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#386594 - 12/27/16 06:31 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] How to not hear your voice when recording
Marty Sorensen Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 199
Loc: San Jose, CA
When I use the BIAB audio track for recording (as opposed to exporting the song into a DAW) I don't know how to stop feedback of my voice coming through the headphones, so, as it is, I hear my voice naturally but I also hear it in the headphones. I want the singer to see the chord display on the computer screen so he can follow along, as the words are typed there. But I want the singer to hear all the tracks except his own voice as he sings and records. Is this bad technique?
Thanks.


Edited by Marty Sorensen (12/27/16 06:56 AM)
Edit Reason: Clarify.

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#386734 - 12/27/16 05:16 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Marty Sorensen]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Personally, I don't think it's a good way to do things. It's not the way it's done in the pro studios.

A singer has to hear themselves when they sing or they get off pitch pretty quickly. The singer should only hear his/her voice in the headphones in addition to the music. If they need to hear the natural voice, they can lift one of the cups a bit.

If you are recording a vocal, the assumption is that the room is quiet and the singer is getting everything through the cans, and with enough volume to hear everything cleanly.

If, however, you wanted to have the singer NOT hear his voice in the cans, In order to hear the reference music clearly in order to sing with natural voice for reference, the music also has to be in the room loud enough. The mic then picks it up as well as the voice, and you get into phase issues and comb filtering of the music becomes a very real issue. Not counting the possibility of actual feedback and low frequency rumble.

It's best to have the reference music and the singer's voice together in the cans and the room totally quiet except for the singer's voice. Even with this setup, it's not uncommon to get headphone bleed into the sensitive condenser mic that is generally only a few inches away from the cans.

Yeah, bad idea.
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#386758 - 12/27/16 09:31 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Guitarhacker]
railway mark Offline
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Registered: 05/28/15
Posts: 36
I concur with Guitarhacker on this one. Having done quite a bit of vocal overdubbing in various studios over the years, I can say that you always want at least some of the vocal being tracked coming through in the headphone mix. Normally, that level might be lower relative to either the primary harmonic instrument(s) or lead vocal, if you happen to be recording harmonies. The question you might better be asking is how to adjust the mix for the vocalist for tracking. That's a fairly easy fix, as you simpy change the playback volume of each track to suit the vocalist's desires. It's a fairly simple thing. I hope this helps!

-Mark
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#386788 - 12/28/16 05:19 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Marty Sorensen]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5604
When I am recording a vocal, I want it to be the loudest thing in the mix I hear in the cans. I need to hear what I'm doing clearly.

If there are harmonies or leads, I will mute those tracks. If I'm recording a harmony, I will have the lead audible but at a lower level so that I have a reference to work against, but it's not the loudest one. My current vocal take is always the loudest thing in the mix.
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#386902 - 12/28/16 04:17 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Marty Sorensen]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
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Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
I always want a vocal I'm tracking in the cans along with a guide melody track of some kind.

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#386909 - 12/28/16 05:32 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Marty Sorensen]
Andy A - USA Offline
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Registered: 01/29/16
Posts: 260
RS, any preferences for melody track instruments (that might not be used in the final mix, just for vocal guide)?


Edited by Andy A - USA (12/28/16 05:33 PM)
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#386932 - 12/28/16 08:40 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Andy A - USA]
Tobias Offline
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Registered: 03/26/04
Posts: 1560
Loc: Way too close to Palm Springs,...
Originally Posted By: Andy A - USA
RS, any preferences for melody track instruments (that might not be used in the final mix, just for vocal guide)?


I've used Oboe to good success. It seems to cut through the mix, sustain notes with no vibrato, and does not sound too much like my own voice. I record a dummy vocal track or several to get a good idea of how I might express the song. Then I simply use my iRig Keys 37 to record a midi melody that is similar, does not have to be exact. After digging through midi instruments I usually end up with Oboe, no portamento, no vibrato. It helps me keep better pitch as I record my keeper vocal tracks.
I also put some reverb in my headphones. I use a Yamaha MG Mixer with digital FX. The audio output of my interface is connected to a stereo channel on the Yamaha MG mixer. My vocal mic goes through the front of my interface as the BIAB or DAW tracks are coming through via the USB connection. My headphones are connected to the hardware Yamaha MG Mixer, not directly to the interface. I simply mix in a little digital reverb so it's not so dry and it helps me stay on pitch. But not too much as I don't want it to make me think I sound better than I actually do.
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#386965 - 12/29/16 05:58 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Marty Sorensen]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5604
As a reference I like to use:

Drums.... sure beats a metronome
Bass
Acoustic guitar or piano
Lead instrument for solo's so I know where they are. (sometimes not)

I want a simple reference to follow. I often mute everything else including other vocal tracks depending of course on what I'm in the process of recording.

It can vary from one song to the next. I have been known to use the full finished mix as a reference because I record the finished vocal tracks last. Up to that point I have a simple scratch vocal for a place holder.
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#387008 - 12/29/16 07:48 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Marty Sorensen]
jford Offline
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Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10361
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
I also often use the oboe sound for the melody.
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#387090 - 12/29/16 01:29 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Marty Sorensen]
Marty Sorensen Offline
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Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 199
Loc: San Jose, CA
Thank you all. I'm just beginning so some things are beyond me, but I will study and practice.

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#387113 - 12/29/16 02:56 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Marty Sorensen]
Matcham Offline
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Registered: 07/05/16
Posts: 221
Loc: Byron Bay, NSW, Australia
Personally I like the song to be as complete as possible before doing the all important vocal. That's so that hopefully the dynamics of the vocal matches the song as it builds etc.
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#387149 - 12/29/16 07:24 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How to not hear your voice when recording [Re: Marty Sorensen]
Andy A - USA Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 01/29/16
Posts: 260
I can understand what you are saying, Matcham. I definitely hear a mismatch at times (all the time) when I change instruments just for vocal tracking; singing too softly, or too harshly. But, my hearing is crud-o-la, so I gotta have a crutch or take up jelly-making.

Oboe. Wow... I never would have thought. Great suggestion. I will definitely try that out. Thanks, JFord and Tobias!

And, thank you for the full description, Tobias. You sorta lost me right after dummy, but the reverb in the headphones may be something I can rig up. Often, I feel like the more clearly I hear my voice in the cans, the more I try to steer it, know what I'm saying? In real life I don't, but I do expect a little better for recording purposes. Maybe the reverb takes enough out of it that I could feel "real", like in the moment.

Herb, you are a pro. You don't count. You could whistle thru your toes and stay in key. Kidding aside, thank you for that. That's what I'm doing now, and it has proven to be the best set up so far; bass, a simple drum, more passion than a metronome but not all Keith Moon, and keys, sparse as reasonable to hear the melody but not walk all over my hearing.

You guys are the best. Thank you, Marty, for starting this thread so I could hijack it. You are the best, too!
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Andy

BIAB 2017 Ultra
Windows 8 and 10
Scarlet 18i8
Reaper and Mixpad

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