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Recording:  Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????????


31-Dec-01 (teardrop06)
31-Dec-01 (supersayayin)
31-Dec-01 (Spectralab)
03-Jan-02 (Wingman)
03-Jan-02 (vokal)
05-Jan-02 (teardrop06)
05-Jan-02 (CoreBacK)
05-Jan-02 (Spectralab)
05-Jan-02 (machinapathy)
06-Jan-02 (meriphew)
06-Jan-02 (Spectralab)
06-Jan-02 (soundwave106)
07-Jan-02 (Anonymatt)
07-Jan-02 (machinapathy)
03-Feb-02 (anointed2)
07-Feb-02 (oKseR)
07-Feb-02 (anointed2)
09-Feb-02 (Edwardo Santiago)
09-Feb-02 (anointed2)
11-Feb-02 (Edwardo Santiago)
28-Feb-02 (JohnnyGrundles)
01-Mar-02 (soulboy)
01-Mar-02 (Riddle)
01-Mar-02 (Riddle)
01-Mar-02 (soulboy)
01-Mar-02 (supersayayin)
05-Mar-02 (synthpop)
08-Mar-02 (ssscientist)
12-Mar-02 (synthpop)
12-Mar-02 (Clockwork Banana)


Original Message
teardrop06.... Starting to record record vocals at home. Any sugg (31-Dec-01  02:24PM )

- I run a small MIDI production studio with several pieces of MIDI gear. I have always written and produced my tracks at home and then taken my masters down to a pro-studio downtown to record the vocals. Anyways, I'm looking now to start recording vocals at home. I do not have an isolation booth or the ability to sound proof everything, however, I'm SURE I can get a pro sound with the right equipment. any suggestions on some microphones, compressors, pre-amps, eq, etc...... that will NOT break the bank?????? I record pop/r&b/dance type music if that makes a difference.

Also, any suggestions on set-ups that you guys have that work well???

THANKS

teardrop06

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supersayayin.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (31-Dec-01  02:36PM )

- hey teardrops, if i understood properly, you had taken your final masters to a recording studio and then record vocals!?

one tip man, record the vocals into the track BEFORE you mix the track down, that way you can make the vocal sit in the mix as you'll have freedom to play with the volumes of all the sounds in your track...

To get really good vocals, it is very adviceable to use an isolation boot, since you already said u ain't gots one, i can recommend you to get a long ass microphone cable and use the closest bathroom in your home as an isolation boot, you'll also need a cord extention for the headphones that'll be the singer's monitoring.

i gots a friend who uses his bathroom as a vocal boot, he has put out pro records as well (Dj 13, here in Venezuela) he uses an AKG vocal mic (don't remember the specifics, but it is not too expensive) i bet you can get good results with a sure sm58 as well... i dunno much about mixers, but it seems the mackie vlz mixers have pretty tight pre-amps and they are cheap mixers too (depending on the number of channels you need though). the DJ 13 guy uses one of those alesis 3060 compressor series, sounds good i'd say.

i'm sure someone else can give you better advice than i, those were my tiny 2 cents.

good luck.

Paz, One Love.

Link: http://www.ampcast.com/semilla

supersayayin

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Spectralab.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (31-Dec-01  04:20PM )

- not to be sarcastic, but: if you don't want to build a vocal booth and you don't want to break the bank, then you probably won't get pro-quality vocals. in which case, my adivce would be to keep tracking at the other studio that has the gear to do it well.

Spectralab

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Wingman.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (03-Jan-02  04:02PM )

- I figure someone needs to be the voice of dissention, so it might as well be me. No disrespect to my esteemed collegues, but you don't NEED a high-end vocal booth to get great sounding vocals.

Now, will you get your vocals to sound as good as a high end studio using a U87 and a Neve mic pre? Probably not. But do you need that. I use a B.L.U.E. Blueberry and Joe Meek stuff and do demo work for major publishers (no vocal booth). If you'd really like to do your vocals at home, I would recommend doing these two things.

First make sound baffles to sound treat your room. I used doors. I bough doors, put feet on them, put Aurelex foam on one side, and you now have moveable sound baffles. You're not going for 100% sound isolation ( you would definitely need a booth for that), you're just controlling room reflections.

