Propellerhead Software
  #1  
Old 2012-08-17, 05:54
Souper Souper is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 14
recording vocals, distortion help!

i have Reason6.5 and reason essentials with balance
basically the vocal is fine until your power it! then it distorts horribly! even with using Clip Safe the recording is still bad, a friend of mine whose more used to this software then me put in a compressor and equaliser and made it better, but its still pretty bad! is this just a case of me messing around adjusting the levels on the compressor and equaliser until im getting the clear vocal through?

any help with htis would be great! thanks
  #2  
Old 2012-08-17, 06:27
Bretstradamus's Avatar
Bretstradamus Bretstradamus is offline
 
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You're using a condenser microphone, correct? By "power it" do you mean phantom power? When you have a distorted signal such as this, don't try to fix it afterwards with eq and compression, fix it at the source.
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Last edited by Bretstradamus; 2012-08-17 at 06:32.
  #3  
Old 2012-08-17, 06:52
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djfm1983 djfm1983 is offline
 
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We need more info about your mic (dynamic or condenser). What are you using for a pre amp (or audio interface with mic pre amps). Are you monitoring in Reason or monitoring externally?

I agree with "thebretisdead" you gotta fix it at the source. Garbage in equals garbage out. Sounds to me like it might just be a mixing issue. Compression is only going to even out the dynamics and eq can only do so much to shape the sound.

How hot are you running all the other sounds in your mix? You might just need to turn everything else down so you won't have to turn the mic level up so loud and then turn your monitors up. You also might have to make some eq cuts in your sounds to make room for the vocals to cut through. From what it sounds like it could just be a mixing issue but I'm not sure. We need more info about everything.

Last edited by djfm1983; 2012-08-17 at 07:23.
  #4  
Old 2012-08-17, 07:41
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carlgrace carlgrace is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djphathead View Post
We need more info about your mic (dynamic or condenser). What are you using for a pre amp (or audio interface with mic pre amps). Are you monitoring in Reason or monitoring externally?

I agree with "thebretisdead" you gotta fix it at the source. Garbage in equals garbage out. Sounds to me like it might just be a mixing issue. Compression is only going to even out the dynamics and eq can only do so much to shape the sound.

How hot are you running all the other sounds in your mix? You might just need to turn everything else down so you won't have to turn the mic level up so loud and then turn your monitors up. You also might have to make some eq cuts in your sounds to make room for the vocals to cut through. From what it sounds like it could just be a mixing issue but I'm not sure. We need more info about everything.
Exactly right.

Most likely your microphone is turned up too loud. If you're recording with headphones one trick is to take one ear off so you can hear yourself sing with the volume turned really low.

Are the waveforms you record super distorted? That would mean the mic is too hot!
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  #5  
Old 2012-08-17, 16:44
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guitfnky guitfnky is offline
 
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if it's a condensor mic, how is the vocal fine "until you power it"? condensors require phantom power to function, so there should be no signal passing at all unless there's power.

also, has the mic sounded fine in earlier recordings? and have you recently put the mic on a relatively loud sound source without activating the pad? it's possible that you may have overloaded the capsule with too loud a source. I accidentally did this with a $300 mic recently and had to replace it. that won't happen again. I hope that's not the issue for you.
  #6  
Old 2012-08-17, 19:32
Souper Souper is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 14
the reason my info is lacking is that im just starting with this stuff lol, i have no previous background in this at all, i brought reason 5 originally as i intended on creating my own beats and upgraded to reason 6.5.. since then ive gained a good working relationship with a german producer. so i bought reason essentials with Balance. got myself a mic, this one:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rode-Nt1A-Co...5223945&sr=8-2

im in a two man hip hop group we rap and sing, my best mate who i do it with has a powerful voice, so and (again new to this, no previous recordings lol) so we've started using the kit to do rough recordings for practice before paying £30 at a studio. anyway we wanted to record the chorus of our main song which is a sang loud! he said it distorted horribly in the headphones, the best i can describe it is sounds like your shouting into a tin can, this is before weve even recorded this is just hearing yourself through the headphones.

