How Do You Guys Record DIY Vocals?

MichaelAndrew3435

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Do you do it like you do with a guitar, mic, interface, and DAW? I've tried using a Scarlett Forcusite for vocals similar to how I mic a guitar amp but it sounds bad. The volume levels go up and down dramatically even if I stay put. Any recommendations and tips?:eek2:
 

eddie_bowers

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Generally I like even a cheap mic preamp in front of my interface for vocals. Also a condenser mic.
 

Stone76

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I used to have an SM58 for the vocals when I started doing demos at home. An allrounder, but maybe not the best choice for a recording. I've switched now to a Neumann TLM49 and a Daking Mic Pre One and the difference is abismal.
Depending on your budget, I'd go for a large diphragm condenser mic (e.g. AKG Perception, Rode NT1000 and similar) first. The preamp from the Scarlett is pretty good.
 

Freddy G

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Do you do it like you do with a guitar, mic, interface, and DAW? I've tried using a Scarlett Forcusite for vocals similar to how I mic a guitar amp but it sounds bad. The volume levels go up and down dramatically even if I stay put. Any recommendations and tips?:eek2:
That's just dynamics of your own voice. Welcome to the world of engineering. Sure a nice mic and preamp helps with the tone, but not the dynamics. Typically after I record a vocal I will ride the fader to bring up low levels and vice-versa. Manually even things out. Then compression. Most of the time two compressors in line...one might be an LA2Astyle gentle opto and the next an 1176 FET set to really push it out front.
 

el84ster

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Compression is a must for vocals, that’s just an automatic unless you have a singer with amazing vocal control and a lot of recording skills/experience.
See if you can keep it to 3-4 db compression unless you want a compressed vocal sound.
 

MichaelAndrew3435

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Compression is a must for vocals, that’s just an automatic unless you have a singer with amazing vocal control and a lot of recording skills/experience.
See if you can keep it to 3-4 db compression unless you want a compressed vocal sound.
Makes sense now that I think about it. How else did the Robert Plants, Chris Cornells, etc go from subtle to scream and manage their own volume so well LOL
 

Freddy G

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Makes sense now that I think about it. How else did the Robert Plants, Chris Cornells, etc go from subtle to scream and manage their own volume so well LOL
There is also mic technique. That means not only for volume adjustments but also knowing when and how to control amount of proximity effect, or even just control of plosives. That takes a LOT of practice. Most singers just come in and bang it off, expecting the engineer to do all the work.
 

John

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My setup is relatively simple. Microphone (SM7) into a preamp (using a GAP Pre-73 clone), and into my interface.

As covered earlier, compression is a must given how all over the place vocals can be with dynamics. I myself like to limit the crap out of those vocals, especially since I work with harsher stuff. I've also been a fan of Slate Digital's FG Stress, as of late.
 

Freddy G

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See if you can keep it to 3-4 db compression unless you want a compressed vocal sound.
I myself like to limit the crap out of those vocals, especially since I work with harsher stuff.
And there you have it....as with almost anything in mixing, if it sounds good it is good. I don't even look at meters anymore for amount of compression.... adjust to taste.
 

John

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And there you have it....as with almost anything in mixing, if it sounds good it is good. I don't even look at meters anymore for amount of compression.... adjust to taste.
Right, there is no absolutely "set in stone" rules per se on making stuff sound good with no room for messing around.

Case in point, even if it's not about vocals: I remember one clip featuring Chris Lord-Alge cranking up something around 15 db at 6k for some snare EQ tones and shrugged it off saying, "What could possibly happen? No one is going to die."


There's no singular way to make a sound.
 

VerbalPuke

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I'm just now starting to record vocals so my process may change but I usually record my drums, then my bass, then my guitar, and then vocals.

So I have a Shure SM 58 going into a Steinberg UR 44, and my DAW is Reaper. With the Shure 58 I have a thing connected to it to give it an extra 25DB in volume, otherwise it doesn't pick up in recordings real well (which I learned after that I probably should have got a condenser microphone for recording but I didn't realize that....). It's usually a few takes before I'm happy with how the vocals sit in the mix, then from there I play around with the EQ sound.
 

John

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I'm just now starting to record vocals so my process may change but I usually record my drums, then my bass, then my guitar, and then vocals.

So I have a Shure SM 58 going into a Steinberg UR 44, and my DAW is Reaper. With the Shure 58 I have a thing connected to it to give it an extra 25DB in volume, otherwise it doesn't pick up in recordings real well (which I learned after that I probably should have got a condenser microphone for recording but I didn't realize that....). It's usually a few takes before I'm happy with how the vocals sit in the mix, then from there I play around with the EQ sound.
Part of it is certainly to taste, which explains some other folks' mic lockers with an array of microphones.
But even dynamic microphones hold their own just fine. ie- One of my old bandmates who's into producing swears by the SM57 for jazz vocals. Thriller was also done with a dynamic mic.
 

dro

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Toughest thing for me was to get the vocal to be up front in the mix. Just turning up the volume didn't do it.

My first tube preamp was an ART channel strip. I was amazed at the difference it made.

Eventually I saved up for an Avalon VT-737. And a few different tried and true mics.

I like the Shure KSM-41

As stated before, adjustments are perceptive.
 

MichaelAndrew3435

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Likes all around! I compressed the vocal tracks and the quality is definitely better. Although they're still nothing to write home about, the compression helped tremendously with the volume spikes!
 

Freddy G

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Part of it is certainly to taste, which explains some other folks' mic lockers with an array of microphones.
But even dynamic microphones hold their own just fine. ie- One of my old bandmates who's into producing swears by the SM57 for jazz vocals. Thriller was also done with a dynamic mic.
My mic locker is pretty nice....vintage u87s, 414s, sony c800, dynamics include SM5s, Re20s....and a pile of others.

For a rock vocal I can make a lowly SM58 work in a mix with ease. I would never look down my nose at a 58.
 
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