What can i do with vocals ?

when i have a recording of my voice i dont want it to sound so pure like it was recorded at home on a PC with a crappy mic.

Any effects to give it more sheen ?

… and to hide my crappy voice :stuck_out_tongue:

ok im not looking for something to totally change my voice, nothing drastic, just something that blends it nicely to the music in the background.

The basic tools for vocals are equalization, reverb-delay-chorus, and compression. These effects are available within n-track or a plug-in. More advanced effects such as pitch correction and harmony are also available as plug-ins but are rather expensive.

Nothing will hide a crappy voice…just listen to Leon Russell. :)

Probably some compression/limiting and a very small touch of slap-back echo will help, assuming the mic really isn’t too crappy. It’s hard to overcome bad sound from a bad mic with EQ.

Then work on your voice if you don’t like it. It might not be as crappy as you think. Just listen to Leon Russell :)

What do you mean “crappy voice” hobo?

If you mean, how do you improve your voice, then it’s the same as any other musical instument, practice. (And I strong suggest Roger Love’s “Set your voice free” as a starting point).

I never started singing till fairly recently because I never thought I could. Well, I still can’t, but I now know that if I keep working at it, I will be able to.

But, if you’re talking about how to improve the sound of what you’ve already recorded…

Are the notes out of tune? If so, plugins like Autotune can help to fix those, I understand.

Or is is just lacking in tonal quality?

If so, chorus and reverb are the two classic FX to add. Compression can help too, to even out the level.

But, as far as making it fit in with the rest of the mix, I suggest you study the methods suggested by the experts here and at Audiominds.com, and many other places on the web.

Good Luck.

Ali.

bad singing is cured by practice
out of pitch singing is cured by, again, practice-but Autotune can really help.

to make it sound professional- you need to work with compression, and reverb. These will make it more even, and sound like it’s in a "real space."

EQ will help it fit into a mix of other instruments, but the compression and reverb do things EQ can’t.

Compression will help the vocals sit in the mix volume wise so your vocals don’t fade in and out.
Reverb will give the voice it’s own space as well as adding some character.
EQ will help avoiding the incoming mud when you throw all the other instruments in with it.

But if you’re singing sucks, as they often say…"You can’t polish a turd"

good luck :)

Make it sound intentional.

Thanks guys, ill try something tonight.

I was half joking about my voice. Whilst it isnt brilliant, it is in tune, but sounds too out of place like its karaoke.

I think Willy put it rather brilliantly. Processing won’t do anything for somethign that doesn’t sound like it’s supposed to sound the way it does sound, if you follow that sentence.

:)

Keep in mind that your own voice on a recording will ALWAYS sound wrong to your ears until you get used to hearing it. It takes a long time to get to the point to where you can listen to yourself objectively.

Keep singing. Work on it, but keep doing it. The vocal folds are muscles and can get stronger with exercise. Treat it like any other instrument, with the same amount of effort and intent, and you’ll be rewarded with great control, range and depth.

But work on it a little bit every single day. Don’t over do it, but don’t sluff off, either. And record yourself every chance you get…even if it’s just scratch tracks for someone else to follow.

TK

What I have found…

Compression makes the vocal seem more confident. Reverb makes it less in-your-face. Auto-tune (used gently) can also add “confidence”.

Adding some highs (10Khz ish) can add “air” and make the vocal sound less “heavy”.

Don’t be afraid to do multiple takes and then make a composite of the best bits.

Also, if you work at making a space for the vocal, it will sit “in” the mix rather than “on” the mix. Overall that means it doesn’t have to be so loud, and therefore sounds less exposed.

HTH


Mark

I’ve also use Microphone Modeler to some good ends. Depending on your mic, you can either alter the original signal or mix an altered signal with it. It all depends on the type (electret condensor, dynamic, small diaphram condensor, or large diaphram condensor) and its brand and quality. I have an old vintage Turner 700 dynamic mic. It has quite a distinctive tone, and when I use a mic model similar to it in manufacture (Shure SM58) to eliminate the original sound of the mic before modeling a better mic, it ends up sounding badly. So I mix in one of the more vintage tube mic models (say, the Telefunken U47) with the original signal, and it really warms up the sound a lot while still sounding distinctive. But I also have some voice recordings before I got that mic. In those cases, I used a crappy Realistic electret condensor mic (actually it isn’t truely “crappy”, just cheap. It sounds really good on acoustic guitar, though). So if I have recorded vocals through that, I find that using the one modeled electret condensor that comes with the program (the Audio-Technica AT853 Rx) to eliminate my electret condensor sound a bit, and then pushing it through a modeled U47 or something will really improve the sound. It won’t sound like a U47 exactly, but will sound better than before…

fish

I was half joking about my voice. Whilst it isnt brilliant, it is in tune, but sounds too out of place like its karaoke.

