recording/mixing techniques for MC's
lets build on this fellas. talk about what equipment you use to record, what your space is like and how you go about mixing your vocals.
i just started trying to be "serious" about this stuff back in july. so i still struggle with getting my vocals right. also, my room isnt treated and that leads to a lot of unwanted frequencies in the mix.
i use a shure sm7 as my primary mic. it's a dynamic mic, not great for recording vocals (i'd rather have a nice condenser) but it was recommended by some people i trust. i use pro-tools to record and mix. and as far as mixing, the one thing i do consistently is EQ my vocals down. mostly around the 1000-1500 frequencies. way down. and i can instantly get a much clearer, warmer, professional sound out of that. now, after that is where it gets tough. the subtleties are what takes years to master. so maybe some of you are at that point.
if you got some tips post em up...
ya mixing is tough from start to finish.
i recently realized to that recording methods are equally as important to the mixing process. a lot of the times id stand to close to the mic and it would come out sounding muffled cause i was too close to the pop protector.
the area we got isnt treated, got concrete walls in a basement, but there is some foam shit around the top lol. def not professional. i think we got a Samson condenser mic, it works real dope. i seen a few pros using them in videos.
i dont know anyhting about protools, and i dont know much about the science behind mixing as far as frequencies and such. its mostly by ear for me. compressors helps to remove the unwanted spikes, cut out some of unwanted noise with the threshhold. i trying to venture in to a multiband compressor for better results but that will take a lot of time.
for a good base, work with a basic compressor, EQs and reverb with backing vocals (add the bulk of effects to the backing vocals). but Protools you can prolly get some dope VSTs that come with dope presets.
to me its all based on the ear. but to me it all starts with how you record
i use a lot vocal compression to mix my voice down and sometimes still doesn't come out right but the varying filters mask allot of probelms been using adobe/cool edit for years
^over compressing vocals isnt good either, instead of adding to the vocal quality it will actually start to distort the sound.
its important not to overmix the vocals, a lot of people use to much reverb when not nessecary, it can work for some tracks depending on the beat. mixing so your vocals can stand on there own without many additional effects can and will make your music much better
Originally Posted by Bronze Feet
i do it a bit different. after i record the vocal i make second copy of it on another track. i put EQ and comp. on the main vocal and pan it slightly to one side. the second vocal gets eq and reverb, and is usually panned further to the opposite side. then i do ad libs, usually, and give them some flavor with eq and maybe some reverb or air chorus.
this system works ok for me. sometimnes it doesnt though. really depends on what frequencies the track uses. at least thats what i think. i have no idea for sure... lol
lol no doubt, i got no idea either. like i said a lot of it depends on the ear.
you also gotta work with the producer too, cause a lot of the cats i work with with make the beat "open" so vocals have centre pan, just the way the beat is made so that the best "spot" for vocals is in the middle of the sound spectrum. if that makes sense.
i also compress and EQ the main vocals, but try not to over do it. its gotta be subtle so it wont take away from the vocals themselves, just clear things up. i meant effects like reverb, echos, tremolo etc...
i dont think there is really one way to do this mixing thing lol. but i know there has to be a foundation.
i took a class. a whole semester on this shit. the teacher just basically showed us what these tools were. i already was using them so i asked him to show me how they work and how to best apply them. he said you just have to find what works for you. i was like "fuck"
*cancels all registered summer classes*
the quality of the mic i found helped our vocals a lot. we were using a similar shure mic, but those have there own add reverb i read somewhere cause they are for live performances. they are still dope mics though, but for recording i would say upgrade to a condensor mic.
you can get some pretty cheap on ebay
this is the one we have the Samson
no doubt. but the sm7b is a studio mic. the sm57's are live mics. the sm7 is what michael jackson recorded the thriller album with... it was like $350
i need to build a booth. i researched it and you can build one for about $100. i just dont have space for it at the moment. my boy built one and it helps a ton...
oh cool, i always just looked at Shure mics as live mics lol, never looked at their studio mics much.
that one you posted looks dope, is that what you got? cause your vocals always been soundin clean and clear. i always just felt they had a slight like radio effect, if that makes sense. its hard to describe sound with words haha
now i see why a lot of people pay for this shit to be done for them
yeah, i have that. sometimes i do my vocals in that class studio, those are where they sound the best. i can get a decent sound at home, but not always. personally, i think everyone elses sound better, thats why i started the thread. i thought people would we have the magic tricks to this shit...
i try to have a lower attack time and higher ratio/release time in my compressor helps keep the vocals bouncing but flow smoothly, you just gotta adjust by ear to your cadence and flow of the verse.
and i try not to over EQ things either, but again i never seen Protools interface or know where to even begin. i use Garageband lol but its best to master something then try and learn everything imo
i barely understand compression. i know that it "squashes" the sound. but i only use to make my vocals louder with the gain, if i need to. it can also help to elimintae some room noise. the ratio i understand a little but the attack is beyond me right now. just cant seem to figure out what it does.
bronze, i bet if you brought your mids down you would notice a big difference. and your lows as well. theres nothing good in the low range for vocals. it's just bassy room noise. pull those 2 down and increase the volume. see what happens.
as far as i know attack is how "fast" the compression squashes any unwanted spikes, which is set by the threshold. thats how i understand it, i usually have fast attack for more bouncy flows, that none stop type stuff and a slower attack for more methodical tracks
and thanks, imma try that and see what happens. i usually have the bass up more cause i dont got much in my voice lol but now that i have had this discussion it makes sense that it would just bring up room noise and muck up the vocals. thanks for the tip