Vocals Q&A


Toontrack presents: Studio Pass


Lesson Info

Vocals Q&A

We probably have some time for questions. Yeah, I think it's probably a good time to get in some questions. We've got two good questions, nor ball wants to know we're recording death metal style vocals. Tio, do you ever use a dynamic mike like an ar e twenty or an sm seven for proximity effect thickening or condenser mike for detail? Um, yes. And yes, uh, thie those air, those are all good. Mike's the g twenty is a staple in says yes, I'm seven that something has been used for many, many vocals it's kind of some sounds come between like a one on the stand and handheld gonna think it's kind of an odd looking like um but I would totally use those if they if they work for you, uh, the way actually break this thing out. Um there's a handheld condenser also made by blue uh, I used to use the fifty eight r fifty eight billion or whatever really if if you're used to a certain like especially live or like, if you know what you're what you're sounding like, you have a certain thing that works f...

or you by all means use that it was actually funny story with a pole rogers we're doing the muddy waters tribute was just assisting that, and the engineer you know, they set up the whole thing. It was beautiful set of drums, bass, guitar, everything life they're going to track everything live women is like one of those like everybody was that good and they set up like a c twelve or two fifteen these are expensive microphones like old old things and, you know, he's saying in tow doesn't sound like me and, you know, it sounded good, but because they didn't sound like means, but I use it, I use a different mic is it's not the same thing is like some was wrong, and then I was like, you know, I don't know what you want, there's like good stuff, yeah and he's like that let me call my guy it's it's what? I was like, three in the morning in england right now, nobody's up, but tomorrow I'll have it tomorrow and he comes in and with the piece of paper that he told me to tell you the normally use fifty seven on a one sixty x on one sixty x is like a not a cheap compressor, but it's an inexpensive compressor it's a d v x one sixty x everybody every studio used to have them, they still have him, I have no, they're not they're not the vocal compressor of choice you know, like it did cost, like a third or a tenth of thes things, right? Ana that's in fifty seven, we talked about you know what the fifty seven year keeps going back? They put that on and it's sound he was like, yeah, that's what I sound like and it was his vocals on any record, that is probably that yeah, and they sound great. Turns out, he's a great singer turns out that's what it is, and the engineers didn't trust it enough. Yeah, too, not record the other microphone as well, right? They were like, just in case we like, just in case you won't have to good microphone, right, you could make it, but you know to answer nor val's question um, what I would do for death metal vocals for the tv show dallas if I find that to get that cultural sound that lower kind of sounding to make that kind of sit on top of the mix in some way for the tv show, oftentimes I'll take my high pass filter on eleven seventy six and crank that a little bit more like to not just to the right just a little bit more brightness out of my voice, because that will they make you work a little less hard, sure emitting that sound because basically you're like you're telling your voice to like smash itself together and pushing air through it as much as you can to get all that flappy guttural sounds sounds like somebody's burping are dying um and uh but that will help it sit so when I gave you a rough mix is like I usually put easy makes high past kind of thing on top of it and sometimes I'll put the slowest chorus that is just putting out of tune with itself just the slightest amount like maybe a couple sense on either side on the left and right on that'll that'll kind of help get the brightness out into your into your, uh your more classic guttural death metal vocal for us in the same same thing with the more kind of like, pinched uh false screams as well too, and the false scream for the those who you don't know is that sound we're almost, uh this is stuff I learned through talking about metal singers was is more of a whisper it's like like that sound of a football field, you know sounds like tons of people far away screaming, so you kind of doing that, but you're also tightening the back your throat is more of a high rather than the lower kind of like because you're not really hitting and no it's more of a sound of that sure it's a loud so there's a but a high pass filter will do a lot of your work for you and I have talked to other singers and they say your microphone is your friend hold it close, do it, don't you don't have to kill yourself because you got a lot of takes in the studio, you're gonna hurt your voice and you have to get your voice and shape now. I did a live show that way did the tenacious stating the festival supreme, and I had to start making those sounds and breaking my voice because I'm not always doing that screaming voice and my voice is like sitting lower two weeks afterwards after having done a lot of that stuff too, but you have to work yourself into it and the microphone and the top end of of your mixer, your cue or your high pass filter in here preempt will will help out a lot that's what you'll notice if you just bright and everything, it'll sit him on top of the guitar is just a little bit better bill won't compete with the kind of mid range, but you also get all your attack and all the punctuation that you need, so I hope that helps yeah definitely does there's another question, he has another question action on all this what do you think of using a parallel ox channel? Full of compression to bring out the nuances and adding grit mixed back and underneath the main vocal