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Amazing female vocalist/rapper...I cant find the right vocal chain!!!!
Old 8th June 2006
Gear Nut
🎧 15 years
Amazing female vocalist/rapper...I cant find the right vocal chain!!!!

Everything I've tried on my modest budget has still had me struggling with peircing, sharp, sometimes bitey areas that IMO take away from the awesome performance...

Here is what I've used going into PT LE:

Rhodes NTK Tube Mic
TL Audio Ivory Tube pre
which captured her nicely but had a strange high end sizzle that was hard on the ears as time went on and didnt really warm or fatten the vox.

Also I went with a

Rhodes NT-1
Through a Art MP Tube Pre

Both times I've treated the vox with Ren Comp ITB as well as Hydratone, plus a few other plugs, but I just cant seem to acheive that "in there" but clear, personal, and smooth/warm sound!!!

I posted in the high end section because I'm thinking maybe some High end upgrades might help me get this next record better....

BTW, the last album we did I produced and composed the beats and we mixed it together and won a National Best Rap Album up here in Canada so I know It's not the performance, its the translation to being tracked, mixed, and packaged into a nice CD!
Any high enders chime in. heres what I have in mind that Ive heard/read from here:

1. A Disstressor - MISSY USES ONE!!!!! jk.
2. Fatso - Heard its the master of making any thin/shrill material morbidly obese (in a good way)
3. A Neumman Mic.....probably the lowest costing one, but still the budget pass to that realm
4. Converters ie' BigBen, Rosetta...etc.

What 1 or 2 of these items are going to have the greatest benefit.

thanks in advance

Old 8th June 2006
Lives for gear
Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
🎧 15 years
Hm I would try to check a dynamic mic like a Electro Voce RE20 or the like, this could tame down the sharpness.
If you weren't on a budget a Neumann U67 would be nice to try too.

Other than that deessers that could be tuned to the sharp frequencies would help or a compressor with a sidechain (were you boost the nasty frequencies).

Try EQing them out with a very narrow Q (notche) might work as well.
You might try to place the mic in a different way next time you record her too.
Old 8th June 2006 | Show parent
Gear Guru
u b k's Avatar
🎧 15 years
no on the distressor, it'll only make things worse. no on the low end neumann, there are plenty of better mics for the same price. no on the fatso, that's slapping band-aids on the wounds when the problem is that you keep cutting yourself in the first place.

you have to capture the tone you want at the source, not use fancy gear to correct a bad track. this means the right mic (re20 is a good suggestion, sm7, u99, the peluso 47, whatever) into a pre that doesn't poke (transformers are your friend here) into good converters that don't have edges on the mids or teeth on the highs (mytek is sweet, lavry is fine, lucid is fine, apogee probably not what you're looking for).

if you track thru a good, foolproof compressor on the way in (la3a), you'll smooth things out even more. plugins only accentuate the badness of sound.

del ubik
Old 8th June 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
GYang's Avatar
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
with budget around 1,5 k, Neumann TLM49 is well worth try.
Nice high frequencies, clean, detailed and not harsh at all.
Old 8th June 2006
Gear Nut
🎧 15 years

To all who replied, thanks for the advice, it wasnt what I was expecting but gives me a new outlook and direction to take for solving this problem....I've always heard that there's no crown jewel of gear that'll magically transform a nasty track into golden ear candy....

Regarding my budget, I think I'll rent for this session which is starting on the 12th to the 18th so I wont break the bank too hard in renting a mic and a pre, its just choosing the RIGHT one!

What I've gathered from all the great advice is try another mic...not the "Rode" (sorry for the previous misspelling)

A. Electro Voce RE20
B. U67
C. Neumann TLM49

Then for the pre/comp/channel strip I gather:
A. Do NOT use the TL Audio Ivory......
C. Avalon 737

After demo'ing these I'm pretty sure I'll be purchasing if one or more amazes me!

And also I will take into consideration Nutmeg's advice on the EQ technique as well as the de-essor which is a MUST with this project.

Anyways this is MOST appreciated. Thank you my fellow slutz. heh
Old 8th June 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
SK1's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I second the sm7 or RE20

I bet you'd love the sm7

Cheap too !!!
Old 9th June 2006 | Show parent
Gear Nut
🎧 15 years

I agree, the strange sizzle is def the rodes...tried it through diff pre's and it still had that high freq artifact.....

I have my list of mic's to demo thanks to you all which Im sure will make a huge difference of what I have to work with during the mix....but theres still the pre-amp question.

Any Pre-amp or channel strip suggestions?

I've posted this in the Rap/Urban section as well, but I figured I'd get a good rounded idea from both areas which so far has been a success!
Old 10th June 2006 | Show parent
Gear Nut
🎧 15 years
Thanks everybody who contributed...Here is what I ended up picking up:

1. Neumann U87ai - Microphone
2. Avalon AD2022 - Dual Mono Pure Class A Preamplifier
3. FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor

I'm pretty confident that this chain will say the least!

Thanks again peoples.
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