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Author Topic: Live compression on vocals  (Read 2834 times)

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Offline 9

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Live compression on vocals
« on: November 16, 2008, 08:19:04 PM »
I reckon I need a little voc compression on the way in, smooth it just a tad while recording it, any way to do this without a stomp box [or similiar]


Im wondering if anyone can tell me,  is there a stand alone compressor, OR, a VST that would work with an external host for a P4 1.6G XP [using KAE DAW, M-audio2496, xenyx802 mixer]


sorry, rushed post, ...quite busy!!

Offline Jim Lad

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2008, 10:20:10 PM »
I'm really pleased with the Joe Meek 3Q channel strip.
I'll have a look at what you've got and get back to you.

Okay: The 3Q costs about $250. Have a listen to any of my recent vocals in Collaborations/Folk/Irish Rover Album. They all went through it.
No reason why it shouldn't work with your gear. Has XLR and Line In and a couple of lines coming out. Just plug into it and then run your line into whichever piece of equipment you choose.
Nice clean gain, simple to use compression and EQ which I haven't touched yet.
Comes with wall wart but don't let that fool you.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2008, 10:36:25 PM by Jim Lad »

Offline Spiral

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 01:22:18 AM »
I reckon I need a little voc compression on the way in, smooth it just a tad while recording it, any way to do this without a stomp box [or similiar]


Not the ideal solution, but I have used THIS for vocals as well.
Less than ten euros (Would that be 20 AUD?), so at least it's cheap! Runs with 9V battery for ages.

Mungus, I don't think a VST would help you much.

Offline Schprocket

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 05:23:49 AM »
10 Euros?

Since our dollar was inexplicably devalued against the greenback down to the 75 cents where it seems the greedy buggers have deemed we must belong in the global fiscal picture (hurts our exports, apparently), probably closer to Au$40 than Au$20... ;)


...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline Jim Lad

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 11:35:29 AM »
Sorry; I thought you were talking about compressing vocals.

Offline Spiral

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 11:49:30 AM »
Sorry; I thought you were talking about compressing vocals.

I guess he was, but I use that bass limiter to compress, ok limit, the vocals. Not as bad as one would think.

Offline Jim Lad

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2008, 12:49:35 PM »
 :)

Offline Badfinger

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 10:31:14 AM »
I've used an MXR dynacomp in the inserts of interfaces for vocal tracking on and off for 20 years, and as long as you just use a tiny bit of comp from it, it works perfectly to just take a little off the top and get a good track. If you use a lot it gets all wierd and stuff. Just gotta be barely there.

If all you want to do is just tame the signal a bit and smooth it out, it doesn't need to be a big-buck compressor, what you  need is just a smidgen of limiting.

A lot of instrument effects will pass in a pinch, as long as you go easy with them.
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Offline 9

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 10:48:18 AM »
thanks BF, i forgot about this post,  :)

i have plenty of VSTs that will do fine for post rec comping, but cant get the bugger to talk turkey on live input, well they work fine, but i get a doubled signal from asio and XP aud, cant get rid of the win audio, no matter what i do,

i kmow i need an ext comp, but my PC shopping has blown the budget, just wondered if there was another way.

thanks BF

Offline Badfinger

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 11:10:11 AM »
Well, if you are recording at 24 bit resolution, and your mic/interface is all relatively quiet, then you'll be alright anyway, as long as you get up close to the mic and stay there. Just set the levels low enough there is no clip, then once the track is in, you can use compression to smooth it out, but use the output gain on the comp to pump the track up in strength as well. Generally, in 24 bit, you won't get more noise that way than you can easily deal with.

Comp going in sure is nice though, it can make life a bit easier later.
Randal

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Offline Jim Lad

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 01:25:10 PM »
Do you have a mic or interface with a Pad switch?

Offline 9

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 09:57:00 PM »
I have a berhinger C1 densor, into an Xenyx 802 mixer, to a MAudio 2496 card Jim

What do you mean by "pad switch" [hi gain/lo gian] [earthed/unearthed] [to send 1-2-3-4] ?? ??

