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Recording Metal/Hardcore Vocals
Old 20th February 2011
Gear Nut

Recording Metal/Hardcore Vocals

So I'm surprised no ones been able to answer this question more thoroughly on the interweb any where, or maybe I'm just not seeing it, but my question is what is a good and proper initial set up when preparing to track a metalcore vocalist. His range is very wide from, As I lay dying type yelling to mid range Randy Blythe style singing to gutteral deathcore grunts. The VU meters on my pre will be dancing on the red then barely show a reading given the wide dynamic range. Whats the best way to tackle this beast?

I was thinking of going with the Sm7b into either my ART MPAII pre or ISA 828, which i have for drums, simply b/c its a much higher quality pre... or maybe even go in through the 003 rack? As for compression, I don't think any one compressor I have is going to be enough to bring up those soft low growls. This bastard needs to be compressed 6 ways from sunday. I have a dbx 160a or the ART VLA's that I could run through first and then compress THAT with a plugin compressor as well. As for EQ when you stand in my iso booth and yell into the sm7 it sounds very muffled and... bland. Should I be sucking out a tone of low mid range to give it some edge? What about the use of a multiband compressor instead of eq? And do any producers add chorus or even some light AIR distortion to them eventually, perhaps in mix? Alot of possible ways to go about this that i'm not too keen on. Suggestions from the people who have experience in this kind of recording would be greatly appreciated.
Old 20th February 2011
Lives for gear
Aisle 6's Avatar
It is like any vocal you will most likely need to experiment a little within known parameters to come up with you definitive set up.

The big question is are the sections of each different vocal to be delivered as a complete performance or can they be credibly delivered in sections?
If it is the former, then you will have to work out which vocal styling is the critical one and work towards making that work and there will probably be a little compromise on the lesser important vocal.

If it is the latter, then I would say use the ISA for the delicate stuff and maybe the ART for a bit of harmonic distortion in the growly sections. I have not used an SM7b ever myself but I ma familiar with the ISA and ART products. Not that I own either of yours, but have tried them before. Although not my first choice of hardware, you can make a fine hardcore vocal with these tools. The 160a comp will serve you well, just do not over cook it. Use some software compression after the 160a to fine tune to taste.
As I said, I have not recorded a vocal with an SM7b, but I am thinking that an LDC mic may be better as you want to get that spitty hardcore performance. Gives it vibe and makes it more aggressive and authentic.
Good luck.
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