Old 05-19-2019, 07:13 PM   #1
metallicaguy1
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Default Vocal plugins

Anyone know any free or paid plugins for getting good-sounding vocals (for singing)?

Also... I record in a room that isn't sound treated. Would treating it make my vocals sound any better?
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:58 PM   #2
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errr...you might want to be a bit more descriptive about what you mean by "good sounding vocals" - more in tune, brighter, thicker, more uniform volume? what exactly are you hoping to achieve?
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:59 PM   #3
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Start with a good singer and the rest will fall into place...
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:15 PM   #4
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All you need EQ, Deesser, Compressor and maybe a little saturation. All available free and good enough for vocals. Check out VST4FREE website,best plugin site imo.
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:22 PM   #5
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In order:
Good singer
Good mic (not necessarily an EXPENSIVE mic)
Acoustic treatment to minimize room tone
Everything else

For plugins a typical chain would be EQ, compression, de-esser, reverb and/or delay.
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicbuss View Post
In order:
Good singer
Good mic (not necessarily an EXPENSIVE mic)
Acoustic treatment to minimize room tone
Everything else

For plugins a typical chain would be EQ, compression, de-esser, reverb and/or delay.
If you're going for a condenser I'd, actually put the room treatment BEFORE the mic.

If you have a crappy room, I recommend either treating it first, or using a '57. That mic sounds.. ok.. Not spectacular, but OK.. But most importantly, if you sing relatively close to it, it won't pick up the crappy reflections.

a 57 in a crappy room will sound better than a newmann in a crappy room loaded with unwanted reflections.

Of course, I totally agree with the singer being the most important thing. gotta preach for your church

check out chineses sites for sound treating foam.. it's insanely cheap
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:03 PM   #7
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Mic + eq obviously and comps like

Waves RVox - Nice and simple

Classic vocal chain - 1176 -> LA2A (I use plugins nowadays, IK Multimedia)
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:02 PM   #8
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A room being untreated doesn't tell us enough, since a room could need a little treatment, a ton, or simply be an impossible place to record vocals in. But one thing is for sure: if the room is having a negative effect on the vocals nothing will change that more than barely except for making the room stop doing it. A different mic may pick up less of the offensive aspect of the room due to its pickup pattern, but you wouldn't buy a different mic as the solution to a bad sounding room. If you already have a functioning mic spend $75 on materials to treat the room and you've negated the need to buy a new mic that picks up less of the ugly room. And then you have a better sounding room : )

And while there are many free plugins that can be used nicely in a vocal fx chain, since they would be eqs and dynamics (compressors, limiters, etc) plugins, which Reaper gives you as part of the program, there's no reason to skip them and go searching elsewhere. ReaEQ and ReaComp are perfectly fine, and if you want to look for more flavors of eq and compression you don't really need to look any further than the wonderful JS plugins, also included in Reaper. The Reaper plugins are found in the Cockos category in the fx browser and the JS ones are in the JS category.

I love third party free plugins and use them all the time, but for a beginner learning to use the tools they open a door that might not help anything until you get comfortable with the basics of using the versions of the same functions that are right here in Reaper.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:15 PM   #9
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Post some examples of songs you're working on, for which you'd like better vocal production.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:29 AM   #10
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As many mentioned above

i would suggest

Fab filter Q3, it will take care of your Dynamic, Eq and Image correction issues in one tool
TDR has some free tools for the same stuff, i haven't tried these personally but have heard many people vouch for it.

Reverb - Valhalla , SOftube's Tsar , Fab pro R {paid}
or Denis Tahinov's Oril River { free} this is a great freeware.

Modulation Effects- Soundtoys { paid}
U-he's- UHBIK {paid}
Bionic Supa delay {free} - great for dub style delays etc.

For stutters and glitches - GLITCH 2 by illformed . { paid}
they had an earlier freebie version.

Or better .. just go to the kvr website and go through the million free plugins they have put links and reviews for.

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Old 05-21-2019, 08:31 AM   #11
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If you're going for a condenser I'd, actually put the room treatment BEFORE the mic.

If you have a crappy room, I recommend either treating it first, or using a '57. That mic sounds.. ok.. Not spectacular, but OK.. But most importantly, if you sing relatively close to it, it won't pick up the crappy reflections.

a 57 in a crappy room will sound better than a newmann in a crappy room loaded with unwanted reflections.

Of course, I totally agree with the singer being the most important thing. gotta preach for your church

check out chineses sites for sound treating foam.. it's insanely cheap
I agree that condenser mics can actually work AGAINST a bedroom recordist because they are Soooo sensitive compared to dynamics. Thats why you see the SM7 being reccommended so often as a first vocal mic. Its a better 57 and much more suited to bad acoustic spaces.

Thats said its not too difficult to setup a make shift vocal booth using several packing blankets and some spare mic stands to hang them on.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g4greg View Post
If you're going for a condenser I'd, actually put the room treatment BEFORE the mic.

If you have a crappy room, I recommend either treating it first, or using a '57. That mic sounds.. ok.. Not spectacular, but OK.. But most importantly, if you sing relatively close to it, it won't pick up the crappy reflections.

a 57 in a crappy room will sound better than a newmann in a crappy room loaded with unwanted reflections.

