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What vocal effects or plug-ins do you use?

SideBMusic

Member
Messages
1,520
This is actually two questions.

1. What effects and settings do you like to use to bring out the best in your voice?

2. What effects do you like to use to create a unique, creative, interesting sound to your vocals?
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,929
I've got a Yamaha SPX 90 and I like the Symphonic effect on some vocals. It's a type of deep chorus but it can be adjusted to not be swirly, more of a spacial expander. Otherwise, besides the traditional verbs or carefully chosen delays, I like to double track my vocals. I do this so it doesn't sound like multiple takes... I'll do 3 vocal takes, one in the center and two panned hard left and right, but with the highs knocked down a bit and less compression than the center track. If I want it to sound loose, i'll just do 2 tracks panned L+R and apply the same comp and eq settings.. But double and tripple tracking doesn't sound right for all of my material. For one song, I added a whisper track. Thats just what it sounds like, a whispered track on a bridge part.

Not to boast my singing, but you have to be pretty consistant to get a double or tripple tracked vocal to sound right. I don't have much range but I manage to lock up pretty well with myself. My drummer can sing and he sings a few songs on our latest effort. He's got kindof a Billy Gibbons type voice but when he tries to double track, it sounds like 2 guys singing.

So, bump for a good thread idea....i'm always intersted in new ideas for vocals.
 

Rusty G.

Member
Messages
3,143
I generally use the typical TDM plug-ins, especially the Renn-Maxx set. . .

Generally, a reverb to give it a little ambience; Add to that, a little compression to bring it back to the front of the mix; A De-esser, and generally, that's it. I try not to E.Q. a vocal unless it's necessary because of too much noise in the same frequency.

Now, for special effects, you can add a little delay, like say 30-50 seconds to one side of the mix, makes the vocal a little fatter for thin voices.

For a neat effect, try adding a little chorusing, which will also make a thin voice or not so good performance seem better (but, this effect only goes so far in fixing a bad performance).

Another thing I've done before is to run a Dry track along with a "wet" track, which might have reverb, delay, compression, e.q. and chorus all in one sound. That gives a unique effect if you mix them to taste. Instead of panning them, try running both tracks right down the middle, almost in mono, or say just a little off center for the effect.
 

SideBMusic

Member
Messages
1,520
I like to double track my vocals. I do this so it doesn't sound like multiple takes... I'll do 3 vocal takes, one in the center and two panned hard left and right, but with the highs knocked down a bit and less compression than the center track. If I want it to sound loose, i'll just do 2 tracks panned L+R and apply the same comp and eq settings.. But double and tripple tracking doesn't sound right for all of my material. ...

My drummer can sing and he sings a few songs on our latest effort. He's got kindof a Billy Gibbons type voice but when he tries to double track, it sounds like 2 guys singing.

So, bump for a good thread idea....i'm always intersted in new ideas for vocals.
I don't know why I didn't think about doing a thread like this before.

Your comments on double-tracking really grabbed my attention. I like to do that as well. Think is, often my result sounds more like a choir than sweetening the vocal. I love the harmonies like The Beach Boys, CSNY, etc. But it is interesting that when Brian Wilson doubles a vocal it still sounds like one person, or at least it doesn't sound like two guys singing. I really wish I could figure out why that is because I want to be able to do it.
 

SideBMusic

Member
Messages
1,520
Another thing I've done before is to run a Dry track along with a "wet" track, which might have reverb, delay, compression, e.q. and chorus all in one sound. That gives a unique effect if you mix them to taste. Instead of panning them, try running both tracks right down the middle, almost in mono, or say just a little off center for the effect.
I'm glad you brought this up. Although I have used this before I was wondering if it is the same as doing the following. If the vocal track outputs to Outputs 1-2 and it also has a send to Bus 1 with effects is that the same as having the two tracks as you mention? Since both go to Outputs 1-2, one dry and one with the effects, I would think that would be the same. True?

Yeah, and running them right on top of one another is very cool. So is stacking harmonies. Quite different than panning the harmonies to different places.
 

SideBMusic

Member
Messages
1,520
I usually track through a gentle compressor plus a limiter if needed. At mix will often patch in another comp, an EQ or two. Plate 140 on the UAD, tape delay, or a Memory Man on a reamp. Maybe an Effectron II with the input overloaded. Sansamp. An AC30. Loop it out to a 4 track cassette recorder. Send it to a speaker set outside and mic it.
That sounds quite interesting, especially that you loop it to a tape recorder and mic it from a speaker. What is it about the sound that this process brings to you?

Is there a way we could hear the result isolated from instruments?
 

Powerpopfan

Member
Messages
582
Yep, Im a double-tracker too. Partially out of self-consciousness about vocal weakness, but also because I love the retro sound of it. I too use some compression (outboard Focusrite), a little slap delay, and a touch of reverb. I don't pan the lead vocals too much in the stereo field because that's where I'm usually putting background vocals.

and
I generally use the typical TDM plug-ins, especially the Renn-Maxx set. . .

Generally, a reverb to give it a little ambience; Add to that, a little compression to bring it back to the front of the mix; A De-esser, and generally, that's it. I try not to E.Q. a vocal unless it's necessary because of too much noise in the same frequency.

Now, for special effects, you can add a little delay, like say 30-50 seconds to one side of the mix, makes the vocal a little fatter for thin voices.

For a neat effect, try adding a little chorusing, which will also make a thin voice or not so good performance seem better (but, this effect only goes so far in fixing a bad performance).

Another thing I've done before is to run a Dry track along with a "wet" track, which might have reverb, delay, compression, e.q. and chorus all in one sound. That gives a unique effect if you mix them to taste. Instead of panning them, try running both tracks right down the middle, almost in mono, or say just a little off center for the effect.
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Messages
7,106
Copy the vocal to another track and compress the crap out of it, then blend to taste. The compression keeps the fine details clear, while the uncompressed version preserves the dynamics.

Harmony singers. I work in a band with alto and soprano harmonies and it's just a blast.
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,432
Great thread and suggestions so far. I'll tell you what I've been using with vocals lately: I generally don't double track when I record a vocalist. This doesn't mean I think it's a bad idea, it's just not part of how I think.

I've been having what I hope are nice results with both the URS "N" series and Waves V Series Neve emulations for vocals, both EQ and compression. I especially dig them on female vocals, they seem to add a nice sheen at just the right frequencies.

These two sets of plugs sound very much alike, it's very hard for me to tell the difference. Anyway, I think they're equally useful, tho I'm not sure you need one of each. ;)

For male vocals, it really depends on the vocal range. There's some stuff that just needs to be controlled with compression, and some that doesn't need so much. For EQ, I've had good results with the URS SSL emulation on male vox.

Also...the waves Renaissance Vox plug is damn good at what it does. You can get a really nice dynamic easily with it, and I'd highly recommend it.
 




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