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Vocal EQ/Effects in Cubase

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  • Vocal EQ/Effects in Cubase

    my band just started making recordings at home, and we can never really get the vocals sounding great. my singing's not amazing to begin with, but it seems like we should be able to get it to sound better than it does. as it is, they're obviously too quiet(www.myspace.com/xheathergrey) but turning them up leaves them sounding way too "close." we tried using reverb but we dont really know a lot about what we're doing in that department, so it's just kinda blindly messing around with the knobs. are there any good, sort of "standard" reverb settings for vocals? the same goes with EQ. i'm still working on improving my singing, so i know that's a lot of it, but it feels like we're not doing all we can after it and i'd prefer to have some sort of base to go from if we're going to do that. thanks for any tips/suggestions

  • #2
    If you have some money to spend theres a plug-in(VST) you can get. Its called BBE Sonic Maximizer. I cant tell you how good it is on vocals, but I can tell you its does wonders to drums, guitar ,and bass. I add this to my drum track and it really brings out the full sound, it makes the bass sound "BIG" and it brings out every chord on a guitar. We dont have a singer but the BBE has a Volcal preset.

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    • #3
      Try adding some compression to the vocals.

      Also, are you using your reverbs as an insert on the audio tracks? If so, don't. Find a reverb you like, and insert it onto an aux track...then, send all the tracks that you want to have reverb to the aux track. This way you can adjust exactly how much reverb each track gets by adjusting the send of each track accordingly. This will help everything blend together better, and let you only have to use one reverb plug in in stead of multiple.


      For EQ'ing, aren't there some preset settings in the EQ in cubase? If so, I would start with some of those, then make adjustments...Anyway, I would roll off at around 80hz for vocals because you don't need all that bass. 1-8 Khz, is where the word definition is at mostly. 350 hz to 1 kHz is where the "warmth" is generally.

      Focus on taking away frequencies rather than boosting. I'd first find frequencies that don't add to the sound and find out how much you should cut them. Then focus on adding small boosts where you feel the sound is lacking, but keep in mind most EQ'ing is subtractive.

      Definitely check out some compression too, just don't overdo it as with all things.
      Originally Posted by Jimmy James


      Or you can try living on the southside of Chicago on eight dollars a month and learn some real blues phrases.



      YouTube • Soundclick

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      • #4
        I would first ask if youre using a decent large diaphram mike with a preamp to record the vocals first. If youre using a cardoid you will only get to a certain point sound quality wise. Next I would go into looking at the mix with something like Voxengo SPAN, a free frequency analizer to see what the frequency responce looks like for each track. Sometimes the vocals are fine and its some other instrument like drum cimbals, or guitars or something thats masking the vocals (Stealing its FQ responce space of where it should sit in the mix) I often catch myself trying to get the instruments sounding too BIG which is fine for instrumentals but bad if you have a vocal there. Lastly I would carve out the frequencies of the instruments masking the vocals, Add the right Compression settings, Set proper stereo fields, and add reverbs as needed to give it a 3D effect to instruments. Vocals are often dry with a littel reverb sitting dead center and its the instruments that are adjusted in to make it appear as setting back in the mix a bit. With SPAN view each track. If the guitars have alot of bass below 200 or trebble over 4000hz roll it completely down with an EQ, If bass gas too much hi end roll it off. If the drums have cymbals blasting at 5~9000 HZ tame them so it doesnt cover up the vocals. Any one instrument by itself may not sound 100% in comparison to what you may end up with but how it sits in a mix is a whole different game. Its the Art of mixing well recorded tracks to get them to blend well with eachother.

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        • #5
          My advice is to tweak away at those reverb plugins until you understand what they do a bit better. What reverb are you using? Cubase comes with one called RoomWorks which is not bad (not great either, but miles better than most free VSTs). It eats up CPU though, so take Shredda King's advice and run just one of them in an aux track with sends from each track you want reverb on. I typically do this for the whole mix with three or four different reverbs (short/dense, medium, long/airy and one as an effect).

          Solo the vocal track and listen to it while tweaking. Your goal is to make it sound like you're listening to a room the vocals were tracked in, rather than just the vocals with an effect on them. How that room sounds is up to you. You will probably want to mix the reverb in low, unless you're going for a spacey, atmospheric sound. Typically rolling off the high end (just on the reverb) is a good idea. 30 or so milliseconds of predelay will make the room sound bigger. If the vocals have a sense of depth/space to them, mission accomplished. The better the reverb plugin is, the easier this is to achieve. Just experiment and listen carefully and you'll start to figure it out. It won't come all at once though. Everyone is still learning, you know?

          That said, you'll probably want to use some compression and maybe EQ as well. Hopefully you're already doing these things.
          The Signal Studio on MySpace

          Download The Shapes's EP + 4 singles, FREE (I play drums in this band)
          Download Fist Of God's EP, FREE (I play guitar in this band)

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