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Topic: Vocal Question

  1. #1

    Vocal Question

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    I\'m dealing with a pop vocalist who is very good, stays in tune, but when she really belts it her voice will sometimes grate on the ears. The problem is somewhere in the upper register, but it\'s tough to describe, and unfotunately, I can\'t post anything here as an example.

    With such limited information, does anyone have any tips on how to get a smoother, more palatable vocal on tape? Any post processing tricks I might consider? I\'ve tried a new mic and it has done wonders, tried playing with EQ, but I\'m still not there yet.

    When she sings without a mic, by the way, she sounds great. I\'m at a loss.

  2. #2

    Re: Vocal Question

    Is she overloading the mic, the pre or clipping into the A/D? If possible, you might have her back away from the mic a few inches and see if you get the same problem.

  3. #3

    Re: Vocal Question

    Also, a good vocalist should be pulling back from the mic a little when they really start belting it out.

    I think it works psychologically. If the vocal is an intimate whisper, it sounds great up close, like they\'re whispering in your ear.

    But if the vocalist is at yelling volume, it can get away with sounding slightly more distant. You dont really want a yell sounding like it\'s in your ear!

  4. #4

    Re: Vocal Question

    All great ideas, guys. Unfortunately, the problem has more to do with tone than volume. She\'s got her mike techniques down, there\'s just this grating quality that I wish I could describe, that doesn\'t show up when she\'s singing off mike. Even SHE listens to the playback and goes, jeez, am I really that annoying? It doesn\'t help her confidence much.

    Maybe I should just tell her not to belt it out... [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Oh, well. I was hoping for a solution in post. I\'ll keep experimenting.

  5. #5

    Re: Vocal Question

    Thats weird cause tone will certainly be affected by mic placement.

    Sometimes my voice sounds too breathy or too grating (for rock vocals for example) and I just pull back enough to do a natural roll off of the highs.

  6. #6

    Re: Vocal Question

    Actually one other thing thats probably not related; try and keep your vocalist completely relaxed. It\'s amazing how many singers adopt a different attitude when standing in front of a mic. And usually, a little bit of attitude during the take will come off as a LOT of attitude on playback.

  7. #7

    Re: Vocal Question

    You may be right about the performance anxiety. I know I certainly get it. Maybe I\'ll get her drunk first... [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Re: Vocal Question

    This will sound silly but..twice I had problems where persons voice I was recording was making strange very subtle resonance with the room.

    Not all the time, only when they would speak with a certain tone/loudness..

    Moving them about helped..


  9. #9

    Re: Vocal Question

    Thanks, Alex. I\'ve got a dead room in my garage and will probably move her in there for the vocal. Might make a difference. We\'ll see.

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