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MDEW

Recording effects and self improvement

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    I use a digital recorder that records the effects in real time while recording. With this recorder I cannot add effects after the track is laid down other than a master effect which is applied to all tracks. I usually check for decent sounding preset for my microphone before recording and use headphones.

    My questions are.....How much does this effect the initial sound being produced by you the singer. And can it interfere with overall voice production?

An example would be....Does too much Bass in the EQ lead to a higher larynx to compensate for the sound and vice versa, too much treble lead to other compensations. ect...

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It's best to have the sound as crystal clear as possible when recording, save perhaps a little reverb. That way, you can truly hear what you're doing and not overcompensate in any way. So, to answer your question, yes, to a point. As long as you can hear yourself well, you shoudl'nt ever overcoompensate too much, but it willl definitely affect how you sing a little.

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28 minutes ago, Draven Grey said:

It's best to have the sound as crystal clear as possible when recording, save perhaps a little reverb. That way, you can truly hear what you're doing and not overcompensate in any way. So, to answer your question, yes, to a point. As long as you can hear yourself well, you shoudl'nt ever overcoompensate too much, but it willl definitely affect how you sing a little.

When I leave the channel clean and flat..... no effects or EQ....... It sounds muddy, as if singing into a cardboard  box..... Is there a way to tell if it is really my voice or crappy microphone/ recorder? While cycling through the effects and presets for the microphones I can find sounds that match what I perceive in my head to those I hear while using the microphone. It does pull my voice away from that boxed in sound. 

I also realize that this is why one needs to stand in front of a real teacher, what you perceive and what others hear can and usually is something different. But is there a baseline setting for a microphone that should pick up the true quality of a sound?

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Every microphone is different. And since every voice is different, each micriphone amplifies different aspects of te voice for different people. That's why recording engineers often setup an array of microphones to test a singer's voice, and then chooses the best sounding one for them. After that, it still needs EQ'ed. Generally, drop everything below 40Hz and above 15kHz. 250Hz controls warmth, 500Hz to 1kHz "honk", 2kHz to 3kHz the main part of the human voice, 4kHz edge, 8kHz grit (for lack of better term), 10kHz+ sibilance.

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 I have a Shure Pe50sp Super pro from the 70s. Years ago I could have sworn it was a SM57 or 58. I think someone switched it during a gig in the last 10 years.:39: And I have an Electro voice 635a unidirectional announcers microphone. Professional quality in its day.....circa 1960....A definite change in sound between the two.

 Thanks for the info on the EQ settings. What is the major difference between Parametric and Graphic Eqs? My recording device is all parametric. Once I transfer the songs to computer I have access to Graphic, but it still effects all tracks.

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Thanks Draven, One of my problems was that the signal input on the mic was too low. I was not getting any volume until I turned the effects on. This is a portable recorder and I have been moving it from place to place in the last couple of weeks. The trim button is flush with the top of the recorder and I did not think that it would move in transport. No matter what I did with the effects and EQ the voice would always come out sounding thin, far away and hollow. There was not enough signal coming through to capture the mid frequencies.

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As you'll see in Adolph's links, they are pretty much the same. The maain difference is that you can see the live wave form in the graphic one, and it's easier to sweep the EQ bands to other places.

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MDEW, recording with effects is not recommended.  Reverb, Compression and EQ all have various ways of misleading your performance.  The EV mic that you have mentioned is a pretty good microphone.  You should have no issues getting a really good recording unless your gain is weak.  

Best way to record is to use a soundcard like Scarlett 2i2 and add effects after the recording in a DAW.  However, low end soundcards are notorious for lack of gain and require a bump through something like Cloudlifter - CL1.  I moved from a condenser to a dynamic + Cloud lifter CL-1 combo and now my dynamic sounds like a condensor mic. 

You need to get accustomed to tracking RAW with no effects.  That is the best reflection of your actual singing.  If it is muddy, it is probably because your technique is not upto par.  You can use a low pass filter, but ideally you should aim for a voice that is "good enough" with no effects.  Then when you do start applying effects, it really has an amplifying effect on your performance. Hope this helps.  

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