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LIve Vocal Processors and Vocals

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by rickbass, Aug 8, 2003.


  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Do any of your bands use vocal processors for the lead vocalist?

    The reason I ask is that we just got a new female lead vocalist who has this Shania Twain-esque voice ----- she is whoopass on verses but her voice sounds rather thin in the choruses, because it "rides on top" of our male backup vocals.

    Just wondering if any of you all use vocal processors and which models/brands you like.

    Thanks mucho for your input!!!
     
  2. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    We have 3 vocalists in our band. I have used compression in the past to even out our vocals. One of the voalists sings real close to the mic, making it sound boomy. While I sing farther away, making the sound clearer but with less volume. A compressor helped even out our levels. It brought up my vocal to an intelligible level and removed alot of the clipping and boom from our vocalist who "eats the mic".

    I think that unless your singer takes some testosterone supplements or something, her voice will rise above the male background voice regardless of volume, especially if she has one of those voices that naturally cut through. Most female voices, especially sopranos, tend to ride over male voices anyway. Maybe one of you guys can sing a higher harmony so that her voice isn't so much above your ranges, or you can ask her to sing a lower harmony note. For example, if her harmony note is an octave higher than the highest male harmony note, maybe someone can sing a third or fifth below her note to close the gap a little. It could be as simple as asking her to sing closer to the mic so that there is more bass in her voice (proximity effect).
    It could be that your backing vocals were arranged for a previous singer, and that you kept them the same for this one. If this lady has a higher range than your previous vocalist, then it makes sense that she would ride above your backgrounds for a former vocalist with a lower range.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. Jive, how are you running the compressor--patched into the effects on the main FOH mix? I'm running sound for a local band occassionally and they also have two vocalists with wildly varying volume levels (fortunately they don't sing lead on the same songs). I've thought of getting a two-channel comp/leveler and patching into mic insert points so both mains and monitors would be levelled, but main effects loop is easier...

    I'm also curious, can a relatively cheap comp provide acceptable results? I don't want to spend $400 on a processor when I only make $100 per gig.
     
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    FWIW, bill - we put that cost on the lead vocalist. A good Shure mic doesn't cost that much and they don't have to invest major bucks in an instrument and a rack system.
     
  5. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I use the aux (effects) send and return. That way I can add compression to other stuff that needs some dynamics leveled like the bass drum. You could use the inserts for each channel, but that wouldn't give you the option to compress other instruments. On the other hand, using the inserts let you use different compressors or compression settings to each channel if you are using a dual channel comp. I don't apply any effects to the monitor mix other than maybe gate. I go for simplicity. I gotta play the bass too!
    A relatively cheap comp will work fine. Live sound and recording are two different things. I tend to go cheaper for live. I use an Alesis Nanocmopressor that you can find under $100 on EBay that works fine for our vocals.
     
  6. Are you running any delay or reverb on her voice?
     
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    My old fave - an Echoplex.....but it doesn't add texture.
     
  8. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Yes, I am in a cover band and we use processors because at times it's difficult to sound like someone else without it. By adding some chorus and compression here and there a little reverb especially in the chorus of songs it adds a lot of depth.
     
  9. crossXbones

    crossXbones

    Sep 17, 2002
    Florida
    iv'e been doing sound for awhile and i have never seen anyone put compression on a vocalist and i have never done it either. i am not saying that it doesn't work, but fine tuning the eq usually does the trick for vocalists that eat the mic....and of course using an array of reverb/delay settings depending on the vocalist. in any case, good luck to ya.
     
  10. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    thanks I'll let my vocalist know that!