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Compressors: best plugin for rap vocals Dynamics Plugins
Old 12th September 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Compressors: best plugin for rap vocals

I've seen a few threads on comp plugins but I think a lot of them are geared toward metal and typical bands. Usual suspects are CLA-76 etc.

What are your favorite/most used compressors plugins ?
Old 12th September 2011
  #2
Gear Head
 
bumpjohns0007's Avatar
 

Yea I feel u bro lolz it seem all plug ins are for rock .. every time I watch a demo of a plug or any gear its always rock being played .. like rap ain't a multi billion dollar business lolz but for ur answer .. we use the same stuff they use .. for me I use 1176ln on most if not all my lead vocals .. i also use the ssl 4G channel compression .. the la2a for like backing vocals or backing instruments .. all UAD 2 .. but I also use wave r compressor and mcdsp compressor bank. I like a lot of flavors, oh and if I just want clean compression I jus use the stock protools compressor

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 12th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
There is no such thing as a compressor that's good for rap. We all use pretty much the same compressors across the commercial genres. Similarly, there are many different ways to skin the proverbial rap cat - you can get a great, and often very similar, sound using otherwise very different compressors.

The most important setting on any compressor is going to be you. The better the engineer you are, the better you can get a good sound out of any halfway decent compressor (although maybe not the holy grail sound, but definitely good - or better than 95% of GS users can get under any circumstances lol).

One of my recent favorites that I've been using on all kinds of vocals be it rap, r&b, rock, pop, whatever, is the Vladg Molot compressor. It's very flexible with it's two modes and quite frankly sounds incredibly good (like REALLY damn good). It's also freeware. Google it. If you can't get a good vocal sound with that thing, then you won't get it with any compressor. It's free, what have you got to lose?
Old 12th September 2011
  #4
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Surbitone's Avatar
The one that causes the most system instability, and if possible, project corruption. Joke (sort of)
Old 12th September 2011
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
One of my recent favorites that I've been using on all kinds of vocals be it rap, r&b, rock, pop, whatever, is the Vladg Molot compressor. It's very flexible with it's two modes and quite frankly sounds incredibly good (like REALLY damn good). It's also freeware. Google it. If you can't get a good vocal sound with that thing, then you won't get it with any compressor. It's free, what have you got to lose?
Sounds interesting. Only available in VST, huh? Too bad for us Logic users!
Old 12th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Compressors: best plugin for rap vocals

Within the disclaimers Chris mentioned I'll tell you a couple chains I've dug:

Cla76->la2a
Cla76-->rvox
Cla76->rvox->airwindows pop
Softube cl1b->rvox->airwindows pop

Again, not rap specific, but I think of them in terms of function/flavor
Cla76=toothy mojo
Rvox=adds transparent density, the "ninja" of comps
Airwindows pop=brings forward, preserves detail (my secret weapon)
Softube cl1b=round, heavy, thick
La2a=dense mojo, focus

Subjective terms, but hopfully inspiring recommendations. Treat your comps in the mix process like a team. Jordan is great, but better w pippen and kerr. Malone needs Stockton, and they got even better when hornacek got there...

Know their roles and strengths. Don't make one man do all the heavy lifting...
Old 12th September 2011
  #7
Gear Head
 

It's more about the type of voice and performance rather then genre. A compressor is a a compressor and it's going to do the same thing whether it's for hiphop or rock (compress the waveform.) For a male rappers I'll tend to use either CL1B, ssl e channel and/or 1176 (hardware or waves.) sometimes I'll use a Rcompressor if I dont want as much coloration. I Also internchange between compressors with similar settings to hear the sound of each. That's for MIXING

When I track hiphop I generally always use an 1176 (hardware) After my preamp bc of it's super-fast attack time with only 1-2 db of gr. Great for controlling peaks
Old 12th September 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks everyone for the good responses, there were pretty much a lot of the ones I expected, with a few xtras.
I'm not one of those guys who thinks thinks there's a magic 'rap' plugins that spits out JayZ compression lol
But in the same you have to admit that mixing a soft rock ballad is allot different to some hard punchy rap vocals, just thought there may be an extra one that gets prefered
(as opposed to different settings on the usual suspects) or even an underdog that gets thrown in a chain.

