Vocal effect tips?

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Vocal effect tips?

Postby Pickslide1992 » 06 Jan 2012 12:15

Hey guys, I mentioned this in another thread about how I want to do 80's pop/electropop versions of the show's songs, and I need a way to work with the vocals to make them not stick out like a sore thumb.

I was thinking of adding reverb, some chorus and flanger, maybe a bot pf delay, but are there any certain techniques I should be aware of?

Keep in mind I'm a bit of a newbie at FL Studio and I work with a few VSTs (Mini Mogue is one of my favorites)
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby CGEyeGuy » 06 Jan 2012 13:09

You could try Newtone, it is like Melodyne
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby TheSunAndTheRainfall » 06 Jan 2012 13:13

I'd recommend messing around with the EQ, FL Studio should have an incredibly versatile EQ (Parametric EQ 2), and it has some nifty telephone and old radio presets. And don't hesitate adding effects that have nothing to do with anything, or just trying out weird shit. You never know what you'll come up with.

Also yeah, Newtone, it's pretty fun.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Versilaryan » 06 Jan 2012 14:04

No idea how they did it in the 80's, but here are some tips you can try.

First, compress the vocals. That should be the #1 thing to keep vocals from sticking out -- what it ends up doing is it evens out the volume so most of the singing is at the same volume. That way, you don't have to put in a million automation envelopes to keep the vocals even.
I'm pretty sure it also affects the character or the harmonic content or something, because I swear compression makes the vocals more agreeable in more than just volume. But that could just be me.

Of course, EQ it, too. If you have pads or something that really makes the vocals hard to hear, EQ out the mids in those background parts when the vocals kick in. That lets you make the vocals even softer without making them harder to hear. Alternatively, if you have a lot of cymbals or synths with prominent high frequencies, that can make it hard to hear consonants, so dip the high frequencies of those when the vocals are going.

Put a stereo widener on the vocals and expand them slightly. Alternatively, re-record (or copy/paste the vocal track and cut a few milliseconds of silence out of them so they're slightly out-of-time with the main vocals), make them really soft, and hard-pan them left and right. This will add some stereo presence to the vocals to make them pop without making them louder and stick out mix-wise. If you re-record, make sure you don't sing the consonants as hard as you normally would. If your timing is off a little too much, it ends up sounding messy.
Or, you could just sing harmonies, hard-pan those left and right, and make them barely audible. A lot of people do this sort of thing to emphasize key phrases or the chorus, especially in pop where vocals are key.

And then, of course, reverb, and some light delay. If you do use delay, though, you're going to have to automate it (or side-chain it to the vocals) so that it's not as prominent when the vocals are actually going. Having an echo effect when the vocal stop is pretty cool, though.
Last edited by Versilaryan on 06 Jan 2012 14:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby HMage » 06 Jan 2012 14:14

Versilaryan wrote:No idea how they did it in the 80's, but here are some tips you can try.

First, compress the vocals. That should be the #1 thing to keep vocals from sticking out -- what it ends up doing is it evens out the volume so most of the singing is at the same volume. That way, you don't have to put in a million automation envelopes to keep the vocals even.
I'm pretty sure it also affects the character or the harmonic content or something, because I swear compression makes the vocals more agreeable in more than just volume. But that could just be me.

Of course, EQ it, too. If you have pads or something that really makes the vocals hard to hear, EQ out the mids in those background parts when the vocals kick in. That lets you make the vocals even softer without making them harder to hear. Alternatively, if you have a lot of cymbals or synths with prominent high frequencies, that can make it hard to hear consonants, so dip the high frequencies of those when the vocals are going.

Put a stereo widener on the vocals and expand them slightly. Alternatively, re-record (copy/paste the vocal track and cut a few milliseconds of silence out of them so they're slightly out-of-time with the main vocals), make them really soft, and hard-pan them left and right. This will add some stereo presence to the vocals to make them pop without making them louder and stick out mix-wise. If you re-record, make sure you don't sing the consonants as hard as you normally would. If your timing is off a little too much, it ends up sounding messy.
Or, you could just sing harmonies, hard-pan those left and right, and make them barely audible. A lot of people do this sort of thing to emphasize key phrases or the chorus, especially in pop where vocals are key.

And then, of course, reverb, and some light delay. If you do use delay, though, you're going to have to automate it (or side-chain it to the vocals) so that it's not as prominent when the vocals are actually going. Having an echo effect when the vocal stop is pretty cool, though.


