Hey all. Ten years ago I started this never ending journey of recording/mixing at home. My band put out an album that our label at the time let me do the recording and mixing. At that time I’d spent a lot of time in studios but never behind the desk. Didn’t even have the foresight to ask any questions. So we put out our album and I thought it was great. As I learned more I realized all the mistakes I made. I decided I wanted to remix that album. Once I started remixing I decided I wanted to redo the vocals and guitars (I’m the singer/vocals) too because I knew I could do better. The project has been coming along but I’ve hit a snag. I’m not happy with the vocals on this track. Not sure if I need to record them again or something else I’m missing. Please bash away. I attached the old and new versions of the song. Thanks.
Hey Murf, you didn’t specify which version was which, but the second version sounds much better than the first, so I gather that is your remix…
I’m hearing some murky low mids/mids in the vocal that are causing a buildup with the guitars. My guess is that there is a little too much somewhere in between 400 -600hz. Try sweeping around to find that slightly boxy/congested sound & pulling out some of that stuff out. It should clear things up nicely and make the vocal appear more intelligible too.
Maybe just a tad more highs & high mids might help with the vocal clarity too, but try the cuts first, as my guess is that they will be more effective.
Thanks for taking the time to listen. You are correct. The second is the remix. I just played around a bit and cut at 360hz. I swept with the stock EQ and found 350-400 to be the culprit so I threw on a Neve 1073 emulation that has 360 as one of the options. I cut a few there and it’s definitely much better. I also boosted a little with the 12k shelf. Can’t do too much because I have a very sibilant voice. Thanks again.
Cool, glad that improved things…
Re: the sibilance. I find tape simulators very effective in combatting sibilance. They soften the top end nicely so sometimes you can boost high end into them and just get a nice bit of sheen without too much sibilance.
Boosting into a Deesser is also another tactic that sometimes works.
I’ll give the tape sim a try. I can’t remember the last time I tried one on vocals. Love them on the drum bus. I have a deesser after the EQ right now. It’s doing ok. The sibilance isn’t too bad on this one. It used to be extremely bad when I used a Blue Bluebird for my vocals. I loved the overall tone I got but the sibilance was so bad I had to automate them out with gain plugin and use a deesser.
Yeah, that’s often the case with brightening vocals to modern-day pop levels. Of course, there’s no sin in using multiple de-essers at different points in the vocal chain - each doing a little bit at each stage - to achieve the desired brightness without cutting heads off. I’ve noticed that Warren Huart of Produce Like a Pro often uses that approach very effectively. Whatever works, really.
Sounding good. I would second ColdRoom on the need for little more high mids on the vocal or the removing from the guitar to provide space.
I thought I was on the right track but I’m back at square one. I’ve never had so much trouble with a vocal. I’m happy with everything else but the vocals are kicking my ass. I made a cut in the low mids, which helped but they still didn’t sit right. So I boosted a little in the upper mids but it became too sibilant. I next tried cutting the guitars a little in that range but still not happy. I’m taking a break from it. I’m too close to it I think. This was always one of our favorites so I may be being to critical. Thanks for the tips guys I think I’ll start from scratch in a couple days.
Hey @murf214! That is quite an energetic rock track, and I am no expert, but I think your vocal level is too close to the guitar too much of the time. I do hear some neat touches, echoes etc, but it is mostly drowned out. You are very close, your singing itself sounds good, so it might just be another mix away…
I took a break from the song. It was driving me nuts. The more I listened to it the more problems I found. I did a remix of the remix last night. For the vocals I used all the tips I got in this thread. I cut out the low mids. Gave a very slight boost in the in the highs and used Kramer Tape to further tame the sibilance (already had multiple deessers). I also EQ’d the guitars a little differently to make a little more room for the vocals. I still need to fix a spot where the drums clipped the overheads. It’s right after the lead. I never noticed it in the original but it’s there too and clear as day to me now. I think it’s better now. Still room to improve but it’s loads better than the original. Thanks for all the help and I’m open to any additional help or bashing. Thanks again.
Nice improvement @murf214 - I like it!
Thanks for listening and the help.
This new mix addressed the vocal issue for me, @murf214. Those trailing echoes now pop!
Now it feels like there’s more separation overall.