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Probably a noob question. Involves singing/ screaming.


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Hello everyone,

I'm pretty new to singing with a live band, and I have hopefully what is a simple question.

 

When doing a combination of screaming (80% of the song parts we have) and singing, what is the best way to get the sound levels at an equal volume?

 

I belt it out pretty loud while screaming, but when I sing I can't seem to hear myself as loud as I would like to. I usually turn the levels on the mixer so that I just barely nick the red level light on the back of the speakers when I scream.

 

Do I need something like a compressor? Again, I know that there are a ton of bands that do this kind of thing, so I'm pretty sure this is common knowledge.

 

The only thing that I can think of is turning the levels way up on the mixer, and hold the mic further back when I scream. I just don't want to push the speakers that hard if I don't have to. I can't see the speakers while I'm screaming to tell if the red light is coming on.

 

Any advice is appreciated!

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I find it hard to believe that it's still too loud with your arm fully straight in front of you and the mic almost 3 feet away from your mouth. You need to improve your technique. Compression will help after that.

 

 

WTF? Who said anything was too loud, and where are you getting your measurements? The screams sound just fine. The singing fits the songs the way I want it to. It's just that the volume isn't coming in where it needs to be...And no, I'm not whispering. I'm actually singing.

 

Anyways, I guess I'm looking for tips from people who actually do this kind of vocal style. If there's a guide, please point it out. I've searched and haven't really found what I'm looking for.

 

And to Shaster, Yeah it's the limiter light. My bad. Compressor you say? Recommendations?

 

The only reason I mentioned the limiter light is because I would have to push it there for my singing vocals to come through compared to the screaming. I don't have to push the speakers that way to hear myself scream. There is just a big gap between screaming and singing volumes.

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Ok, I get what you're saying, and I appreciate the input. I guess I'm just worried that I'll be a little too close to the mic when screaming, and the limiter will be in the red. The speakers I have will shut off if it's in the red for too long. Or maybe worse?

 

I dunno man, I just don't think holding the mic that far away is going to work for me. I've seen a ton of bands do this, and they pretty much hold the mic in the same place the whole time. That's a compressor then?

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Hello everyone,

I'm pretty new to singing with a live band, and I have hopefully what is a simple question.


When doing a combination of screaming (80% of the song parts we have) and singing, what is the best way to get the sound levels at an equal volume?


I belt it out pretty loud while screaming, but when I sing I can't seem to hear myself as loud as I would like to. I usually turn the levels on the mixer so that I just barely nick the red level light on the back of the speakers when I scream.


Do I need something like a compressor? Again, I know that there are a ton of bands that do this kind of thing, so I'm pretty sure this is common knowledge.


The only thing that I can think of is turning the levels way up on the mixer, and hold the mic further back when I scream. I just don't want to push the speakers that hard if I don't have to. I can't see the speakers while I'm screaming to tell if the red light is coming on.


Any advice is appreciated!

you need to learn how to sing in a loud tone w/o being much louder. Takes practice.

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I dunno man, I just don't think holding the mic that far away is going to work for me. I've seen a ton of bands do this, and they pretty much hold the mic in the same place the whole time. That's a compressor then?

 

Maybe you scream louder than others. ;) The input section on your mixer needs to be adjusted to your loudest, so it won't clip. If your loudest is too loud and your quietest is too quiet a compressor will help.

 

That said, it's better if you control these things with your vocal and mic technique, it will help you in the future. Not every bar will have a compressor or a soundman and compressors themselves can be tricky.

I play bass and learning to match fingered and slap volumes is a good thing for me. I've used compressor live a few times, but doing the dynamics in my hands sound and feel better.

 

Also, check this video:

 

IYDMvg7xiXs

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Ok, I'm getting what you're saying, and it makes sense. I'm just worried that the speakers will clip when I scream and I won't be able to see it, but I'll just have to test the levels and see what they can do. I'll make sure to hold my mic far enough away. I could probably tell the band to turn down a little bit too. Thanks again for the suggestions.

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I didn't say that did I?


What I did say was that I would think a band screaming 80% of the time would get old pretty quickly. A little screaming can go a long way for many folks.

