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Blending? HELP PLEASE T_T

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Post by jetz Mon May 02, 2011 4:09 am

So a problem I had for a long time is blending the vocal track with the instrumental track. The vocal track always sounds off, like it was just pasted over the instrumental track -_- and after having to deal with this problem for 4 years I finally decided to look for help. How can I fix this? T_T I just want my cover to sound more professional, or at the very least I want the blending to be done right T_T

If you want a sample of my work, please visit my YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

Here's my recording process. I either use Audacity or Adobe Audition, though I tend to use Audacity more because I've known that program longer and I only heard of Adobe Audition early this year XD I import the instrumental track, then I record my vocals over it. I try to get the timing right using the time shift tool and increase the volume here and there. Of course I know that's not gonna cut it, but I've only known how to do those things since I started recording >_< I don't know what else to do T_T

Earlier today, I learned about the hard limiter. I dunno how to explain it clearly but I make the frequencies more uniform, I think? XD yeah, I really have no idea with this XD

So yeah, I really need all the help I can get! Can anyone give me tips? Any help will be really appreciated T_T

And here's some additional info - the current mic I'm using is Philips SBC MD150. I dunno if I should add boost to it or how far it should be from my mouth or whatever >_< If anyone can tell me how to use this mic to the best of its ability I'd be really thankful!

Thanks for reading this ridiculously long post! I hope there's someone out there who can help T_T
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Post by Hikari Mon May 02, 2011 4:42 am

I think zooming right into the waveform(i think it's called that?~) would be good, because then you can see the EXACT EXACT EXACT point where you need to put your vocals so it fits with the karaoke/instrumental. Because even a few milliseconds can effect your final piece and it will be obvious that it's not matched up right. If you know what I mean... I'm so sorry, I'm bad at explaining. Crying

I hope this helped! I'm not expert at Audacity or anything... but yeah. I hope this helped!! Happiness
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Post by jetz Mon May 02, 2011 5:17 am

Hikari wrote:I think zooming right into the waveform(i think it's called that?~) would be good, because then you can see the EXACT EXACT EXACT point where you need to put your vocals so it fits with the karaoke/instrumental. Because even a few milliseconds can effect your final piece and it will be obvious that it's not matched up right. If you know what I mean... I'm so sorry, I'm bad at explaining. Crying

I hope this helped! I'm not expert at Audacity or anything... but yeah. I hope this helped!! Happiness

Yup yup I understand, don't worry! It's about matching the timing of the vocals with the instrumental right? I totally agree! It's hard sometimes though x_x Thanks for your tip! Smile
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Post by AmyAnn Mon May 02, 2011 7:33 am

I like to use the compressor tool. If you select everything it'll match up the waves so that they blend alot nicer together. May have to lower the music down a tad bit more but it usually works for me.
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Post by jetz Mon May 02, 2011 8:26 am

AmyAnn wrote:I like to use the compressor tool. If you select everything it'll match up the waves so that they blend alot nicer together. May have to lower the music down a tad bit more but it usually works for me.

Oh yeah I keep forgetting to use that >_< thank you very much!
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Post by Jefferz Wed May 04, 2011 2:42 am

I would reccomend adobe audition over audacity just because there's a lot of effects and fancy stuff to play around with that audacity doesn't have. One of the first things you should do is use noise removal to remove any background noise to make your recording as clean and crisp sounding as possible. After that like AmyAnn said, use a compressor to make your vocals sound a bit better. I also like to use the Dynamic Processor to even the loud parts of the recordings and the softer parts so that all the vocals are roughly similar volume levels. After that a bit of reverb also helps to soften your vocals to help with blend better with the music.

There's a lot of things to try and I hope that made some sense, mixing can be really tough!
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Post by jetz Wed May 04, 2011 10:05 am

Jefferz wrote:I would reccomend adobe audition over audacity just because there's a lot of effects and fancy stuff to play around with that audacity doesn't have. One of the first things you should do is use noise removal to remove any background noise to make your recording as clean and crisp sounding as possible. After that like AmyAnn said, use a compressor to make your vocals sound a bit better. I also like to use the Dynamic Processor to even the loud parts of the recordings and the softer parts so that all the vocals are roughly similar volume levels. After that a bit of reverb also helps to soften your vocals to help with blend better with the music.

There's a lot of things to try and I hope that made some sense, mixing can be really tough!

