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My Favorite Artists Vocal Chain! - Question!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 
SkyStudio's Avatar
My Favorite Artists Vocal Chain! - Question!

Hi there fellow audio peeps! You know that feeling when you come across a song/artist and their vocal mix sounds so damn good that you fall in love instantly and wanna achieve something like it? Well that's the scenario i'm in...

So to sum it all up, I came across an artist named "Lauv" a while back and specifically his songs called "Chasing Fire", "Enemies" & "Bracelet" the vocals really stand out! they have this almost I would describe in your face but also gritty? not sure if that is the word I'm looking for but you get what I mean!

I was obsessed with finding out how to achieve something similar to this vocal sound so I looked everywhere on what equipment he used etc, and to my shock.. for those specific songs he used a Neumann TLM 103 and an Apollo 8p. After finding that out it made even less sense to me since he didn't use any hardware pre or compressor for that big vocal sound?. BUT sure enough after a little more digging and bam! I find out the guy who mixed those songs/vocals I liked specifically was Mark "Spike" Stent, a Grammy award winning producer.

Lastly, I reached out by email to Mark's Management and not to my surprise I received no reply. I'm no star in the business nor do I have connections unfortunately. BUT that's where I wanna ask you guys and get opinions. I realize there is no way of knowing, but if just by ear.. you were to guess what kind of equipment would get that kind of character/sound out of a TLM 103.. I'm all ears! (sorry for dragging this out) and if you read till this point, Thankyou! all opinions are welcome and I've linked the songs below so you can give a quick listen!

Before I close off I just want to add yes a great performance/voice gets great results, however there is a certain character I can hear some gear adding to it and I like what it's doing to the vocal. I've heard Lauv's newer stuff and don't like the vocal mixing as much as I do his older stuff here. SO please don't tell me it's just the performers voice as that's not helpful or accurate in this case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-BODsf2T68

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZoX-10-VMs
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

When it's to be effected' and processed that much -given a decent source and tools up front, that 'chain doesn't matter all that much?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
I wanted to know what gear was in studios of my fave records ...took years and I did find out.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 
SkyStudio's Avatar
Yeah unfortunately it's this kind of info that is hard to come by. As with all big name producers/studios. In the meantime I'll just go by ear. But if anybody reading has an idea of gear that would give that kind of character lmk!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Interesting sound.

Parallel distortion?

Sounds like main vox has lots of distortion added, very low reverb/delay
Main vox doubles and back ups have a lot of reverb/delay/low or no distortion
Heavy de-essing on main VOX
Tremolo
Pitch shifter/harmonizer
and of course auto tune.

Interesting sound but one problem is that overdoing distortion is draining on the ears.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 
SkyStudio's Avatar
@ DownTheLine , Yeah that is great input! I totally agree, there does seem to be some kind of Parallel distortion added to the main vox especially. Cause while it is distorted it still remains clean and doesn't reveal too much. I like how it made it super upfront and also the character it added to the vocal. Although I also wonder if the distortion comes from within the daw or the hardware realm. Like can a certain hardware compressor add that kind of character/distortion? - this might not mean much but the mixing engineer for these exact songs says he uses a dbx 902 for De-essing and the Universal Audio 1176AE compressor a majority of the time for vocals. But hard to say forsure if he used this on Lauv's vocal.

Eitherway love the feedback and greatly appreciate it!
I will also keep that in mind about the overdoing distortion.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyStudio View Post
@ DownTheLine , Yeah that is great input! I totally agree, there does seem to be some kind of Parallel distortion added to the main vox especially. Cause while it is distorted it still remains clean and doesn't reveal too much. I like how it made it super upfront and also the character it added to the vocal. Although I also wonder if the distortion comes from within the daw or the hardware realm. Like can a certain hardware compressor add that kind of character/distortion? - this might not mean much but the mixing engineer for these exact songs says he uses a dbx 902 for De-essing and the Universal Audio 1176AE compressor a majority of the time for vocals. But hard to say forsure if he used this on Lauv's vocal.

