Vocal Eq'ing (muddy vs thin)

Discussion in 'Audio Help & Tips' started by Shaw-King, May 6, 2004.

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  1. Shaw-King

    Shaw-King New Member

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    Hey...I have a problem that annoys me.
    Now I know I don't have professional equipment, experience, or knowledge, but I'm very ambitious and I would like my mixes sounding as professional as possible.

    Here's what I'm working with:
    AT3035 condensor mic
    Behringer MX602a mixer (used as preamp)
    Delta 44 pro sound card
    sick ass computer
    and an 8x8 vocal isolation booth

    Now, I record my vocals with the person standing 6-10 inches away from the mic.
    I record into Cool Edit Pro 2.0 because I like the programs chopping capabilities. It's so easy to use. I use the Waves C1 compressor so I can compress the vocals and gate any unwanted noise (ie bleed thru the headphones, paper rustling...). Then I de-ess the vocals so the annoyingness of the 's' sounds go away. Then I apply some noise reduction to the whole vocal take. When I'm done I mixdown several different parts of the track to make them easier to work with (ie Verses, Chorus, Backups 1, Backups 2 and so on)

    Next I pop everything into Cubase SX and get ready for mixing. I roughly adjust the level on all vocals to mix nicely with the beat and I do a little panning. When I'm done all that, I add a little reverb and other effects as needed.

    Now the tricky part....the really tricky part: EQ'ing the vocals.

    I hate doing this! Pisses the hell outta me!

    Okay so I first take a look at the spectrum analysis to see what I working with. I then usually roll off the bass, anything under 140-160hz. I apply a little boost around 1khz and 3khz. I try adding a little more at 13khz for brightness. Then I try to tame the muddiness. This is my problem.

    How the hell do I tame the muddiness? I go into the midrange and if you analyze a few profssional hip-hop tracks you'll realize that most engineers do a cut around 360 hz. So I do that. A lot of the muddiness goes, but so the warmth. Biiiiig problem. How do you compensate?

    How do you get rid of muddiness but maintain the warmth in a vocal? I can't seem to get it right.

    Oh, ok. After all that crap I pop the mixdown into Har-Bal (Harmonic Balancer) and start my mastering. This program usually helps clear up some muddiness issues and then with the help of the L1 Ultramaximizer I get a loud sound mix.

    The main problem? Not a muddy mix, (well, kinda muddy if you compare to professional tracks) but the main problem then is a thin mix. What am I to do?

    Can anybody help? Anything that would be useful is welcomed.

    Thank you.
    test
  2. Jenre

    Jenre Little Lizard

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    Don't EQ your vocals on their own. Make sure you're listening to the whole mix when you EQ. The vocal might sound thin on its own, but in the mix it might be just right. Remember: The mix is the most important thing. Do you really care how the vocal sounds solo? Will it ever be solo on the track? I doubt it, so don't worry about it

    Just a tip. You might already know it, but... meh.

    Also, make sure you're using a good Equaliser. The one in Cubase SX is decent enough, though. And the other thing is just practice. That's all you can really do.

    You might want to try mixing the vocal tracks seperately, rather than making a mix. That could cause problems, especially if there's one off vocal track that could mess up the whole thing.

    A good set of monitors wouldn't do you any harm either.
    test
  3. AllOrNothinEnt

    AllOrNothinEnt Retired from Rapmusic.com

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    DONT eq the vocals on they're own?
    That's HOW you EQ lol.

    If you slap it over a beat, then eq THAT, your not only fucking with the sound of your vocals, but the beat as well.
    test
  4. War Machine

    War Machine Sam Antics

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    ^^i think he ment...dont eq just the vocals themselves...witout hearing how it fits into the mix...

    meaning...if its in pro tools....sellect the vocals to EQ...but dont mute the beat or anything...so even though ur only EQing the one vocal u selected...u can see how it sounds in the mix of everything else as well...without EQing the other shit.
    test
  5. Ken fluid

    Ken fluid Kaptain Kut Up

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    one mistake I see your making is the order you doing things

    you should:

    Noise Reduction

    EQ

    then
    Compress

    all of the engineers I've ever worked with does things in that order....eq tends to sound muddy in general when applied after certains of compression

    Peace
    Ken
    test
  6. AllOrNothinEnt

    AllOrNothinEnt Retired from Rapmusic.com

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    I agree with that, AND, the Mixer is just..ugh, damn, that's hurtin the quality right there lol.
    test
  7. urban_tactics

    urban_tactics aka johnny cockram

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    i'd reccomend the Rcompressor...it works a helluva lot better than that shitty ass c1...

    make that 100HZ...140 -160 is waaaay too high




    never boost beyond 0.0...its better to take away...never add....

    a technique i use is the "sweep" i boost the EQ ALLL the way up and i check for the most MUDDY frequency and then i bring it back down and cut accordingly...usually i cut at 340hz and 500hz...i usually dont have to touch anything else

    i dont kno what the hell that harmonic shit is, but the less things u do to the vocals, the better....make sure u dont compress more than 3db with the L1...if u can, use the L2 instead, the algorityms are alot more advanced and it will sound better

    the mix is thin because ur rolling the bass off @ 140-160...when u should be rolling it off @100hz instead

    problem solved...pz.
    test
  8. BoDi

    BoDi www.iambodirock.com

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    ^ i like this guy...

    really knows what he's talking about...

    i couldn't have said it better myself
    test
  9. Shaw-King

    Shaw-King New Member

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    Messages:
    133
    Yo, I just wanna thank everybody for responding man. I really didn't expect this much input.

    Yeah, as far as EQ goes, I do a bit of both. I do some of my EQ solo and some of it with the rest of the mix playing. As I get farther and farther into the mix, the less and less shit I do solo.

    Yeah, I kinda figured to myself today that maybe I was rolling off too much shit. Good lookin' yo. I backed off a little and found a big improvement. I'm also gonna take that 'don't boost nuthin' thing into account. That sweep thing, you talkin' about, U.T., I used to do that, I don't remember why I stopped!

    Ok yo, who makes the RCompressor and does it come with a gate? Also, I've heard of the L2, but for some reason I always thought it was a piece of hardware....don't ask, I just had that impression. If it is software, can you cop that for free or does it cost you (don't hate on this question, it's an honest question, cuz I don't know)?
    test
  10. veral conflict

    veral conflict beatsrus

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    11,402
    its wave natives gold/platnium/diamond

    u dont wanna buy that plugin.... lol.. its from 500-5g's...

    but u can try kazaa n other shit like soulseek..
    test
  11. SKWIRL

    SKWIRL New Member

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    where is the r compressor? i cant find it
    test
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