Old 07-10-2017, 03:43 PM   #1
Gypsysinger
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Default Help me figure out this singer's sound.

Hey everyone,
I'm a singer and I want to figure out how Michael Bublé is getting his sound on Just Haven't Met You Yet. I've tried different mike placements, rooms, compression, EQ, etc, etc. but I still can't figure it out.

The reason I want to know this is so I can figure out how much of this sound is innately Bublé's voice and how much of it is done in the mix.

Specifically, I want to know how the low mids have such a warm, fuzzy growl to them while the upper mids are light, bright and there's still air up there.

I did some checking and it's likely CLA mixed this song. It's also likely it was recorded using a Neumann U87.

Since this song can be found anywhere, iTunes, Spotify etc. I'm guessing I don't need to provide a link.

If there's anything else you need to help me out just let me know and I'll provide it.

Cheers!
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:19 PM   #2
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Steps to sounding like Michael Bublé.

1. Be Michael Bublé.
2. Don't be someone else.

The dude has great pipes. He also has access to some of the best recording spaces, engineers, and producers on the continent. Outside of the great pipes and surrounding talent, what will impact your recordings more than anything else is the space you're in.

So stop looking at kit and technique for the time being, and take a close look at *where* you're recording. What does that space look like? Have you measured it? Have you treated it after you've measured it?

Fix that, first. Then you'll be much better prepared to place whatever kit you have wherever it should go.

You're still not gonna sound like Bublé, though.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:03 PM   #3
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You won't need a U87 or 5000 mic pre to take that sound to a live venue.
A Shure KSM8, FMR RNP Mic Pre, Hardware Multiband Compressor and a TC Fireworx.
About 2,000 USD.

The particular separation you hear is the multiband comp.
The "Space" can be emulated by a Reverb with Sidechain Ducking followed by a Gate.
I use ducking FX on vocalists live and automate their FX from my keyboard.
Been doing this for 30 years starting with the Alexis MIDI FX, then graduating to pro level hardware FX.

A used Fireworx goes for 400 USD.
I use a pair cascaded and the manual actually provides an example for ducking.

Ducking allows the "effect" to become inaudible until the audio signal goes below the threshold.

If you're a singer you'll love these old engineering tricks once learned.
You've got a good ear to describe the sound mentioned.
Do this yourself in software first, then Im sure you'll agree.
Reaper has all the tools you need except the transparent mic pre and Dual diaphragm KSM8.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:20 PM   #4
Gypsysinger
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Default Pipes you say...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome_oneil View Post
Steps to sounding like Michael Bublé.

1. Be Michael Bublé.
2. Don't be someone else.

The dude has great pipes. He also has access to some of the best recording spaces, engineers, and producers on the continent. Outside of the great pipes and surrounding talent, what will impact your recordings more than anything else is the space you're in.

So stop looking at kit and technique for the time being, and take a close look at *where* you're recording. What does that space look like? Have you measured it? Have you treated it after you've measured it?

Fix that, first. Then you'll be much better prepared to place whatever kit you have wherever it should go.

You're still not gonna sound like Bublé, though.
Hahaha, fair enough. However, with all respect, go check out my website www.almostrichandsemifamous.com and you'll see I have "pipes" too.

You're right about how the space affects the recording though. I've recorded in very reflective spaces and very non-reflective spaces. I've also played around with the proximity effect to the mike (a reasonable Rode NT1-A) and varying where the mic is pointing (from straight on to aiming at my forehead to aiming at my chest). None of these things have a large enough effect to get that fuzzy growl. Now if that growl was all the way through his voice, I'd agree it's just Michael but to my ears, it's not. It's only in one specific frequency range. This is why I'm pretty sure it's added after the fact.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:47 PM   #5
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Default Great info!

Awesome!... thanks XITE-1/4LIVE this is exactly the type of information I'm looking for.

This gives me a good starting point for recreating the brightness and space. Do you think a plate reverb is being using with CLA's supposedly famous formula of 150-200ms pre delay, 1/4 note delay timed to the music and 166ms tape slap here?

The real thing that stumps me is that low fuzzy growl. I'm guessing there's an EQ boost somewhere from 300- 500 Hz but then what? Is there some form of saturation being used to get that sound along with compression? Maybe done on a separate track and then mixed to taste? Any ideas?

Oh and thanks for the live gear recommendations. Much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by XITE-1/4LIVE View Post
You won't need a U87 or 5000 mic pre to take that sound to a live venue.
A Shure KSM8, FMR RNP Mic Pre, Hardware Multiband Compressor and a TC Fireworx.
About 2,000 USD.

The particular separation you hear is the multiband comp.
The "Space" can be emulated by a Reverb with Sidechain Ducking followed by a Gate.
I use ducking FX on vocalists live and automate their FX from my keyboard.
Been doing this for 30 years starting with the Alexis MIDI FX, then graduating to pro level hardware FX.

A used Fireworx goes for 400 USD.
I use a pair cascaded and the manual actually provides an example for ducking.

Ducking allows the "effect" to become inaudible until the audio signal goes below the threshold.

If you're a singer you'll love these old engineering tricks once learned.
You've got a good ear to describe the sound mentioned.
Do this yourself in software first, then Im sure you'll agree.
Reaper has all the tools you need except the transparent mic pre and Dual diaphragm KSM8.
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Last edited by Gypsysinger; 07-10-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:19 PM   #6
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The guy has great control of his pipes.
Saturation could come from a band on the compression, but it starts with control of his voice probably.
I slap on distortion for singers using falsetto/headtones and boost Mids if it's a section lasting 4-16 bars.
Gets a lo-if grittiness while boosting the volume.
But that's using really focused parametric EQ.

