Do You Record Vocals Dry Or Other

Posts 1 - 20 of 20
  1. 482418
    Cinas : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    Hey there loopers! Just wondering how others have gotten their best results recording vocals. Do you prefer to track dry or do you use a compress right off the bat? Do you have another tried and true method you'd care to share? I'm getting ready to do a vocal track on a heavy rock song so I want to get the vocals as good as possible as it is for an audition. Any advice?

    FTR, I've the option of running in either Cubase LE4 or Reaper, a Lexicon Alpha and s Sennheiser E835 (damn condenser mic is phantom powered! UGH!).... anyhow any advice would be greatly appreciated.



  2. 372886
    Bilbozo : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    Definately a tip of the week. Dry is always the way to go when recording vocals. They may sound rough at first but you can then play with as many effects to enhance it as you like afterwards. If you don't like it you can still edit it and change it. But if you record with effects like compression, delay, chorus or reverb direct on the vocal can't take it off, as it was not recorded dry. It's a heck of a lot easier to add things to something dry than to do it all in one shot and not being able to take parts of it away if you don't like it.

  3. 189474
    ImproveWithError : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    Hey, I always record my vocals dry, that way I can make changes to them later, or try different reverbs or compression settings. Remember to have good mic technique, stay at least 6-12 inches away from the mic, stay even further back if you are going sing a particular part louder than the rest. Vocals are the single most difficult thing to record so try different distances, mic placement (chin level, nose level), etc. I have been recording vocals for the past 3-4 years and I am far from satisfied with the results I get. If you have different mics try them all, sometimes on rock vocals a good dynamic mic will do the trick. Good luck, I hope you get the results you want.

  4. 482418
    Cinas : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    Sage advice and thanks. I totally disassembled my studio corner (lol) and put a massive shelf on the wall so I'm trying to rearrange and get acoustics right and find pop screens and untangle cables. And for the first time in 5 1/2 days I have the place to myself so it will be quiet...I hope...

    Bads new is all the rain, dust and sawdust has me all itchy eyed and sniffly.

    *head explodes*

  5. 438673
    DJSchmeeJ : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    "Bads new is all the rain, dust and sawdust has me all itchy eyed and sniffly.

    *head explodes"
    perfect for singing hard rock! Worked for Axel Rose!

  6. 482418
    Cinas : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    hey you leave my red bandana out of this.... o.O

  7. 89627
    hardwareexorcist : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    honestly, i record my vocals with a touch of static fx (nothing that modulates), depending on what i'm going for. yeah, i know it's not recommended, but for i do, it kinda works. then i layer on various things until i'm happy with it. but i process the living hell out of my vocals and treat them like another sonic layer in the context of the music.

  8. 158799
    alividlife : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    You guys don't use noisegates?!?

    I always use noisegates.

  9. 482418
    Cinas : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    Well I've been fiddling and I'm making a bit of progress...noisegate for sure. At least until I can find my real pop screen dagnabbit! Wood floor creaked and shook the...oh nvm..anyhow I'm thinking of using a diff mic and seeing how that would sound. This is not a silence friendly environment. xD

  10. 158799
    alividlife : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    I actually use a side part of my garage that houses my drumset, and I layered it with really old duck down blankets.
    Even then, I always throw a noisegate up.
    But I keep the threshold very very low, so it doesn't pick up any sound while no-ones singing into it.

    I actually prefer a lot of the times to use a pencil between the coil in the diaphram of the condensor mic, and shockmount, so it stops the breaths from directly hitting the coils.
    I do have a pop filter, but since I move my mics around quite a bit, I usually don't even bother with it. I swear a pop-filter is just for looks (it's not, it actually does do it's job).