Second, buy the best mic you can. Think long term. You may not get the best mic, and the best mic pre, and the best compressor now - so pick one. Get a great mic first, and maybe cheaper pre and compressor. I'd recommend an all in one box (Focusrite, Joe Meek, etc...), and then start saving for the Neve mic pre (or whatever). Sooner than you think, you'll have a butt kickin' setup. You could even buy one of those 'Whisper Rooms' (portable sound booths).

Anyway, in the end, you need compare your 'needs' with your 'means'. But remember, you don't have to have it all now. Good luck.

Wingman

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vokal.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (03-Jan-02  06:26PM )

- Wingman , do you know of any websites that would have info on a 'whisper room'? Another idea for semi sound isolation is cubicles. If you find a business that is going under or changing locations in your area and you ask nicely you could even pick a few up for free. Then pad them maybe make a top for them.

vokal

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teardrop06.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any s (05-Jan-02  04:27PM )

- Can anyone recommend a REALLY NICE ok ok A MID-LEVEL NICE :) compressor/preamp/mic combo???

I realize Avalon, RODE and Neve rule, but is there anything on the second tier of that lofty ladder that you guys have USED and find to be a GREAT combo????????

THANKS AGAIN

teardrop06

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CoreBacK.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (05-Jan-02  04:45PM )

- will you be "singing singing" yourself ?

CoreBacK

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Spectralab.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (05-Jan-02  06:02PM )

- Joe Meek. I haven't tried the VC1Q, but the VC6Q is probably the best one I've heard in that price range.

Spectralab

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machinapathy.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (05-Jan-02  07:35PM )

- Focusrite have a new thing with Preamp, Compression

machinapathy

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meriphew.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (06-Jan-02  09:26PM )

- Teardrop06, I would suggest hopping over to the musicplayer.com forums and click on one of the studio forums, or http://www.prosoundweb.com/recpit/index.php and post your question there, or just browse their forums. Lots of great info to be found there. Best of luck to you.

Link: http://www.meriphew.com

meriphew

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Spectralab.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (06-Jan-02  11:20PM )

- Oh yes, the Penta. Never thought about that one... I haven't heard it... kind of an interesting idea... it started life as a stereo compressor and then they added the mono mic-pre because it didn't increase the cost too drastically. Also has tube emulation and stereo widening. Optional A/D converter. The MIX review is quite favorable. $495 MSRP, $250 more for the A/D option. Sounds like a pretty good deal. I didn't like the first three entries in Focusrite's platinum line at all, but I've not heard the more recent additions. Perhaps the Penta is an improvement... I mean, if that mic-pre is good enough for a Digidesign console (Control 24), then it must be pretty good.

Spectralab

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soundwave106.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (06-Jan-02  11:52PM )

- I've heard good things about the Drawmer MX 60. Mic pre with gate, compressor / limiter, de-esser. Also the Focusrite line is pretty good.

However, FMR (the guys who make the RNC compressor) is rumored to be creating a decent mic pre for around $350. It'd be interesting to see if they have the same bang/buck ratio that the RNC has.

soundwave106

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Anonymatt.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (07-Jan-02  01:14AM )

- You know. I rotate between a Shure KSM-32 (about $400) and a Rode NT1 (about $200). I use the preamps on my Mackie VLZ mixer, and I usually print compression from my RNC. My recording environment is about as terrible as it could be; a terrible, bare, rectangular room. Still, my vocal recordings are tolerable. I do a lot of layering and stuff, though, so inadequacies are obscured by mangling. Your results with such a cheap setup might not be as successful if you're looking for more traditional performances (tracking a pretty female singer, for example).

My advice, and I think this is inline with what everyone else is saying, is you should spend approximately $500 on a preamp or one of those pre/compressor/eq boxes. The Drawmer MX60 is supposed to be pretty good, and I've read many nice things about the dBX 576. As far as microphones go, the new Rode NTK is the nicest piece of kit under $1000. You can get one at bpmmusic.com for $389.

