Propellerhead Software
  #1  
Old 2012-09-08, 06:51
Souper Souper is offline
 
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Posts: 14
Vocal distortion

hey guys, ive posted a similar thread before but this is a slightly different problem lol,
just to give you the info of what im working with. im in a duo hip hop group. already have a producer (i'll be taking to producing our own beats through reason next lol).. SO. currently working on doing our first self recoded song. just importing the beat aka instrumental and recording our vocals, i seem to be getting the hang of it quite nicely, Balance makes things very easy and my vocal mixing don't seem that bad surprisingly lol

RIGHT! anyway. yes the problem. my verse/vocals that we've recorded, there pretty much fine thanks to the Clip Safe feature of balance..BUT there's a couple words that.. i wouldn't say shout as such.. but i defiantly raise my voice lol, and it distorts..not like ARRGH!..but enough to make me think.."i need to sort that out"

so other then generally using the mixer and putting the vocals through a separate compressor on the rack (obviously being new i could be using the compressor completely wrong lol)...what can you guys suggest? even if its just linking me to a helpful tutorial video..

any advise is greatly appreciated
  #2  
Old 2012-09-08, 11:06
tomriv tomriv is offline
 
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Have you tried neptune? Not sure if it will help with distortion tbh but worth a try!
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  #3  
Old 2012-09-08, 11:36
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djfm1983 djfm1983 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Souper View Post
hey guys, ive posted a similar thread before but this is a slightly different problem lol,
just to give you the info of what im working with. im in a duo hip hop group. already have a producer (i'll be taking to producing our own beats through reason next lol).. SO. currently working on doing our first self recoded song. just importing the beat aka instrumental and recording our vocals, i seem to be getting the hang of it quite nicely, Balance makes things very easy and my vocal mixing don't seem that bad surprisingly lol

RIGHT! anyway. yes the problem. my verse/vocals that we've recorded, there pretty much fine thanks to the Clip Safe feature of balance..BUT there's a couple words that.. i wouldn't say shout as such.. but i defiantly raise my voice lol, and it distorts..not like ARRGH!..but enough to make me think.."i need to sort that out"

so other then generally using the mixer and putting the vocals through a separate compressor on the rack (obviously being new i could be using the compressor completely wrong lol)...what can you guys suggest? even if its just linking me to a helpful tutorial video..

any advise is greatly appreciated
Whenever you turn your vocals up they start to distort.... When this happens is your main output to the hardware interface clipping? If your main output is clipping, could be that all your other sound are turned up way to loud and there isn't enough headroom left for all your sounds because everything else is up so loud. What I like to do is turn my VU offset on the big meter down to 0db VU equals -14db peak. This will ends up making any channel (not thinking about the master fader just the regular channels) on the ssl mixer go into the red at -14db peak. I make sure that whenever I'm mixing not to let the mixer channels go into the red (not past -14db PEAK. Sometimes I do let me kick drum go into the red though)This helps me to preserve headroom for all the sounds and make it so I don't have to turn the master fader down to stop the output from clipping ( I don't work with a mastering chain on or the ssl buss comp ( In my opinion mastering should be done after the mix is finished). If you end up doing this (messing with your VU offset) and think the overall volume is too low while mixing, either turn your audio interfaces output up louder or turn your monitors level up.

Ok on to your question about your vocals, you say there are words that don't shout as much. Do you mean there are some words that are quieter than others right? You want to even out the vocals more? Your statement are not being sure if your using the compressor right makes want to ask you if you understand what each knob does on a compressor? Threshold, Ratio,Gain reduction meter, Attack and Release, do you know what each one of these do? Yes sometimes you can get a distortion sound out of a compressor, this usually happens when you have the attack all the way on it's slowest setting and the release on it's fastest setting and there's a fair amount of gain reduction. When this is the case (distortion due to compressor settings) you can turn the release time to a slower setting until it gites away (not always the case). For vocals I usually start with a compressor with the attack time to it's fastest setting to catch any initial transients, shouting for around 6db of gain reduction to help even things out. Sometimes even after using a compressor I still might need to automate the vocal channels fader to even things out farther. Hopefully this helps a bit.

Last edited by djfm1983; 2012-09-08 at 12:25.
  #4  
Old 2012-09-08, 12:01
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djfm1983 djfm1983 is offline
 
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Posts: 950
In "the audio engineers handbook" (the book I'm almost done reading) in chapter 11 talks about some rules to follow for proper gain staging.

"RULE 1- The level of the channel faders should always stay below the subgroup or master fader.

RULE 2- Leave plenty of headroom.

RULE 3- When using large amounts of eq or a plug in with gain, lower the channel fader rather than bringing up the other sounds " Page 105-107.

This would be my advice for Things to follow while mixing levels for each song. Also I'd say don't turn down your master fader while mixing, leave it at 0db (should be it's default setting) and follow these gain staging rules. Adjusting your VU offset to 0db VU equals -14db PEAK can help you leave headroom (i know I posted this before). Try to keep all your channel faders from going into the red after you've adjusted your VU offset. Just figured I've post this for you.

