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Tips & Techniques:The "lost art" of riding a fader on a vocal?

Strangely enough-- or not-- I was reminded of this vanishing art when putting together a tape sync'd interview for the BBC today-- with one of the interviewee's, who had an interesting voice but a soft spoken delivery, it made a HUGE difference pushing the fader up a notch or two-- much more engaging and storytellingish. At the zero mark, he was sounding a little wishy-washy, but up at 2 or 3 over, he was brilliant and raconteurish and thoroughly charming.

So I ended up riding the level throughout, to get that edge. It must be something about actual boards, the way they are designed and built, that the saturating and sense of fulfillingness you can achieve with little flicks of the fader... makey or breaky, no question about it.

Created by joelpatterson, 8th May 2012 at 11:04 PM
Last edited by joelpatterson, 4th January 2013 at 08:29 PM
Last comment by Musiclab on 4th January 2013 at 04:34 PM
75 Comments, 16,058 Views



(75) Comments for: The "lost art" of riding a fader on a vocal? Page Tools Search this Page
Old 8th May 2012
  #1
yep I compress and ride the fader, you have to if you want the full power of the performance
Old 8th May 2012
  #2
Gear maniac
 
Oldschoolwax's Avatar
 

Yeah, I miss the days of an all hands on mix, even more fun with four guys on the desk and someone trying to fly in a stereo track off the Skully just hoping the timing is all great... Ah, what we did to get 18 tracks sometimes!
Old 9th May 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
waxx's Avatar
 

i compress also, but slightly, and after i ride the fader of the vocal (with automation altough, and in 99,99% the daw automation as i use no tape) so the compressor is on a buss after the the fader or hardware insert
Old 9th May 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
LeMauce's Avatar
A mix without any fader riding on volume/effect is a boring mix... even if the performence is superduper great.
Old 9th May 2012
  #5
mymixisbetterthanyours!
 
kosmokrator's Avatar
 

riding vocal faders in mixing is NOT done by people? Really?

Now riding on the way to PT is what seperates the boys from the men.
Old 9th May 2012
  #6
Gear addict
 
MTStudios's Avatar
I don't think you can even call it a mix if the faders don't move!

It's a pity no one's yet invented a preamp with a fader for output attenuation. It would be nice to ride a pre into a comp into PT for those of us without consoles.
Old 9th May 2012
  #7
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
 

I never knew it was lost.....

Go figure. I'm more out of touch than I thought......
Old 9th May 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Strangely enough-- or not-- I was reminded of this vanishing art when putting together a tape sync'd interview for the BBC today-- with one of the interviewee's, who had an interesting voice but a soft spoken delivery, it made a HUGE difference pushing the fader up a notch or two-- much more engaging and storytellingish. At the zero mark, he was sounding a little wishy-washy, but up at 2 or 3 over, he was brilliant and raconteurish and thoroughly charming.

So I ended up riding the level throughout, to get that edge. It must be something about actual boards, the way they are designed and built, that the saturating and sense of fulfillingness you can achieve with little flicks of the fader... makey or breaky, no question about it.
It's not a lost art and it is not specifically connected to doing it on the board - riding the volume is very important - I do it all the time. It's my main mixing tool... and it's free.

But for spoken word (if not live on the radio or theatre, etc.) - it is mostly not really a fader riding - I splice silent parts and increase level of those silent splices... It is super easy in Nuendo - the effect is the same as fader riding. No compressors can do that so clean and fine...

I never thought that it would be a lost art - I thought everyone is doing it...

Also when doing live sound for bands - I always drive the vocal and some other channels - bass, drum groups, guitar groups, fx groups, etc. - pushing soloists up front when needed, etc.
Also increasing the master level gradually towards the end of the show, so they sound more and more epic to the audience, also riding the whole sections in loudness to help build climaxes with the band, increasing their dynamics... The effect (both for spoken word or for music) is exactly what you described: "sense of fulfillingness you can achieve with little flicks of the fader..."

edit: Oh, everyone said the same thing already - my bad habit of replying to OP without reading more replies first...
Old 9th May 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
LeMauce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTStudios View Post
I don't think you can even call it a mix if the faders don't move!

It's a pity no one's yet invented a preamp with a fader for output attenuation. It would be nice to ride a pre into a comp into PT for those of us without consoles.
Scott Greiner (a fellow GS'er) is working on this otm. He is comming out with a summingbox with automated VCA faders that controlled by your daw. So the fader riding is AFTER all progressed ITB/OTB threatment. Perhaps he can work that idea of you out.
Old 9th May 2012
  #10
DAW 'Controller" faders can have a dreary latency - taking all the joy out of it..
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