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Inverted Vocal Dynamics Special Ef­fects Plugins
Old 5th September 2011
  #1
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Noise Commander's Avatar
 

Inverted Vocal Dynamics

Sometimes I notice that after mixing session, loud vocal notes that originally were louder than all the other notes in the chrorus tend to be more quiet in the end. The dynamics have been inverted after compression and even worse after mastering.

How to compensate for that?
Even if there is just a tad compression with rather slow attavk times 2:1, or 3:1, it is impossible to get a natural dynamic vocal performance in a loud 6-9 Rms mix.

What can I do?
Automation before ir after compression? Making the loud parts even louder, or more quiet??

Putting the vocalist further away from
the microphone??

How to record dynamic vocalists that have a lot of power and soul?
And still get loudness war mix levels, with upfront vocals?
Old 5th September 2011
  #2
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Boschen's Avatar
 

Yeah, compression does that.

You're not inverting the vocal dynamics, you're just leveling the track. If you see artifacts of massive compression when you're using light ratios, etc, than something else is wrong. Bottom line, if you are hearing too much compression, use less. Don't rely on the numbers, use your ears.

Also, you cannot have a very dynamic vocal track sitting up front in a highly compressed mix---these two things will not live together-- at least, not a real, human vocal track. Where are you hearing this? To get a dynamic track to sit upfront in a pop mix, you will have to compress it, at least to some degree. This is a balancing act, to retain some level of dynamics while pushing up the vocal so it can be featured.

You may be the type who prefers to automate volume, rather than compress via hardware or software. This will give you more control over fine parameters. Also, how are you compressing? On the 2buss, and on all tracks? Or just lightly on a few tracks and the 2buss? This makes a difference too.
Old 5th September 2011
  #3
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Ben B's Avatar
 

When working with a very dynamic vocal, sometimes I like to split the performance onto two tracks, allowing me to use different amounts of compression on the soft vs loud parts. It can be quicker than writing automation for the dynamics plug-ins. I just split up the loud and soft phrases between the two tracks, and compress appropriately.

-Ben B
Old 5th September 2011
  #4
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Noise Commander's Avatar
 

Ok. Splitting the soft and the loud parts is a good idea...

Verses and Choruses are already recorded separately and processed on seperate tracks...

But let's say someone is singing yeah YEAH YEAH in a Chorus. The yeahs are getting higher and LOUDER. How to feature that effect, in a mix, where the drums and the synthies and the guitars stay the same? Where you have a dense instrumental, but want the vocals to climb in a way?

Or if you want one not to be louder than the rest etc...? How to do it?

I have the feeling, that it is much easier to record and produce average singers, that have some feeling and timbre, but whisper along on the same monotonous level, than recording great powerful dynamic singers, that change their intensity over time. 'Cause every dB you need to give the singer headroom over the instrumental, makes it harder to get a loud mix in general!

It's a stupid side-effect of the loudness war that you have to SOUND like you are screaming in a hard rock chorus, rather than actually SCREAMING!!!

What to do about it?
Old 5th September 2011
  #5
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Ben B's Avatar
 

Well, I think it's just a matter of accepting that some mixes aren't easy, and we have to do whatever it takes. If that means hours of microscopic automation, then so be it. Some mixes are just challenging that way.

-Ben B
Old 5th September 2011
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noise Commander View Post
Sometimes I notice that after mixing session, loud vocal notes that originally were louder than all the other notes in the chrorus tend to be more quiet in the end. The dynamics have been inverted after compression and even worse after mastering.

How to compensate for that?
Even if there is just a tad compression with rather slow attavk times 2:1, or 3:1, it is impossible to get a natural dynamic vocal performance in a loud 6-9 Rms mix.

What can I do?
Automation before ir after compression? Making the loud parts even louder, or more quiet??

Putting the vocalist further away from
the microphone??

How to record dynamic vocalists that have a lot of power and soul?
And still get loudness war mix levels, with upfront vocals?
That's why they put all those knobs on the front of the compressor -- so you can control its operation.

But, of course, if you've got an uneven vocal by someone with poor mic technique or perhaps as a result of careless punches, doing some automated fader riding before the send to compression can help avoid the kind of unintended consequences to which you refer.

But it's nonetheless important, seems to me, for an engineer to understand the parameters of control of sophisticated compressor, how to set attacks, sustains, releases and ratios appropriately. I've watched as a number of presumably younger engineers gravitated to boxes with simplified controls, seemingly picking different models for different types of compression, rather than actually learning how to set the specific controls of a fully parameterized unit.

Quote:
[...]than recording great powerful dynamic singers, that change their intensity over time.
I would suggest to you that 'excess' dynamics are actually a sign of an unsophisticated singer with no mic technique. Microphones are nothing new and, outside of the classical world, they are the norm in public performance as well as recording -- and have been since the 30s. A singer who doesn't know to back off when he's bellowing or move in close when he's whispering is a singer who just doesn't get it.
Old 8th September 2011
  #7
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Noise Commander's Avatar
 

But the point is...even vocal takes that have a balanced dynamic, where the average loudness is even...in the end all the powerful parts at least SOUND less powerful, either because the singer moved back during the loud sections thus changing the frequencies and the loudness impression or because the frequency distribution of more aggressive parts triggers the compressors, limiters etc more.

It IS unfair that you can not just put a dynamic singer in a room, let him do his action, compress it only 3 dB and put it on a record. If you do, you won't be 2011 loud, not even 1990 loud.

He have to parallel compress/saturate, you have to find a frequency pocket, you have to compress to even it out, you have to limit to catch the peaks ... sometimes that is not enough. You gotta double track the chorus etc!

F*** artificial music world!

What is your solution to do it?
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