Last edited by djfm1983; 2012-09-08 at 12:28.
  #5  
Old 2012-09-08, 12:03
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djfm1983 djfm1983 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomriv View Post
Have you tried neptune? Not sure if it will help with distortion tbh but worth a try!
What's the neptune going to change? Other than correcting any pitch issues?
  #6  
Old 2012-09-08, 15:48
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Dave909 Dave909 is offline
 
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Compression isn't gonna get you all the way. You need level automation to even out before compressing. You can even do that manually by isolating the louder parts in your vocal and lowering the level of them. Especially with rap you want an even level thruout and don't do this with your eyes but with your ears as "bigger" waveforms don't always mean a higher perceived level. If the waveform doesn't clip your distortion is occuring somewhere else. Also leave the mastering chain to "off" when doing any recording and cut out the frequency's for your vocal in the instrumental. Just my 2c
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Old 2012-09-08, 17:35
Souper Souper is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomriv View Post
Have you tried neptune? Not sure if it will help with distortion tbh but worth a try!

i havent no.. but i'll give it a go
  #8  
Old 2012-09-08, 17:38
Souper Souper is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave909 View Post
Compression isn't gonna get you all the way. You need level automation to even out before compressing. You can even do that manually by isolating the louder parts in your vocal and lowering the level of them. Especially with rap you want an even level thruout and don't do this with your eyes but with your ears as "bigger" waveforms don't always mean a higher perceived level. If the waveform doesn't clip your distortion is occuring somewhere else. Also leave the mastering chain to "off" when doing any recording and cut out the frequency's for your vocal in the instrumental. Just my 2c

You can even do that manually by isolating the louder parts in your vocal and lowering the level of them

^^ is that basically like de S'ing? but obv trying to isolate the parts that are louder and distort as opposed to the S's and Ts?
  #9  
Old 2012-09-08, 17:39
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Dave909 Dave909 is offline
 
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No, de-essing is a technique to lower the levels of your S syllables by sidechaining these frequency's to a compressor, which with many people can get too loud. Levelling out has more to do with the general dynamics of your vocals including keeping screamed words in bounds
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  #10  
Old 2012-09-08, 17:51
Souper Souper is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djphathead View Post
Whenever you turn your vocals up they start to distort.... When this happens is your main output to the hardware interface clipping? If your main output is clipping, could be that all your other sound are turned up way to loud and there isn't enough headroom left for all your sounds because everything else is up so loud. What I like to do is turn my VU offset on the big meter down to 0db VU equals -14db peak. This will ends up making any channel (not thinking about the master fader just the regular channels) on the ssl mixer go into the red at -14db peak. I make sure that whenever I'm mixing not to let the mixer channels go into the red (not past -14db PEAK. Sometimes I do let me kick drum go into the red though)This helps me to preserve headroom for all the sounds and make it so I don't have to turn the master fader down to stop the output from clipping ( I don't work with a mastering chain on or the ssl buss comp ( In my opinion mastering should be done after the mix is finished). If you end up doing this (messing with your VU offset) and think the overall volume is too low while mixing, either turn your audio interfaces output up louder or turn your monitors level up.

Ok on to your question about your vocals, you say there are words that don't shout as much. Do you mean there are some words that are quieter than others right? You want to even out the vocals more? Your statement are not being sure if your using the compressor right makes want to ask you if you understand what each knob does on a compressor? Threshold, Ratio,Gain reduction meter, Attack and Release, do you know what each one of these do? Yes sometimes you can get a distortion sound out of a compressor, this usually happens when you have the attack all the way on it's slowest setting and the release on it's fastest setting and there's a fair amount of gain reduction. When this is the case (distortion due to compressor settings) you can turn the release time to a slower setting until it gites away (not always the case). For vocals I usually start with a compressor with the attack time to it's fastest setting to catch any initial transients, shouting for around 6db of gain reduction to help even things out. Sometimes even after using a compressor I still might need to automate the vocal channels fader to even things out farther. Hopefully this helps a bit.
hey dude, cheers for the detailed response ...although that whole first paragraph made my head ache lol.. understanding im using a lot of the system and dont know what everything is called..im a novice in every sense if the word sadly... you spoke about "all the levels etc.. remember im working with an already made instrumental that ive imported so its literally the beat on one track and the rest are vocal tracks..so during my verse its only the beat and my vocal playing so when you say "could be that all your other sound are turned up way to loud" that really only applies to the beat. as one track. i.e one level..so i dont think its that.. but the second paragraph made more sense to me .. no im not really sure on how the compressor works..
"you say there are words that don't shout as much. Do you mean there are some words that are quieter than others right?"
^no. completely the opposite.. the vocals in my verse are all pretty much one level/volume but there are a couple words that a pretty much shout. its these words that distort and im looking to even out

you've al gave me a good few things to try, i'll have another re work with the compressor

ive also just jumped on the Reason courses
 

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