Drum & Bass Vocal Processing

Discussion in 'Production' started by itex, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. itex

    itex New Member

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    Hey mates,

    i found a girld that will sing some vocals for me but what is important to know about vocal processing ?
     
  2. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    Not sure if trolling or serious...

    If you're serious, do a search for "vocal processing" using the forum search tool.

    To get you started, here's a couple things to keep in mind when it comes to vocal recording/processing

    Make sure the source (the original recording) is good. What I mean is make sure that the vocal was recorded at an adequate level with a somewhat decent microphone. If it's a shitty recording, your end result will be...well, shit.

    As far processing goes, my workflow is like this:

    1. Noise Gate. Apply a subtle noise gate to automatically silence portions of the recording where there is no vocal. This will eliminate any ground/background noise.
    2. Tame Peaks. Manually adjust extreme peaks using volume automation. While you could do this with a compressor, I personally find better results when I do it myself...maybe it's a control thing.
    3. Warmth? Once you have a consistent volume level, you can decide whether or not to throw on some very subtle overdrive/distortion to add some "umph" to the vocals. It's up to you.
    4. EQ. Apply some EQ. At a minimum, low cut everything below 80Hz. Apply subtle cuts and boosts where needed. You may find a subtle boost around 500Hz, 1kHz and 2kHz can add a bit of brightness. Let your ears be the judge.
    5. Compression. Depending on the vocal, you may need to apply some aggressive compression in order to tame those transients. If this is the case, I'll usually add another compressor after the "aggressive" compressor to bring my levels back up.
    6. More EQ? Add another EQ after the compressor to remove any unwanted frequencies that may have reappeared from the gain boost from compressor number 2.
    7. Get Creative. Maybe setup a send to a delay buss (or reverb...or both). Perhaps you want to add an insane amount of EQ...the sky's the limit.
    8. Mono Check. IF you decide to add chorus or other stereo-esque FX, it is essential that you A/B your vocal in the via summing to mono. If your vocal loses energy/clarity when played in mono, dial back the settings.

    Please note that this workflow is not definitive by any means. Every vocal requires different treatment and the example I've provided is meant as a guide for ideas and inspiration–not a rule book.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
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  3. itex

    itex New Member

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    Mate, i was trolling about that kinda "dont know " thingy.

    I meant what EQ plugin is good for EQing the vocal and i want to ask if i want to put 2 vocals together (two tracks ) To make it .. yeah to give it more feeling you know what i mean ..

    When i want to do this i will need the songs vocals in two versions right?
     
  4. itex

    itex New Member

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    btw thanks for that nice info :)

    anyways , i really like your track time travel, what did you used to create that bassline? And how did you made it?

    :)
     
  5. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    I see what your saying now, apologies for the misunderstanding and thel accusation.

    As far as EQ's go, I love FabFilter Q–but that's me personally. Any EQ will work, I would recommend buying one the has a built in spectrum analyzer. I know that FabFilter offers a fully functioning 30-day demo...

    If you want to layer the vocals together to create a nice thick harmony (which is a great approach), you will need atleast three total versions. If your singer is willing, have her do three takes:
    Take 1: The main vocal performed within the desired pitch range/key (we'll call this the original.
    Take 2: The main vocal performed at a higher pitch than the original, but with minimum vocal range variation (a more "monotone" timbre).
    Take 3. The main vocal performed at a lower pitch than the original, but with minimum vocal range variation (again, a "monotone" timbre).

    When it comes to combining them, there's lots of different approaches. For example, after placing each take on separate mono tracks, you can setup the channel outputs like so:
    Take 1 Channel Output assigned to a buss named "All Vox."
    Take 2 and Take 3 Channel Outputs assigned to a buss named "Background Vox."
    Change the Buss Output of "Background Vox" to "All Vox."

    Now you can add some chorus or other stereo driven FX to your "Background Vox" buss without affecting the main vocal (Take 1).

    This is just one very condensed approach. I've seen some tutorials where the background vocal is sent to two channels with each channel panned hard left/right, respectively, to add dramatic width. Again, experiment a bit. As long as you have the multiple takes, you're good to go.

    Cheers.
     
  6. itex

    itex New Member

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    Verry nice, thats what i need.

    So i will need the three different versions of the vocals with different pitches .

    I thought about a nice little blur effect on fading it into the main part or so.
    i know i can make that in FL easy with edison but if you know a way in ableton please let me know too :)


    Thanks for this awesome "tutorial" :))
     
  7. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    Yeah an idea I had...
    Turn a vocal into a chord.
    Get the singer to sing the original.
    Then sing a minor or major third above.
    Then sing a fifth above.
    Pan the third to the left.
    Pan the fifth to the right.
     
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  8. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    That's a hell of an idea...I recall reading a while back that Freddy Mercury use to do a similar technique...