Recording a loud vocal section of song????

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Hefalump, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Billinder33

    Billinder33 Member

    Jan 10, 2018
    I'm not a big fan of fader riding during tracking... Not only does the singer have to nail the track, so does the engineer. So personally I'd go with two tracks on this.

    If there's such a drastic change in the way the song is sung in this section(s), it may also make sense to effect these parts differently... much easier to do with separate tracks.

    Good luck!!
    Motterpaul likes this.
  2. Milkman

    Milkman Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Southern Ontario
    I have no experience with digital (DAW) recording (I use an engineer when I'm sitting on the player's side). My recording experience from behind the board is all with actual tape studios.

    In that context, you don't worry about "converters". You do have to watch you meters though.
  3. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

    Dec 16, 2010
    Encinitas, SoCal
    Let's answer this technically for the best results.

    1. Gain staging is very important. The last thing you want is distortion (from louder vocals), and so, the way to avoid that is to reduce the input (first stage) to the DAW, meaning the mic preamp. Riding the fader is post-electronics and will not prevent any electronic distortion (or even digital). So, the answer is to reduce the mic preamp input setting.

    2. Proximity effect - this is the difference in tone you get when moving closer to the mic - very close proximity means a much more bass-heavy result. The correct proximity should be found in both cases, but this is one reason why "mic technique" alone is not always the best solution. You could end up with a much thinner sounding vocal if he backs up from the mic and merely sings louder. Once again, the best answer is to find the right proximity for the section and adjust your mic preamp for the best level.

    3. I would go with separate tracks - it sounds like it is a part of the song that is a departure from the rest of the song, and so it is supposed to sound different from the other vocal. IF it is going to need different EQ, different compression and different verb/delay settings (IOW: different plugins) it is easiest to set that up on different tracks.

    All of this is based on the idea the part is radically different. If it is actually just a slightly louder part that only lasts a few seconds, and it is supposed to sound like the same singer, one advantage of digital is that you can record at very low levels and still get clean sound. So, it is also possible to just set up the mic/preamp for the loudest section of the song (so you don't record distortion), and just let it go. If needed, you can always bounce one of the parts to a separate track for mixing. Just be sure to record it cleanly.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  4. cram

    cram Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    Southern NH
    Timely to see this today

  5. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    like i said,
    i hear a lot of over-recorded, too hot tracks being played back here,
    and i'm sure it's from a lack of understanding of gain staging.

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