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Tips on vocal processing for a light and crisp result? Examples included.

Asked 1251 day 6 h | Viewed 3377 times | Updated 1251 day 6 h |

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Gravatar photo Kaaal

Hey again!

There's a particular vocal effect that is very common in certain genres, and I'm sure someone here will be able to explain it more in depth. There's obviously reverb to go around, but some hints on the actual settings, as well as EQ'ing, compression and so on would be greatly appreciated!

Examples be here:

Also, this:

Not loving the obscuring effects on the latter track, but i like how crisp the vocal is. All contributions are welcome!

8 Answers

  1. Answered: 1241 day 18 h (1) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoAudio Ninja

    What I am hearing from the first clip is that the singer is singing in a bit of a nasal style. Also, the high frequencies where sibilience occures is accuentuated.

    That is what is giving that sssss sound. Compression sounds moderate. Settings could be around 3 to 6:1 ratio activated about halfway into his full loudness.

    • Cheers!

      Kaaal | Sep 03 at 03:09

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  2. Answered: 1141 day 23 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoAstral Plane Studios

    It's still a very clean and transparent vocal so that means they removed mud around 200-500hZ, for his particular voice, probably around 350 with a boost around 4-6k. Compressor sounds to be about 5:1 reducing 3-6dB.

    That crisp vocal is also achieved by using an HPF/LPF to remove any unneeded frequencies. The reverb is also accentuating the sibilance in the vocals.

    Shoot me an e-mail ( and I'll process you a vocal similar to that just dynamics and EQ and give you the settings :).

  3. Answered: 969 day 10 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoguest

    Hi Kevin,Let me first say that I have appreciated and enjoeyd you work for years. You are truly one of our industries masters. Thank you for this awesome resource called Mix Coach. Although I opened Harvest Gospel Studio in February of 1981, my 30+ years of engineering experience constantly remind me that the more I learn about our craft, the more I want to learn. I will be back in the studio this morning mixing a project and I will be applying some of the tips and tricks I have learned from your book, Pro Tools 9 The Mixer's Toolkit, and from this website. How cool is that!I have a few comments on the topic of LIVE recording. Practically all of the live recording work I do does not span multiple concerts like the project you just completed. Most of the time we just get one take. Over the years, after what must have been thousands of computer crashes in the studio and after dealing with all the tiny technical problems associated with DAW based recording platforms (that sometimes creep up out of nowhere), I have developed an inherent distrust of using that format alone for live concert recording. When I do use a DAW, I always back it up with a second system typically a couple Alesis HD-24 recorders. A few weeks ago while tracking a live video for the Primitive Quartet, the Nuendo system at the church developed issues and the HD-24 back up I ran basically saved the project. Another thing I like to do when I can is record the afternoon rehearsal sessions. I call this my insurance tracks. If there should be some technical glitch or if there should be a big mistake during the concert, those tracks sure can come in handy!I recently bought 2 Audio Technica 4071L shotgun mics to use in live situations. Last week I mixed a project that included those two mics and several AKG 414 s in the room as well. The 414 s had a lot of sound system bleed but the 4071L's had almost none. The difference in the mics was far greater than I expected. I was impressed! Reply

  4. Answered: 969 day 10 h (0) | Permalink

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    Gravatar photoguest

    You should roecrd your verses each individually until you get them right, you only need to roecrd the chorus once(some chorus's are an exception though), and use your best attempt for your song. You should be using a good compression affect to level out your vocals so you can accurately mix also. A portable homemade roecrding booth is good if you can insulate it with something to absorb sound like foam padding. Portable roecrding booths are alternative in themselves. Its preferred to have a soundproof booth that isn't portable, but built with sound proofing and sound absorbing properties in the walls and glass. The portable ones are designed more for hotel rooms, and on the road.Hope this helps

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