brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby goldbrick » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:11 am

If you need backing tracks etc--just play the damn record

I think excessive technology adds nothing to the blues.
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby Bournio » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:40 am

Why don't we just play the damn record? Has anyone done anything new since the 1960's?

Sod this music lark eh? Lets embrace technology, I know if auto-tunes are set to a too extreme limit you can get some great vocal things(do you Believe etcetcetc)

I love distortion pedals on vocals... experiment with changing rigs for vocals and guitars... you might find a new inspiration!
Anything but that bloody "I'll add a little reverb" thing!

Have you guys listened to Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap? That songs got some amazing digital harmonisation, and it was apparently done live in the studio...
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby CashWiley » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:12 pm

Eh, I'm not really a purist but I don't like stuff that messes with vocals too much. I'm no singer but I like to sing through a nice growly shure sm58 with nothing on it. I've got a folk buddy who has some pedal that adds harmonies, it's got some decent settings and goes by the chords you're playing to add backups. Nothing I'd use, but interesting. Then there's the "I don't play anything after 1984" engineer in town who loves to slather reverb on everything, ecch. I love it so dry I got in trouble in recording school :)

When I was doing the metal thing in the 80s/90s, our guitarist had some great effects and the singer also had a rack and heavily used effects very well. But it was appropriate to the music. And I still played my bass straight through a big power amp and got tone from my fingers.

I guess maybe I am a purist!
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby allanlummox » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:56 pm

The dry sound is the sound...the benchmark I've been chasing has been the sound on Johnny Cash's last albums.

I decided years ago that too much reverb on my voice wasn't appealing, and got in the habit of asking sound men to let me hear it with no reverb at all.

When an engineer at a San Francisco club said - "Just like B. B. King", this habit was ratified.

Now this is a dog that's biting my ass - the one drawback to using the Alesis Multimix 8 for my online broadcasts is that the channel strips go straight to the USB port - before hitting the effects. So I'm broadcasting with no reverb, playing live into an sm 57 and an sm 58 - in a tiny vocal booth.

It's a pretty raw sound at this point. A tweak of resonance wouldn't hurt it.
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby Bournio » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:53 am

allanlummox wrote: So I'm broadcasting with no reverb, playing live into an sm 57 and an sm 58 - in a tiny vocal booth.

It's a pretty raw sound at this point. A tweak of resonance wouldn't hurt it.


I'm sure it's been discussed but... where do you record(like location in the house, and what sort of time? is it posible to play out of the box for a slightly more live sound? Unless it's a really difficult location? and if it is... is it possible to play somewhere a little different. maybe with the door to your box open a little and a condenser mic outside?

I dislike the term purist.... surely it's not a pure style of music. we're not singing a cappella traditional music? and we have rock, jazz, folk, progressive, country, punk, R&b, dance and metal influences.... so is anyone here a purist? Is anyone a "pure" musician?

I understand some people like to hear a very clear voice, but lets face it... how many voices that've been recorded in the past 30 years haven't had some eq or reverb added?
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby CashWiley » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:07 pm

allanlummox wrote:playing live into an sm 57 and an sm 58

I'm finally getting around to getting my 57 this weekend, I can finally record both vocals and guitar at once. Scary! But cool, too. Two years ago I couldn't really play and sing anything together, and while I'm still bad at it, I've got a few songs down pretty well and most new ones I try to work both parts as I learn it.
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby allanlummox » Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:41 pm

Bournio, I record and broadcast from the booth, and my musical exploits at home are mainly confined to the whisper booth - thin walls, whiny neighbors. I practice and noodle with the door open, but if I'm singing at all, or playing an electric guitar, the door gets closed.

I've been moving my mics around constantly, and I'm constantly working to improve the mix.

With the booth closed, I can play at any hour of the day or night with no complaints. The set up is basically an open "loft" apartment with this big grey box off to one side.

I've been experimenting with a non electronic reverb lately - springs attached to a paper diaphragm, simple, I'll be making some in different sizes and trying this out on my upcoming shows.
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby allanlummox » Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:06 pm

Actually, I'm pleased with where the non-electronic reverb is going; here's a brief sample, the reverb here is 2 springs, one a Remo sound toy called a "Thunder Tube", the other, larger spring is just attached to a coffee can.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=7504438
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby CashWiley » Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:47 pm

One thing I was very excited about when I bought my house was that the kid had some drums set up in the living room, and a solid state half stack (4x12). He said his band practiced in the living room at full volume, the singer would bring in her PA.

I check out the band and they were pretty bad, and he was the weak link. So I asked if the neighbors ever complained, and he said never. I went around meeting the neighbors and asked about it, they all said they enjoyed having a musician there, as long as he didn't play late (after 10pm)!

So when I moved in, the neighbors all started complimenting me. It's not a full band but I'm waaaay better than the kid was :) Not trying to be egotistical, but s'true. Right after he moved out, the band kicked him out, my guess is they were just using him for rehearsal space. Poor bastard.

Anyway, I can crank my amp to full volume in the afternoon and early evening and get compliments instead of complaints. Love my neighborhood!
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby allanlummox » Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:38 pm

Well, the neighbors here are elderly Eloi. One of them is deaf, which somehow makes it even more important that the one who CAN hear...doesn't.
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby maxx england » Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:41 pm

You've definitely got to come to my flat, Lummo, we're OK here , but some of the neighbours complain at each other about breathing too loud :mrgreen:
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby allanlummox » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:08 pm

Overjoyed with how the spring resonator is working. Need more springs.

My buddy swears I got the idea from his shoes:

Image

At first, I velcroed the coffee can (a plastic "Folgers" one) to the wall. My wife informed me that this made the sound from the Whisper Booth much louder in the outside room, so I attached them to the ceiling, with about a half inch of space separating the can from the ceiling. This works fine, and it sounds cool!

I want to get a bunch of different springs and experiment.

It makes singing in here a LOT more fun.
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby maxx england » Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:58 pm

This is just a meandering thought, but what about a mic at the far end of a large diameter tube? It could be flexy, could be rigid with bends in it to fit into the confined space. It could even exit one wall and come back in another. The sound itself should be reasonably contained. The only adverse property I can envisage is the "value" of reverb will be constant unless you strat adding or taking away sections.
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby allanlummox » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:11 pm

The booth has a short narrow box on the side to isolate the sound from the small extractor fan used to ventilate the interior, although that is lined with foam.

I think you'd need a fairly large space (like a corridor) for that to work.

So far, I've learned that loading a corner of the booth with springs does create a soft delay in the mics. If anyone has read anything about this kind of technique being used in recording or broadcasting, I'd love any input. It seems a little steampunk from here and maybe I've been playing resonator guitar too long.
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Re: brilliant vocal gadget or gimmick???

Postby CashWiley » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:26 pm

That's a really interesting idea! I wonder if you got the right resonance from some springs and shot a mic in them or something. Wonder what kinds of springs would be good...
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