Of course, I totally agree with the singer being the most important thing. gotta preach for your church

check out chineses sites for sound treating foam.. it's insanely cheap
I have a shure sm58, and do plan to treat my room very soon (Just not sure where the placement of the panels will go). I'm going to use rockwool and make panels
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:29 PM   #13
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U2's Bono is said to have recorded a lot of his vocals with the SM58 so....


If you get up close to that mic, you may not hear a lot of room sound in your vocal track.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicbuss View Post
I agree that condenser mics can actually work AGAINST a bedroom recordist because they are Soooo sensitive compared to dynamics. Thats why you see the SM7 being reccommended so often as a first vocal mic. Its a better 57 and much more suited to bad acoustic spaces.

Thats said its not too difficult to setup a make shift vocal booth using several packing blankets and some spare mic stands to hang them on.
Ah yes, the SM7. I 'm not fond of what it does to my voice, but it's highly personal. For metal (and I assume Metallicaguy does metal) it's a great vocal mic. Puts your vocals up front and center. You need a really good preamp to drive it though.. Your generic off the mill 2 in 2 out interface generally doesn't have the preamps to drive that thing without introducing a lot of hiss.

PLUGINS, right!

After you have a good singer, a good singing booth (yup, blankets and lots of laundry will do the trick) we can talk about effects.

I actually use reacomp as my go-to compressor. the "modern vocal" preset is a good starting point.

I also use the dirt-cheap TB essentials suite for my vocals. They're basically the reaplugs with nicer GUIs.

My vocal template is: reatune (when I'm lazy) -> TB de-ess ->reacomp->TB EQ->TB module (that's a delay. Gotta have delay for vocals, even if it's inaudible in the mix.) I then route it to an FX bus where my reverb sleeps.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:43 PM   #15
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I agree that condenser mics can actually work AGAINST a bedroom recordist because they are Soooo sensitive compared to dynamics.
^Compensated for when setting gain.

@OP: The best option is trying a few different ones. Condenser vs. dynamic can survive user testing/preference for vocals. Some particular mic may just seem to always work when "you" sing into it and that's all you need to know.

However, there used to be a time where only "this mic over here" worked for my vocals, after years of doing vocals, I now seem to be able to get as good a vocal from multiple mics, so some of it is having a mic AND learning how to record your own vocal well and... little of that is due the mic itself, assuming it's a decent mic IME.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:19 PM   #16
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I've seen video of Hetfield using an SM7 in the studio. It's a pretty big jump in price from a 58, though.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:36 PM   #17
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^Compensated for when setting gain.
We're talking about how sensitive they are to room reflections because of their pickup pattern.

dynamics have a tighter pickup pattern, so a crappy room doesn't get picked up too much..
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:43 PM   #18
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We're talking about how sensitive they are to room reflections because of their pickup pattern.

dynamics have a tighter pickup pattern, so a crappy room doesn't get picked up too much..
How so? Because cardioid is cardioid for example and so on. Let's swap it up and change it to fig-8 - OK, it's picking stuff up back "there" because that pattern does that but if it were a condenser *and* dynamic in fig-8, we'd be back to pretty much equal other than higher output = gain compensate = same. I get them being more sensitive due to one having a preamp and how electrets and others work and dynamic being a heavier mass, I don't get how cardiod on condenser is any different than dynamic - where sensitivity based on type has to do with anything other than the gain control or differences in frequency response.

I would definitely be on board though if we are saying we picked two where the polar patterns were different but that's not the same as dynamic vs condenser.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:08 PM   #19
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How so? Because cardioid is cardioid for example and so on
yes, they are both cardioid, but no, they don't have the same pickup pattern.

I won't talk about the sm7, because i'm not super familiar with it, and how tight its pattern is, but the sm57 DEFINITELY has a tighter pattern than oh, say.. any condenser.

It's not hyper cardioid yet, but it's tight enough to be used live without howling feedbback. Try that with any large condenser.

So if it has a tighter pattern, it doesn't pickup the unwanted room reflections as much if you sing in the sweet spot.

sm57 or 58's are actually a great choices for budget home studios until they get their room treated. And every studio should have at least one of those, if not a bucketful

I have an at4040 as my vocal mic, but when I'm recording in less than ideal conditions , I always use my trusty e935 live mic. I could be in a friggin church and it wouldn't pick up the echo that much.

An sm58 isn't as good on vocals (IMHO, of course) as an e935, nor does it have as tight of a pattern, but it will cut out the room reflections significantly compared to a large condenser. Trust me on that.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:23 PM   #20
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Sounds more like sensitivity to me. A more sensitive mic will pick up more subtle details, like reflections off a wall.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:40 PM   #21
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Thanks,

FWIW... With the same proportional gain, I never get more room sound from my 40 or so mics unless I change polar patterns that I can remember, and the general consensus that condensers are more sensitive is true but irrelevant once we set the gain (which we have to do) so... I get a little twitchy when we state sensitivity is a problem as it shouldn't be and many consider it a myth.