It is tough >_< I've been struggling with it for years! I use Adobe Audition now and I know it's a lot better than Audacity, it's just that it's more complicated for me to learn x_x but it's mostly because I'm lazy XD

about the noise removal thing though, I've always been confused on how to use it >_< it says to get a noise profile first right? then what? ._. I don't know how it exactly works >_<

thanks for the many useful tips!!! *_*
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Post by krannda Thu May 12, 2011 11:46 pm

Another point to add on to Jefferz is that Audacity exports mp3s really badly and quality of its effects are also pretty bad. You'll probably notice it when you trying pitching down/up a track using AA and Audacity, then comparing the differences.

I usually don't recommend using noise-removal because it ruins the quality of a recorded track more often than not. I say leave the noise there as long as it isn't the annoying type where you can clearly hear the "CCCCCCSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" while the person is singing. At that point, I'd suggest you buy a new mic. ^^;;

I think you'll be needing to learn how to use EQ because that is what professionals use to make sure the track doesn't sound like it's "pasted" on to the instrumental. EQ basically controls the volumes of different frequencies on the track and because the instrumental probably has it's own set of frequencies, you'll have to find out at which frequencies you can use to make your vocals blend into it. There are a few articles online about using EQ on vocal tracks if you search on Google. ouo
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Post by jetz Sat May 14, 2011 4:51 am

krannda wrote:Another point to add on to Jefferz is that Audacity exports mp3s really badly and quality of its effects are also pretty bad. You'll probably notice it when you trying pitching down/up a track using AA and Audacity, then comparing the differences.

I usually don't recommend using noise-removal because it ruins the quality of a recorded track more often than not. I say leave the noise there as long as it isn't the annoying type where you can clearly hear the "CCCCCCSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" while the person is singing. At that point, I'd suggest you buy a new mic. ^^;;

I think you'll be needing to learn how to use EQ because that is what professionals use to make sure the track doesn't sound like it's "pasted" on to the instrumental. EQ basically controls the volumes of different frequencies on the track and because the instrumental probably has it's own set of frequencies, you'll have to find out at which frequencies you can use to make your vocals blend into it. There are a few articles online about using EQ on vocal tracks if you search on Google. ouo

Oh my an admin reply! *_* Thank you so much! *_* I just wanna ask - what's the basic principle should you keep in mind when using EQ? That the frequencies of the vocal match the frequencies of the instrumental? Like do they have to be exactly the same or just proportional to each other? :O

EDIT: Also I noticed that people always bring up the effects when they talk about Adobe Audition. Are there any effects that help to make blending sound better? Other than the EQ of course.
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Post by Eri Inoue Mon May 30, 2011 1:57 pm

jetz wrote:Here's my recording process. I either use Audacity or Adobe Audition, though I tend to use Audacity more because I've known that program longer and I only heard of Adobe Audition early this year XD I import the instrumental track, then I record my vocals over it. I try to get the timing right using the time shift tool and increase the volume here and there. Of course I know that's not gonna cut it, but I've only known how to do those things since I started recording >_< I don't know what else to do T_T
I just wanna ask, Because I'm confused.
Do you play the Off-Vocal through your comp speakers and record? Or do you play through your headphones and record?
I usually Put the instrumental and the original in my ipod, and sing to that, and record.
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Post by jetz Tue May 31, 2011 8:13 am

Eri Inoue wrote:
jetz wrote:Here's my recording process. I either use Audacity or Adobe Audition, though I tend to use Audacity more because I've known that program longer and I only heard of Adobe Audition early this year XD I import the instrumental track, then I record my vocals over it. I try to get the timing right using the time shift tool and increase the volume here and there. Of course I know that's not gonna cut it, but I've only known how to do those things since I started recording >_< I don't know what else to do T_T
I just wanna ask, Because I'm confused.
Do you play the Off-Vocal through your comp speakers and record? Or do you play through your headphones and record?
I usually Put the instrumental and the original in my ipod, and sing to that, and record.

It depends - for off vocals that I make on my own (using the vocal remover options on audacity/audition) I record using speakers, so it's easier to match my voice with the offvocal, but for original instrumentals I play the music through the headphones and record.
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Post by sumirehana013 Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:58 pm

I listened to your uploaded covers and most of them I think has the instrumental a lot softer that makes your vocal track seem like it was pasted. But I also found some of your covers where the instrumental is almost the same volume as your vocal track, but at some parts your vocals are drowning in the instrumental.

