On Friday I managed to record vocals of my major project as I thought I couldn’t get them done due to the artist not turning up for the session. I had already set up the microphone and fired up pro-tool session ready to record. I transferred the audio files of my instrument from Ableton to pro-tools because I was going to use the neve desk and record into pro-tool then bounce the vocals take back to Ableton and mix them inside the box.
But my artist ended up not coming in for the session neither picking up his phone. All I had to do was to quickly write up a bit of lyrics for the track and using the remaining two hours of the booking to record them it’s a frustrating session as I had to think of the theme of the track and accompany its good lyrics.
After my booking finished I went and used the neve drum/recording room to record my vocals as the next person after my booking was just mixing their tracks and not using the drum room.
I recorded my vocals direct to Ableton using an AKG C414 microphone which I connected to a preSonus preamp and connected the amp direct to my laptop using a USB port.
The vocals on my track were not very clean as the I was of freestyling to the music and the microphone ended up picking up bleeds from the headphone that I wasn’t hearing while recording but were loud enough to be heard at the mixing stage. I knew I was going to spend much time try to edit the takes and pick out what was going to work out and leave what was going to work out.
The best part is I managed to get bits of good take that I ended up using on the track but had a hectic time trying to get all the takes to work out.
Budget of recording using limited resources
This process helped me learn that working under pressure and having limited resources can make one very production. So for those you who are looking at recording with a limited budget, this can be the way to go as everything can be done in the box. Invest in a good preamp and a good microphone but you should know that there is a hell of work waiting for you to edit and know that you going to end up with issues when mix.
A list of Showing the budget of equipment that I used.
PreSonus pre amp – $315
AKG C414 – $1,439
Mic Stand – $35
I edited my vocals and cut out all the parts of the recordings that I didn’t want then I left the good part I liked to use. To make the good parts of my recording I had to arrange different takes which had different volume levels and twisted them and also levelled them to make sure they kind of much and blend in together.
This is a massive “must have” tool for producers most those who are going to be editing vocals and dialogues. I just wish I knew this before It a save me much time and don’t regret the hours I spent watching its tutorials by Scott Hirsch on Lynda because it just made me get ready for the unwanted sound and reduced from the phone bleeds then were record to the microphone all this is done using the spectrum view on the wave foam and it also blends in the sounding sound to fix the part cut out. I was so amazed the tutorial and the final product I got when I used it.
This was the tool that I didn’t with my mixing but applied it to my on vocals and pitched them up to act as my backing vocals because I didn’t have any backing vocals recorded I also used it the transform my vocals in an instrument that am definitely going to use for my CIU Hip Hop project because the transformed vocal sampled suited well with my production and sound like they are sample of a female vocalists. I used the amplitude tool of the program to levelling the volume of my vocals as they were all from different takes that had different tones and volume levels. because I pick various sample from lots of different takes. I tried to play around its built-in mixer but didn’t like it so I had to bounce out my tracks and imported the back to Ableton where I didn’t my final mixing.
I used the Ableton built eq eight to clean up all my entire vocals and celebrity cut both low and high ends on what I used as my backing vocals to give them the narrow telephone like sound and blended it with the main vocals that I layered together. I cut out the bad offending frequencies (mids) that were kind of crushing with the instrumental which I mix fast before recording vocal to it. I also cut out the low-end frequencies below 110 Hertz. The only problem I had was to try and fix the vocals the instrumental as it was already mixed. I also removed sibilance from the vocals using the waves DeEsser thou it it affected my vocal making them sound like i was signing in a palm fix. i back off the threshold and it went back to normal. Finally cranked up the vocal level using the wave Vcomp compressor.
It was a very stressful process getting everything done it a short period of time and I believe I won’t end up with a good product but at least I managed to work under stress and got work done in a limited time using limited resources. I will never record vocals in a rush as it’s a hectic job to edit and mix them perfectly. what I have learnt in this project is to know that the project plan will never work out 100% as it drafted so I should always have a backup plan and solution to for a unexpected problems that might occur.