Picking up vocals


earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
04/21/2006 2:54 pm
I decided to tape record my band's last practice so we can see how we've improved as time goes on. The music picked up really well, but the vocals were almost impossible to hear. If I remember correctly, we just plugged the mic into an extra guitar amp and turned it up to the point right before we started getting feedback. Even so, the vocals were nearly impossible to hear.

Is this something that could be remedied by standing at a different distance from the mic/singing louder/turning down the other instruments' volume, or do I need some new piece of gear?
# 1
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
04/21/2006 5:11 pm
Well really a better systen of recording would probably be best. What exactly did you use?
Magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator

"If it feels right, play it. If it feels wrong, play it faster” - Magicninja
www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 2
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
04/21/2006 7:21 pm
Well, I know the amp was a Line 6 Spider II. The mic was a Philips Universal or something. It was acapella's so I don't really know.

I have this other mic we usually use, so it might be better for recording. It's from the 70's or something but is practically brand new. I think it's called an Aldo or something.
# 3
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
04/21/2006 7:32 pm
What was the thing you were recording to? Were the mics plugged into it? How far away did you place the mics? Many questions I know but I need to know to help you out.
Magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator

"If it feels right, play it. If it feels wrong, play it faster” - Magicninja
www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 4
quickfingers
Registered User
Joined: 07/01/05
Posts: 576
quickfingers
Registered User
Joined: 07/01/05
Posts: 576
04/21/2006 8:58 pm
the best idea would probaby be to overdub the vox as a seperate track. i know, sometimes its lame becuause you just want to get in there and have everything sound perfectly mixed, but recording doesnt work that way. the most basic thing to do would be to record the whole band on a single run, and then go back to record the vocals.
"the more you know, the less you know. I don't feel like i know shit anymore, but i love it."
-Mike Stern

PERSONAL WANKAGE
# 5
jeffhx
Disco Bandit
Joined: 12/20/05
Posts: 1,929
jeffhx
Disco Bandit
Joined: 12/20/05
Posts: 1,929
04/22/2006 11:17 am
i agree with quickfingers..it also saves the hassle of getting out of tune especially if ure not good with singing and playing at the same time..it cud be distracting.. just record the riff and record over with vocals... youd get a clearer sound..most softwares allows you to crank up the volume of a recording..i use audacity and its great...easy to use as well..
[FONT=Impact]grooviest tunes ever [/FONT]
# 6
PRSplaya
Full Access
Joined: 09/19/02
Posts: 3,941
PRSplaya
Full Access
Joined: 09/19/02
Posts: 3,941
04/24/2006 2:49 pm
Make sure that the mic isn't facing any speakers... Especially the one it is ran through. This can cause some major feedback.
[FONT=Palatino Linotype]Tonja Renee's personal instructor[/FONT]

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW<
# 7
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
04/24/2006 3:50 pm
Originally Posted by: magicninjaWhat was the thing you were recording to? Were the mics plugged into it? How far away did you place the mics? Many questions I know but I need to know to help you out.

It was just a tape recorder on a chair. It had one of those built-in mics, nothing was plugged into it. I think the main problem is we need to turn everything down. At that volume the only way to hear the vox is to shout so loud you can't sing anymore. Everything needs to be evened out, I think.
You go outside and practice screaming. We'll play music while you're gone.
# 8
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
04/24/2006 4:20 pm
Yeah I kinda figured that was what you were using. It's gonna be really difficult and I mean damn near impossible to mix everything to where it sounds right recording that way. Something is always gonna be to loud or too low and it'll get frustrating and the tape recorder will eventually get smashed to bits. It'll work maybe for recording just an acoustic and vocals but if you add drums, it's gonna distort bad. You might be able to work with it but it's gonna be alot of trial and error. Try putting a towel or something over it to dampen the sound. Maybe even under it to help lessen the vibrations from the music.
Magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator

"If it feels right, play it. If it feels wrong, play it faster” - Magicninja
www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 9
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
04/24/2006 4:24 pm
Originally Posted by: magicninjaYeah I kinda figured that was what you were using. It's gonna be really difficult and I mean damn near impossible to mix everything to where it sounds right recording that way. Something is always gonna be to loud or too low and it'll get frustrating and the tape recorder will eventually get smashed to bits. It'll work maybe for recording just an acoustic and vocals but if you add drums, it's gonna distort bad. You might be able to work with it but it's gonna be alot of trial and error. Try putting a towel or something over it to dampen the sound. Maybe even under it to help lessen the vibrations from the music.

We had a bunch of blankets and jackets underneath it, but you think they should go on top too?
# 10
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
04/24/2006 4:29 pm
No a bunch of them one towel draped over the mic part should do. If not keep doubling the thickness over the mic until you reach a desired result. It'll act like a filter and dampen some of the harsher elements like a kick drum or a trebely snare.
Magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator

"If it feels right, play it. If it feels wrong, play it faster” - Magicninja
www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 11
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
04/24/2006 4:33 pm
Not a bunch but a single towel draped over the mic part should do some good. If not try doubling it up until you have it where you want it. It'll work to dampen out the harsher elements like a kick drum or a trebley snare.
Magicninja
Guitar Tricks Moderator

"If it feels right, play it. If it feels wrong, play it faster” - Magicninja
www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 12
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
04/25/2006 3:44 pm
Well, we'll give it a shot. Thanks, everyone.
# 13
suicidalmoose
Full Access
Joined: 11/06/05
Posts: 340
suicidalmoose
Full Access
Joined: 11/06/05
Posts: 340
05/07/2006 9:32 pm
i know this is a late reply but still, one of my friends did a recording of his band with his mp3 playa and it turned out pretty well. some recorders record certain pitches of sound more, as in some recorders will respond to bass more (bad if you wanna hear the vocalist) some will respond to treble more (bad if you wanna hear the drummer) and some work really well and respond to everything well. i guess work with what you got and compensate, ie turn the vocals louder if it's a bssy recorder, or turn the vocals down if it's a trebly recorder.
# 14
jimmy_kwtx
Registered User
Joined: 05/15/06
Posts: 394
jimmy_kwtx
Registered User
Joined: 05/15/06
Posts: 394
05/18/2006 3:51 pm
Another late post.

But I still record things, practices, lessons etc. with a tape recorder.

"You can always record over S***."--What Movie?

Try this to help. Everyone mentioned lower volume becuase you are not micing each individual amp, drum etc. and you are not going through a mixer etc.

But this helped us--we had 2 gtrs,1 bass, drum and singer.

Put the tape recorder in back of your band or yourself if you record your practices,lessons, ideas. The " sound" will not be directed exactly at the microphone. Also try a pillow to cover the Mic or buy a cheapie to plug in or an adapter that allows the 1/4 inch to fit into the small plug on the recorer for regular mics.

As you know it ain't great quality but as long as you date your tapes you can get a good perspective on where you are now compared to 6 months ago.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]I reject your reality and substitue my own[/FONT]

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]BYAAAAAAAAAAAH![/FONT]

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]But it goes to eleven....[/FONT]
# 15

Please register with a free account to post on the forum.