My vocals are "too detailed"

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Izem, May 11, 2020.

  1. Izem

    Izem Member

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    Hello sound lovers, I might need help with EQing my vocals. When I compare my vocals to professional recordings vocals, I feel like my voice has too much details. I feel like maybe the 400-700Hz, the 1kHz and the 4kHz range are to dominant (plz tell me if you hear otherwise). But even after quite dramatic EQing (see attachment), I still feel my voice is too detailed, therefore too dynamics even after compression.


    Here is the reference track:


    Here is my snippet:

    Do you have any suggestions to help me achieve what I aim for?


    Here is my setup:
    - I am recording in my home studio (closet with foams on the wall)
    - Hardware: Pop Filter > NT1-A > 76-KT compressor (2-3 gain reduction) > GA PRE-73 JR preamp > Focusrite 2i2 > ProTools 12
    - Plugins: Pro Q3 for surgical EQ > Pro Q3 to remove a lot of low frequencies (raw vocal very boxy cause of recording in a closet) > Rvox (~-5dB) > MultiBand C4 to again work on the lows + compress a bit the midrange + add a bit in high end) > CLA2A (~-5-7db) > DEesser > Rcomp (<-1db)> Saturn saturation > Subtle substractive EQ over 3-4kHz
    - Sends: Vintage Valhalla Verb > Delay > Waves Doubler2 > Parallel Compression


    Best,
    Izem
     
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    Attached Files:

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  3. MYCbeats

    MYCbeats Platinum Record

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    What you're calling "detail", i think comes from the plosives being too dynamic.

    Put another 1176 before the CLA2A, fastest attack, fastest release, 5-10dB gr.
    start slowing down the release time to taste to smooth out vocals (max quarter turn).
    Adjust the CLA2A to only do 2-3dBGR

    You may even want to add a limiter at the end just shaving off the peaks of plosives.
     
  4. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Do you want to sound more this way?

     
  5. SoundPorn

    SoundPorn Noisemaker

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    That's a nice recording chain and those vocals sound nice, but what it seems like the problem here isn't the mixing or anything in the daw, it sounds like you're recording to close to the mic. The only issue seems to be literally some plosives that you may simply need to do simple manual gain fades to fix. You could also use some more saturation as well and maybe a tape plugin to round the last of the harshness
     
  6. mild pump milk

    mild pump milk Russian Milk Drunkard

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    From mobile phone listening: reference track has louder and more pronounced bells/pads. Just some mix tweaking, then slight work with vocals, mastering (for full buss polishing etc). No avenger's version of premastering is way to go, but it needs some extra deep mix revision.
    I have NT2A, yes, they are detailed mics, but it depends on how vocals fit into the mix.
     
  7. Sounds good to me, but if you want to reduce plosives on vocals you could try Izotope RX De-Plosive. It works wonders for me.
     
  8. starkid84

    starkid84 Kapellmeister

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    Ok, first off I hope when you say your hardware chain is Rode NTA1>KT-76> GAP 73 JR, I hope you don't literally mean in that order. that would be technically wrong. It should be NT1A > GAP 73 JR > KT-76 > interface. Also getting the right mic, preamp and compressor, and knowing how to acoustically treat a space is the easiest way to get vocals to fit in the mix without much work, but I know that is not always an option.

    In my opinion your vocals alredy sound pretty good for the most part. But if you going for an even more mid focused sound that is prevalent in a lot of industry/hiphop records, you'd be surprised at how much a simple high shelf reduction can do. I'd recommend pulling down around 8-10k with a wide q peak, or high shelf around 6k, to smooth the frequency response. If you feel that a dip or high shelf sounds too artificial or dulls it too much, you can use a dynamic eq (like the pro-q3) and instead of eqing the dips, just use the compression bands instead on the high end to smooth out the high end detail.

    Once the frequency response is in the ballpark you want, you'll want to use some plugins to color the sound in a way that will slow down the transients and add the right harmonics for the sound your trying to achieve. There are a thousand ways and different plugins you could used to accomplish this, but in this example what I would probably reach for is a compressor like the Rcomp (oldie but goodie) and use opto mode and compress about -5 db, then I'd probably use renEQ (again a great color eq) and do a broad q boost in the 2k-5k region for the midrange color. Other options are a 1073 type EQ with and use 3.2k boost. I also probably use a tiny bit of highshelf to bring back some of what was lost in the balancing act. I'd also probably be using 2 or 3 de-essers (waves de-esser, pro-DS) some where in the chain to bring all the consonants, or any sibilant high frequencies under control.

    for color, there are a ton of plugins and choices, but some Nebula/Aqua based plugins are really good (Henry Olonga's Mojo libraries are a secret weapon), and another secret weapon is contemporary color, also saphira by waves is a sleeper.