Pity on the one mentioned VST, I'm in PT & and haven't ventured the wrapper path // if anyone has and can comment on VST stability in PT would love to hear about it.
Old 13th September 2011
  #9
You can use any compressor plugin for any genre, including Rap. There are no Rap only plugins and compressors. A compressor compresses. It will compress a rap song or track the same way it will compress a rock song or track.
Old 13th September 2011
  #10
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Nahuel's Avatar
 

I'm not a good mix engineer but I found that rvox seems to do something right to most rap vocals, it's very easy to setup, it doesnt color the sound too much and it gives you that consistent level.... then I found out that the flux compressor does the same thing but even more transparent, that's why I bought this plugin a couple of years ago, it's very good for vocal compression with the right settings because you can reduce the dynamic a lot before it becomes noticiable tone wise.
Old 13th September 2011
  #11
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

Compressors I'm using on rap vocals:

CLA 76 (usually the blackface, the blue stripe is a but much for rap IMO) or UAD 1176

Softube CL1B

Rcompressor

Rvox

Waves L1

Think that pretty much covers it. Many times I'm using more than one of these in my chain.
Old 13th September 2011
  #12
Gear Addict
 
ramil's Avatar
 

same here.. apart from softube (didn't had a chance 2 use it) . What I like is to add some distortion on rap vocals. colortone that does really well that helps to add some "aggresiveness" without overcompressing but it really depends on how material is recorded..
Old 13th September 2011
  #13
Gear Head
 

Rvox for light compression
Old 13th September 2011
  #14
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tdot's Avatar
The best compressor is no compressor - track the vox properly and you won't need one. Get a well tracked vocal and print a mix, then squash it with a compressor and print the same mix - then decide if you really want to compress vocals. If it's really needed (the rapper was jumping all around the mic while tracking), try to compress as minimally as possible.

I do like Rvox though, its very transparent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramil View Post
What I like is to add some distortion on rap vocals. colortone that does really well that helps to add some "aggresiveness" without overcompressing but it really depends on how material is recorded..
Very much agree - I'd rather stick a little bit of distortion than a lot of compression any day. Putting them through guitar amp sims also often provides interesting results as well (remember to turn off the cabinet emulation unless you want a bunch of muffled vox).
Old 13th September 2011
  #15
Gear Addict
 
ramil's Avatar
 

or send it via aux and blend with original and then eq to get rid off irrtating frequencies
Old 13th September 2011
  #16
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdot View Post
The best compressor is no compressor - track the vox properly and you won't need one. Get a well tracked vocal and print a mix, then squash it with a compressor and print the same mix - then decide if you really want to compress vocals. If it's really needed (the rapper was jumping all around the mic while tracking), try to compress as minimally as possible.





so much bad information floating around the internet.
Old 14th September 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post


so much bad information floating around the internet.
Aye.. preserving transients is your friend, but not everything has to have uber amounts of transients all the time. Modern rap vocals more often than not benefit from compression IMO.

I'll second the choir of a FET-type comp (e.g. Waves CLA blackface, Softube FET) going light on some 2 or 4:1 ratio into something transparent like the RVox (the Softube CL1B can also be used for this).

I also really like the Abbey Road R124, but more as kind of an EQ. It takes some getting-to-know-it time though, it's not a beginners comp.
Old 14th September 2011
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
Compressors I'm using on rap vocals:

CLA 76 (usually the blackface, the blue stripe is a but much for rap IMO) or UAD 1176

Softube CL1B

Rcompressor

Rvox

Waves L1

Think that pretty much covers it. Many times I'm using more than one of these in my chain.
Thanks Rick , the UAD's I'm about to get, not favoring waves that much atm ant only use the PT standard for little tweaks.
I'd be interested to hear an example of a regular chain you use is ( obviously every voice differs but for examples sake say a male with a somewhat punchy & mid-low voice)
Old 14th September 2011
  #19
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Alxi's Avatar
 

It seems i mostly limit rap vox as a go-to

Rocket comp ( 1179 ish )
Kjaerhus GPP1 ( variable soft knee limiter )


I will usually compress at a later stage into the mixing process and i will mainly do it on busses
( Lead vocal buss and back vocal buss )

Psp Oldtimer ME is a favorite of mine for that task
Old 14th September 2011
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Few of you
Mentioned the Rvox, I'm yet to play round with it but will look into getting it now...
Old 14th September 2011
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alxi View Post
It seems i mostly limit rap vox as a go-to

