So you have recorded your Rock vocals ..........now what?
Processing Rock vocals is much like any other vocal processing but with a twist: Rock vocals can exhibit a huge dynamic range that can work against you and sometimes we narrow the dynamic range to allow the vocals to sit in a busy mix. But before we can colour the vocals with some lovely processing we need to perform some corrective processes. Corrective processes are processes that help to correct any problematic areas: using gates to remove background noise, using equalisation to remove redundant and problematic frequencies, tuning to correct any tuning errors, using a de esser to remove sibilance and so on...These are the general corrective processes we use to correct and treat vocals.
Once we are finished with correcting all the errors we need to think about how best to represent the vocals for the genre they are intended for and the usual weapon of choice is an equaliser. Industry professionals tend to use compensatory equalisation immediately after corrective equalisation to restore and highlight the desired frequencies that might have been compromised with the corrective equalisation process. Eq is a wonderful sculpting tool and it is the first port of call for any vocal processing tasks. It is at this stage that we pronounce certain frequencies, work the air band (this area sits in the 8 kHz - 20 kHz range) and prepare for the next process. However, sometimes it pays to think outside the box and use something else in place of a traditional eq. This is where a good well designed distortion unit can come in handy. Using subtle harmonic distortion on vocals can highlight the consonants and add a level of thickness and density that an equaliser cannot.
In this video I show you how to use Waves RealTune to tune the Rock vocals, how to use corrective equalisation to remove redundant and problematic frequencies, how to isolate desired frequencies using the 'sweep the spectrum' technique and finish off with a detailed foray into using Decapitator, a wonderful distortion plugin, to pronounce the vocals and get them to cut through a busy mix.
Topics covered in this video are:
Sweep and Scan
Working the Air Band