Get That Professional Sound!

NoTurning wrote on 5/5/2009, 8:28 AM

Magix makes song writing easy and with professional samples your song can sound great without much need for mixing... that is until you want to add vocals to your track.

A trick that pros (and just about every recorded band) use is called vocal overdubbing. Now this takes a lot of practice and patience. If you don't do it right your vocal will sound like a chorus effect and out of sync.

To start... get a good mic, I can not stress this enough. A large diagram condenser can be had for not a lot of money. Do not be fooled into these cheaply manufactured mics though - get and Audio Technica AT2020. Then of course you should have a good preamp too but that's another topic.

Next, WARM UP YOUR VOICE - do some DO RE ME and pitch matching. Then record yourself singing along with your song - do this as many times as it takes to get it just right. Once you're 100% happy with your vocal track SAVE YOUR WORK!

Finally, Record yourself again on another vocal track singing along with yourself. You must sing exactly the same as before and this will take several takes. We've spent hours in the studio doing this. You will be playing your song over and over and over. Once you've got a good match you will have an overdubbed song that sounds fantastic. You vocals will be full and robust and have that professional edge you've been missing.

Do not try to copy one vocal track two times - it doesn't work that way. The nuances of singing twice are what make this method so popular.

Now polish your song by keeping your vocals right in the middle of the stereo field, pan your bass a bit left, your guitar a bit right and add a touch of reverb to your drums to send them to the back a bit. This will create a full song spread across the stereo spectrum.

Don't forget to post your results here,
Justin

Comments

mattj wrote on 5/6/2009, 4:29 PM
WOW!!! I always thought they just copied and pasted the track and slid it just a hair over, but it never sounded good at all to me.  Thanks for pointing that out!!!! ^.^
Former users wrote on 6/27/2009, 4:16 PM
awsome!i dont sing but this is pretty cool.
satoriea wrote on 7/14/2009, 3:18 AM
This is really good points and advice. I dont sing and extremely new to this music making but this is a golden tip. Thanks for sharing.

Satoriea
kapitalk wrote on 8/4/2009, 8:24 PM
good tip I'll keep this in mind
volvox wrote on 11/25/2009, 6:35 PM
Justin, I have taken years of voice lessons and have sung with several groups. Your advice about warming up is right on. And it does take repeatition to get the correct sound. I'm very new at Music Maker  and am having a blast. Learning how to put video to my first song. Hope to be on "You Tube" soon!  Your advice on laying down several different tracks of your voice is what I've been looking for, thanks.
nihon94 wrote on 4/16/2010, 1:13 AM
Hi, very impressive method. Thank you for sharing. I am new to MMM 16 Premium and I wonder what you have said(copied below) we can achieve in MMM 16 Premium if so how? or if it is not for MMM 16 Premium then sorry.

"Now polish your song by keeping your vocals right in the middle of the stereo field, pan your bass a bit left, your guitar a bit right and add a touch of reverb to your drums to send them to the back a bit. This will create a full song spread across the stereo spectrum."

I will appreciate even a slight hint from you.


Procyon wrote on 1/17/2011, 9:35 AM

nihon94 - Justin (NoTurning) doesn't seem to post here anymore, so I will comment.

 

What he is talking about here is basic mixing.  It applies to any arrangement, but more so to vocal and instrument tracks that have been recorded live.

 

The goal is to create a wide and dimensional stereo soundstage.  If you do not do this, most of the vocals and instruments will be "stacked up" in the center of the soundstage.  This will make the arrangement sound "muddy" and the vocals/instruments indistinct.

 

The goal is to give each vocal/instrument their own "space" across the stereo soundstage.  In this way, the ear can hear them as distinct and separate vocals/instruments.  This will also make the arrangement MUCH more pleasant to listen to.

 

This is accomplished after the arrangement has been completed and before any mastering.  You will use the mixer to PAN each instrument/vocal track to create aural separation.  As Justin said, and vocals are usually held to the center, although a slight separation (and reverb) on background vocals may give it more depth.  While the drums are generally held to the center, he recommends adding reveb to "push them back" in the mix, which also gives them separation and "depth".  Other instruments are panned either a little left or right - or hard left and hard right.

Obviously, dedicating separate tracks to a single instrument/voice is highly recommended.

 

One important thing to be aware of is instruments of similar timbre and/or frequencies. For example, two voices singing harmony must be separated in the soundstage or else they will blend too much and sound muddy and indistinct.  Instumentation with greatly different timbre can share the same "space", such as vocals and drums.

martinheeremans wrote on 10/14/2015, 5:20 AM

 

Here's a couple I made. Let me know what you think.