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Topic: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

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  1. #1

    Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    I need help in determining if a vocal track I recently had recorded at a studio (the same studio I had the not-so-good strings session recorded) is OK. it doesn't sound like the recording is that good, but I want a second or third opinion. I took 30 seconds from the track and the only thing that I did to it was convert it via Wavelab down from 24bit 48k to 44.1k 16bit. To me, it should sound cleaner or something. If someone could take it to their DAW and give me their opinion I would appreciate it. Please tell me if I am correct or if my ears are just messed up this afternoon. Thanks!

    http://www.seandockery.com/song-prev...cal%20test.wav
    _______________________________________
    "I would rather compose than decompose."


    Sean C. Dockery
    www.SeanDockery.com




    Cubase 5, Komplete 6, Alchemy, PLAY, Vienna Instruments, Spectrasonics, and much more

    INTEL|CORE I7 980X 3.33G, 12G CORSAIR DDR3, SSD 160G|OCZ for OS.






  2. #2

    Re: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    I downloaded the file and imported it into Sonar 7. You're right, something's amiss. It sounds slightly distorted, even though the waveform is well below peaking. Any idea what mic and preamp were used?

    Personally, I think you need to find another studio. I don't care if BB King was there yesterday. The type of music you're doing doesn't have much in common with King's. Asl around for recommendations for studios that do a lot of acoustic or chamber music. Also, ask around for the name of an engineer who has a lot of experience with classical music and acoustic instruments.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  3. #3

    Re: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    It just keeps gettin' sadder...so sorry

    http://www.bellmusicproductions.com/...nloads/sad.mp3

  4. #4
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    Re: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    That's a classic case of you can't, let me repeat, you simply CAN"T record a vocalist like that in a typical studio, especially a smaller room.

    Classically trained vocalists produce a much richer sound, full of overtones, etc... you simply cannot mic them the way you mic a pop/rock or R&B vocalist. They are MUCH louder too, and that sound develops and folds back within the room a lot, Resonating and activating room nodes that often never get heard, so you have all these waveforms/activated room nodes folding back into mic from everywhere, and if the room isn't big enough, it causes the distortion I'm hearing in that wave file.

    Problem is, most engineers are totally unaware of this, unless they record this style of vocalist on a regular basis.

    I experienced this first hand 8 years ago. My studio room at the time was a decent size, but the ceilings were lower. I kept getting that distortion, and at one point the singer was 25 feet BACK from the mic, and I still had distortion, even though the gain on my Neve mic pre was almost off, and the meters on input were barely registering.

    My only solution was to stick her in a very small iso booth, and pack that iso-booth with large foam gobos, from floor to ceiling. The room was beyond dead sounding. But it killed any chance of the sound developing, and I was able to get her vocal recorded, although there was definitely disrtortion still present in the signal, but it wasn't as obvious. It was FAR from perfect, and certainly far from ideal, but I got through it.

    I still have nightmares about that session...

    Most classical vocalists are mic'd with the mic roughly 10 feet out, and five feet above the singer, capturing that style of voice more naturally, like you'd hear in a concert hall.

    All that to say, with some surgical EQ, clever sidechained compression, and a great convolution reverb, you could probably salvage that vocal take... at least from the part I heard

  5. #5

    Re: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by bmdaustin View Post
    I downloaded the file and imported it into Sonar 7. You're right, something's amiss. It sounds slightly distorted, even though the waveform is well below peaking. Any idea what mic and preamp were used?

    Personally, I think you need to find another studio. I don't care if BB King was there yesterday. The type of music you're doing doesn't have much in common with King's. Asl around for recommendations for studios that do a lot of acoustic or chamber music. Also, ask around for the name of an engineer who has a lot of experience with classical music and acoustic instruments.
    Thanks for helping me clarify what I was hearing. I will definitely not be using that studio again. I'm hoping I have better luck with http://digitalinsightrecording.com/
    _______________________________________
    "I would rather compose than decompose."


    Sean C. Dockery
    www.SeanDockery.com




    Cubase 5, Komplete 6, Alchemy, PLAY, Vienna Instruments, Spectrasonics, and much more

    INTEL|CORE I7 980X 3.33G, 12G CORSAIR DDR3, SSD 160G|OCZ for OS.






  6. #6

    Re: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaimo View Post
    That's a classic case of you can't, let me repeat, you simply CAN"T record a vocalist like that in a typical studio, especially a smaller room.

    Classically trained vocalists produce a much richer sound, full of overtones, etc... you simply cannot mic them the way you mic a pop/rock or R&B vocalist. They are MUCH louder too, and that sound develops and folds back within the room a lot, Resonating and activating room nodes that often never get heard, so you have all these waveforms/activated room nodes folding back into mic from everywhere, and if the room isn't big enough, it causes the distortion I'm hearing in that wave file.