I wouldn't turn down any resources talking about cardiod patterns being tighter/looser on dynamic vs condenser simply due to their mic type though.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:14 PM   #22
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I tend to get more room in a condenser vocal mic than a dynamic simply due to the fact that for me at least, there is always more distance between the source material and the mic when the mic is a condenser. I like to be at least a couple feet back from an LDC but will eat an SM57/58.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:16 AM   #23
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Condensers typically have more going on in the upper bit of their frequency response chart. That might bring more high freq reflections into play. It might not be sensitivity as such, but the EQ curve the mic gives the room reflections.

There is also the sound of any mic's off-axis pickup. If you're in a reflective room then you'll be hearing more of that. I have no idea if it's anything to do with condenser vs. dynamic, but the off-axis sound varies a lot between different mic's, in my experience.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:22 AM   #24
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Condensers typically have more going on in the upper bit of their frequency response chart.
They do mostly in transient response but that should be irrelevant to room sound... Just grabbing a couple randomly below. Additionally, I have at least two condensers that are flatter in the high-end than an sm57 (Warm Audio WA-87 and an Equitek E-200 from the 90s). Not trying to hijack the thread, just noting.

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Old 05-22-2019, 08:34 AM   #25
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They do mostly in transient response but that should be irrelevant to room sound... Just grabbing a couple randomly below. Additionally, I have at least two condensers that are flatter in the high-end than an sm57 (Warm Audio WA-87 and an Equitek E-200 from the 90s). Not trying to hijack the thread, just noting.
Would you place a vocalist the same distance from a C414 as you would if they were on an SM57? I've always given condensers more space between the singer and mic, but maybe it's just me. To my ears the sound is more balanced with a little more distance, but that means using higher gain and more room too.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:40 AM   #26
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I would say that the main difference in performance between a dynamic and a condenser mic is going to be the mass of the diaphragm, and the fact that a dynamic has to physically move the mass of the voice coil back and forth. You lose most everything above 15k, the sound waves lack the energy to move all of that mass, and quieter reflections would be the same.

Ribbon mics are less susceptible to this effect, the ribbon itself has very little mass, and it passes between magnets.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:45 AM   #27
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Would you place a vocalist the same distance from a C414 as you would if they were on an SM57? I've always given condensers more space between the singer and mic, but maybe it's just me. To my ears the sound is more balanced with a little more distance, but that means using higher gain and more room too.
Good question, I sort of like distance between singer/mic regardless because the sound has a chance to develop some and is more unwieldy and less balanced for me when too close (12" is getting close for me). The biggest change I've ever made was getting my room in good enough shape to allow such creative micing choices, before that, all micing was defensive, not creative... but that didn't change whether I used condenser or dynamic.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:47 AM   #28
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I would say that the main difference in performance between a dynamic and a condenser mic is going to be the mass of the diaphragm, and the fact that a dynamic has to physically move the mass of the voice coil back and forth. You lose most everything above 15k, the sound waves lack the energy to move all of that mass, and quieter reflections would be the same.

Ribbon mics are less susceptible to this effect, the ribbon itself has very little mass, and it passes between magnets.
The thread the post below lives in is a good read which goes into more detail (albeit about feedback) but essentially, if the mics are the same pattern and set to the same level via preamp (which should be a given), then they are the same level, and room doesn't get louder because one is condenser.

https://forums.cockos.com/showpost.p...4&postcount=27
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:56 AM   #29
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Good question, I sort of like distance between singer/mic regardless because the sound has a chance to develop some and is more unwieldy and less balanced for me when too close (12" is getting close for me). The biggest change I've ever made was getting my room in good enough shape to allow such creative micing choices, before that, all micing was defensive, not creative... but that didn't change whether I used condenser or dynamic.
I purposely kept one wall in my room live, but the others are covered pretty well with Sonex studio foam. When I record acoustic instruments or vocals I like to get a bounce off of the one live wall in the room and usually put the vocalist or instrument facing it.
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:25 PM   #30
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just a post to say that after a little research, I have to admit I was living in a myth for many years, and if a dynamic and a condenser have the same pattern, they will pickup the same room sound if they have equal gain.

I was wrong, you were right. Thanks for setting my record straight. Even if I sounded like an ignorant arsehole. P


The big difference is the sensitivity of the membrane with LDC vs dynamics. You do need a louder sound to make the membrane vibrate. However, the "room sound" is only relative, because it's true that I usually sing much closer to my handheld than I would for my LDC, which is like a food and a half away, hidden behind a pop filter to keep me away.

So, in theory, if you have a crappy room, just sing real close to your mic.. whatever mic you have, and EQ out the proximity effect. (which is much less pronounced on an e935).

The feedback thing is just manifacturers making sure that the offending frequencies aren't accentuated in their live mics.

Of course, hypercardioids are different beasts..But it's only due to their pattern.
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:00 AM   #31
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just a post to say that after a little research,
Hey thanks for checking around. It's all good, and take care!
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:07 AM   #32
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Anyone know any free or paid plugins for getting good-sounding vocals (for singing)?

Also... I record in a room that isn't sound treated. Would treating it make my vocals sound any better?
As the other points out:
Your question tells that a plugin is not gonna fix it for you.
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