Eitherway love the feedback and greatly appreciate it!
I will also keep that in mind about the overdoing distortion.
Slate Digital FG-Stress Plug-in

Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor

These are pretty common in studios.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Addict
This kind of typical modern vocal production is exactly why I roll my eyes when anyone starts talking about high end mics or pre-amps - can you really hear the mic there? Let alone the pre! it's saturated and effected to the point that there's very little of the original sound left - and this is a subtle example these days! Okay, Some really powerful female vocals are much, much easier to tame when recorded with a quality mic (or a crappy dynamic mic that happens to suit!) but unless you're doing this for a living and time is money, the EQ-twiddling time saved by tracking through, say, a u67 into a Coil CA70 becomes irrelevant!

How to acheive this sort of sound? High pass filter quite aggressively and do your usual EQ cuts to get rid of the boxiness, automate volume to keep levels into the compressors more even, then compress through two stages of fairly aggressive (say 1176) compression, then a LA2A on the end just adding colour, then send the vocal track to a very heavily compressed and high-passed saturation/distortion channel and mix that under the main vocal to taste - perhaps add a high shelf to that channel too. Solo'd, the saturation channel will sound destroyed but mixed into the main vocal it'll give you the sound that's common today. It's also not uncommon to autotune the distortion track aggressively. I will usually send all main vocal channels to a single bus for final (gentle) compression to glue them together.

There's also either a Eventide Hn000 or manually pitch shifted (up and down a tiny amount) parallel copy of the vocal track, this "thickness" track can also be given a pre-delay to sit it back from the main vocal and will be mixed under the main vocal track much the same as the distortion/saturation one.

For levels, add enough thickener track until it becomes obvious, then knock it back about 4db. For the distortion track lift the fader a bit at a time but keep muting it, when you get to the point muting it makes you "miss" the sound then that's about the right level - any more and it'll start to sound fatiguing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyStudio View Post
Hi there fellow audio peeps! You know that feeling when you come across a song/artist and their vocal mix sounds so damn good that you fall in love instantly and wanna achieve something like it? Well that's the scenario i'm in...

So to sum it all up, I came across an artist named "Lauv" a while back and specifically his songs called "Chasing Fire", "Enemies" & "Bracelet" the vocals really stand out! they have this almost I would describe in your face but also gritty? not sure if that is the word I'm looking for but you get what I mean!

I was obsessed with finding out how to achieve something similar to this vocal sound so I looked everywhere on what equipment he used etc, and to my shock.. for those specific songs he used a Neumann TLM 103 and an Apollo 8p. nagaland state lottery also provide After finding that out it made even less sense to me since he didn't use any hardware pre or compressor for that big vocal sound?. BUT sure enough after a little more digging and bam! I find out the guy who mixed those songs/vocals I liked specifically was Mark "Spike" Stent, a Grammy award winning producer.

Lastly, I reached out by email to Mark's Management and not to my surprise I received no reply. I'm no star in the business nor do I have connections unfortunately. BUT that's where I wanna ask you guys and get opinions. I realize there is no way of knowing, but if just by ear.. you were to guess what kind of equipment would get that kind of character/sound out of a TLM 103.. I'm all ears! (sorry for dragging this out) and if you read till this point, Thankyou! all opinions are welcome and I've linked the songs below so you can give a quick listen!

Before I close off I just want to add yes a great performance/voice gets great results, however there is a certain character I can hear some gear adding to it and I like what it's doing to the vocal. I've heard Lauv's newer stuff and don't like the vocal mixing as much as I do his older stuff here. SO please don't tell me it's just the performers voice as that's not helpful or accurate in this case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-BODsf2T68

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZoX-10-VMs
I realize different voices have different sound. That being said, if someone likes for example a voice through a 1073 into a tube tech cl1b. Despite different singers this chain has a popular sound and character. THAT is what I'm referring to. Lauv also recorded these vocals in his living room with a Aston Halo.
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