yeah tried that with recording it lower with only wearing one side of the headphones. im sure it must be some silly thing i need to set or adjust that i dont know about lol, its bound to be the sort of thing if any of you experienced guys we're here you'd go " oh that! silly bugger just do this and job done" lol
  #7  
Old 2012-08-17, 19:39
guitfnky's Avatar
guitfnky guitfnky is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Souper View Post
the reason my info is lacking is that im just starting with this stuff lol, i have no previous background in this at all, i brought reason 5 originally as i intended on creating my own beats and upgraded to reason 6.5.. since then ive gained a good working relationship with a german producer. so i bought reason essentials with Balance. got myself a mic, this one:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rode-Nt1A-Co...5223945&sr=8-2

im in a two man hip hop group we rap and sing, my best mate who i do it with has a powerful voice, so and (again new to this, no previous recordings lol) so we've started using the kit to do rough recordings for practice before paying £30 at a studio. anyway we wanted to record the chorus of our main song which is a sang loud! he said it distorted horribly in the headphones, the best i can describe it is sounds like your shouting into a tin can, this is before weve even recorded this is just hearing yourself through the headphones.

yeah tried that with recording it lower with only wearing one side of the headphones. im sure it must be some silly thing i need to set or adjust that i dont know about lol, its bound to be the sort of thing if any of you experienced guys we're here you'd go " oh that! silly bugger just do this and job done" lol
hmm, sounds like you may just need a better set of cans. I'd see if you can borrow a different set of headphones, and find a way to make them loud enough to hear what's going on without maxing out your outputs (I sometimes have to do this with a headphone amp). I've had similar problems with low-end headphones before. if switching out the phones doesn't work, then you should look at the other options people have suggested here.
  #8  
Old 2012-08-17, 23:29
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footwords footwords is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Souper View Post
the reason my info is lacking is that im just starting with this stuff lol, i have no previous background in this at all, i brought reason 5 originally as i intended on creating my own beats and upgraded to reason 6.5.. since then ive gained a good working relationship with a german producer. so i bought reason essentials with Balance. got myself a mic, this one:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rode-Nt1A-Co...5223945&sr=8-2

im in a two man hip hop group we rap and sing, my best mate who i do it with has a powerful voice, so and (again new to this, no previous recordings lol) so we've started using the kit to do rough recordings for practice before paying £30 at a studio. anyway we wanted to record the chorus of our main song which is a sang loud! he said it distorted horribly in the headphones, the best i can describe it is sounds like your shouting into a tin can, this is before weve even recorded this is just hearing yourself through the headphones.

yeah tried that with recording it lower with only wearing one side of the headphones. im sure it must be some silly thing i need to set or adjust that i dont know about lol, its bound to be the sort of thing if any of you experienced guys we're here you'd go " oh that! silly bugger just do this and job done" lol
Follow the signal flow to find where it starts distorting. Start at balance. Is the clipping indicator coming on when he sings? If so, turn down the gain.

Go into reason on the sequencer. Select the track and enable recording. Look at the meter there. Does it clip when he sings? If so, turn down the gain on balance some more.

Look at the mixer, does it clip on the mixer channel? If so, turn down the gain at the top of the channel strip and/or check any insert FX for boosting the signal.

Check the master fader? clipping? bring down the volume on everything before it get there.

Go to the rack, open the big meter and select the audio output that goes to balance. Clipping? Bring down volume on master fader or master inserts.

If you aren't clipping anywhere here, Your headphones probably just cant handle the volume level, or they're broken. Try turning down the headphone volume. Does that help? Like someone else said try to use some other headphones and see if the problem exists with those.
  #9  
Old 2012-08-18, 00:39
Souper Souper is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by footwords View Post
Follow the signal flow to find where it starts distorting. Start at balance. Is the clipping indicator coming on when he sings? If so, turn down the gain.

Go into reason on the sequencer. Select the track and enable recording. Look at the meter there. Does it clip when he sings? If so, turn down the gain on balance some more.

Look at the mixer, does it clip on the mixer channel? If so, turn down the gain at the top of the channel strip and/or check any insert FX for boosting the signal.

Check the master fader? clipping? bring down the volume on everything before it get there.

Go to the rack, open the big meter and select the audio output that goes to balance. Clipping? Bring down volume on master fader or master inserts.

If you aren't clipping anywhere here, Your headphones probably just cant handle the volume level, or they're broken. Try turning down the headphone volume. Does that help? Like someone else said try to use some other headphones and see if the problem exists with those.

okies dude! wont be down there again till sunday now but when i am i'll have a go at following you instructions ive tried two different sets of headphones it is the same. but yeah ive got some things to try now thanks to you guys so i'll have a crack at them and let you know how i get on..

cheers for all the replies never been much of a forum person and weren't sure id actually get much help, but i was surprised with the amount of feedback and how quick it was so big thank you to you all!!

and like i said I'm a real rookie at this so even if i sort this im sure i'll be posting regular HELP threads until i get my head round all the software :P cheers again!. Soup
 

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