Rounding the Edges : Vocals

For 2 part harmonies (6 tracks at once for fullness), I’m noticing that the edges (beginning and ends of phrases) are too harsh. IOW, they were tracked spot on. But, these edges really need to be softened a bit with some transition.

I tried a quick attack on the compression, but it only helped a little. Using a gate sounds too weird. Are there any other methods I can try?

I’m also trying to avoid dynamic riding if possible. There are about 20 phrases (40 starts and ends) on 9 different vocal tracks which is 360 beginnings and endings. I’m not afraid of hard work, but that will take me hours.


It’s often difficult to do with a gate, getting a good one with really controllable attack is a problem.
However, I believe the compressor bundled with V4.xx on NTrack has the facility of a “drawable” attack curve. I’m still using V3.3, so I don’t know for sure.
I have a copy of Cool Edit Pro and you can add nodes to the compression curve in order to build it to the desired shape.
Even that may not be the answer though, as each phrase may require a different shaped curve, so you may as well edit the track volume envelopes by hand. :(

Sorry I haven’t been much help :D


I think compression, while useful in it’s own right, is probably not going to solve the problem you’re describing. Use reverb. Try and simulate a small room with the source backed off from the mic a few feet. The decay can be very short, probably not even recognizable as a reverb. Play with the amounts of dry vs wet. You want it to sound less intimate. You can put it in an aux channel. Or, the way I’d probably do it, put it in the channel effects box for a group (“BGVOX” or whatever); then use the send control on the group channel to send to whatever main reverb you’re using to blend in to the mix a bit more.

Thanks gents. I’ll try those approaches tonight.

Hi Katau:
I’ve begun to play with this plug… I don’t know all it’s Ins-and-Outs, yet, It’s quite new to me. But this plug might be what you’re looking for. I have a number of them I bought some time ago in a series of “Bundles” when he offered them as a promotion… I don’t regret spending the money on them for a moment… Cause ya know what? So far they’ve worked and he’s working on them all the time … I have several updates sense he placed them on the market… And you can play with them for a couple of weeks with no restrictions…


If ya try them… I know you’ll have a tough time letting go of them… The GAC-1 will work for that Vocal track. For two weeks “FREE”… it’s worth the price of admission…


Well, I think the problem is solved. Thanks again for your help. It was a blend of faders, verb and the tools that Bill linked (GAC-1). Thanks!!!

Bill, those are nice tools. Now I’m off to do some knob twiddlin’. There is a lot there to digest.