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Catalina22
Forum Full Member


Registered: 07/01/10
Posts: 161
Location: Eaton, Colorado United States
 
Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 10:46 AM CST

Hi All~

I really need to solicit the expert advice of the MacJams community. I have been working doggedly at recording vocals, and it's been very frustrating.

The main problem is this: I sound flat, no matter what I do!!!! Be honest . . . is this because I just basically sing flat? I know that this could be the problem and I'm working and working on fine-tuning my pitch problems singing. I am practicing and practicing and practicing. I just don't get it, though. I studied vocal performance in college and never had a problem singing flat.

Do microphones distort sound in this manner at all sometimes? I have been experimenting and playing around lots with the mic, in terms of levels and distances, etc. No matter what I do, it sounds "pitchy". I always record with the monitor on. Do you think I should try any recording with the monitor OFF? Is that what's throwing me off?

Have others experienced frustration in recording vocals in this manner? I could swear, I don't usually sing flat. But everything sounds very "pitchy", like I said. I may try recording with the monitor off, because I think the tiniest of nuances the monitor picks up really freaks me out while I'm recording.

What tips does the MJ community have for recording vocals? Any little pearls of wisdom that have helped you in terms of recording vocals?

Thanks a million! Smile

Cortney

In the end, everything's okay. If it's not okay, it's not the end. ~Anonymous
particledots
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 1750
Location: , United States
 
Re:Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 10:52 AM CST

i sing flat (and sharp) all the time...

practice and warm up might help. you are also right about the possibility of your monitoring playing a part, but i think its more likely to be technique

if you have a vocal you want me to 'unflatten' for you...drop me a line
crissew
Forum Full Member


Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1093
Location: , NC United States
 
Re:Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 11:02 AM CST

monitoring is key. some people use both headphones to monitor, some use only one to hear the music and the other to hear just your voice. Another thing you can try is to plug one of your ears so you can hear your "head voice". That helps some people. Everyone is different. Some singers can't use headphones at all and have to use live monitors and then cancel out the bleed after the fact. (a pretty advanced technique that I am clueless on but you can find info online about it though). Also make sure your instruments are all in tune. Sometimes an out of tune instrument can make the vocal seem off. The last thing is to stay relaxed. Sometimes, if you are tensed up while singing, pitch becomes much more of an issue.

even a few cents off in pitch can be noticeable on a recording, takes some practice. Maybe the above tips can point you in the right direction.
michael2
Forum Full Member


Registered: 03/18/07
Posts: 3094
Location: Los Angeles, Cali USA
 
Re:Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 11:15 AM CST

not to be a downer, but I suspect that you always were slightly off pitch and you're only noticing it now since you can hear everything in your recordings. we've ll had that problem though; all i can say is practice makes perfect (or close enough for rock and roll).
Calchas
Forum Full Member


Registered: 03/20/09
Posts: 1303
Location: Salem, Oregon USA
 
Re:Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 12:38 PM CST

You're not alone friend. I have a tendency to sing sharp and even to play sharp in my lead solos. It is very frustrating.

I get around it---to the extent that I do get around it---by recording repeated takes and then pasting together the best parts of each.

You'll have to find what works best for you. But don't let this problem stop you! If you keep at it you're likely to get better over time...

Be well friend!
867-5309
Forum Regular Poster


Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 96
Location: N/A
 
Re:Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 12:38 PM CST

Upon your using in-ear monitors - the problem could well be greatly improved -really - clarity being boosted - for the vocal track you are trying to record - and trying various volume levels with the existing accompaniment instruments / vocals / percussion ~ try lowering their levels - trial and error - it sounds simple but it works and helps with the subtlties, precision and especially particular timbres of tone color you wish to deliver. Boost those stereo in-ear monitors.
Your puzzle parts will piece together with more logic.
They also help greatly if you have proximity hearing loss - high frequency or other.


Take the hypotenuse except when crossing a busy street.

      I could use three more digits.

            Write on and on
Elevator_Funk
Forum Full Member


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 746
Location: N/A
 
Re:Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 02:13 PM CST

This guy always sings flat, and he's probably one of my favorite singers. Maybe you need to write a song or two that doesn't require perfect pitch?

Elevator_Funk
Forum Full Member


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 746
Location: N/A
 
Re:Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 02:13 PM CST

This guy always sings flat, and he's probably one of my favorite singers. Maybe you need to write a song or two that doesn't require perfect pitch?

apb
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/24/06
Posts: 1456
Location: , Sweden
 
Re:Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 03:10 PM CST

Quote by: michael2
close enough for rock and roll).



.. gets my vote Big Grin or .. if you don't want to use any "pitch correction" sw/tools .. you could just tune all the instrumentation down a fraction until it matches your vocal Wink

In short, I wouldn't beat yourself up over it...
 
sschedra
Forum Full Member


Registered: 01/02/08
Posts: 505
Location: Middle Island, NY United States
 
Re:Muchas Problemas
Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 03:24 PM CST

Singing, singing in a large room over a PA and recording all challenge the artist and you just have to find a way of hearing that makes you comfortable. I never experienced so many problems as when I went to record. The biggest challenge is hearing. I find that wearing headphones with the voice monitored (especially USB which seems to have a slight delay) throws me way off. This is especially true if I am trying to sing something that is nuanced and has critical requirements (like opera).

I have often found that I get the best results playing the music through the headphone, turning off the monitor on the vocal and then removing one ear so I can hear my voice in the room. I have also tried placing the headphones high on my ears, so the bottoms of both ears are listening to the room. This is great, but the headphones want to slip if you move around when you sing (which I most definitely do).

The most natural way is vocal monitor off and play the music through the speakers, but as someone else pointed out, then the speakers bleed onto the vocal track. This might not be really bad in some cases, but it limits your options for treating the tracks in production.