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Recently stopped recording at the studio and started at home (sound treatment tips)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Recently stopped recording at the studio and started at home (sound treatment tips)

When I would record at this studio the vocals would come out really nice, to be expected when recording in a fully treated environment with great equipment. I currently record in an untreated space with laminate flooring and no treatment at all and can't seem to get rid of this harshness that lies in my vocal recordings. I was planning on building a booth soon, but was hoping anyone could give me an understanding of how important a room is for the recording.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
Wow! You have so many possible cans of worms that might be open. Not in any particular order....
1. Are you using the exact same mic as was used in the studio? If not, what mic did they use, and what mic are you using?
2. Putting treatment aside, how do the sizes of the two recording spaces compare? What are the rough dimensions of each room (please include height).
3. Did the studio do ANY processing on the vocal during recording? Any EQ, compression, saturation, etc.?
4. Were you listening with any processing at the studio, including reverb?
5 and 6. Answer questions 3 and 4 for your recording at home.
The answers to these questions would give me (and others) some ability to judge what else, apart from room treatment, might influence your comparison of the two vocals.
There are other factors that have (usually) less obvious effect on recorded sound, but let’s deal with the obvious first.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Wow! You have so many possible cans of worms that might be open. Not in any particular order....
1. Are you using the exact same mic as was used in the studio? If not, what mic did they use, and what mic are you using?
2. Putting treatment aside, how do the sizes of the two recording spaces compare? What are the rough dimensions of each room (please include height).
3. Did the studio do ANY processing on the vocal during recording? Any EQ, compression, saturation, etc.?
4. Were you listening with any processing at the studio, including reverb?
5 and 6. Answer questions 3 and 4 for your recording at home.
The answers to these questions would give me (and others) some ability to judge what else, apart from room treatment, might influence your comparison of the two vocals.
There are other factors that have (usually) less obvious effect on recorded sound, but let’s deal with the obvious first.
1) The mic in the studio was a neumann u67, I currently use an at2035 into a focusrite, big difference I know. But plenty of people attain a pro sound out of this setup.
2) So my room is rectangular 20x7x9 (LxWxH in ft). The room at the studio was square and approximately 10x10x8. That room was fully treated while mine has none.
3) The only mixing that was done by them, was a compressor going in, and post recording we did not do any unless we specified to EQ. Just a pitch corrector and that was all.
4) No reverb just dry vocal
5) For me I do all my mixing post take, EQ, comp, De-ess, reverb. But the harsh frequencies are so dominant it is very hard to take them away without losing pieces of the vocal.
6) Dry vocal
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by arlingtonmusic View Post
1) The mic in the studio was a neumann u67, I currently use an at2035 into a focusrite, big difference I know. But plenty of people attain a pro sound out of this setup.
2) So my room is rectangular 20x7x9 (LxWxH in ft). The room at the studio was square and approximately 10x10x8. That room was fully treated while mine has none.
3) The only mixing that was done by them, was a compressor going in, and post recording we did not do any unless we specified to EQ. Just a pitch corrector and that was all.
4) No reverb just dry vocal
5) For me I do all my mixing post take, EQ, comp, De-ess, reverb. But the harsh frequencies are so dominant it is very hard to take them away without losing pieces of the vocal.
6) Dry vocal
Start with the microphones. The reissue U67 is a $3,200 (from memory) microphone. An original U67 might be an $8,000 mic, if you can find one. Your AT is a $150 microphone.
While money is not an audio specification, huge price differences are not meaningless.
You should not expect a Nissan Sentra to drive like a Chevrolet Corvette. But you seem to expect your AT 2035 to perform like a classic Neumann tube condenser. That’s not a reasonable expectation.
Your AT might sound different/better in the treated studio, going through their probably higher quality preamp and compressor, but it still wouldn’t sound at all like any classic Neumann tube/transformer microphone.
While your AT doesn’t have a reputation as being harsh, it does have some peaks in the midrange that the 67 doesn’t have. It also has a higher peak in the 7khz region than the 67. That might contribute to what you hear as harshness, but my guess is that the “better” sound from the Neumann is a combination of the tube, transformer and capsule in the Neumann. You are correct in realizing that EQ won’t get you there.
I don’t know what to suggest at this point. Treating your recording space is a good idea, but it won’t get your AT into Neumann U67 territory.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Start with the microphones. The reissue U67 is a $3,200 (from memory) microphone. An original U67 might be an $8,000 mic, if you can find one. Your AT is a $150 microphone.
While money is not an audio specification, huge price differences are not meaningless.
You should not expect a Nissan Sentra to drive like a Chevrolet Corvette. But you seem to expect your AT 2035 to perform like a classic Neumann tube condenser. That’s not a reasonable expectation.
