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How do you all track your vocals?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Preamp + Compressor
3
17%
Preamp + EQ
0
No votes
Preamp + Compressor + EQ
0
No votes
None - Just preamp directly into interface
15
83%
 
Total votes : 18

How do you all track your vocals?

Postby dickiefunk » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:15 am

Hi,

Thought I’d post this as I’m curious to know how people track their vocals? Does anyone still use external compressors and or eq’s I’m their tracking chain or just go preamp directly into interface?
Is there still and place for using external compressors / eqs etc for the tracking stage?
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby Matt Houghton » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:56 am

For my own voice just gentle compression. For others maybe EQ too but I'd usually try swapping the mic before that.

Yes 24-bit recording means you don't *have* to compress, but pretty much all vocals need some compression. Applying some on the way in means I start the mix with a better sound, it leaves me with less to do later, and it often makes setting up a good foldback mix easier too.
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby Dave B » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:22 am

You are missing an option - straight into the interface's mic pre. I don't bother with external pres these days. I do have one which is wired over sp/dif, but the psu went a few years ago and I can't be bothered to sort it out. My interface has Liquid pre-amps if I want colour. As for eq/compression ... nah ... again ... can't be bothered ...

;)
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby Jack Ruston » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:23 am

It depends

I almost never eq.

I typically aim not to compress either, because I often want to ride the vocal into the compressor, and while thats perfectly possible with a consistent singer, it's easy to do odd things to performance that is less predictable. I also find that people tend to sing better if they're hearing something that's as close as possible to what they're doing...but

If there's a compressor available to me that's going to impart something really special, that I can't achieve later, then I will try that. A good example would be something like an EAR, that is just beautiful, but also unlikely to do harm.

If it's a full on rock thing, where the compression is very much part of the sonic signature, I will usually do a lot of Distressor, or perhaps 1176.

If I do compress, it's rarely set and forget.

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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby CS70 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:33 am

Depends on what and how, but either I use the LA2A section of the 610, or directly the interface preamps, so I voted for both :)
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:39 am

Mostly just straight into the interface, but occasionally, if i know i'm going to want to add some colour, I'll run a second mic through a little tube pre-amp.
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:43 am

I've never done anything to the signal when tracking, just recorded it. This is mostly because I don't think I'm clever enough to do it right first time. I'd rather EQ/compress/whatever after the event where everything can be undone. This is despite the temptations of a UAD interface which make this sort of think very easy with its unison preamps and whatnot. Wish I was cleverer ...

CC
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby desmond » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:01 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:This is despite the temptations of a UAD interface which make this sort of think very easy with its unison preamps and whatnot.

You could always do some testing (or on a project) by recording two tracks at once, one completely dry, and one with a little bit of appropriate "colour" (project dependent of course), and see whether the benefits of running the signal through some processing on the way in is useful or not. Then you've always got the dry signal as a fallback and to compare with...
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby John Egan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:35 pm

dickiefunk wrote:Hi,

Thought I’d post this as I’m curious to know how people track their vocals? Does anyone still use external compressors and or eq’s I’m their tracking chain or just go preamp directly into interface?
Is there still and place for using external compressors / eqs etc for the tracking stage?

I've usually gone direct into the AI with no EQ or compression. However I recently bought a New Age preamp and have begun to use this. Still in the evaluation stage, though.
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:44 pm

desmond wrote:You could always do some testing (or on a project) by recording two tracks at once, one completely dry, and one with a little bit of appropriate "colour" (project dependent of course), and see whether the benefits of running the signal through some processing on the way in is useful or not. Then you've always got the dry signal as a fallback and to compare with...

A good thought, though as I don't have two mics the same (not counting the SDCs) I wouldn't be able to completely eliminate that point of variation. Still, I'll probably try it. What's to lose?

Cheers,

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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby desmond » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:50 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:A good thought, though as I don't have two mics the same (not counting the SDCs) I wouldn't be able to completely eliminate that point of variation. Still, I'll probably try it. What's to lose?

No, I mean record the same signal on two tracks, but one copy going through the UAD processing on the way, the other dry. I would have thought you could set this up in the UAD control panel, but you'd have to investigate...
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:02 pm

Oh, I see what you mean. I'll have a look but I suspect not because the way the console app works is you insert the Preamp emulation at the very start of the "strip", as it were, before you can direct the signal anywhere else because sends come after preamps. I could maybe send a signal off to one of the virtual channels and put a preamp emulation on that, but then I might as well do that in Logic.

CC

PS happy as ever to take correction for anyone who knows better than me.
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:50 pm

If I'm recording digitally I'll usually keep things flat - although I may use a high pass filter if I think there's too much unnecessary low end. If I'm recording on tape I'll use a compressor on fairly gentle settings and eq as I think necessary but nothing too drastic.
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby Watchmaker » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:18 pm

I go straight through my pres, but they're UAD and I have tons of DSP so I'm usually putting them through the Neve1073 plug in and then in my DAW I have Console 1 across all inputs and can do whatever needs doing using the native SSL emulations. I usually record dry after the 1073 though.
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby ore_terra » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:30 pm

Watchmaker wrote:I go straight through my pres, but they're UAD and I have tons of DSP so I'm usually putting them through the Neve1073 plug in and then in my DAW I have Console 1 across all inputs and can do whatever needs doing using the native SSL emulations. I usually record dry after the 1073 though.
Do you track through the console 1 emulations?
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:20 pm

Console 1 can control the UAD console app and as such can exercise some control over the UAD plugins when they're instantiated in the console app. However, so far as I'm aware the SSL emulation is native and can't be used when tracking. (Console 1 plus UAD make a very nice combination, BTW).

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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby ore_terra » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:24 pm

I know... that’s why I’m asking ;)
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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:51 pm

I never use EQ or compression on the way in.

I record straight in using Audient or UAD pres and process in the mix.

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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:29 am

ore_terra wrote:I know... that’s why I’m asking ;)

True, but you're not the only one reading ( ;) back ... :) )

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Re: How do you all track your vocals?

Postby CS70 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:35 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:I've never done anything to the signal when tracking, just recorded it. This is mostly because I don't think I'm clever enough to do it right first time. I'd rather EQ/compress/whatever after the event where everything can be undone. This is despite the temptations of a UAD interface which make this sort of think very easy with its unison preamps and whatnot. Wish I was cleverer ...

CC

I’m all for recording flat but since I got the 610 and experimented a bit, I found that on my own vocals a little compression on the way in saves me time at mixing time. The thing is that by now I know pretty well how the ‘base’ sound should be and the compressor to gently work on the way I gets me there already. The LA2A is optical and sounds good almost no matter what tough. But when I record others, it’s flat all the way! :)
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