Offline Jim Lad

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2009, 11:49:15 PM »
A pad switch reduces the peaks.
Basically turns down the noise coming from the microphone.
It's a neat way to cut the peaks without using compression.
The Behringer B1 has it but not the C1 nor does the Xenyx.
The C1 has a nice little red light though.
Look for a switch on any of your gear that looks like this.  0dB
                                                                             -10dB

http://www.audiomasterclass.com/arc.cfm?a=which-is-better-the-pad-on-the-microphone-or-the-pad-on-the-mixing-console-

Offline 9

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2009, 12:10:59 AM »
Quote
The C1 has a nice little red light though.

That why i brought it JIM!!  :D :D

none of my "hardware " has the -10db, but the software mixer for the 2496, does have an option for same, ....though im not sure it has an effect on the input signal levels, i'll give it a try next time i fire up the DAW, thanks mate.

Offline Badfinger

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2009, 12:35:28 AM »
Sorry to nitpick;

the pad on the mic reduces level evenly across it's entire response, it simply cuts back the signal.

It may help, but then you want to be sure by doing so you're not just going to have to compensate by running the gain up on the interface or preamp either, as it's a sure way towards increasing noise.
Best to use the pad only when nessecary.

Other methods you can try is simply backing off the mic, further away the peaks have a chance to dissipate slightly before they reach the diaphram or ribbon.

And being a tiny bit to the side instead of straight-in, a few degrees off center, can take some of the edge off as well.

Randal

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Offline Schprocket

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2009, 12:38:03 AM »
the pad on the mic reduces level evenly across it's entire response, it simply cuts back the signal.

the techo term being that it's an 'attenuator' (that's electronics-speak :D)

Electronically, the signal is placed under a 'heavier load' so it takes more energy to produce the same 'level' of dB as it did before the attenuator was applied, which is just my inverse way of saying "it cuts back the original signal level." ::)  :)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 12:44:35 AM by Schprocket »
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline Badfinger

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2009, 12:47:14 AM »
Hey, actually, I've a question for Mr. Lad if you don't mind....

Do you use your ribbon microphone for live engagements as well?

I've done audio for a show very recently where the performer sang and played guitar, and had a second guitarist as well, It was local so on impulse I grabbed some of the condensors from the studio and used those at the gig.

It was friggin GLORIUS.......
 ;D

For small single and duo acts, I can't imagine why you wouldn't want a really top notch condenser , or even high end dynamic mike, like a 421 or a Heil or something. Man, what a sound live.

That ribbon mic of yours looks interesting, I'm not familiar with it, is that what you used for your albums presently on your soundclick page?

Anyway, sorry for the detour there, I can't help it...
Randal

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Offline 9

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2009, 08:15:26 AM »
detour away BF, nil prolemo!

I use mic technique mostly, to control the peaks, but i sing loud, and its quite a challenge at times, but i have improved immensely of late.

Quote
the techo term being that it's an 'attenuator' (that's electronics-speak

hey S, dont come the raw -ive feedback op amp with us, son!! :D :D :D

Offline Jim Lad

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2009, 06:51:15 PM »
Quote
Do you use your ribbon microphone for live engagements as well?
No. Too fragile and a figure eight pattern to boot.
For live gigs I use the AKG C100S and a Shure Pencil Condenser which uses a small battery that lasts forever.
Haven't used a dynamic mic or plugged an instrument in for close to ten years now.
I walked in on a gig one night around !998 or 1999 and was absolutely floored by the vocal quality. That was the AKG. I bought one and so have two of my friends.
I started micing the instruments soon after.

Pad works!

Offline Badfinger

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2009, 06:56:08 PM »
Cool, those are great mics, the 100 is a real workhorse.

Oh, yeah, the pads help a great deal, just didn't want anybody to think it was an automatic limiter though.
Randal

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Offline Schprocket

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2009, 09:08:49 PM »
Jim, if you keep this up, I'll be buying another mic when I haven't got control over the SM58 yet - I get G.A.S. all too easily...
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline Jim Lad

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Re: Live compression on vocals
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2009, 10:31:13 PM »
Sorry!