Rocket comp ( 1179 ish )
Kjaerhus GPP1 ( variable soft knee limiter )


I will usually compress at a later stage into the mixing process and i will mainly do it on busses
( Lead vocal buss and back vocal buss )

Psp Oldtimer ME is a favorite of mine for that task
Whats your DAW , of the top of my head most of these are VST's yea ?
Old 14th September 2011
  #22
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Alxi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serious View Post
Whats your DAW , of the top of my head most of these are VST's yea ?
I use Reaper and yes they are all VSTs

Kjaerhus are sadly discontinued as of last year but PSP and Stillwell are still available.
Old 14th September 2011
  #23
cytomic the glue
Old 14th September 2011
  #24
Gear Guru
 
rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serious View Post
Thanks Rick , the UAD's I'm about to get, not favoring waves that much atm ant only use the PT standard for little tweaks.
I'd be interested to hear an example of a regular chain you use is ( obviously every voice differs but for examples sake say a male with a somewhat punchy & mid-low voice)
An example chain would look something like this.

Recording: c800g -> Neve 1073 -> 1176 or CL1B

Mixing: Waves SSL channel strip for filter and EQ, then to a comp like an 1176 or RCompressir, then into another EQ like Oxford or REQ, then into an RVox or L1 for some final spanking. There's usually a Deesser in there somewhere early in the chain, either waves deesser or renaissance.

This applies to working all ITB. If I've got a console and some outboard my process is a bit different.
Old 14th September 2011
  #25
Liquid Mix

I just bought a Liquid Mix from a fellow Gearslutz member.
I tried it on a mix I just finished for the first time, and I LOVE the Manley VariMu and the Slam! (opto and FET) on vocals.

I have the CLA as well and I use those in conjunction with the Liquid Mix 1176 and LA2A.

Love the emulations this things has....
Old 14th September 2011
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post



so much bad information floating around the internet.
lol....you were quicker.......t'internet, t'internet oh haven of wisdom.....
Old 15th September 2011
  #27
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e-are's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
Compressors I'm using on rap vocals:

CLA 76 (usually the blackface, the blue stripe is a but much for rap IMO) or UAD 1176

Softube CL1B

Rcompressor

Rvox

Waves L1

Think that pretty much covers it. Many times I'm using more than one of these in my chain.
Yup. That covers it. I use the uad 1176 and sometimes the fatso, fairchild or 33609.
Old 15th September 2011
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

CL1b.
Old 15th September 2011
  #29
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e-are's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdot View Post
The best compressor is no compressor - track the vox properly and you won't need one. Get a well tracked vocal and print a mix, then squash it with a compressor and print the same mix - then decide if you really want to compress vocals. If it's really needed (the rapper was jumping all around the mic while tracking), try to compress as minimally as possible.

I do like Rvox though, its very transparent.



Very much agree - I'd rather stick a little bit of distortion than a lot of compression any day. Putting them through guitar amp sims also often provides interesting results as well (remember to turn off the cabinet emulation unless you want a bunch of muffled vox).
Most artist move around some. I can't think of 1 commercially released song with no compression on the vocals. Many times I love to hear the compression on vocals. Tastefully tho. Listen to Dre's 2001. I love the punchy vocal sound on his vocals. Couldn't have gotten that without compression. Also, You would have to be a hell of a fader rider to get them to sit perfectly in or above the mix.
My $0.02
Old 15th September 2011
  #30
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdot View Post
The best compressor is no compressor - track the vox properly and you won't need one. Get a well tracked vocal and print a mix, then squash it with a compressor and print the same mix - then decide if you really want to compress vocals. If it's really needed (the rapper was jumping all around the mic while tracking), try to compress as minimally as possible.

I do like Rvox though, its very transparent.



Very much agree - I'd rather stick a little bit of distortion than a lot of compression any day. Putting them through guitar amp sims also often provides interesting results as well (remember to turn off the cabinet emulation unless you want a bunch of muffled vox).

You don't know how to use compression to get the results you'd want. Compression can really benefit rap vocals. There's a lot to talk about on this subject. What ever happened to "punch", "shaping"??? Or is that not something that the modern day up-and-coming engineers care about?
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