Your AT might sound different/better in the treated studio, going through their probably higher quality preamp and compressor, but it still wouldn’t sound at all like any classic Neumann tube/transformer microphone.
While your AT doesn’t have a reputation as being harsh, it does have some peaks in the midrange that the 67 doesn’t have. It also has a higher peak in the 7khz region than the 67. That might contribute to what you hear as harshness, but my guess is that the “better” sound from the Neumann is a combination of the tube, transformer and capsule in the Neumann. You are correct in realizing that EQ won’t get you there.
I don’t know what to suggest at this point. Treating your recording space is a good idea, but it won’t get your AT into Neumann U67 territory.
I don’t expect that, my expectations of course aren’t that high. But when I would record there, keep in mind we did no mixing, so with an at2035 in a fully treated space with a good mix, could push it closer, not to that extent, but definitely a solid sound. I appreciate the feedback, in terms of treating a space, I don’t want it to be entirely dead correct? Excuse the noob tendencies I bring.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arlingtonmusic View Post
1) The mic in the studio was a neumann u67, I currently use an at2035 into a focusrite, big difference I know. But plenty of people attain a pro sound out of this setup.
2) So my room is rectangular 20x7x9 (LxWxH in ft). The room at the studio was square and approximately 10x10x8. That room was fully treated while mine has none.
3) The only mixing that was done by them, was a compressor going in, and post recording we did not do any unless we specified to EQ. Just a pitch corrector and that was all.
4) No reverb just dry vocal
5) For me I do all my mixing post take, EQ, comp, De-ess, reverb. But the harsh frequencies are so dominant it is very hard to take them away without losing pieces of the vocal.
6) Dry vocal
How your new home setup translates from a professional studio depends somewhat on the style of music. If you are recording hard rock, metal, punk, then the difference might not be that much of a concern. If you are recording acoustic based music where you can hear a lot more of the room, then this is going to be tricky. Perhaps you could finish off the project in the studio and start your next project in your home studio so everything sounds cohesive. Or you could release what you did in the pro studio as a single and finish the album in your home studio. It is tough to switch from a pro to a home studio in the middle of a project. Not that it can't be done, but there will be noticeable differences sonically that will be hard to overcome.
Not sure my advice helps but I understand why you are doing this. Pro studios are very expensive, not that the rates aren't justified based on a pro studios overhead, but it's hard to afford their rates when music doesn't sell anymore. The new model of using streaming services doesn't come close to recouping the cost of a pro studio. It is only justified if you can recoup your recording costs from playing live, which few of us can do.

Back to your original question. The room is very important. The way sound waves travel in the room greatly affect the recording. If you're recording in a dry (very treated with foam) then your ambience is coming from reverb plugins. If the room you recorded in from the pro studio is more open sounding, with diffusers, lots of space for sound to travel, then you will have to try and match that sound with reverb plugins. Not impossible, but hard to do. I know I wouldn't be able to do it. I recommend a treated room, vocal booth if needed, but it still won't solve how you will need to recreate that studio's sound from a reverb plugin.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post
How your new home setup translates from a professional studio depends somewhat on the style of music. If you are recording hard rock, metal, punk, then the difference might not be that much of a concern. If you are recording acoustic based music where you can hear a lot more of the room, then this is going to be tricky. Perhaps you could finish off the project in the studio and start your next project in your home studio so everything sounds cohesive. Or you could release what you did in the pro studio as a single and finish the album in your home studio. It is tough to switch from a pro to a home studio in the middle of a project. Not that it can't be done, but there will be noticeable differences sonically that will be hard to overcome.
Not sure my advice helps but I understand why you are doing this. Pro studios are very expensive, not because they shouldn't be but it's hard to afford their rates.
Yeah for sure, and personally I feel like a home recorded vocal contains a rawness that people can appreciate more. The song almost feels more personal, there’s always the positive. But yeah the prices are no joke. Thanks for the reply
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
You might try feeding your mic through a tube/transformer preamp to see if that gives you more of what you hear from the Neumann. A little cheaper choice would be a transformer-only preamp, like an ISA One or a Neve clone. Try to borrow or rent something good to see if it makes much difference before buying anything.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
You might try feeding your mic through a tube/transformer preamp to see if that gives you more of what you hear from the Neumann. A little cheaper choice would be a transformer-only preamp, like an ISA One or a Neve clone. Try to borrow or rent something good to see if it makes much difference before buying anything.
Thanks a lot for all the info, really means a lot. Needed some knowledge on the subject to get me through to the next stage. Will come back here to let you know how it goes soon, cheers
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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GYMusic's Avatar
Now that you're at home, you surely have a couple of bedspreads or sleeping bags. Place one vertically a few feet in back of the mic and the other a few feet in back of you and report back with the results.
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