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> My First Full Song Including Vocals, need recording tipps though...
Gitarrero
post Jul 22 2012, 04:47 PM
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Hi guys!

So, two weeks ago I suddenly had this song idea including the chorus vocals in my head. It is a song about bits of the story of Diablo 3 (spoilers if you haven't finished it wink.gif ), and I also took the intro from a D3 cutscene (hopefully Blizzard won't sue me now).
The song is in drop C, and I'm really happy with the instrumental part of the song.
Now, for the vocals I used the X-Orcism plugin (thanks Todd!). My setup was as follows:
I plugged my microphone into my Behringer V-amp 3 cause I don't have a chance to plug it directly into my PC. The V-amp3 is connected via my usual USB device to the PC, which I also use to record guitars.
The mic signal that arrives in Reaper is really low, I have to crank the volume up completely. I also have to use a pre-amp and much gain in the V-amp. So there is already gain in the signal. On top of that comes the X-Orcism plugin. I also "sang" or spoke pretty loud into the mic, which leads to some clipping.
So, what would you guys suggest? How can I record vocals properly at home?

Here's the song now:

http://soundcloud.com/gitarrero/the-prime-evil


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Yash
post Jul 22 2012, 05:52 PM
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AWESOME biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

but no solo ??? why ???


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TreyDeschamp
post Jul 22 2012, 06:05 PM
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Nice!

I honestly couldn't hear the vocals that well but I kind of liked it like that (that sounded bad I know laugh.gif )

What I mean is it kind of made the song more....atmospheric for me. Like there was something unknown going on and then you had this heavy track to focus on all at the same time.

You definitely got some Diablo in there! Great job man!


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Gitarrero
post Jul 22 2012, 06:12 PM
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Haha, thanks guys biggrin.gif

Trey, I know what you mean! I thought the same...like mixing the vocals more into the background. Maybe this would work for this song. But that's exactly the problem I wanna solve for future recording: make the vocals louder and stand out better.

Yash: a Solo didn't really fit into the atmosphere...and not every song needs a solo.


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TreyDeschamp
post Jul 22 2012, 06:22 PM
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QUOTE (Gitarrero @ Jul 22 2012, 12:12 PM) *
Haha, thanks guys biggrin.gif

Trey, I know what you mean! I thought the same...like mixing the vocals more into the background. Maybe this would work for this song. But that's exactly the problem I wanna solve for future recording: make the vocals louder and stand out better.


Looking forward to hearing more of a vocal performance in the future! wink.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 22 2012, 06:51 PM
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Really cool, Hef ! I love the main one note riff, really effective with those clean octave chords in the background cool.gif

Vox are like drums - notoriously difficult to capture due to the dynamic range. Essential things you need would be a pop shield to stop the loud 'plosives' and heavy compression of the recorded signal once it's in Reaper.


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Gitarrero
post Jul 22 2012, 07:11 PM
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Thanks Ben biggrin.gif
The melody is taken from Diablo as well (I guess it appears in all three games), it just had to be in there.
I was wondering how to get rid of the "plosives"...and I didn't wanna compress since the vocals were so low anyway. But I will try that!


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 22 2012, 07:15 PM
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QUOTE (Gitarrero @ Jul 22 2012, 07:11 PM) *
Thanks Ben biggrin.gif
The melody is taken from Diablo as well (I guess it appears in all three games), it just had to be in there.
I was wondering how to get rid of the "plosives"...and I didn't wanna compress since the vocals were so low anyway. But I will try that!


Also, HI-Pass filter is the thing to do on most instruments anyway, to get rid of unneeded low end frequencies smile.gif


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The Uncreator
post Jul 22 2012, 07:46 PM
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Vocals need to be EQ'ed. General idea for male vocals is that anything below 150 is garbage. Put a high-pass with a brickwall filter if you can and just chop off everything below 150, if a brickwall filter isn't available to you tighten down the slope. This then will make it sit apart from the guitars, which probably arent high-passed that high, kick drum, and bass in the low frequency range. (and this is referring to more extreme types of vocals, which seems to be what you are aiming for)

Also, mix vocals as they sit in the mix, don't listen to them alone too much because whats important is how it sits in your mix and now they sound isolated. From the sound of it, I would also drop 2-3db somewhere in the 200-600hz range, seems to be a lot of clutter somewhere in there. Maybe a small boost to make it come out more in the mix around 1-2.5khz. I know these ranges are kind of big but my ear isn't nowhere near as attuned to this stuff as some more experienced mixers, so its just my best.

