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Seraphmoon

Need help with Gothic Rock vocals in Reaper

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Hi guys, so after some constructive criticism from some youtubers I recently purchased Reaper, and my friends and I are looking to do some better quality recording for some youtube covers and eventually some originals. I have done tons of research on recording and vst plugins, and I have my mind pretty much made up on all of them except for the vocals. Because I am singing in such a niche genre, I am not really sure what vocal plugins would be best for what I am going to be doing specifically.

I have a very low bass voice, and we are mostly going to be doing Type O Negative covers and other bands of the same sort, so I want something either geared towards that or something that at least has the tools to handle it. I am going to include a few links for the sound that I am trying to replicate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD5No_JRrZw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y0WKslm-3k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiOZ6VlM91M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyhLdI9fcH0

As you can see, all these bands have a sort of "epic" sound to the vocals which is what I am looking for, of all the dozens of videos I have seen on vocals or articles I have read, they are mainly describing how to get a commercial radio sound, which is not at all what I am looking for. 

There are 2 main things I was wanting help with from this post, one help picking out a vocal plugin, and secondly help with just a general starting point how to achieve their vocal sound.

I know that there is no all in 1 vocal processor that is better than buying the individual plugins, but I was hoping for some recommendations for a beginner like myself in a bundle. As I said, I have done months of research on this so I am not a complete idiot on the subject, but ease of use and hopefully many presets that would be useful for my purposes would be ideal.

And secondly achieving that sound, I know you can't cram years of vocal editing advice into a reply, but I was hoping for just a general starting point for me to go from. I just don't have the ear to be able to tell what they are doing. Effects? Number of vocal tracks? Just the basic stuff.

Also what would be a basic starting point for eqing my type of voice, I know you are supposed to boost what sounds good and cut out what sounds like crap, but I am not experienced enough to know what that is. 

Here is a link to a Woods of Ypres song, and then our cover of it to see what I am working with. Was just recorded with the camera mic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-zSyRQ5evE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-Af9UMqRCE

Equipment list:
UR44 Audio Interface
SM7B mic with cloudlifter

As I said, I have also pretty much made up my mind on the other plugins, but I am going to list them here, and if anyone has a better product in mind for what I am going to be doing, I am all ears!

Thanks, Brad

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Hi Brad, first of all, welcome to the forum. I have some experience with home recording, and I have read many things to educate myself. In my opinion, "specialty plugins" are cool because most of them will give you the exact sound you are after with little tweeking. I am not familiar with Reaper, as I use mostly Logic (for more serious things) and GarageBand (for practicing or just getting some ideas recorded). However, I think that with few exceptions (e.g. T-Pain's voice) you can achieve the same sound with other more general plugins and the right technique.

So, are you aware of basic fx and recording techniques used on vocals, such as EQ, Compressors (general and multi band), Delays, Reverbs, Exciter, and Chorus? Doubling or Double Tracking also is very important to achieve a thick sound, such as the one you are after. Doubling can be achieved in several ways, such as recording over and over and copy/paste lead vocals. BTW, I started a thread on the subject, so I could get other members opinions and tips: 

 

I'm adding other threads that hopefully could be useful to you:

Hopefully, other guys (more knowledgeable than me) might jump in and give you advice on plugins. Good luck man!

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Hey man thanks so much for the helpful reply and the links!  I am aware of the VERY basic techniques, and I know what all those effects do with the exception of the exciter, but I only know what they do in theory, have never actual used them.  Quite a few people have recommended Soundtoys 5 to me.

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12 hours ago, Seraphmoon said:

Hey man thanks so much for the helpful reply and the links!  I am aware of the VERY basic techniques, and I know what all those effects do with the exception of the exciter, but I only know what they do in theory, have never actual used them.  Quite a few people have recommended Soundtoys 5 to me.

Hi Brad, I'm glad you liked the links. I'm sorry I couldn't help more with the vocal plugins, as I just use what I have in Logic, and sometimes GarageBand. As I have no experience with Reaper, I was wondering if it didn't come already with some basic plugins that you could experiment with. Afterwards You could purchase some specialty plugins based on your needs. I think Robert Lunte (the founder of this forum) recommended the Izotope plugin for vocals. But I believe they are supposed to be good with vocals in general, not only one type/style of vocals. You are the one supposed to learn how to use them to make your vocal tracks shine. Cheers:bang:

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Welcome to the forum, Brad.

Speaking of Reaper, here's yet another thread that you may find of interest.

Also, note that Maestro Lunte has recommended Logic Pro X as well.

Hope this has helped.

 

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I have become familiar with Reaper. As for specialty plug-ins for voice, I have not used any that were not included in the Reaper download. In fact, I had good luck with the "Ozzifier," a chorusy doubling and panning kind of plug-in that is similar to how Ozzy Osbourne's vocal is processed.

So, even though I do not have a bunch of expensive 3rd party plug-ins to use or recommend, I do try to live by the credo of a number of recording engineers I have studied (as in reading their books half a dozen times or so.) If it sounds good, it is good.

I have read the Reaper manual and the after market book, Reaper Power Unleashed. Point being, if you can think of something to do, it can be done, usually in more ways than one.

And, with the plug-ins included in Reaper, don't get hung up on the name of a preset. For example, the compressor preset for modern rock vocals. You can use it on other instruments than just vocals. Same with reverb. And Glenn Fricker, who records and mixes mostly heavy metal, also recommends the plug-in set for Reaper, as well as a few others. In fact, he has a video called "the ten best plug-ins for mixing metal." And the Reaper set comes in at number 1. So, granted, he does not specifically mix goth rock but don't let that stop you.

Side point to illustrate my next point; Glenn tried a few fancy bass guitars for a track and it was not working out. Then he picked up a Fender bass made in Mexico, dirt cheap. Couldn't possibly be of help, right? Wrong, it has the right sound and gets used on a number of recordings, regardless of what the bass guitarist usually plays.

Point of this story and this post, it is not the gear, it is how you use what you have. A new expensive plug-in does not make the recording better. You make the recording better and you mix it by ear.

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