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
Trying to achieve a transparent vocal sound with average mic... Drum Pad Controllers
Old 24th December 2010
Gear Head

Trying to achieve a transparent vocal sound with average mic...

I have an average condensor microphone I got from a mbox bundle I started out with back a couple years ago :D

And I haven't spent the money on a new microphone...foolish I know, but I always spend the money on gadgets, gadgets & more gadgets, namely I just picked up Komplete 7 & NI Maschine not to long ago.

I'm using Logic...I have Melodyne DNA 1.1 for editing vocals, and I was wondering how I can get the vocals to come out more in the mix with my mic I have now and no fancy 3rd Party Plugs?

I'm mostly looking to use Logic Stock Plugs.

Any advice for making the vocals come out in the mix more, and sound more transparent? I'm trying to achieve a Mos Def Black on Both Side's kind of vocal sound, if you guys get the reference.

If not;
YouTube - Mos Def - Hip Hop
Old 24th December 2010
Lives for gear
Danny Downer's Avatar
We'll first of all, forget about it
I'm really sorry but u won't achieve a vocal sound like mos def with a mbox and a cheap microphone that came with it...

Accept from the fact that you lack of good hardware, you probably don't have a functional vocal booth or any roomtreatment either (sorry for judging but it's like that 80% of the time people ask questions like these...)

A few tipps though since I don't wanna be an asshole! ;-)

Try not overloading your arrangement with overdubs!!! Especially the golden age kinda Hip Hop is produced with one strong, perfectly performed main vocal and a few doubles on the punches and that's it basically! Don't get confused by people telling you Young jeeezy does 40 overdubs per vers f*** that man, seriously! All u get is phase issues and a muddy sound!

If u have a good main vocal with a nice performance you need to EQ it right wich means, use a parametric EQ with a high Q to cut out muddy frequencies, the keyword is sweeping here! And do a low cut for the rumbling frequencies at 80 to 120 Hz (depends on the voice)

After that is done you maybe want to compress (no you definitly ;-) do)
Use a normal ratio like 4:1 and a pretty fast (not too fast or the voice will move to the back) attack, also the release should be pretty fast! But mainly listen to ur ears and close ur eyes sometimes!!! (this goes for all of it)

After that try using another EQ to boost the important frequencys, I hate recipes like that but some important frequencies are: 150-250 Hz for the low end, round 1 K for the nasal sound (maybe cut that), 2-4 K Hz for the presence, 6-8 (usually for the sharper tones like the "s") and above 10 kHz for the air! But u really just have to experiment to find a good sound for that particular sound, what works on mine doesn't need to work on the next ones...

After this step I sometimes use a deesser (depends)

The double should be processed quite similar with the difference, that I usually compress it harder (8:1 e.g.) and Eq it a little less bright, so that it moves to the background!

I usually sum the main vocal and the doubles and maybe adlips on a vocal stereo bus (because I pan the adlips) and put another sum compressor with easier settings on that so the vocals get glued together...

And of course I put reverb or delay on it depending on the song... Most of the time some short delay does it so you get some deepness in the arrangement...

Maybe a longer one on the doubles... you gotta try try and try... ;-)

I repeat this is only the way I usually approach a rap vocal mix but theres many other ways to do it!

Hope you could get along with my english since Im not a native...

I attached a song I mixed this way (pretty quick not a masterpiece) but just to let you hear what Im doing... and it's german too ;-)

But anyways Happy X Mas to you my friend, hope I could help

Bless Danny!

Old 25th December 2010
Gear Head

thank you so much! really, lots of help. happy holidays!
Old 25th December 2010
Lives for gear
Danny Downer's Avatar
Originally Posted by CeeAsh View Post
thank you so much! really, lots of help. happy holidays!
;-) Glad I could help a little! Hope Santa's been good to you :D
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 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
Similar Threads
Thread Starter / Forum
scadh / So much gear, so little time
opthewin / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
nndw / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
Guy Gabriel / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production

Forum Jump
Forum Jump