So we were talking about how to get the best out of vocals (EQ your own voice) , and the question of emotion arose.
Not whether singers should try to express emotion in their vocals, but whether engineers should try to impart the correct emotions fore the song through their work.
The inverse of that would be that engineers should simply get everything sounding pristine, clean clear (or distorted and unclear?). They should not mess with the intrinsic value of the song.
Personally, I believe engineers have a huge responsibility to take account of emotion, and I’ll try, briefly, to explain why.
I should state, at the start, that I’m a multi- instrumentalist and a solo artist/engineer/producer/mastering engineer. I work only on my own stuff which I write perform, mix etc. etc. etc. I an VERY aware that this means I come at the sound engineer job from a (some might say VERY) different standpoint. But I believe it should apply to all.
So you have the track, let’s say (since it’s what I know) there’s a couple of acoustic rhythm guitars, drums, bass, vocals, harmony vocals, a fiddle and maybe a mandolin or dobro.
So, picking one of those, I’m working on the fiddle, and I find that one of the high notes I played is harsh, screechy and upfront. OK, I can soften it down with a little EQ … notch out the harshest points and get it to sit right with the rest of the fiddle (I use Samplitude so I can EQ just that note without applying the EQ to the rest of the track if I want).
Maybe a touch of compression on the whole track would also help even things out, and pushing the track through catch-all roioim reverb (glue) will soften harsh edges too>
So I’m done? NO. I’m not.
Because the note may still be too strident for the really sad lyric that preceded it. This should be a nice silky high note and I have to work harder to get it to that. I might even have to find another instance of it to edit in to the fiddle line, a softer, more subdued thing that the screech I’ve just tamed.
OK. I used lots of adjectives there which stand alongside warm as utterly useless. My silky might be your wimpish etc etc.
But the point I’m making is this: if I ignore the song as a whole (so don’t listen to the emotion of the vocals, the content of the lyrics) I might NOT make the right decisions for the mix and I might wreck everything the writer, singer, performers were trying to do.
Now some of you will say (smugly): “Well everyone does that, don’t they?”
I fear, from some of the comments in the other thread, (EQ your own voice) that they may not. They want to do the mixing with complete emotional detachment.
I think they’re wrong. What say you?