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compressor or pre
Old 11th July 2005
  #1
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compressor or pre

I'm doing rock vocals.

i have a nice, clean preamp....butI'm wondering would a Neve type pre or a distressor be more beneficial in achieving the BIG rock vocal sound. i am currently recording to 'puter and i find the vocals aren't quite there.
close. but not there

what do you think ....would new pre or a distressor be the best way to improve
vocals?
Old 11th July 2005
  #2
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wagz....
you could certainly try different pre's like neve/great river/hardy - maybe rent ?
and hear the difference. but i learnt also years ago from a kind audio engineer that the black art of audio engineering also plays a part. ie...how you engineer the vocals.
one technique you might try which i like is to copy your vocals to another track (duplicate)....then push the duplicate a few milliseconds ahead in time using insert silence. (try from 5 to 18 ms). its a lot of experimentation - but can thicken up a vocal track ive found. then bring the fader of the copy track just under the original. and muck around with different eq tricks on the copy versus the original.
for example delaying the bass of the vocal a tad by cutting bass on the original and boosting it a bit on the copy. and there are other things you can do to experiment like putting just a smidgen of chorus on the copy track or even flange. but dont overdo it. just a smidgen. really - its all experimentation.
maybe also you might want to experiment with the free SIR modeller. (noisevault.com if i remember) on the copy track. and see what that might do as well to thicken things up. if that is your aim.
just some ideas. hope they help.peace.
Old 11th July 2005
  #3
84K
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84K's Avatar
Hello,

I would get a Pendulum Audio 6386 or ES-8 compressor to beef up the sound.

Also, experiment with distortion. Distorting a copy of the vocal(s) and blending the clean and distorted signals is a modern sound that is big and cool.
Old 11th July 2005
  #4
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagz
...I'm wondering would a Neve type pre or a distressor be more beneficial in achieving the BIG rock vocal sound
Finding exactly the right mike for the singer is a lot more likely to!
Old 11th July 2005
  #5
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cool!

manning1, i have some tricks i used to spice up the vox and i have tried duplicating the track and playing with the EQ....

but, i have never duplicated the track, slid it back a few milliseconds, and then changed the EQ...so i'll try that today. thanks for the tip.

oh yeah, do you send the original and the COPY of the vox to a group and compress the group...or do you like to give each they're own compression?

84K, I concur. I really started to freak when i heard my distorty vox w/ my clean vox. It seems to add more passion to my vox...i don't use it on the whole track though.

Thanks, Bob. I stepped up to an SM7b from a KSM44 recently. my vox sound very upfront w/ the SM7b and the speck 5.0 pre i've got. I'd really like to try a nice ribbon mic or a soundelux mic...or maybe that lawson, but to be realistic.....funds are limited. Also, we will probably track vox here at the house(we have a sort of vocal booth.....to kill the room sound) due to time and money restraints. So, that's kinda why i wanna use the Sm7b....it's a dynamic..so i don't think I'll have to worry quite as much about having the perfect room.

well, i'm off to make money so i can pay for this gear.
Old 11th July 2005
  #6
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audioez's Avatar
 

rock vocals... 57, 58 into a neve. BAMN!!!!!
Old 12th July 2005
  #7
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Proximity can have everything to do with it, and as Bob stated the mic itself.

War
Old 12th July 2005
  #8
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Scinx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagz
it's a dynamic..so i don't think I'll have to worry quite as much about having the perfect room.
Funny - my EV 635A is a dynamic but I hear plenty of room
To answer your question (and nothing else) - in your case - it would appear a compressor would have more impact as you say you already have a Speck which is no slouch.
Old 12th July 2005
  #9
Gear Addict
 
Zarathustra's Avatar
 

Get a Distressor! It's a Rock n' Roll Pit Bull. No other single piece will do as many things as an EL8X...

Z
Old 12th July 2005
  #10
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insomnio's Avatar
 

Great thread! thumbsup
Insomnio
Old 12th July 2005
  #11
Dot
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"...a nice, clean preamp..." is sort of vague. Can you throw us a bone and mention what pre you have.
Old 12th July 2005
  #12
84K
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Just a side note (that I feel applies to this thread)


Compressing vocals is very popular. Has been since before milk. When done correctly, you can make the listener perceive the vocalist like his/her lips are right at the grill of the speakers. Great sound. When done poorly, the vocals sound choked and small. Compression has many other uses and can work for vocals in many other ways, with many other approaches. Through my experience, I try to always find ways to make a rock vocal more in-your-face without using just delays, reverb compression and eq to do it. Distorting a copy or double of a vocal is a great way to get "it." Parallel compression is very popular. I prefer distorting the signal. There are ten-million ways to do it, and it is fun trying them out. Great way to get that extra edge without using as much squash. I still use compressors, but I do not have to work them as hard. This is just one example with one alternative. If you are looking for big rock vocal sounds, I advise to experiment with ways to get the goods in ways where you rely less on compressors. They will always be there and they are always an option. EXPERIMENT!! Try to create options. Different things that come from experiments like this could eventually be referred to by others as "your sound"....
Old 12th July 2005
  #13
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mornin' slutz

lol. i just woke up. i guess i was mixing and i passed out...AGAIN.
ahahahahah

Dot, i've got a Speck 5.0 mic pre. It can be very clean, but also has a transformer option to add some character. EVERYTHING just sounds big through it. it's nice.

84k, i'm learning to experiment more with things like distortion...i guess i was under the impression that better mixers were trying to keep the vocal tracks as clean as possible. Maybe a touch of distortion is just what my vocals need to have more character.

BTW, i really like GreenmachineAMP for distorted vox. what do you like for distorty vox in VST? we don't use outboard distortion because our coverters aren't good enough to go back and forth...and i like to track clean. I just like having the option of a clean track. I would like to find a good vst dirtbox. i really like the way distortion amplifies my breath sounds....it sounds like i'm freaking out......lol...in a good way.
Old 12th July 2005
  #14
84K
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84K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wagz
lBTW, i really like GreenmachineAMP for distorted vox. what do you like for distorty vox in VST? we don't use outboard distortion because our coverters aren't good enough to go back and forth...and i like to track clean. I just like having the option of a clean track. I would like to find a good vst dirtbox. i really like the way distortion amplifies my breath sounds....it sounds like i'm freaking out......lol...in a good way.

I do not track with distortion. That is a mix only thing. I use small guitar amps, guitar pedals, Bass guitar pedals, overloading mic pres, overdriving the input of tape delays, etc. I do not use plugins for this effect, but I am sure you can. There are no rules. Just find what ever it takes to get the job done.
Old 12th July 2005
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Izotope's Trash is pretty good for distorting tracks, and if you're familiar with Reaktor, that has some awesome uses too(It took me forever to get anything really useable and unique out of that program, but now I can't live without it). Distorting vocals can do so many great things, and is a blast to play around with.
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