You may even have to cut 10-20dB out of the sound. In fact, any decent compressor can yield great results if set properly. I recommend starting with an attack time of 5 and a release time of 7 on the CLA-76. You put on effects and twist knobs just because a few articles told you to. For energetic, powerful vocals, try setting up a stereo slapback delay. Dylan Roth is a Songwriter and producer who's here to help people make music that lasts. They’re meant to tame that sibilance. Usually, a fast attack is your best bet when using a noise gate. Often with vocals you’ll have moments where the vocalist changes their tone. Then you need some “saturation”. It’s that “hiss” sound that you make with your tongue. If there are parts of your song that are too loud for the compressors, try using gain automation. There’s no hard rules here. To do this, turn the reverb time up to 4 seconds, then slowly move the time down until it sounds good to you. It’s pretty common to use a fast delay to create space in more produced genres, like R&B and pop. The longer the delay, the more obvious it is. LANDR is an instant online music mastering tool. Before you start: this step is optional. They compress a very specific part of the frequency spectrum, and are only triggered when that part gets too loud. So I’m going to set the release on the faster side. You need an EQ to make sure the vocal is as even and smooth as possible. Not sure how to use references? Do any of the frequencies jump out and get extra loud? } For more articles on audio recording, mixing, and production visit The Pro Audio Files. Sometimes the resonance isn’t that bad—a few dB should do the trick. What you don’t want to do is set the attack too short, or the shaping of consonants will be blurred. A fast attack (5ms) will make your vocals sound thick and heavy. This is great is you are trying to fill-out frequencies that weren’t really there in the original recording, because you can really saturate and compress the parallel signal and generate some very consistent dense harmonics. When you’re trying to create consistency in a song, they tend to stick out. Compression is usually a part of that equation. Get rid of any room resonances with an EQ, Control your dynamics with serial compression, Add a little space with some reverb or delay. It could make it sound much worse. One of my favorite parts of the CL 1B is the versatility of the attack and release times. To set up your serial compression, follow these steps: Remember, sometimes these settings won’t work throughout the entire song. document.write('<' + 'div id="placement_291816_' + plc291816+ '">'); With the release time, my goal is to pull up as much of the body of the voice as possible. Try to get the compressor pumping in time with the music. That said, a bone dry vocal is always going to sound weird. var AdButler = AdButler || {}; A slow attack (30ms) will make your vocals sound punchy and aggressive. If your vocal sibilance sounds normal, then don’t try to de-ess it! Now you’re going to do the same thing as we did with our vocal reverb—shape the tone with our EQ. But microphones tend to accentuate it, making it sound unnatural and harsh. Next, unlink the sides of your stereo delay. s.async = true; That way you’ll get a nice subtle shimmer without having to boost the top end of the vocal itself. As far as the width (Q) goes, just remember this: if it sounds like it’s in one specific area, a narrow Q will do. What volume automation might not catch is the very quick dynamic changes – loose spikes at the fronts of words. Our blog is a place for inspired musicians to read up on music & culture, and advice on production& mastering. AdButler.ads = AdButler.ads || []; This usually means a reverb time of less than two seconds. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. The more you practice, the better results you’ll get. Finally, you just have to mix the delay in! That way, any mixing moves you make will be more accurate and will get you closer to the actual sound you’re looking for. The exact number will depend on how obvious you want the effect to be. To help keep the vocals sounding natural, he sets the attack at its slowest and the release at its fastest. Over saturating will sound like crud, but just the right amount gives the impression of a richer sound. Once you’re done recording vocals, you need to take your time and mix them right. You only want the de-esser activating during sibilance. If you want more gain reduction, duplicate the plugin again. Then, turn on the “monitor” or “side-chain” mode. Finally, duplicate the compressor plugin. When it comes to hip hop, I like the fixed/manual setting, which uses an attack time of 1ms and a program dependent release time that varies depending on the vocal performance. Make your mail more musical First off, you need to clean up your vocal. Once you’ve found it, switch it back to regular. Serial compression is a technique where you use 2-3 mild compressors instead of 1 heavy compressor. Generally a fast attack and release, and a light ratio does the job. They have smooth punch then drums. Try to concentrate mainly on the biggest problem areas. Only one more step…. It’s called serial compression. Traditionally, this has NO feedback, which means it has only a single repetition. First, solo the vocal and loop a particularly sibilant part of the song. var plc291816 = window.plc291816 || 0; Examples of optical compressors would be the CL1B, the LA2A, LA3A, your stock Logic compressor has an optical mode, RComp has an optical mode – and don’t quote me on this but RVox has an “optical” sound to it, as does the “smooth” setting on the UBK-1. Eventually, you’ll be putting out vocal sounds that rival the stuff you hear on the radio. As always I’ll keep an eye on the comments in case there is anything that needs clearing up. When dealing with the articulation of the words, you’re primarily gauging your attack time. Here’s a few suggestions to get you started: There’s a thousand options you can choose from… Experiment with everything you can think of to create your own unique vocal sound! But vocals are not like drums. Many other compressors work very well for rap vocals – in fact, any decent compressor can yield great results if set properly.

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