    I was thinking about it, and I guess running a noise gate and a compressor wouldn't really be running the vocal track "wet".
    Unless it's in the chain before it hits the DAW... which actually I use a couple different tubed preamps. I usually ride them pretty light, unless I am recording a metal singer or something. Sometimes I just let them clip lol.. (not really)

    But yeah.. I don't think.. I could honestly say I have ever recorded a vocal take (that was intended for use in a track) without some sort of compression and noise gate.
    I like noisegates after the fact, or even sidechained to an element like the drum track.
    That way there's still some of the bright end and ambience of the singer moving about grooving or something.
    But most of the time, I try and setup up the noisegate so it just barely pulls breathes. But most of the time, I actually have to go in surgically and remove breaths.
    It makes a huge difference.

    Same with guitars too.. Can really pull a groove together that way too. Then throw a bass with just some compression and sidechained to the kick drum.. Yumnnnnnn

    But umn.. Yeah, I need more coffee.

  11. 636839
    simmerdown : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    hey , just read up on noisegates there, is there one in Live somewhere? fretnoise and generally suckin are the things i would like to gate out, lol

  12. 636839
    simmerdown : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    oops, sorry about the sidetrack cinas, i never notice ive done that til a few minutes later,heheh

    looking frward to some pellas cinas, we have yet to hear what you actually sound like but from a pella users pov, drydry (except for the tech 'helpers' that have been mentioned...) is best

  13. 158799
    alividlife : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    Yeah, the gates should be under the stock effects. They do run "after" the sample, so if you want them to reflect how they sound in the clip view, you have to freeze the track.
    (I usually don't unless it's backing vocals and/or there's a heavy duty reverb involved, but usually I run reverbs on just a simple send to get a better global level of reverb, and cut down on the processing.. Reverb kills cpu.)

    I actually like using the audio racks that have everything macroed and setup already.
    I have made a couple, and I may be able to send you a few?
    They aren't amazing or anything, but they do what I like them to do without any hassle.
    I religiously save pre-sets lol...

    I particularly like ableton's vocal presets under the "audio effect racks" tho....

    If you haven't had a moment to play with some of the more weirder audio rack effects, you are about to loose a couple nights of sleep due to pure awesomeness.

    I dunno if you knew this, but on the forums, people trade effect racks and stuff,.. even fully sampled instruments and stuff... It's awesome.

  14. 482418
    Cinas : Wed 3rd Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    @alividlife Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely check it out. I'm probably going to start tracking tomorrow. I'm praying for sunshine during a drought. Greeeeeaaaaaaat. >.

  15. 482418
    Cinas : Thu 4th Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    And feel free to send whatever.I could use all the help I can get lol

  16. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Thu 4th Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    Bill is of course totally correct and when it comes to recording what he says is pretty much gospel...I'm just wondering how the people that like to sing underwater get on. ;)

  17. 482418
    Cinas : Thu 4th Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    Underwater eh? Been trying to get all that old scuba gear out of the attic anyway...hmmmmmm xD

  18. 316780
    Apieceoftofu : Thu 4th Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    DRY!!! always DRY!!!

  19. 482418
    Cinas : Thu 4th Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    Well now that we've agreed on that!

    I've spent the day (much to the disdain of my significant other) listening to modern rock music featuring female lead vocals and trying to identify the different effects used in the post mix etc.
    Other than realize that I must be a pain to live with I think I have a better grasp of the subtle difference in mixing male vs female vocals. Sooooooo, that being said.....its probably time to get to work if I can ever get a couple of hours of silence around here.

    Thanks for all the great tips and feel free to throw in anything else you think of.

  20. 490874
    Retrotation : Sat 13th Nov 2010 : 11 years ago

    I've heard of plenty of people recording with FX applied directly on the vocals. Some are even pros. Mostly though it's just a crutch for the vocalist so that they can hear a more 'polished' sound while performing on the mic. In my opinion, it's just best to record dry, but I could see benefits to recording with the FX applied. Obviously the vocalist is curbing their sound towards the FX, and if you give them that input while cutting the FX on the recording, you may find that the vocals may not be primed to the effects you actually intended in the final product. I personally haven't experimented enough to give a say for sure, but it's food for thought!

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