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Thread: Editing Vocals

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    Editing Vocals

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    Hey I was just wondering about editing vocals
    What is the “standard” procedure of editing main vocals before final mix with instrumental?
    I did my first mix down & mastering and the final outcome was horrible. I know I need more time and practice but I guess something went wrong during process
    I am a newbie and many things aren’t clear to me , so this is basically how I proceed


    1. Cleaning the vocals by noise gate
    2. Normalization of vocals
    3. De-essing – here vocal lost bit of sharpness and become murky
    4. Delay
    5. Reverb
    6. Compression


    Is something missing here or should I add another effect
    I use shure 58 beta and before all those steps vocals were much brighter
    Any help will be much appreciated coz I feel bit lost watching all those videos about editing

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    First of all: Editing means trimming, cutting, aligning. Sometimes also Ss, Ts etc are separated and turned down by level, and the overall dynamic range is reduced manually so a compressor doesn't have to do the hole work.

    After a well done editing there's no need for a Noise Gate. Also Normalization is absolutely unnecessary.

    Than the first step should be to cleanup the vox by using an EQ (get rid of low frequency rumble and resonating frequencies).

    After this is done you can reduce dynamic range by using a compressor (or two, one for fast peaks, one for average loudness). Than you can musically shape the sound by using another EQ.

    If needed, you can also use Deesser, Saturation etc.

    Delay and Reverb aka time based effects are typical send effects. You can use EQ, Compressor on the delayed/reverbed signal as well.
    Last edited by rhythmgj; 11-08-2016 at 05:17 PM.
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  4. #3
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    I disagree about normalization, which I think is good practice. Otherwise, Mad is spot on.

    A noise-gate is usually a last-ditch Hail Mary type of approach. It's very difficult to get right even for experienced pros. If there is that much noise floor ( hiss/noise in the quiet spaces of your vocal), the you should probably do it over. Likewise de-essing; it is very easy to overdo. It would be better for you to actually edit (cut or volume envelope) the track, and add volume envelopes or EQ in the heavy sibilant areas than it would to go at it with heavy de-esser and noise gate without really knowing exactly what you're doing. It is a long, painstaking process, I know, which is why you might want to recut the vocal until you really feel that it's right. Otherwise, it is like you need some heavy bandages (maybe more than a little bandaid), but you decided to use a chainsaw to "fix" the problem instead.

    Also, be careful with compression. Over compression can kill a vocal too.

    GJ

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    Any DAW should have a trim/gain function in it's channels (at least every DAW I know/work with [Cubase, PT, Logic]does) to adjust the level to a usable value, let's say -12 dBfs.

    If Normalization is applied the file format changes to the mixbus resolution the DAW uses, so the file has to be saved in that format otherwise truncation is introduced. This means that file size raises. A waste of time and memory space I think.
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  8. #5
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    thank you for all your response. it might sound funny for you but as a newbie iam still unfamiliar with some language .
    does "Trim" means cutting frequencies rather than cutting length of vocals? Right?

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    What kind of genre are you working in? Different genres require different techniques - just to have an example when you are talking about *compressing* the vocal you would rather do it with electro/pop than with jazz or soul because there are still genres in which you want the vocal to be more kind of dynamic.

    Also even with good vocals you often have to tune some parts.
    Trim means adjusting the "length" of the audio or for example also like adjusting that vocal doubles / backings are perfectly right at the same time like the mainvocal.

    Hope thats helpful

    Greetings from Germany,
    Concave
    Last edited by Concave; 11-09-2016 at 03:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Concave View Post
    What kind of genre are you working in? Different genres require different techniques - just to have an example when you are talking about normalizing the vocal you would rather do it with electro/pop than with jazz or soul because there are still genres in which you want the vocal to be more kind of dynamic.

    Also even with good vocals you often have to tune some parts.
    Trim means adjusting the "length" of the audio or for example also like adjusting that vocal doubles / backings are perfectly right at the same time like the mainvocal.

    Hope thats helpful

    Greetings from Germany,
    Concave
    Hiphop to be precise
    I guess vocals shouldnt lack dynamism

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    Alright, for Hiphop you will definitely need good compression to have this "tight" and "strong" sound but just watch out that you don´t kill the dynamic. If you compress it too much it may not fit to the flow.

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    Normalization has nothing to do with reducing dynamics, by normalizing a recording you bring up the peak level to a certain value, mostly 0 dBfs.

    Matching a recording to the grid or doubled vox to the main vox is called aligning.

    I guess you're using free beats, most of them are squashed to death so you'll have to massively compress your vox to embed 'em.
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  13. #10
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    Oh yes thanks, I wrote "normalizing" instead of "compressing" - going to correct that!

    You are also right with aligning, but I think I am doing the one with the other. When I am aligning and I have a vocal double which holds a note longer than the main vocal (without wanting it) I trim and fade. I guess there may be better ways to do it but when I got to work on limited time I may just do it like that.

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