    Problem is, most engineers are totally unaware of this, unless they record this style of vocalist on a regular basis.

    I experienced this first hand 8 years ago. My studio room at the time was a decent size, but the ceilings were lower. I kept getting that distortion, and at one point the singer was 25 feet BACK from the mic, and I still had distortion, even though the gain on my Neve mic pre was almost off, and the meters on input were barely registering.

    My only solution was to stick her in a very small iso booth, and pack that iso-booth with large foam gobos, from floor to ceiling. The room was beyond dead sounding. But it killed any chance of the sound developing, and I was able to get her vocal recorded, although there was definitely disrtortion still present in the signal, but it wasn't as obvious. It was FAR from perfect, and certainly far from ideal, but I got through it.

    I still have nightmares about that session...

    Most classical vocalists are mic'd with the mic roughly 10 feet out, and five feet above the singer, capturing that style of voice more naturally, like you'd hear in a concert hall.

    All that to say, with some surgical EQ, clever sidechained compression, and a great convolution reverb, you could probably salvage that vocal take... at least from the part I heard
    Good advice. I went to a new studio today http://digitalinsightrecording.com/ and talked to them about exactly what you said and, for now at least, they have my confidence level back up.
    _______________________________________
    "I would rather compose than decompose."


    Sean C. Dockery
    www.SeanDockery.com




    Cubase 5, Komplete 6, Alchemy, PLAY, Vienna Instruments, Spectrasonics, and much more

    INTEL|CORE I7 980X 3.33G, 12G CORSAIR DDR3, SSD 160G|OCZ for OS.






  7. #7

    Re: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by linwood View Post
    It just keeps gettin' sadder...so sorry

    http://www.bellmusicproductions.com/...nloads/sad.mp3

    Cool tune!
    _______________________________________
    "I would rather compose than decompose."


    Sean C. Dockery
    www.SeanDockery.com




    Cubase 5, Komplete 6, Alchemy, PLAY, Vienna Instruments, Spectrasonics, and much more

    INTEL|CORE I7 980X 3.33G, 12G CORSAIR DDR3, SSD 160G|OCZ for OS.






  8. #8

    Re: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    Your tune, ya know. Just a little reharm for the sad factor. Sorry you had a bad time at SS. I've done a million sessions there and have always been happy. Lots of good music's come out of there and I've been going there since the early 80's. I don't know what went wrong with your session and I really do feel bad for you. I did a session there a couple months ago with Bonny, the drummer for Spyro Gyra and B. Hornsby, doing some drum lib. tracks and everything went really well. T is a pro, but I'm not sure if he did your session or not. I know the other studio, as well. I introduced Rob to the guy that owns that building and that had the original studio in it and he's been leasing there ever since.

    Your session bugged me, as it did you. You work so hard writing/producing this stuff and you never get budgets to use live players, at least I don't, and you get flack from guys because of it. You always know it'd be better with live guys, but the money just isn't there. Now you're doing your own project and save your own money and put it up to use these "live players" and they don't take the work seriously, I dunno. It shouldn't have happened like that. Not to you.

  9. #9

    Re: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    Maybe I shouldn't have said "they didn't take the work seriously." Maybe all that was needed was to hit the talk back and take it again from here to there. Over and over til it's right, but your wife would kill ya when she sees how much money that cost that day. The chart should have been played right in a few passes at the most.

    Man...sorry for bringin' the string thing into you vocal thread. Hope I meet ya sometime, funny having to come here to meet folks in Vegas.

  10. #10

    Re: Need help in determining if a vocal track was recorded correctly

    Hi Linwood,

    Ya, it kind of sucks about my strange luck with some of my sessions. I'll get over it, though, because I sincerely believe that the God/the universe is constantly guiding me. Nearly every time in my life that something hasn't gone my way, in the long wrong it actually turned out to be beneficial to me. Hey, maybe going to LA to record my strings and changing studios in Vegas for the rest of my stuff will actually open other doors which will benefit me. It usually seems that way for me.

    Please do not mention anything to SS studio, as they were very nice and professional to me and to tell you the truth, unless they call me and ask, I don't have the heart to tell them I wasn't satisfied. BTW, it was Robert and not T-bone that did my sessions.

    We should meet and have a drink sometime as I do not meet many electronic musicians in Vegas.


    Take care,
    _______________________________________
    "I would rather compose than decompose."


    Sean C. Dockery
    www.SeanDockery.com




    Cubase 5, Komplete 6, Alchemy, PLAY, Vienna Instruments, Spectrasonics, and much more

    INTEL|CORE I7 980X 3.33G, 12G CORSAIR DDR3, SSD 160G|OCZ for OS.






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