So, yeah. The fix I use on my acoustic situation is just to keep pretty close to the microphone. Thataway, you get a nice, strong, dry signal and the sound of your shitty room is less noticeable. Then rinse it up with tasteful amounts of reverb to hide your room.

I'm not an authority, but this sort of approach has worked for me.

Anonymatt

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machinapathy.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (07-Jan-02  01:51AM )

- hehe, I have carpets on my walls/ceiling as soundproofing.

machinapathy

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anointed2.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (03-Feb-02  08:38PM )

- For hip hop vocals, the room never mattered to me.. I actually like one of the medium sized classrooms at school. The sound bouncing off the walls actually add to the vocal in most of the work I do.

anointed2

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oKseR.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (07-Feb-02  03:48PM )

- Joemeek has nice all-in-one-strips. They're called VC3Q. It's a channelstrip with a mic preamp, a compressor (nice sound) and an equalizer. At www.digitalvillage.co.uk they sell them for somewhere around $180 US (but I'm not really shure). You can buy the "Trakpak Q" as well. It's a VC3Q with a very reasonable mic (JM47) + shockmount, case, mic cable.

oKseR

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anointed2.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (07-Feb-02  04:39PM )

- Can someone compare the sound of the Joemeek channelstrips in comparison to the Mackie/Behringer preamps.. I don't want to purchase one if there isn't a noticable difference in sound

anointed2

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Edwardo Santiago.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (09-Feb-02  06:25PM )

- I use an ART PRO MPA as my mic pre sitting over a dbx 1066 compressor gate unit outfitted in a three rack space travel case. This provides portability when I go on location plus it sits in a dedicated spot in my production suite. The Art has a very good sound at a decent price, and the dbx 1066 adds just enough to give you a well rounded signal whether you're in your bedroom, hotel room, outdoors,etc. Having two mic pre's and compressor I/O's is also an advantage because it allows for great stereo micing for guitar, piano,& you can use one channel of the ART/dbx setup as a direct for a guitar pickup and the other channel for a mic giving you an incredible guitar sound; EQ th two tracks differently. I hope you find what would work best. I also hope this message gives you some new ideas. Good luck bro!

Edwardo Santiago

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anointed2.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (09-Feb-02  06:47PM )

- Thanks Edwardo

anointed2

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Edwardo Santiago.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (11-Feb-02  02:20PM )

- Fellas, If you want to get a great vocal in a room, try hanging blankets from the ceiling or walls to create a spot large enough to fit a few people in. Also put your matress up about 3-4 feet from the opposite side of the mic from your vocalist. In many cases this takes some time to do, but it is well woth the time. It gets rid of virtually all standing waves and any other harsh slapback in the room. I've done this in different places. Like I said earlier, even a hotel room in Denver. The result is a very dry, but crisp vocal that's ready to cut right through any mix. It's nice to begin working with vocals as dry as possible, if you feel that you need any thing on the front end, you might want to try very little compression(about a 2:1 ratio or so)and enough gate to hold back the rooms noises, but not so much to cut off the natural breathing of the voice. Very slim settings!! Good luck.

Edwardo Santiago

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JohnnyGrundles.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (28-Feb-02  04:17PM )

- I would like to get into recording vocals also. I have mic pre's on my behringer mixer which definatly suck. But, can somone explain to me what a mic-pre is used for, also the compressor and all that vocal stuff. Thank you.

JohnnyGrundles

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soulboy.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any s (01-Mar-02  12:50AM )

- Er - no offence johnny but how do you know your mic pres suck when you don't know what they are?

soulboy

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Riddle.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (01-Mar-02  03:58AM )

- First I'll start by stating that I am not a studio technician, merely a semi-pro that loves to sing and has an ear that discriminates. The human voice is one of the hardest instruments to capture. To convert it successfully to electronic signals and record it requires several pieces of equipment, and differs from voice to voice and with application.

First you need a good microphone, and entry level around $300 like the AKG 3000 something-or-other. Something that wants phantom power (I love to say that PHANTOM POWER!!!). I've used SM-58's and other, higher-priced live-oriented mic's and am quite convinced they're not worthy.

