then drunk and reading off the paper, spit 6 vocals tracks that were not only perfectly timed, but he was harmonizing with himself. No vocalign, no autotune... Sometimes he spits with such precision that it's hard to tell they are stacked.

And P.S.~ +1 on the AKG 414!

So, where exactly are all you TX slutz here from?

Houston up in this! lol

BINO of MO THUGS
Old 2nd July 2013
  #44
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBuiltAPyramid View Post
Down here in texas everybody wants to freestyle their ****. They think its an insult if they have to write it down, but i tell em write it, memorize it, and practice
lol smh

IMHO, based on almost 30 years of rappin/listening to rap, 99% of freestyle is trash and a waste of time. The 1% does take talent and can be entertaining, due more to the fact that it was spontaneous than actually good. Freestyle is best suited for battles, but the best always contain a degree of pre-meditation, so it's more of a hybrid than straight FS.

BUt, whether I'd prefer to listen to an album full of great freestyle or great written lyrics......it's not close.

MO
Old 2nd July 2013
  #45
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bino_5150 View Post
The mic is your first problem.

Your room is the second problem.

The lack of compression is your third problem.

The lack of experience is the 4th... lol j/k!
His rappers is 5th lol
Old 2nd July 2013
  #46
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djsmuv View Post
Look dude -

You work on cubase , and prolly have no outboard stuff .

i get decent results with my plugins .

I use an AKG 414eb and a bellarri rp 220 into a digi 001 or an rme pst/8 as my vocal chain . Crappy as hell stuff .

however

I can insert any plugin effects into the input channel of cubase and track thru that .

I track thru a Waves EQ to filter the lows and use the RVOX to control the peaks and stuff . the rvox also acts as a noise gate to reduce the room/headphone noise .

I prefer to use the psp mixpressor for my main vocal takes as an insert .

I love the waves ir1 revrb as my main reverb insert and the princeton reverb as a nice secondary insert . I also use the waves multitap 2 tap delay for alot of stuff to .

Also , hang some heavy curtains/ carpets around the mic to create a makeshift "booth" .
this will kill 70 - 90 % of the echo and reverb of your rather large room . Using the proximity effect , a vocalist can control the rest of the reflections at the mic.nalso have them stand on a a rug or something to eliminate the hard surfaces from bouncing back as much 1k-16k reflections being so near the mic .

OK so it was 7 years ago...but 2 reverb inserts? Aux sends right?
Old 2nd July 2013
  #47
Gear Head
 

[QUOTE=DaKid;802085]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Im That Guy

I never said that you should use stacking as a way of getting around weak MC'ing.... I simply said during the tracking stage I think doubling is a must.... and I believe I said in another post (Might be on this thread... maybe on another) that I don't always use a Lead Vox, and plop the 2nd one (the doubling one) right under... Most of the time I have that one lead vox/good take, and automate the 2nd take and bring it up at the end of each bar to accentuate the words the artist is rhyming at the end of the bars....
Doubling punchlines is pretty standard practice. I do it all the time. I think it's essential.
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