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Logic 9 Logic settings for vocal recording

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by ZeleX, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. ZeleX

    ZeleX New Member

    I would like to ask for advice about a problem I am having when recording vocals. I am using Logic 9 on a Mac Pro, with a Lexicon I-ONIX 42S Audio Interface. The problem I’m having, is that when recording vocals, the vocal sound that arrives in the headphones for the singer, is really horrible. It sounds “chorusey” and “thin”, and more than one vocalist has complained about it. The main singer I work with says that she feels like she is “fighting” the sound and trying to compensate for the poor vocal sound, and as a result, she’s not comfortable with her singing.

    When I listen to the vocal sound in the headphones, to me it sounds like there may be 2 copies of the vocal signal with a slight delay between them, which is producing the chorusey effect, or maybe the signals are partially cancelling out, causing the “thin “ sound. My first thought was that the two signals might be the direct hardware monitoring signal of the IO42S mixed with the software monitoring signal coming from Logic. The IO42S has a Monitor Mix control on the front panel, and according to the manual, if this is turned fully to the right, there should be no direct monitoring through the audio interface, I should be hearing only the mix coming from the computer. That’s the setting I use. If I speak in to the mic and turn this control from left to right, in the hardware monitoring position the voice sounds normal, and in the 100% software monitoring position, it sounds unpleasant. So it seems to me that the routing through Logic is what is producing the strange sound, but having played with many settings in Logic and looked in the manual, I can’t seem to solve it.

    Any ideas what might be wrong here?

  3. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    Hi there, welcome to the LUG. Setting up a comfortable monitor for musicians you are recording is one of the basics that frequently gets mentioned here. A number of things need to be borne in mind:

    First of all, do you want to monitor through Logic at all? It is important to be aware of the signal routing and the delays involved working this way. You can of course try a very low Buffer I/O setting in logics audio preferences, but there are additional delays caused by the AD conversion, Audio Interfaces, OS safety buffers, Logic, as well as which, the signal going back out gets hit by these again. The "round trip latency" is more than the theoretical value you might expect running with the buffer I/O set to 64 or 32 samples.

    If you decide not to monitor through logic, you are bypassing some of these delay inducing factors and avoiding a number of potential problems, and that is why I think most of us tend to work this way when tracking and overdubbing. What you are describing is to be expected - the direct signal running through your interface back to the headphones has a lower delay than the signal going all the way through the computer, OS, Logic and back out. Combining the two is going to sound chorused or phased. My suggestion would be to switch software monitoring in Logic off and use the interface's monitoring. It will take some experimenting to find the correct settings and balance in order to provide the artist with an appropriate headphone mix, but that is essential to getting the best recorded results.

    kind regards

  4. ZeleX

    ZeleX New Member

    Hi Mark, thanks for the reply. If I am monitoring through Logic, I understand that there will be some latency, but so long as I am monitoring 100% through the computer and not mixing this with the direct hardware monitoring signal, I don't understand where the "2 copies" of the vocal signal are coming from. I need to monitor through Logic so that I can set up some comfort effects for the singer. I should be hearing only the backing track and the vocal signal coming from Logic's master stereo out, so where is the 2nd vocal coming from? That's if the theory is right that there is one. If not, why does it sound so thin and horrible?
  5. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    Look at your Lexicon software for controlling your audio interface. If it has an internal mixer, make sure the channel your using for singing is turned down all the way, or even muted.

    This usually doesn't affect the audio going into Logic... that is why you are getting doubles, audio is coming from your interface directly and through logic, adding a very short delay, and this causes flanging or phasing, or the thin sound you are hearing.

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