 

 

I understand what you're saying, and it might be a little much screaming for some. We're just a band making the type of music that we like to listen to. We're definitely not a cover band or anything. It's all originals. I don't expect everyone to like it. 20% singing is pretty generous for some bands in the metal genre though. Some of my favorite bands don't sing at all. Take that as you'd like.

 

Anyways, we have another practice session tomorrow, so I'm going to try a couple of different things. I've owned my PA equipment for less than four months, so I'm still trying to work with it. Vocal wise it's probably comparable to As I Lay Dying meets Alice in Chains meets Stabbing Westward, so maybe that helps for an idea of the vocals. Maybe something like Nothingface I guess?

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For your style you need a peak limiter just like a bassist who "pops" does. If yah wanna cheese out just to try it try one of these:

http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHMIC100

Set the limiting to only happen when you scream and not when singing and you should be fine. You can also try it without the limiter on and just overdrive it into tube distortion to see if you like that. What mic are you using?

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For your style you need a peak limiter just like a bassist who "pops" does. If yah wanna cheese out just to try it try one of these:


Set the limiting to only happen when you scream and not when singing and you should be fine. You can also try it without the limiter on and just overdrive it into tube distortion to see if you like that. What mic are you using?

 

 

Just bought one of those new Blue enCore 100 mics. Sounds fantastic actually. Very clear...

 

Thanks for the info.

 

(PS. No, I didn't buy it for the "core" in the name).

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Do you have monitors so you can hear yourself on stage? You can use them as a feedback tool to help figure out how far away to hold the mic. Good mic technique is difficult to achieve, and yet invaluable. When singing, try kissing (or "eating") the mic...use that for your level setting, a little below red. Add distance for screaming, but allow a little more volume for impact.

 

Compressors can help make up for some variations in vocals, but it takes a good sound engineer running FOH for you during a show.

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I've worked with a lot of bands that seemingly have a lot in common with your situation.

 

I'll suggest you'll need a ton a headroom in the system (10X capabilities beyond your "non scream levels), fairly large venues to perform in, the right band backing you up, the right audience, and a really good soundperson.

 

There's lots of reasons why.

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I give the guy 2 thumbs up :thu: :thu: at least he said he's not cupping the mic like most screamo bands. Like my nephew singer does. A DBX comp/limiter would be a something to consider fer sure. I use DBX 266 myself, one channel for audience members that had one to many drinks and like to scream in the mic when my x-singer did the pass the mic off trick not mention got drop few times, :facepalm: and then use the other channel for my bass heavy right hand. :cop:

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It might help you judge easier if you used In Ear Monitors?

 

Get a reference volume for when your singing normally / close to the mic. Then you just need to pull back to the level where it appears the same volume in your ears for the screaming.

 

A DBX266xl compressor would help too. I havn't met many vocalists that don't need a little bit of comp on their voice...

 

Ps. I'm not saying it's easy but it will help. Check out some Youtube vids of your favourite screaming/singing frontman and see how he's manipulating the mic.

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Thanks for all the advice guys. We have another practice tomorrow, so I'm going to try a couple of different things.

 

I also realized that I have an Aphex Punch Factory optical compressor sitting around. Worth a shot? I could run a 1/4 inch in, and it has a DI out. Or is it better suited for just instruments?

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Thanks for all the advice guys. We have another practice tomorrow, so I'm going to try a couple of different things.


I also realized that I have an Aphex Punch Factory optical compressor sitting around. Worth a shot? I could run a 1/4 inch in, and it has a DI out. Or is it better suited for just instruments?

 

I dunno I would just get a TRS Y cable and insert it on your vocal mic channel. Maybe some one here with more expertise then me, can chime in and let ya know if this application is dead wrong. One thing I like about this place the old timers on several occasions has set the record straight on a few occasion on my given advise, opinions and had my facts mixed up. :cop:

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You may not need to belt it out loud, in fact, you could do permanent damage to your voice. A vocal coach may be useful for you, and if you can find one who knows rock singing you should be able to pick up some exercises and techniques.

 

I read in Tape Op (2006 interview with Richard Barone) about recording Brian Johnson's vocals for AC/DC, in which the voice was surprisingly quiet, never loud (despite the tone quality). Sure, the studio is different from the stage. But isn't a loud voice really best suited to, for example, singing unamplified (as in, opera)?

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