you could totally do that that's uh and you've done that is that it? Yeah I mean that's part of ah um of I you know you use those kind of trick's second parallel effects and, uh use that with with a river but delays or everything else you can use it with distortion you can usually like extra compression they call it a uh you know, parallel compression that some people do with drums on duty with extra guitars are you know, there's those air mixing tricks at at some point that you can incorporate into recording like if if if your voice if your brain responds to hearing that and it will make you sing a little differently too because you hear things that certainly is the same is like your reaction your your hands reaction your brain's reaction to play into an amp a supposed to you know, not think that there's a certain reaction the the amp reacts to you playing it and you in turn react again to what you're hearing and then to play differently the same thing with vocals if you if you do set up a distortion chain be that the way uh normal ones tio set it up because he's used to that and that is totally fine on and he hears it a certain way and therefore inspires him to, like, uses voice differently than he normally would so that's that whatever that that goes like very much into, like your own identity in your own thing and setting yourself apart from what other people are doing and well, I know that it's good to experiment with that kind of stuff because it may preserve your voice in some ways so if you get a lot of compression um in your in your chain like more more compression than the eleven senators like their secondary compression you're saying with the parallel compression that will make you may be seeing softer I know that I think I found it fascinating to find that chris cornell is a little quieter than you think he is when he's belting out all that soundgarden stuff because his microphone is working and he's got his his whole chain of compression doing his job so he does not need to scream and kill himself that's how would you get to one of those songs live? You know it's so and he sounds like he's just screaming and screen but it's it's really good technique and it's really good, really good use of the microphone has an instrument or an aide to your voice so I think it's a good idea to experiment with that stuff and also I mean, you know at this point normal that if it sounds good it's working um you know and I think that you're going to find that I mean here's here's a vocal that doesn't sound horrible and I've got warren plug in that has a pre set on it and it's going to work for us again get the job done and right good music that's the important part but if it's working for you and it's making your life easier that by all means do it and plus that's the kind of thing you can if you're interested in duplicating live you know, on dh making sure you can get through an entire set without your throat bleeding and you falling down someone after james brown you with a cape on out of the room you know so and to go back to the microphone question if his mic choice uh that he has like the s m seven if he's comfortable with that along with that citing that he's built up yeah andi if that's what works for him you know that's okay, okay to use it it's okay, that's the idea is that it's ok, whatever if you if you're sitting there and you're hearing a frequency in your voice you just hate switch microphones to try it out it's going to be the microphone the microphone is gonna curve your you cute just like it does with a guitar and you know, I remember asking somebody at the royal company for the one twenty one on I said why is everybody going crazy with this microphone? What is this microphone doing this different than every other microphone and what the person that worked at royer told me he said this we believe and what the people who like this microphone believe is this is what it sounds like when you stand in front of an amp there you go that's what the sound is like and if you put a different microphone on there it's going to get a different e q curve it's adding one new different e q in one way or another yeah, so putting the like we did yesterday with the four, twenty ones that's going to give you a little bit more of a warmer low end that's a fifty seven is going to give you I think some fifty seven curves the highest in a really comfortable way it brings out like the like a really pleasant guitar thing really just whatever that thing is inside of that microphone doing god knows what is is a frequency that is pleasant on our human ears and it helps that so why wouldn't do that with a voice why wouldn't do with you know, maybe would muffle on acoustic too much? Maybe we want more brilliance out of this strange during an acoustic but um but yeah that's ah that's the ideas is you know this is swap out your mindset to get too bright to may's lee for you may not want it I like a warm microphone and then I like tio put a high pass filter on it because that's a different issue than they're using a brighter microphone whatever inspires you to put in a good performance really I'm telling this one this sea ones uh studio it's a studio projects microfinance projects that's what a c one condenser studio projects microphone is the one that I use for this for all these vocals and for all the death album maybe two in three vocals or at least three galactic on and and the doom star it was one hundred dollars microphone on ebay yeah I don't think you can get them anymore I but I think that may be but it's like the sister company is that sterling company that didn't get a guitar center okay yeah well if you find a great grab it and they don't cost that much on dh you may like the curfew may not my voice is uneasily helps so they got any other questions yeah question this is a multi part question oh good I'm so we can sort of tackle it all at once or in sections what microphone do you