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Hip Hop/ Pop Vocal Mixing- questions and suggestions

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Hip Hop/ Pop Vocal Mixing- questions and suggestions

Postby DelOro » Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:24 am

So some artist friends and I have been recording in my studio room, which by the way is still underway to being fully treated, and while listening back to my mixes (which have been mastered using Cloudbounce) the vocals are sounding thin and empty. Even with attempting to double it or adding a bit of compression to them it still seams to not fill the voice.

I have been told this could be both placement of the mic, the room itself, mixing, or even the type of microphone. I would love some help figuring it out, maybe some links/videos with advice or even some personal takes.

Please be free to ask more questions regarding my setup or processing chains.

https://soundcloud.com/juliandeloro/set ... HcXGFWSHH1
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Re: Hip Hop/ Pop Vocal Mixing- questions and suggestions

Postby CS70 » Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:00 am

Assuming good performance and the mic technique, room and placement are usually the culprits.

That said, no studio mic makes a voice thin and empty... but many, especially dynamic ones, rely on proximity effect to increase the bass - which means that the performer has to work the mic very closely, with his/her lips up to the grille. If they are too far, the mic's inherent balance will all but disappear.

There's nothing special with rappers other that they tend to move about more than other singers and often aren't that focused on the technical aspects of singing, which doesn't help.

Also it's important not to overcook the levels on your side when recording and mixing, and use effects when you know how to use them and what you want to achieve (don't splat compressors on things just because).

Can be lots of things, difficult to say what is wrong (if anything is wrong) without looking at your recording chain, the artist performance and technique, your gain structure and the mix structure.

But yeah recording is all about music and performance first, room acoustics and mic placement second and everything else afterwards.

And ah, the important bit is how your mix sounds before you "master".
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Re: Hip Hop/ Pop Vocal Mixing- questions and suggestions

Postby ken long » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:42 am

CS70 wrote:There's nothing special with rappers other that they tend to move about more than other singers and often aren't that focused on the technical aspects of singing, which doesn't help.

What an odd statement.
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Re: Hip Hop/ Pop Vocal Mixing- questions and suggestions

Postby CS70 » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:54 am

You're right. Just hailing from my own experience, and it wasn't meant seriously. Apologies. :D
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Re: Hip Hop/ Pop Vocal Mixing- questions and suggestions

Postby DelOro » Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:32 am

CS70 wrote:Assuming good performance and the mic technique, room and placement are usually the culprits.

That said, no studio mic makes a voice thin and empty... but many, especially dynamic ones, rely on proximity effect to increase the bass - which means that the performer has to work the mic very closely, with his/her lips up to the grille. If they are too far, the mic's inherent balance will all but disappear.

There's nothing special with rappers other that they tend to move about more than other singers and often aren't that focused on the technical aspects of singing, which doesn't help.

Also it's important not to overcook the levels on your side when recording and mixing, and use effects when you know how to use them and what you want to achieve (don't splat compressors on things just because).

Can be lots of things, difficult to say what is wrong (if anything is wrong) without looking at your recording chain, the artist performance and technique, your gain structure and the mix structure.

But yeah recording is all about music and performance first, room acoustics and mic placement second and everything else afterwards.

And ah, the important bit is how your mix sounds before you "master".

Appreciate this CS70, I figured as much. I will do a bit more research on my mic and see if its the type that requires this proximity affect. I will also work on mic placement in the room. I have already done research on my room and its not entirely the best for vocals but I will make do with what I have. Thanks again!
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Re: Hip Hop/ Pop Vocal Mixing- questions and suggestions

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 14, 2021 10:24 am

Just had a quick listen but I'm hearing quite a lot of room and, as you say, a lack of weight in the lower register. I'd guess you're using a cardiod mic about a foot away from the rapper?
Given that your room isn't fully treated I'd get closer onto the mic, this will improve the direct to reflected signal ratio (less room noise) and increase the proximity effect (more low end weight).
Another trick you can do to add low end weight to a vocal is duplicate the track, pitch shift it down an octave, then mix it back in really subtly. Raise the fader until you can just hear it then back it off a bit. You won't hear it directly but if you mute the track you'll notice it's missing.
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