I agree with everything written here. I'd write essentially the same thing.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Freewave » 06 Jan 2012 14:39

Brilliant Versilaryan, that's a keeper. Greatly appreciated.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Sonarch » 21 Nov 2012 15:04

Alright, I have come to the realization that I haven't really made any music since joining here, and one reason for that is I don't have anything for compression, but I know there are a lot of free vsts for compression out there. Are there any that widely used around here because they're really good or easy to use?
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Captain Ironhelm » 21 Nov 2012 15:45

Sonarch wrote:Alright, I have come to the realization that I haven't really made any music since joining here, and one reason for that is I don't have anything for compression, but I know there are a lot of free vsts for compression out there. Are there any that widely used around here because they're really good or easy to use?


http://www.kvraudio.com/q.php?search=1&q=compressor

Enjoy! ;)
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Sonarch » 21 Nov 2012 15:46

Captain Ironhelm wrote:
Sonarch wrote:Alright, I have come to the realization that I haven't really made any music since joining here, and one reason for that is I don't have anything for compression, but I know there are a lot of free vsts for compression out there. Are there any that widely used around here because they're really good or easy to use?


http://www.kvraudio.com/q.php?search=1&q=compressor

Enjoy! ;)


Thanks!
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Navron » 21 Nov 2012 17:39

Pardon me asking, but what VST host/DAW are you running that doesn't come with a compressor?
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Sonarch » 21 Nov 2012 18:04

Well, I can't seem to find anything in Acid that does compression. I'm not sure I would have chosen Acid myself, but my parents got it for me for Christmas last year, and I didn't know about any other programs. I might switch my DAW at some point, but I want to at least be able to do some basic things like recording until then.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby XXDarkShadow79XX » 23 Nov 2012 10:14

Sonarch wrote:Well, I can't seem to find anything in Acid that does compression. I'm not sure I would have chosen Acid myself, but my parents got it for me for Christmas last year, and I didn't know about any other programs. I might switch my DAW at some point, but I want to at least be able to do some basic things like recording until then.


just don't Forget Like moST people do: no daw is sUperior to any other Daw; It just depends On your workflow.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Sonarch » 23 Nov 2012 10:24

Indeed.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Omegastick » 23 Nov 2012 10:55

XXDarkShadow79XX wrote:
Sonarch wrote:Well, I can't seem to find anything in Acid that does compression. I'm not sure I would have chosen Acid myself, but my parents got it for me for Christmas last year, and I didn't know about any other programs. I might switch my DAW at some point, but I want to at least be able to do some basic things like recording until then.


just don't Forget Like moST people do: no daw is sUperior to any other Daw; It just depends On your workflow.

What happened to your shift key?
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby SticktheFigure » 23 Nov 2012 12:01

Omegastick wrote:
XXDarkShadow79XX wrote:
Sonarch wrote:Well, I can't seem to find anything in Acid that does compression. I'm not sure I would have chosen Acid myself, but my parents got it for me for Christmas last year, and I didn't know about any other programs. I might switch my DAW at some point, but I want to at least be able to do some basic things like recording until then.


just don't Forget Like moST people do: no daw is sUperior to any other Daw; It just depends On your workflow.

What happened to your shift key?

Subtly is what happened, sir.
You'll catch on eventually.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Omegastick » 23 Nov 2012 12:59

sOrry, He stIll makes no sense. arG, this is killing me. can anyone Explain iT for me? the grammazr nazI inside is going To start crying soon.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Sonarch » 23 Nov 2012 15:11

ChiLl, dudE. you'll catch on VERy soon if you Gather your wIts aRound yourseLf
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Omegastick » 23 Nov 2012 18:07

Did I just get called a raptor?
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Sonarch » 23 Nov 2012 18:54

More Along the lines of a verY liBerated consciEnce.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Sonarch » 23 Nov 2012 18:59

Moreover, theY are the GOoD Types of sHeep In hiS Insecure poSsession. Throwing that election woUld bRNING fIrey rage upoN The very peOple we Try so Hard to protEct. SPecifics Are unnecessary aMong Trusted colleagues, and tHose who READ my sentence will realize it makes no sense because i'm bad at this.
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Mondogreen » 24 Nov 2012 21:53

Sonarch, as a fellow Acid user, I'll tell you right now.... that I don't really mess with compression in Acid. There's a plug-in called "Wave Hammer Surround Sound" that I use when I really need to EQ something like vocals, but for the most part, when I'm done with a track, I just mute everything and then bring everything up to volume as I need to. Clearly I'm no expert! XD
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Re: Vocal effect tips?

Postby Sonarch » 24 Nov 2012 22:08

Oh, thanks man, that's not a bad technique if you ask me!
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