I also have the same problem before, and I think the easiest way to make your voice blend better with the instrumental is to use the compressor tool, do some EQ and add reverb to it. That's what I actually do now~

I personally do the compression in Audacity as I use it to record (AA is a little complex and time-consuming for me) then after exporting it as an MP3, I do the timing, EQ and reverb on Sony Vegas Pro since I find it easier to use.. ^^ If you have Sony Vegas Pro, give it a try since it's very easy to tweak the EQ (although not as detailed) and has preset reverb (for live effect, small room, wide room, etc.) which helps make the vocal track blend really well with the instrumental giving a more pro feel.
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Post by jetz Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:08 am

sumirehana013 wrote:I listened to your uploaded covers and most of them I think has the instrumental a lot softer that makes your vocal track seem like it was pasted. But I also found some of your covers where the instrumental is almost the same volume as your vocal track, but at some parts your vocals are drowning in the instrumental.

I also have the same problem before, and I think the easiest way to make your voice blend better with the instrumental is to use the compressor tool, do some EQ and add reverb to it. That's what I actually do now~

I personally do the compression in Audacity as I use it to record (AA is a little complex and time-consuming for me) then after exporting it as an MP3, I do the timing, EQ and reverb on Sony Vegas Pro since I find it easier to use.. ^^ If you have Sony Vegas Pro, give it a try since it's very easy to tweak the EQ (although not as detailed) and has preset reverb (for live effect, small room, wide room, etc.) which helps make the vocal track blend really well with the instrumental giving a more pro feel.

So you can use Sony Vegas to edit mp3s too? I always thought it was only for video editing :O Thank you so much for the tip! You sold me when you said it's easy to tweak the EQ with it XD
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Post by sumirehana013 Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:10 am

^ Yeah, you can actually use it to edit mp3s.. ^^ Just put the audio on the workspace and right click on the audio track.. then select "Apply Non real time effects" and use the expressfx EQ.. It's just trial and error to get what works for your recordings ^^

Good luck!
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Post by jetz Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:35 am

sumirehana013 wrote:^ Yeah, you can actually use it to edit mp3s.. ^^ Just put the audio on the workspace and right click on the audio track.. then select "Apply Non real time effects" and use the expressfx EQ.. It's just trial and error to get what works for your recordings ^^

Good luck!

Thank you so much! I'll tell you how it goes once I get to use it - hopefully as soon as possible since school just started x_x Thanks again!
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Post by Glenn Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:28 am

I have another suggestion for you if you have problems with blending. Reduce accoustics getting picked up in your microphone by the room around you. Too much accoustics and it'll sound bad either way (when it comes to the blending).

Just my two cents.

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Post by jetz Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:12 am

It's hard to do that from where I record T_T the only place I can record in my house is the hallway, near the window x_x so sometimes, when you listen to my covers, you can hear cars passing by, dogs barking, people talking, etc x_x
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Post by Glenn Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:15 am

jetz wrote:It's hard to do that from where I record T_T the only place I can record in my house is the hallway, near the window x_x so sometimes, when you listen to my covers, you can hear cars passing by, dogs barking, people talking, etc x_x

Record with a Noise Gate VST and it'll take away the car sounds when you record.

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Post by jetz Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:45 am

Glenn wrote:
jetz wrote:It's hard to do that from where I record T_T the only place I can record in my house is the hallway, near the window x_x so sometimes, when you listen to my covers, you can hear cars passing by, dogs barking, people talking, etc x_x

Record with a Noise Gate VST and it'll take away the car sounds when you record.

wow! so many programs I've never heard of before - I really need to do my research x_x thank you so much!
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Post by Glenn Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:20 am

jetz wrote:
Glenn wrote:
jetz wrote:It's hard to do that from where I record T_T the only place I can record in my house is the hallway, near the window x_x so sometimes, when you listen to my covers, you can hear cars passing by, dogs barking, people talking, etc x_x

Record with a Noise Gate VST and it'll take away the car sounds when you record.

wow! so many programs I've never heard of before - I really need to do my research x_x thank you so much!

I wrote a tutorial, read this article I wrote Smile

https://ytchorus.forumotion.com/t3606-tired-of-unwanted-noises-an-introduction-to-noise-gating

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