The mic signal that arrives in Reaper is really low, I have to crank the volume up completely. I also have to use a pre-amp and much gain in the V-amp. So there is already gain in the signal.

Before you add all that gain from the V-amp, keep everything dry and boost the volume in reaper. If you are going above 12db to get a listenable volume, then you might just not be loud enough. Certain mics are meant for certain things. Speaking into an SM58 will almost always yield a low signal, when I do vocals however, the signal is nice and even. With room to boost it should I choose too. So it just might be the dynamic range of the mic. Barring that though, you could add a compressor on your vocals, which should aid with the volume as well.

When your vocals are cleared up, adding reverb and delay in small incremental amounts can let them fill out more in the mix.

EDIT

Also, when you say the signal that arrives in reaper is low, how low is it? Can you even make out the appearance of the signal? Is it almost a straight line, or is there some "bulge" to it?

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Gitarrero
post Jul 22 2012, 07:59 PM
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Thanks you very much for your input Brett, I'll try this!

Well, the signal arrives when I use gain on the v-amp, otherwise it is so low that you can barely hear it. So I have to crank the Reaper track volume to max. I also lowered the volume of all other tracks, but didn't wanna go to low without trying other stuff. I'll try the compressor thing.
For recording, I used a regular vocal mic. It's a Shure that I've used on stage for years with good results...so it should be cool for recording.
Maybe the problem is that I have to go through the V-Amp cause I don't have any other opportunity to connect it to the PC.



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Mudbone
post Jul 22 2012, 08:21 PM
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Das Gut! I like the riffs biggrin.gif I think the drums do need to be bit louder and more powerful. I do listen to a lot of Metallica, so my opinion could be skewed laugh.gif You know how Lars can be with those drums wacko.gif


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Gitarrero
post Jul 22 2012, 08:27 PM
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Haha, I actually thought about raising the volume of the drums...but the most important question never occured to me:
"What would Lars do??" wink.gif

Glad you like it, I'll mess with the mix a bit more...


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snackajacks
post Jul 22 2012, 08:30 PM
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Nice one Christy


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 22 2012, 08:52 PM
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Well Spiff! Did you do this in reaper? If so, it'd be awesome if you could upload the project and let use crazy wack jobs take a pass at "interpreting" it so to speak mixup/mashup, sorta thing? I'd be down for sure smile.gif

The song has a great heavy almost industrial vibe and reminds me a bit of RAMSTEIN! But more Christian ish so KRISTIANSTEIN! smile.gif

RECORDING VOCALS:

Good question. Step one is probably to get an interface that has XLR ins on it that is sorta set up for recording mic inputs. I actually have one that I'm happy to send you! It's called the BLUE ICICLE and it takes an XLR jack from a mic, and turns it to USB and has good circuitry for recording good mic level. It's a very handy piece and quite portable. The are only about $40 US though so it may be cheaper to buy than ship!

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QUOTE (Gitarrero @ Jul 22 2012, 11:47 AM) *
Hi guys!

So, two weeks ago I suddenly had this song idea including the chorus vocals in my head. It is a song about bits of the story of Diablo 3 (spoilers if you haven't finished it wink.gif ), and I also took the intro from a D3 cutscene (hopefully Blizzard won't sue me now).
The song is in drop C, and I'm really happy with the instrumental part of the song.
Now, for the vocals I used the X-Orcism plugin (thanks Todd!). My setup was as follows:
I plugged my microphone into my Behringer V-amp 3 cause I don't have a chance to plug it directly into my PC. The V-amp3 is connected via my usual USB device to the PC, which I also use to record guitars.
The mic signal that arrives in Reaper is really low, I have to crank the volume up completely. I also have to use a pre-amp and much gain in the V-amp. So there is already gain in the signal. On top of that comes the X-Orcism plugin. I also "sang" or spoke pretty loud into the mic, which leads to some clipping.
So, what would you guys suggest? How can I record vocals properly at home?