That sounds to me like your vocals are not "sitting" in the mix well. The cure for that is EQ, compression, reverb, and delay. The biggest thing I find with vocals is giving them space so they don't sit out front and sound like a separate piece of the mix. EQ is one thing, but I don't do much corrective EQ on vocals much other than a high pass. If the song is written and arranged correctly, is with in the the vocalist's range, and you did a good job on mic selection, EQ shouldn't be that big of a deal. Compression will help make the vocal stay intelligible and not disappear into the mix. But space is all done with reverb and delay, and more often that not a combination of the two. Don't be afraid to put delay and several reverbs together to get a vocal sound. Once you cut the crap and get past the want to fiddle with gadgetry (I know, all those plugins and knobs call to me too.), vocals are pretty easy. However, a great performance is 75% of the battle. Here is a quicky track I did with Kristi and for the vocals all I did was a high pass, a very slight dip at about 5k, a little bit of compression using Block Fish, and some light reverb. You don't need to do much. (BTW, this was recorded in our dining room.)

If one of your concerns is how the vocal sits in the mix, here’s a little trick I learned on this forum that will help.

Right click on the vocal track and go to Properties. Check the box that says, “Expand Mono Track to Stereo.” Most reverb plugins work in stereo which adds a stereo effect to the reverb, making it sound more natural and diffused.

I agree with everything Bubbagump said but there may be a key element he didn’t address, i.e., what mic he uses (the dining room comment is very telling). If you are using a cheap dynamic mic your mixing job will be a lot harder, in my experience. You can get a low cost large diaphram condenser mic for less than $100 that will make a huge difference. I don’t know what kind of mic Kristi sings into but my guess is that she is using a condenser and that their dining room has a pleasant reverb. A LD condenser will pick up the room interaction, whereas a dynamic mic won’t. If you’re recording in a good sounding space, half your job is done. A little compression, a little reverb, and you’ve got a good vocal.

I’ve recorded in three different rooms in my house and found a striking difference. Even where the mic/singer are placed within the room changes the sound.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents…

With a quick browse, I didn’t notice anybody mentioning a great way of getting vocals sound better: change the key of the song to better mach the singer’s range.

While some singers can handle anything with (apparent) ease, most of us have much narrower range. “Sounding like karaoke” in certain parts of the song (typically, the choruses) could mean the melody takes the vocalist out of where she/he sounds good. In this case, you might like to do a kind of “corrective modulation”: drop the key of the tune a few steps for the chorus, then go back to the original key for the next verse.

(Of course, this works best when recording your own songs. Then no listener will know how the song’s supposed to go. :;): )

With a quick browse, I didn't notice anybody mentioning a great way of getting vocals sound better: change the key of the song to better mach the singer's range.

That is what I was meaning in saying that the song is in the vocalist's range. I find a lot of folks write songs or try to perform songs that are too high or low for them and it sounds terrible. You don't ask an oboe player to play a low bassoon part in the orchestra, don't force a soprano to sing a Barry White tune without some key manipulation. I hate to point folks to American Idol, but you see people trying to sing songs that are just not in ther range and they always fall on their face.

I agree with everything Bubbagump said but there may be a key element he didn't address, i.e., what mic he uses (the dining room comment is very telling). If you are using a cheap dynamic mic your mixing job will be a lot harder, in my experience. You can get a low cost large diaphram condenser mic for less than $100 that will make a huge difference. I don't know what kind of mic Kristi sings into but my guess is that she is using a condenser and that their dining room has a pleasant reverb.

Hee hee, nope, that track was done using a dynamic. Specifically a Shure SM7. (Not SM57, SM7.) As for the dining room, it kinda stinks. Very fluttery and echoey. The key was that the SM7 has very little proximity effect in comparison to other dynamic cardoids so she could really get close to the mic and this blocks out a lot of the room sound with her body acting as a shield and it doesn't sound all boomy due to the low proximity effect. I am convinced everyone needs a good dynamic like an SM7 or RE20 in their collection. They are just so easy to get a good vocal sound out of. Don't over look the lowly SM57 either. It can make a great vocal too. But you have to have a preamp that can give you some good clean gain. In this case I used the built in pres on my Emu 1820M. Not high end pres by any stretch of the imagination, but they are clean and have some gain. Any of those Burr Brown pres out now should work well like the M-Audio DMP3.