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The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

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The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby Kinh » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:22 am

This has mystified me for sometime and my mixes as a whole have suffered as result.

Eqing the 3-4k range. This is where it peaks on the ee vowels, causing unwanted spikes.
The methods tried are:
Dynamic Eq
Automate Eq to cut when the ee comes in
Multiband compressor
Cut the 3k from my "color" send

I spend hours just on the ees alone and then I play the track on cheap ear buds or my car and out they come, louder than anything else.
I've listened to some jpop girl singers who tend to have squeaky voices and I notice the sharpness is consistent throughout their vowels. The oohs and ahs are just as harsh as the ees so you dont tend to notice them.

How do you guys fix these unwanted spikes? I want to get a consistent 'bright' tone without losing energy. There's gotta be a better way.
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby Zukan » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:17 pm

Is this for submitted stems or content you are recording?
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby CS70 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:16 pm

Kinh wrote:How do you guys fix these unwanted spikes? I want to get a consistent 'bright' tone without losing energy. There's gotta be a better way.

Do you mix in a room with speakers or on headphones?
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby Kinh » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:43 am

CS70 wrote:
Kinh wrote:How do you guys fix these unwanted spikes? I want to get a consistent 'bright' tone without losing energy. There's gotta be a better way.

Do you mix in a room with speakers or on headphones?
Both
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:21 am

It really helps if we can hear what you are hearing. Can you link to an example of the raw voice straight off the mic, then your processing of it, then an example of what you consider good processing of a similar voice?
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby resistorman » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:46 pm

Also, the choice of mic and mic technique really matters.
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby Mike Senior » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:22 am

This is something I encounter in project-studio recordings a lot, and usually deal with it with dynamic EQ or spectral processing such as Sknote's SoundBrigade. I've written about it in Mix Rescue a lot too. Here are a couple of recent examples:
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... earranging
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... -mcdermott
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:02 am

This is one of the few situations where I find parallel processing can be really useful. If you duplicate or mult the vocal, you can heavily filter the second vocal track to focus on the 'wanted' part of the mid-range. This varies a lot from singer to singer but might be something like 600Hz to 2kHz. Cut out everything outside this range, apply a generous amount of compression, and add it back in at a fairly low level to thicken the voice without emphasising the nasty resonances higher up the mid-range.
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby James Perrett » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:12 pm

I probably sound like a stuck record but try ReaFIR in compression mode with the threshold reduced in the problem range. It is built into Reaper or part of the Reaplugs plug-ins if you don't have Reaper.
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby Mike Senior » Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:56 pm

James Perrett wrote:I probably sound like a stuck record but try ReaFIR in compression mode with the threshold reduced in the problem range. It is built into Reaper or part of the Reaplugs plug-ins if you don't have Reaper.

Forgot about that, but I agree -- a big +1 from me there too.
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Re: The dreaded 3-4k of a female vocalist

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:12 am

This seems to be something Oeksound Soothe could deal with.
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