prefer for voiceovers like spoken word um that is a good question the with spoken word what we saw everything he want to get something that's quiet you know that doesn't have extra noise that is very, uh very neutral sounding so you can really, uh work your voice because because at that point you're you're you're more of an actor as opposed to a like a metal performer right? And and I mean you'll still want to get a vocal like that uh that complements your voice but you're looking at a different thing you're you're looking at like the sound people they need to fit that into into a different world you really want all your frequencies really well run media I think you're saying exactly, but you don't want to have like a noisy michael wood and you'll need a you need to clean pre amp to on dh clean of those preempts get the more expensive it will be unfortunately, but but the point is that they need to fit that in into a whole different world very often by yourself just the voice and you can't have that extra noise in there together is plug ins and help you take noise out but it also affects the sound of your voice teo you one something clean um that that is complementary to your voice so that you're looking at like that's when you get into like more expensive micro feel yes, I agree and I think you can also we've gotten the job done with many different microphones on mental lock lips as well because um I don't even know what we have in the studio a tit mouse where we do it but I know it's very little compression compression that's unnoticeable because you know you get that kind of class be kind of like a uh sound whatever the compression sound is and oftentimes we'll have a lot of guests to boys like I know devin townsend did some some some voiceover for us and I was talking on the phone I said ok just use your stuff in the thing and he what I got back from him was a really compressed he treated like a vocal thing and I said okay that's the performance is outstanding he was really funny and I said to you is that a plug in with the compression can you take that off? We just get to clean like with you know it's okay if it's peeking in all that stuff will take care of that later and he ended up giving me back the un compressed version of the same exact thing and that's what we ended up using because ultimately we need to fit that in with a different group of microphones and if we need to put a high pass little past q so it fits in our world nine times out of ten no ever noticed that way didn't do it all on the same day with the same person of actors you know and uh and yeah, you know I mean that's that's where I think uh a microphone with with the any cue curve like I wouldn't use a fifty seven you probably could um I know we recorded james hatfield with the same microphone that he uses on like the on all of his vocal mikes and and it didn't have a popper stop her or anything on that so we had to like kind of seek you out and get into some of the continent's and all those things and accuse some of that stuff out but you want tio be aware of the peas be aware of the breath, be aware that stuff and oftentimes they stay in there and we don't care and if it it's funny we don't care you know if it's working while the story's tracking we don't care as long as we can here and it's clear it's okay um I know that another thing that studios like to do when they record is they like to get very, very quiet signal they like to go very quiet and sometimes I think it's too quiet because we usually like the dial stuff well, but the wave sound and it's probably you know when you're going into when you're going into pro tools here it's like down here you know, in the green like way too very safe yeah, you make it extra noise out of it sometimes I'm always here you know, you and sometimes I'm up here, I'm guessing that they are just afraid that there will be allowed section that will distort and I think they are and they really they ride there. Mike pre pretty close where I usually leave my open on if I need to scream, I'll take a step away and I'll just use my technique. And sometimes when I do build stuff that they have it a very, you know, directional microphone, where if I step out, they have to they some people get really persnickety about that stuff. I don't. I think if you can hear the dialogue, it's ok, and even in a movie or whatever, I think it's ok, I think people now sometimes over analyze that stuff, um, but you know the best. The best thing is it's like a great performance if you're a good voice over actor and you're confident and you're having fun while you're doing it and you're loose that's the best vocal mine, too, you know.

Class Description

Adult Swim's Metalocalypse is a cheeky parody of metal culture — featuring the shenanigans of a cartoon band called Dethklok. In Toontrack Presents: Studio Pass, you'll get a closer look at the creative process behind this mesmerizing metal powerhouse-turned-TV-series.

Brendon Small is the creator and primary musician driving Dethklok’s music, including its four full-length albums. In this installment of Studio Pass, Brendon and producer Ulrich Wild (Pantera, White Zombie, Slipknot, Deftones) will show how they compose, engineer, and mix the music of Metalocalypse – explaining the recording techniques used for Dethklok’s drums, bass, guitars, vocals and effects.

The music behind the hilarious spectacle that is Metalocalypse is no joke. Join Brendon and Ulrich for Studio Pass and learn about the unique creative process behind the music of Dethklok.


Aaron Thurtell

Being someone new and looking into recording songs, I found this class very informative and in a way essential, the idea of recording seemed over whelming and I had no idea where to start, being a fan of Brendon small and Ulrich Wilds work on Dethklok and Galaktikon I found it very enjoyable and must for any fans of Brendon small looking into how he goes about making a record