Old 07-13-2019, 05:44 PM   #1
fredmatthew25
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Default Recording Vocals without Headphones

Greetings,

In my home recordings I've gotten some overall recordings sounding pretty darn good (imho) in instances where I haven't used headphones to record the vocals.

In some instances I've actually taken the audio doubles in a duplicated track and have gotten some pretty cool delay like effects from having the mic picking up the room noise.

What I've found, is that when the mic picks up the room noise it adds to the overall mix by making it sound fatter, more natural, etc.

Also, I'm much more comfortable just using my ear and playing live.

I read an article that said some engineers use this "trick" on certain recordings because of the reason of giving it almost a natural reverb.

Of course, Microphones, Placement in relation to the Studio Monitors all that stuff is important. Of note I am using:

MXL V63M Condensor Studio Microphone
Recording Space is very small - not sound proof, etc.


*I'm thinking I will get even better sounds if I were to try a Dynamic Mic, stay within the right range of the microphone rather than just singing in the small room and using it as a Vocal / Room Mic.

I understand how it would drive some engineers absolutely bonkers not to have the "clean clean clean" vocal performance, however according to my ears It sounds pretty good so far... Attached are my results so far.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AiMM3Flv1TozgeBc...0e15Q?e=oF9dEC
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-QX...ew?usp=sharing

Regards,
-Fred

Last edited by fredmatthew25; 07-14-2019 at 12:33 PM. Reason: added links for audio example
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:22 PM   #2
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For vocals in the control room, no headphones, with the nearfields on but down fairly low, you can try using a dynamic hypercardiod (beta58) and face the Mic directly away from the nearfields... so the nearfields hit right into the nullpoint of the Mic.

That should work fairly well, in fact, if the control room is big enough it is my preferred option for louder, faster stuff.

Room size is a big factor.


However, every man and their dog, tracks vocals in a silent room or booth, with cans, and for good reason.
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:45 AM   #3
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A cool trick is to record the vocal with the speakers on, then with the same mic position and gain settings, etc. let the song play and record it on a different track. Invert the polarity on one of the tracks and usually about 50% of the room noise disappears
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
For vocals in the control room, no headphones, with the nearfields on but down fairly low, you can try using a dynamic hypercardiod (beta58) and face the Mic directly away from the nearfields... so the nearfields hit right into the nullpoint of the Mic.

That should work fairly well, in fact, if the control room is big enough it is my preferred option for louder, faster stuff.

Room size is a big factor.


However, every man and their dog, tracks vocals in a silent room or booth, with cans, and for good reason.

Cool, thank you for the input - I appreciate the tip on the microphone as well. It's good to know that it is a preferred method in certain situations by another - and you have been calculated about it. By happenstance I think I came up with a good recording (out of necessity - two headphones going out) My bandmate looked at me like I had two heads when I suggested we try it
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bls View Post
A cool trick is to record the vocal with the speakers on, then with the same mic position and gain settings, etc. let the song play and record it on a different track. Invert the polarity on one of the tracks and usually about 50% of the room noise disappears
Awesome, thank you, I will try this. I think this is similar to the method mentioned in this article when I started reading up on different techniques and IF headphones were actually necessary for recording vocals.

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniq...out-headphones
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:36 PM   #6
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Default Vocal Results without Headphones

Here are my results - so far - from recording vocals without headphones. It still needs some vocal de-essing / needs some work on the mastering portion, but here it is so far... (I now included these links in the initial post as well)

Vocals recorded with studio monitors on, with the mic mentioned in the initial post:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-QX...ew?usp=sharing
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AiMM3Flv1TozgeBc...0e15Q?e=oF9dEC

One of these is a Google Drive Link and the other a OneDrive link - I'm a PC guy for now
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:06 PM   #7
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I know I'm late, but Airwindows has a plugin called VoiceTrick for exactly this scenario.

https://www.airwindows.com/voicetrick/
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:34 PM   #8
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This works for guitar as well
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poetnprophet View Post
I know I'm late, but Airwindows has a plugin called VoiceTrick for exactly this scenario.

https://www.airwindows.com/voicetrick/
Awesome, thank you! Checking it out --- Also, Grinder - thank you, very interesting - I forgot to mention in the original thread both the acoustic guitar and vocals were done with the room mic on (which is in the mix provided) I did have the acoustic going direct as well, it did make for some of that delay effect (done purposely in the beginning) I was able to do that with the guitar volume picked up from the room mic.

Cheers, thanks again everyone!
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poetnprophet View Post
I know I'm late, but Airwindows has a plugin called VoiceTrick for exactly this scenario.

https://www.airwindows.com/voicetrick/
OMG, this is exactly what I need! I must try this.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredmatthew25 View Post
Greetings,


I understand how it would drive some engineers absolutely bonkers not to have the "clean clean clean" vocal performance, however according to my ears It sounds pretty good so far... Attached are my results so far.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AiMM3Flv1TozgeBc...0e15Q?e=oF9dEC
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-QX...ew?usp=sharing

Regards,
-Fred
Yes, sounds fine to me too.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martifingers View Post
Yes, sounds fine to me too.
Thank you Marti -- I'm still not convinced headphones are absolutely necessary when it comes to a solo artist mixing / recording their own work. The Airsoft plugin recommendation is also huge Airsoft has a LOT of stuff going on - very very cool stuff that I barely understand (as of yet)

My thoughts are that if you are playing something live, then a microphone picking up your song in "real time" captures a quality in the final product (yes, after lots of mixing / mastering stuff) that people try to get through those SUPER CLEAN vocal tracks.

Maybe its just a differing philosophy / approach. I enjoy music through my ear and want to MAKE music through my ear - and there's nothing like just picking up a guitar in a living room with a few folks and pickin' some stuff out. It's RAW in a way that CAN get lost in recordings unless whoever is mastering is really good (I imagine).

*********Question*********** (from someone who's learning)

***Can someone who is more advanced than me give me an example of something that I can not do with the vocals here because they were not recorded with an "ideal" setup?
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:56 AM   #13
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You'll bump into all the known problems pretty soon.

For example, you'll be fine if you only track a guitar and Mic live, with no editing...

... but if you do e.g a 3 part harmony on vocal, your bed track has now bled three times into your final mix, which will wreak utter havoc upon your mix.

Plus, if you do any editing e.g cut/paste, those "bled" tracks will be out of sync, which will be even more disastrous.


I hate using cans with a passion, and I'll avoid it whenever feasible or possible, but vocals are a special case.

It's not much more effort. I just turn the monitors off and listen through the cans instead. When i/we are finished, I simply turn them back on.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:25 PM   #14
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Frank Sinatra didn't use headphones when he was recording in the studio.

Case closed.
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