    Personally I'm not big on parallel compression, or a lot of multiband compression on vocals, especially if your new to engineering. Also I think the waves 2A is my least favorite LA2A emulation, I'd pref an LA3A first.

    I'd probably wind up doing a lot of subtle things to get the vocal where I wanted, kinda hard to detail in a written post, without having actually mixed the song, as there are too many theoretically options and techniques to list.

    I would also recommend looking into getting a GAP Comp3A, is one of the best budget comps on the market, and I use it side by side with real LA3A's regularly. it will get you closer to a finished vocal sound much faster than an 1176 style comp.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  9. n12n0

    n12n0 Ultrasonic

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    When topic is tonal shaping, stereo field or compression after recording.. i think no Avenger and others had already kicked in but.. their English is way better than mine so i let them handle that part.

    When it "would" come to shape in recording stage...
    i would love to step in, at least in an "open minded" discussion without a "this is the real way" touch. because in your case this "may" be a point too..

    Your chain and mine... i "think" we are on the same lane with "sound" and "how it has to sound or should sound". you like that old premo tracks and how rappers sounded there, right? here my chain brother..

    warm audio wa73
    as comp is use dbx

    saying that because, maybe we both are in a spot where most "how to record vocals properly" may differ from other kind of genres..

    when i am wrong, ignore this post ;) only posting because anyone with a 73 style pre + that kind of comp + that flow... i can relate to !


    besides all ish.. i instantly felt that verse . really dope shit man! also nothing wrong with recording generally you have your sh.. together for sure.. of course , if you like your vocal presented in another kind of way it has to be, but.. i like it..

    PRIVATE LINK, WILL BE DELETED IN 48h
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  10. Qrchack

    Qrchack Platinum Record

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    And you're wondering why you have too much 400-700Hz. People don't record in closets. Get out of that and just put the mic in the room. Experiment to find the best sounding place in your room. Put stuff on the walls if your room sounds bad. Lean a mattress or pillows on the wall if you need to. Don't record in a corner, the more to the center you are, the longer the distance to any reflections.

    This seems to be quite a lot of processing if you include the hardware doing 2-3dB of gain reduction, followed by 5dB in Rvox, some multiband, 5-7dB in 2A, 1dB in Rcomp. You have solid 15dB right there. When you speak about vocals being too detailed, you should probably realize that it's kind of what compression does. You're turning down the peaks and making up for the lost level by turning the rest up. "The rest" is all the breaths, lip smacks and whatnot - "the details". You might want to ease on the compression some and see if that helps. Or alternatively, work on reducing the breaths - seems like the reference has way less than your example.

    Also, just by the general vibe I see from you (with all the hardware and multiple complicated plugins), I think you might have gone too far with watching tutorials and trying to use every tool possible. Try making things simpler, having just one or two compressors, no multiband, using 3-4 bands of EQ instead of notching out everything like you do on the picture. You have everything you need to make great stuff, but it looks to me like you're overcomplicating. Making great music shouldn't be that hard and from my experience, people who try too hard to find the perfect tone end up never finding it, losing all the fun in making music and burn out.

    Edit: Just gave it a listen on proper monitoring, your vocals are *very* dark, this combined with the fact that you have weird low mid resonances from the closet (or being too close to the mic, which also is because of the closet) and the fact the reference you show has bright vocals with a lot more reverb/delay really separates you from the reference. For a good starting point, put your thumb on the lips and stretch your hand so that the pinky touches the pop filter. And have some distance from the pop filter to the mic as well. It doesn't work if it's right on the microphone, give it some space for the air to disperse.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
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  11. Gyro Gearloose

    Gyro Gearloose Audiosexual

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    great flow and beat ...pls give info here in thread when having some album ready or tracks
     
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  12. Izem

    Izem Member

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    Thank you for your replies guys!

    To sum up:
    - I will try different distances from the mic/pop filter while recording to reduce plosives
    - Compression increases what I call "details". I'll try less compression and/or control more my 6K+ before compression
    - I'll try different compressors and use saturation to get a warmer/fuller sound to my vocals
    - Keep in mind mastering can help too

    Best
     
  13. Izem

    Izem Member

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    sure!
    thanks mate!
     
  14. Gyro Gearloose

    Gyro Gearloose Audiosexual

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  15. davea

    davea Platinum Record

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    could be an inspiration:



    "keep in mind mastering can help too" Nope this is a shimmer, if your rec/mix sucks, the mastering won't hep it
     
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  16. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    Ask @No Avenger what he did to your track to tame it and make it sound like a record.

    That's all.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Grater

    Grater Noisemaker

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    I mixed a friends vocals with this mic and it really sucks lmao. It sounds so harsh when you compress and eq it. You made it sounds pretty decent though. The tips in this thread are great. It's not just about vocals though but how it fits into the whole mix. So overally bright vocals might not be the vibe
     
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