Here's the song now:

http://soundcloud.com/gitarrero/the-prime-evil



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Gitarrero
post Jul 22 2012, 09:09 PM
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Thanks Marc and Todd!

Since I plan on recording more vocals in the future, also (and especially) clean ones that blue icicle thingy might be the solution.
Remember that one quadrium project, Todd? I recorded vocals and the signal was also really low, almost impossible to work with. The Icicle is 49 € on Amazon, so I think I'm gonna buy it. I've got so many finished songs and written lyrics that it's about time, I suppose.

And yes, it's a reaper project so I'm happy to send it to you via rapidshare biggrin.gif
Will send you the link tomorrow.


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bleez
post Jul 22 2012, 09:52 PM
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well I cant offer any recording tips but I thought the guitar riffs were really good biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by bleez: Jul 22 2012, 09:53 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 23 2012, 05:24 AM
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QUOTE (Gitarrero @ Jul 22 2012, 04:09 PM) *
Thanks Marc and Todd!

Since I plan on recording more vocals in the future, also (and especially) clean ones that blue icicle thingy might be the solution.
Remember that one quadrium project, Todd? I recorded vocals and the signal was also really low, almost impossible to work with. The Icicle is 49 € on Amazon, so I think I'm gonna buy it. I've got so many finished songs and written lyrics that it's about time, I suppose.

And yes, it's a reaper project so I'm happy to send it to you via rapidshare biggrin.gif
Will send you the link tomorrow.


Well cool! wink.gif Would you be ok with posting the link in this thread as well? Folks may want to download it and work with it as well? Could result in some really cool results. Anything you like you can always incorporate if you want. smile.gif

The icicle is quite handy. It's got it's own little preamp circuit and gives good results. Well worth the cost for vocal recording and you can put a mic on your guitar amp and use the icicle as a preamp/interface for recording guitars! smile.gif BONUS!



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WeePee
post Jul 23 2012, 07:20 AM
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Hey nice track Christian !

If you want I could try to make you a drum track. What do you think ? wink.gif


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Gitarrero
post Jul 23 2012, 07:23 AM
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Sounds cool! I'm up for anything that improves this project biggrin.gif
Here is the download link to the Reaper project, if you can work with that:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/93388299/the%20prime%20evil.rar


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tonymiro
post Jul 23 2012, 10:34 AM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Jul 22 2012, 07:46 PM) *
Vocals need to be EQ'ed. ...

drop 2-3db somewhere in the 200-600hz range, seems to be a lot of clutter somewhere in there. Maybe a small boost to make it come out more in the mix around 1-2.5khz. ...


Yes, maybe a little tighter 220-500Hz and attenuate on a wide bell. It also may need an extra cut at @500 on a narrow, tight bell but more like -6dB. You maybe then can avoid the boost but a bit hard to tell from the stream...

A bit OT - Uncreator for some vox using a shelf rather than a pass filter can help as you don't have to cut as steeply to achieve the same result smile.gif. I think the SM58 has a slight presence lift in the 1.5-5kHz range by the way to compliment most vocals and guitar.

QUOTE
Also, when you say the signal that arrives in reaper is low, how low is it? Can you even make out the appearance of the signal? Is it almost a straight line, or is there some "bulge" to it?



QUOTE (Gitarrero @ Jul 22 2012, 07:59 PM) *
Thanks you very much for your input Brett, I'll try this!

Well, the signal arrives when I use gain on the v-amp, otherwise it is so low that you can barely hear it. So I have to crank the Reaper track volume to max. I also lowered the volume of all other tracks, but didn't wanna go to low without trying other stuff. I'll try the compressor thing.
For recording, I used a regular vocal mic. It's a Shure that I've used on stage for years with good results...so it should be cool for recording.
Maybe the problem is that I have to go through the V-Amp cause I don't have any other opportunity to connect it to the PC.


Might be wrong as I don't know much about the VAmp but this sounds like there's an impedence mismatch. I don't think the VAmp was designed to take a signal from a mic, only ones from guitar. If that's the case you'll struggle to get a good signal level - cranking it is just likely to boost all the noise as well.


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