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Old 11-13-2017, 06:58 PM   #1
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Default I would appreciate a recommendation of a good FX chain for vocals using stock VSTs

I am struggling with REVERB.

At the moment, all I have is my background music on track 1 and my vocal has a BUSS track containing all the VSTs that I apply to the actual vocal track (Track 3).

My aunt to me is really good at listening to music and giving me honest feedback.

What she is say is that what I have been doing is causing there to be too much of an echo sound on my vocal and makes it hard to hear. In addition, the word she used was my vocal sounds 'Hollow'.

So, what I want to do here is totally scrap what I have been doing and start over from scratch.

The best way at the moment that I can describe what I am wanting (I think) is to add a VST of some kind to add what I will call a 'richness' or maybe sound more 'Full Body' sound along with any other recommendation to very subtly enhance the sound of my vocal.

I think what is happening is that I find some setting of a VST of one kind or another that sounds really cool to me, BUT, when I produce it and publish it I get this feedback I previously mentioned about my vocals.

I would be grateful for any offers of a vocal FX chain that some of you out there use that your happy with along with the settings you use as well!

With Gratitude,

Berkeley, CA USA
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:27 AM   #2
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without going into it too much, I think there are one or two in the stash - I think there is a doubler that is quite handy. I am happy to check what I use but it changes depending on the song or vocalist.

I think there is another thread here that asks a similer question - try a few searches.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:17 AM   #3
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If the raw recording has this "hollow" quality to it, then trying to rectify that with plugins will be an uphill battle.

It makes life a million times easier if you try to fix problems at the source, rather than trying to fix them further down the line.

We need a bit more information about your recording setup and space. My initial guess would be that this is the sound of the room you are recording in. Another possibility is if you are monitoring through speakers and the mic is picking up your vocal from yourself and your DAW. Or it could be that you have done something funky with your fx send.

You should work on getting a clean vocal with no fx sounding good first, then start worrying about VST chains. Start at the beginning, one step at a time!

So, what microphone are you using? What audio interface are you using (this may be the sound card in your computer, or an external unit)? When you stand in the spot you record in and clap your hands and make vocal noises, what qualities do you hear?
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:29 AM   #4
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Default Video to watch

This video was just released by the RecordingRevolution.com.


In it he uses just an EQ, and two compressors. He uses protools and stock FX. You could easily use ReaEq and ReaComp with Reaper instead.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:41 PM   #5
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I'm not a pro, so take this at it is; some info that can help you get somewhere half-there... However, of everything I do, I've been told my vocals sound very acceptable.

I just posted something in this thread, please check it out:


But in that thread I didn't mention compression, EQ and other stuff.

So here it is:

1) I always start by doing fixes to the vocal track PRE-VOLUME envelop like this, for example:

Note1: Why Pre-Volume? Because this is the first place on the chain, even before the eq and compression. Doing edits here means that the compressors used later won't have to work so hard at leveling things that are 'out of whack'. This includes dealing with plosives and dee-ssing (some work can be done here), as well as removing breaths and/or useless noises on the track

Note2: The fun part with pre-volume is you actually SEE the changes visually; as you move the envelop, so will move the wav shape file

2) Autotune with ReaTune - manually (if needed, hopefully not). Be very careful, artifacts creep in real fast, and will make some buzzing/metallic/flutter sounds that you won't know where they came from later down the road...

3) EQ - ReaEq, this is relative your voice and what is going on in the song, but I normally have something like this going on around 600/700hz :

Note: My EQ cuts may look very drastic, but this works for me (my voice/tone) and my microphone (a cheap *ss condensor mic - I need to cut some harshness and get some nasty nazal/cheap mic thing going on )

4) De-essing, assuming it is needed once the Pre-volume and Eq have done their thing - You can do this with ReaXcomp. There is a setting for this; check it out. But, normally don't have much to do given my workflow...

5) I add some compression; if needed.

Note: if needed, depends on how well a job you did the pre-volume and what the song is calling for...

I use ReaComp, most of the time, because if you really know it, it can do a lot of neat stuff... For example:

You can set it up to act as a compressor with a REALLY REALLY fast attack to catch/tame the transients and/or loud signals at the beginning of words/sentences:

Note: Look at the Pre-Comp (this is important - a look-a-head? - to catch the very first part of a signal, Look at the Attack (low) and RMS (low). Adjust the rest to get what you want

And set it up to act later in the signal to smooth out everything,

Note: Look at the Attack and RMS, adjust the rest to what you want.

6) After that I add DELAY and REVERB:

Read the post https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=199558

7) I will sometimes add more delay effect to create some kind of back vocal that repeat some parts of the vocals like this:

Note: I duplicated the main vocal track and added ReaDelay. You are looking at the BLUE lines, the automation of the VOLUME (only the WET - Dry is turned to Zero) of the ReaDelay VST plugin. You see how the Delay will only occur where I want it to happen? Oh, the yellow-orange like is the panning, so I actually have the delay going from L ear to R ear (for more ear candy...)

Hmmm... I know I'm forgetting something? Oh ya, have a look again at the image above where I show the PRe-Volume. You'll notice another envelop (ie.. Volume) - the one that is rather flat and has two levels? That was done AFTER everything else was done, to make to vocals fit inside the overall song, at the very end of the mixing process.

Just thinking to myself, 'you are one lucky son-of-a-gun' it took me a full year to figure out how to do all of this! I sure hope it helps you. This is, of coarse, a workflow for those who want to use ONLY REAPER STOCK PLUGINS. There are other VSTs that can probably do a better job, I don't know, I don't have them?

Also, some Pro's may chime in and tell us what is wrong with this basic/entry-level* amateurish workflow? That would be good for both of us, and anyone novice reading who may be tempted to emulate my vocal setup.

*it does yield descent vocals
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