Raspy singers?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by silencer eleven, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

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    Hey guys, when you need to clean up a slightly raspy singer on certain songs and what not what do you find are some good tricks, whether it be EQ, compression, what have you. Your input is certainly appreciated. Also, what preamp would you suggest to make the voice sound fuller than can be used in a live situation as well. Looking for something reasonable in the preamp area under 1k used.

    thanks

    evan
     
  2. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    I'm not aware of any device that will make a correction for a raspy voice that wouldn't present artifacts more detrimental than the initial issue. I personally wouldn't use studio pre's in a live situation, especially if you are already running through a mixer. There are quality pre's that do, in a sense, "make the voice sound fuller". From the question it sounds like you have a slight problem with a certain voice fitting certain songs and looking to gear for the answer to the problem. Honestly speaking, your best bet is to work within the normal contraints of the EQ and level provided by your live board or maybe try and find the best mic for the voice. Pre's are best used for get good quality input level and compressors work best to maintain more uniform level. There are certain circumstances that they do work well as "effects" but if a singer's style of voice is not working well on certain songs because of raspiness or a thin tone you probably won't get your money's worth trying to correct this with outboard gear. You'd be best finding a way to make the song and singer meet in some way that the natural qualities of the singer's voice compliments the song rather than try to cover up, hide, or make it something it's not.
     
  3. cjcayea

    cjcayea cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce

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    that sums it up. not to be cynical, but you cant polish a turd
     
  4. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    I know modern gear has come a long way but I don't think there is anything to change the original source into somthing it's not. Well, there's auto-tune but thats another thread! Maybe they'll come out with "The Vocal Modeler"!

    Is the singer aware of what you are trying to accomplish?
     
  5. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    Is it raspy or distorted? Can't really do much about raspy, but I've used Sonic Solutions to clean up clipped waveforms.
     
  6. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    Just because a track has raspy singing on it doesn't make it a turd. Lots of great singers have made their careers out raspy singing both male and female.
     
  7. johnspeck

    johnspeck Member

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    it helps to have a selection of mics you can try on the singer to hear what sounds best.

    i have a raspy singing voice. it's gotten me voice gigs for commercials. they wanted someone that sounded like tom cochrane (life is a highway...)

    i find my best results from a fet47. that said, they are $$$.
    pop filter in front of the mic.

    i've heard my voice through a certain mic, and nothing i did to tweak it eq-wise (limited to the pre we had on hand) could get it to sound warm in the track, it just sounded harsh. a dif mic would have been all the difference. even a 58 would have been better!
     
  8. johnspeck

    johnspeck Member

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    also, just re-reading your original post, one thing that came to mind...

    mic technique live means *everything*. a 58 should sound fairly full, if you sing right on the ball, and maintain this proximity. i do live sound, and 99% of my problems getting vocals in the right spot with good tone are due to weak vocals and constantly varying proximity. using a comp on the vocal also increases bleed, especially from cymbals on my stage.
     
  9. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    I don't know about clean up but a Beyer M160N Ribbon would be a good choice to capture the voice and soften any harshness. That's where I would start next time.
     
  10. cjcayea

    cjcayea cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce

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    wow. i had no idea.
     
  11. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

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    thanks a lot guys. thanks for the tips. to answer a question I am the raspy singer in question. My low and mid range for the most can stay smooth and full but I find when I push it can get raspy and a bit nasally. I think it was a bit misunderstood I was not looking for anything to make me sound like a different person or a "cure all" more just something to smooth it out some. Thanks for the tips about mic position, trying to use a beyer or 47fet (I have no access to the 47) Also John, sorry I'm a little slow but what you were saying is you find its best to keep very close to the mic when singing live into a 58?
     
  12. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Well, if it's you we're talking about, it's much easier. Your not trying to do somthing or having a problem with someone elses voice! I can only say this because I sing too and come up short at times. Practice your a$$ off! The different gear and mic's I have used do make a difference, but none made as big of a difference as a few weeks of serious practice.

    Personally, I love it when a singer sounds a bit raspy so don't be over-critical of that. It could be a very cool trait of your voice.

    For live thickening, maybe a very short delay.
     
  13. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

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    Rob, thanks. Ya its just occassionally when holding out notes in the higher range there is a slight raspiness that I like sometimes but also at times wish did not exist. About practicing that's definitely good advice when I first started things were much different but with vocal lessons, daily practice, and lots of recording its helped a lot. I'm only 20 right now so I have heard that my voice will still change also... here's to hoping its a little smoother
     
  14. jammybastard

    jammybastard "I'm losing my edge, but I was there..."

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    I used to have the problem as well so I took 6 mos of singing lessons from a pro.
    The first thing she said was that I wasn't taking in enough air for the notes I was trying to sing.
    You get raspy from lack of air, so breathe deeper and fill those lungs!
     
  15. johnspeck

    johnspeck Member

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    i also took lessons from a top nyc coach. he taught me to 'place' my voice in the top back of my palate, to aid in clarity. make sure you're hydrated, and don't push when you hit the rasp. try different approaches to singing the same note (smile when you sing, literally grimace and it'll make the sound of your vowels change, sometimes helping to get a clear note)...

    like i said, i have a raspy voice, and i've done lots of sessions going for different 'shades', from mellow to aggressive.
     
  16. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

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    The last two comments thanks a lot i'll definitely try your tips. If anybody has any more advice I would really appreciate it.
     
  17. johnspeck

    johnspeck Member

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    and yes, i meant sing right with your lips basically touching the screen of the 58, it gets the best tone and signal that way.
     
  18. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

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    Thanks John, i'll try that out at practice tonight.
     
  19. stratocat63

    stratocat63 Member

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    I agree 100% that mic technique is critical to well recorded vocals. But I'm not sure I agree with keeping your lips on the mic; keeping your lips on that mic, you'll get the proximity response. Some people like it but a lot of times I don't, especially when a person sings right on it, but then backs off for the parts the have to push harder on. Then, that proximity bass response comes in and out and is noticeable. I don't particularly like that.

    I record one of my groups' live gigs about twice a week, and have found that staying off the mic 3-4" or so, yet projecting straight to it yields a more even recording (live). You really have to focus on projecting into the mic to make it work.

    But to each his own, whatever works best. I also agree about finding a mic that flatters your voice, certainly.
     
  20. johnspeck

    johnspeck Member

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    staying on the mic is a technique for live performance, not recording.
     

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