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Mixing Singing

Discussion in 'Studio Techniques' started by Taybot, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Taybot

    Taybot Senior member

    I'm learning how to record singing vocals and am having problems getting the singing to sit in the mix.

    I have not begun EQing and compressing them yet, but usually I can get a decent mix before even touching EQ or effects. This time I can't.

    For one, it doesn't sit well in the mix in general (I mean it sounds like I recorded it on some lousy gear or just sound amateurish and awful in general).

    Even worse, one certain word will like pop out, like it is too loud and also kind of scratchy, just abrasive in general. To clarify, it is one certain word in one part, it doesn't happen every time I say the word.

    can someone tell me what this can be? Is it simply that I am moving my head around too much when singing? Or is my mic turned up too loud? I suspect my mic is turned up too loud but I wanted your guys' opinion on this.

    The annoying thing is my raps sound way, way cleaner than the singing. But then again I've been rapping way longer but the raps just kind of sit in the mix fine and sound good but singing, not even close.

    I know part of my problem is I still suck at singing, but I still could use some help on mixing it. I mean, I've had singing parts come out better than this but on this particular project it sounds terrible.

    Can I get some suggestions for how to deal with this? Thanks!
     
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  3. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    Could you post a link to some examples illustrating the problems you are having with vocal sounds?

    kind regards

    Mark
     
  4. JLonderee

    JLonderee New Member

    Not having heard your tracks, here's some free advice:

    It could be your mic technique, mic selection, inexperience in singing, other equipment issues, mix channel settings, ect.

    Since you say your rapping sounds good with the same setup, i assume you are doing a style of music which involves recording vocals over sequenced audio tracks or beats. (rap, hip hop, pop) Also assuming you have some kind of vocal booth, and your equipment is not faulty.

    For your mic technique, use a pop filter and try different positions, maybe back off the mic if using a condenser. Try to get your voice sounding consistent in your headphones. Sing into the mic while moving your head around to see what different angles sound like. Make sure you aren't overloading the mic or input channel somehow.

    For processing your singing vocal track, try:

    Tuning your vocal with auto-tune or melodyne. Goes a long way to getting a recorded vocal to sit with perfectly pitched electronic instruments.

    Eq to take out inaudible lows, find a good spot and boost 2 db wide Q, find a bad spot and cut 2 db narrow Q. Try some presets but don't rely on presets.

    Use some compression to level the volume.

    For effects, here's a starting place.

    1. a short (room) reverb on an aux send, get it close to the amount of ambience in the track.

    2. a long (plate,hall) reverb on an aux send, time it to the BMP of the track so it takes a bar to fade.

    3. a stereo delay on an aux send, time the effect to the BPM of the track so it echoes on the beats.

    (google "online reverb time calculator bpm" to see how to time your fx)

    (on all three effects: Use high and low pass eq to cut bass rumble and treble interference, only use a little of each effect, eq the effect returns (try a preset that has the word "warm" in the title)
     

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