I love the Nelson Riddle Horn Section sounds he gets in the studio.
He has a fantastic live show too.
Played Hamm Hall in Vegas years ago when he first came out.
Horn players in all of the shows called subs as they flocked there trying to score a gig.
It was like Maynard Ferguson came back from the dead.
Live he had excellent FX and the room is one of the best.

But I always notice the FX of live shows, it's usually why certain soundmen can name their price.
Seal paid a local guy 16k a month, Englebert use to pay 10k for a monitor guy.
Singers really rely on engineers and tolerate just about any kind of shenanigans or costs to get it.

Maria Carey, and Beyoncé...not so much.
It's pretty much automated so they can concentrate on those lame mating rituals...
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:16 PM   #7
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Hahaha, that's about how I feel when it comes to Maria and Beyoncé. When the riff becomes the point of the "song" instead of the melody something is very, very wrong. I mean haven't they ever listened to Luther singing A House Is Not A Home? Now that's how you riff. Those riffs mean something to him. Although, I've gotta give it up to Beyoncé for being able to hold her notes while moving like that. Seriously, great breath control there.

So he's controlling that fuzzy sound..... dang do you know anywhere I could learn to do that? Possibly you know someone I could get ahold of for some lessons? I'm always willing to learn. (I wonder who Bublé has taken lessons from over the years?... I wish I could find that out somehow).

I have no idea how busy you are but what the heck.. if you're willing, I'll give you an unedited recording of me doing that song and if it's not too much trouble you can tell me what you think about where I am and where I need to go. Just give it to me straight. I'm not interested in false compliments. You can't get better that way.

For anyone else reading this.....you see, once I figure out how to do it, that's a tool I can use whenever I feel the song needs it.

I'm loving the other details you're sharing about the gigs and live sounds. Much appreciated man.
Wow, they pay that kind of money for live engineers, that's crazy... but I get it. They could make or brake you.

"I slap on distortion for singers using falsetto/headtones and boost Mids if it's a section lasting 4-16 bars. Gets a lo-if grittiness while boosting the volume. But that's using really focused parametric EQ."
I'm curious, what genre of music do you use that for?

I'm guessing you either live in Vegas or did at one time. I've got quite a few friends who live there now. One buddy of mine, a drummer and great guy by the name of Dan Sia once told me that when he moved there a few years ago, it was nightmare to get a gig. You were either in the circle or you weren't. Finally some guy got sick and he got a chance and made the most of it. I have no idea how hard it would be for a singer to get a gig there. I know you can rent a room but you're liable to lose your shirt trying to build a fanbase.

Anyway, thanks again XITE-1/4LIVE, I have a feeling you and I could sit down over coffee sometime and share some very interesting stories.

Cheers!

Oh and if anyone else has any other ideas or insight about Bublé's sound I'm still very interested.
Thanks.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:22 PM   #8
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My, admittedly unqualified, guess on the grit in his voice is a slight dose of saturation on a double of the vocal track as well as a smidgen from a "whisper" track (gated white noise through a vocoder.
Here's an old thread on the subject: https://forum.cockos.com/archive/index.php/t-54766.html


The free TAL works nicely and is easy to set up

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Old 07-22-2017, 04:18 AM   #9
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Never heard of the guy Michael Bubble before and just heard the song Haven't Met You Yet.

First glance: very compressed individual instruments, greatly compressed voice and heavily processed. Also pitch corrected but very gently and with caution.

Studio environment and equipment - no doubt about that.

It is just a overly-produced pop song.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:07 PM   #10
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A few thoughts for your consideration -

1. You've got pipes, showmanship, desire, guts, a real good "look", -- nothing lacking here.......

2. THE big difference between you and Buble' is your vocal delivery - you have more of a Broadway, aggressive, "big" delivery, while his is much more Sinatra-esque, in that he doesn't hardly EVER "belt", and has more of an "easy" delivery, and somewhat nasal.

3. I admire you for tackling your dream- good luck!
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:55 PM   #11
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Well, I had a quick listen to the song on Youtube and I hear this:

1) Not very natural sound --- perhaps some CHORUS
2) Saturation
3) Auto Tune (Vocoder)
4) Pretty dry - not much reverb not much slap, except a few places (i.e. automated throws)

Anything but natural. I had heard of the guy but not really listened carefully. I know that song (probably used as a commercial or hyper played on the radio). I thought the guy had a good tone (a bit like crooners), but after this little listening exercise I'm more like : HAAAA! This is just more of that hyper Fake - Artificialness.

To each his or her own...
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woogish View Post
A few thoughts for your consideration -

1. You've got pipes, showmanship, desire, guts, a real good "look", -- nothing lacking here.......

2. THE big difference between you and Buble' is your vocal delivery - you have more of a Broadway, aggressive, "big" delivery, while his is much more Sinatra-esque, in that he doesn't hardly EVER "belt", and has more of an "easy" delivery, and somewhat nasal.

3. I admire you for tackling your dream- good luck!
I agree. Its not a special recording technique or a trick, its his voice timbre but very compressed in the bottom. Like others already said, it is obvious that the producer compressed those low mids of his voice because they are the characteristic of his voice. And the name sinatra also comes to my mind. Because he had the same deep vibrating timbre which sounded so easy and original on deeper notes.

One thing you could try is to really get near to the mic because his voice sounds pretty close, at least in the more silent parts. I have no idea if its possible to train the velvet roughness in the low mids but I'm pretty sure you wont find anything in the FX section which recreates that sound. Only imitating per voice and then emphasizing per multi band compression would do the trick.

I heard your music examples and I think the second one comes closer. The first one sound more like Elvis Presley which could be considered the opposite because of the soft lows and dominant higher mids.
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