Then the mic-pre amp. It does A LOT to decide your sound. I started with an old peavey mixer I got from a friend (very comparative with Behringer). When I switched to a Spirit mini-mixer I was quite happy indeed. Now I got a big yamaha mixer that is quiet, clinical, nice (if not as warm as one would like). But I've sung through the low-level mic pre's of Presonus (blue tube) and dbx (channel strip). I want something better for recording vox.

Then you have dynamics processing which is WAY important to my ear. For me (not wanting an artificial sounding tone) I need EQ, compression, and reverb. A good reverb of some sort is a necessity, and realism is key. I tend to think my voice sounds "flat" and without depth without some reverb.

Compression is important because I have the tendency to get way louder on some parts of a song than others. I don't want a compressor to drastically affect my tone at all, I want to be able to sing full out and softly during the same take, without maxing out my levels.

EQ can be used to mould your voice more into your liking or just bring it out the way it sounds best normally, but it's almost always needed.

I know that most often you don't want to do too much to your signal while recording, so you still have full control while mastering, but some EQ and compression are often needed right guys?

I'm dreaming of a Joemeek VC6Q or whatever-the model-is. Yeah, I'd like something silver with tubes and a VU meter that shines like a diamond, but my funds are severely limited. It has mic-pre, compressor, and EQ in one package, and can be used for acoustic guitar and bass (right guys?).

And then there's cables... I just use the top-of-the-line Monster cables, are they worthy? Or does it make a big diff to get something more "PRO"? Anways my two cents...

Riddle

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Riddle.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (01-Mar-02  04:06AM )

- Oh yeah, and cheap reverbs suck. One piece of BAD gear in the mix can destroy the sound you're looking for. I used to sing through a Alesis Midiverb 3 or 4 that I never could stand. And the nanoverb!!! It was worth less than nothing on vox IMO. Same thing with the Mackie "32-bit" effects on a board I used. And my friend's Digitech crap too. My Roland 3030 was a godsend compared to those boxes. I imagine a PCM-something-or-other would be even nicer. There's countless variables that go into recording good vocals...

Riddle

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soulboy.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any s (01-Mar-02  05:08AM )

- Amen. My Zoom 1201 hasn't been used on vocals in since the second week I've owned it. I guess I was being a bit optimistic expecting good fx from a cheap, cheap box.

soulboy

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supersayayin.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (01-Mar-02  10:34AM )

- i just recorded vocals at home, using a SB live platinum 5.1 and shure sm58, recorded into Acid Music and then added compression and EQ later on Sound Forge 5.0... didn't use mixers or mic-pre-amps, only used the 1/4 mic in of my sound card... of course, these are Hiphop vocals... Even though one thing i have noticed is that when one is recording vocals, no matter what are they, one must direct one's voice to the right place in the mic... when i recorded our vocals we didn't even use a mic stand, we were Hiphoping all the way through the recording... it came out decent if you ask me... check them out, the first three songs in our ampcast.com page.

Peace.

Sayayin Celestial.

Link: http://www.ampcast.com/semilla

supersayayin

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synthpop.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (05-Mar-02  05:37PM )

- can anyone please recommend a compressor for recording vocals? I am new to this so i am not sure which compressor is best. I belive a friend used an alesis 3230, i think that was the model, and it was really noisy... either his settings were bad or the compressor is not that good. Can anyone please help, thanx

synthpop

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ssscientist.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (08-Mar-02  10:41PM )

- Synthpop-

A current favorite compressor of mine is FMR Audio's RNC1773 -- it costs roughly $200, is usable in stero for mixdowns or in mono for tracking vocals and is very quiet. I'm sure you can find reviews of it online - it's a tiny gem!

ssscientist

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synthpop.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (12-Mar-02  11:27AM )

- -ssscientist-

appreciate the help, i will look into it, thanx

synthpop

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Clockwork Banana.... Re:Starting to record record vocals at home. Any suggestions on equipment to get the best sound????? (12-Mar-02  09:13PM )

- Did someone suggest a Rode NTK? Those are killer, and about $400. That, the RNC, and some Mackie preamps will be quite the nice front end for your setup.

Clockwork Banana

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