[linux-audio-user] How to get good vocal sound

Michael T D Nelson m_nels at gmx.net
Tue Dec 6 10:30:48 EST 2005


I've only done a (relatively) limited amount of recording. On the other 
hand, I have studied many recordings, and have read a lot about the 
subject... I'm slowly learning what works in practice.

In general, these are the steps which I would try to follow:

1. Try to make the raw acoustic sound as good as possible, thinking 
about the acoustics of the room, and the creation of the sound itself.

2. Pay a lot of attention to microphone choice, placement, and technique.

3. Try to make sure no other sounds on the recording interfere with the 
frequencies of the vocal. Apply parametric EQ where necessary, to cut 
appropriate frequencies. I did have a nice reference table of typical 
frequency ranges for a list of instruments, but I have mislaid it. The 
same information is probably freely available online. Play with the EQ 
until happy.

4. Maybe apply a little reverb, remembering that it often helps to apply 
the same reverb to all the sounds, as it lends a certain coherence to 
the mix. It is natural for all of the instruments to be performed in the 
same room in real life, I think.

5. That's about it I think.

Lots of people would also use some compression. This might help smooth 
out uneven dynamics, and possibly make the recording more polished.

Personally, I just try to get the original performance to be good. In my 
opinion, a decent musician should be able to control the dynamics of his 
playing. Dynamics are an integral part of music.

Just keep playing with plugins, and I expect you'll find what you want! 
I find it interesting to bypass all my plugins at some point - and 
listen to the raw sound again. I often find that I prefer it. Maybe 
that's just because I'm not experienced enough to use them yet!


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