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Vocal performances Saturation Plugins
Old 7th September 2007
  #31
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Koed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
DITCH THE HEADPHONES.

so stick that mic dead center between the monitors, go mono, flip phase in one speaker, and have them sing to the music in the room. watch them come alive, hear the pitch immediately get better, feel the difference in the whole vibe.

Well I tried this, but you're never ever going to cancel out the backing track with this setup. In theory maybe, in a perfect space.
You'll always hear room reflections that aren't canceled out.
Mostly you won't notice when you mix in the vocals, but some tracks just aren't suited for this approach.
Old 8th September 2007
  #32
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koed View Post
Well I tried this, but you're never ever going to cancel out the backing track with this setup. In theory maybe, in a perfect space.
You'll always hear room reflections that aren't canceled out.
Mostly you won't notice when you mix in the vocals, but some tracks just aren't suited for this approach.

you're right, there's always bleed, but i like bleed. i've never had to ditch the approach because of a track. the idea is not to cancel the feed out, just to control and minimize it. keeping the volume down helps, and mic position is crucial because the cardioid pattern collapses at different distances with different mics.

as for singers adjusting dynamically, my experience is generally that they do a better job of that when they're just singing in the room.

truly, i can't claim this is a magic bullet or that everyone's gonna be bowled over by it. all i can say is that in my own experience working with vocalists it tends to allow for better, more convincing, more pitch-accurate tracks, which is what the original poster asked about.

ymmv.


gregoire
del
ubk
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Old 11th September 2007
  #33
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HockeyMike's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
I never use a vocal booth and never understood the logic behind it. Any sound needs room to bloom and breathe and I don't know how a singer could be comfortable when being isolated in a phone booth with everybody watching.
Same here. Put baffles in a 'U' shape around the singer (left, right and behind) in a decent sounding room and there's no need for the padded phone booth.

As far as the original question about getting a good performance, great singers are also actors. They aren't singing to the microphone, they're singing to the person they wrote the song about...or imagining a person they'd like to sing the song to...or something like that. If the singer isn't feeling some kind of emotion (and I mean REAL emotion, not some overwrought, contrived display) when they're singing the listener sure as hell won't.

And I agree with some of the other posts, get 5 or 6 takes and comp. More times than not there's always one take in there where the singer just connects and gives a much better performance than on the other ones and you'll have the majority of what you need on that take. Sometimes it's the 1st, sometimes the 6th, usually #4 or 5.

If you can't tell if the vocal takes are good enough, you probably need some outside production help like the engineer you mentioned. Experience is a big part of it.
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