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invoked
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:54 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:51 pm 
 

I didn't know which thread to put this in, so I made a new one.
That being said, I need to know what you awesome recording guys do for metal vocals of the extreme nature, especially low growls. I'm using an SM57 with Reaper recording software, going through an M-Audio Firewire interface into my computer. What I'm wondering is what kind of settings for Compression, EQ, and other effects will help me to make the vocals loud enough in the mix but not clip too much. Again, my problem here is the low growls, high growls always seem to come out fine. Thanks for your time.
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mattp
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:57 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:56 pm 
 

First you have to ensure that the source material sounds good. Low growls need a lot of force and volume to sound good.

After that, I do Gate > Compressor > EQ > Reverb. Gate is just set to eliminate the handling/room noise, compressor is set 8:1, to clamp down extremely hard on the vocals. EQ has a high pass at 100Hz, boost at 110Hz and 3KHz. Reverb is pretty dry, but enough to give it some room to breathe.
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Prominence
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:36 pm
Posts: 368
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:42 pm 
 

8:1 on the compression? That's seriously crushing, though I haven't mixed any growls myself so I wouldn't know. It's not exactly ideal for growls, but experiment with plugins on it too, find a signature effect (but don't drown it in effects, find one distortion or something you feel works well with your voice). Which M-Audio interface are you using?

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mattp
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:45 pm 
 

You could probably use less, to be honest. It helps keep it from getting overly spiky and harsh to listen to, while still retaining the aggression of the growl.
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rexxz
Retired

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
Posts: 8769
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:48 pm 
 

I go for 4:1 with a low threshold. Typically get about -8 to -12 db of gain reduction depending on what I'm going for.

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invoked
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:54 pm
Posts: 1710
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:51 pm 
 

Prominence wrote:
8:1 on the compression? That's seriously crushing, though I haven't mixed any growls myself so I wouldn't know. It's not exactly ideal for growls, but experiment with plugins on it too, find a signature effect (but don't drown it in effects, find one distortion or something you feel works well with your voice). Which M-Audio interface are you using?


I'm using a Firewire Solo, just as a preamp because I have nothing better.
Thanks for the tips guys, but I've been messing with it more and I still cant get the vocals to be loud enough without clipping. Maybe I need a better mic/preamp? Or maybe I just need to mess with the compression/limiter and equalization more...Should I use a compressor or gate when I do the recording, or apply all effects afterward?

Thanks again.
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mattp
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:55 pm 
 

You should definitely be able to get your vocals loud enough without clipping anything. The Shure SM57 should get you a good recorded tone, I've used it before and it is hardly a bad mic for growls.

First you need to sound check the vocal mic. Do the loudest growl you are going to do, and watch the input meters. Make sure that it comes close to clipping at the loudest point ( A good reference is keeping the peaks at around -6db ). This way you get a nice hot signal, that you can mix judiciously.

Once you get your track done, put a compressor on there to get the dynamics nice and even. Set the compressor so that it kicks in when you go louder than average. If you use the settings I gave you, it should keep the volume almost always around the same place.

The EQ settings I gave will get rid of mud, boost the body/thickness of the vocals, and boost the cut. Reverb for growls needs to be pretty sparse, since too much makes them get lost easily, but you need a touch to give them distance from the guitars/drums.
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