EQing & mixing vocals - gimme your tips n critiques!!!

Krin

Passionate Fan
Feb 28, 2019
164
UPDATE: thanks to those who gave me some insights!! not sure if anyone's even watching this anymore lol but I did indeed take some tips!! I replaced the unfinished track with the NOW finished track on soundcloud. so, if anyone's got time to listen and give input (on my EQing specifically, how does it sound?) I'd love to read it! life's been crazy busy lately, so there's my excuse for taking forever.

New track:






-old post-

I'll get straight to the point; any good EQers out there that can give me some pointers on how i EQ'ed Merry Kohaku in here??!


song: Mahou (魔法) || Vocal: Merry Kohaku (voicebanks: meteor, daikagura & toroflux)

the first part i'm not too stressed about, it's 0:27 and on that I feel needs some touching up. my struggle is that I wanted to keep the breathy notes clear and not be drowned out by the bgm... BUT at the same time not have her louder more fuller notes totally blare and overpower the bgm. I can't seem find a good balance (or even know how to. my usual go-to attack stratagy when EQing is to play around with the frequencies until it sounds good, so now you can see why I really need to educate myself. <3)

I've been using FL studio to mix & EQ, and attacted some screenshots of the loud part to show you where i'm at if it'll help!!eq1.pngeq2.png
 
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parallax_fifths

Passionate Fan
Jun 27, 2019
120
I'm only learning this stuff myself, but my (very) amateur ears are wondering about what sort of compression are you using on the voice. In addition, I think that "riding the faders" might help to match levels when the instrumental stuff becomes more prominent.
 
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Krin

Passionate Fan
Feb 28, 2019
164
I'm only learning this stuff myself, but my (very) amateur ears are wondering about what sort of compression are you using on the voice. In addition, I think that "riding the faders" might help to match levels when the instrumental stuff becomes more prominent.
For compression, I used FL Studio's fruity compressor... but that was only on the first half. I honestly didn't think it did much of anything for my vocals so I left it out when I moved on to the louder part (2nd half). the 1st part still has the compressor on though.

as for your second point, I will try playing around with gain/fade a little more.

I did do a little more research on EQing though. I'll send an update whenever I get the chance. tysm for the input!!!
 

parallax_fifths

Passionate Fan
Jun 27, 2019
120
My personal experiences with FL Studio stock compressors have not been positive: a lot of fiddling for only mediocre results.

I used the stock compressors for years, admiring their plethora of options while simultaneously struggling to get a decent sound. I blamed my lackluster results on my own lack of experience; however, about one year ago I finally tried a 3rd party compressor, and it was a revelation—pleasing results with minimal fuss!

Unfortunately, I can't recommend a good 3rd party compressor because I haven't tried enough of them to offer an informed opinion. However, ReaPlugs are free and the suite includes two compressors: ReaComp and ReaXcomp. I recommend trying ReaComp on your vocals to see what sort of results you can get. If you are satisfied that ReaComp sounds better than FL compressors and/or is easier to use than FL compressors, then the next step is to test some 3rd party plugin demos.

I'm quit certain that once you try a non-FL compressor you'll never look back.
 
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parallax_fifths

Passionate Fan
Jun 27, 2019
120
Sorry, I'm being annoying once again.

It has just come to my attention that Tokyo Dawn Records has a free compressor available for download: TDR Kotelnikov.

I haven't yet had a chance to use this particular compressor, but TDR's Nova dynamic EQ is quite decent, so there's a good chance that their compressor is also worthwhile.
 
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Krin

Passionate Fan
Feb 28, 2019
164
Sorry, I'm being annoying once again.

It has just come to my attention that Tokyo Dawn Records has a free compressor available for download: TDR Kotelnikov.

I haven't yet had a chance to use this particular compressor, but TDR's Nova dynamic EQ is quite decent, so there's a good chance that their compressor is also worthwhile.
oh nonono!!! you're not annoying, i've just been busy yesterday and haven't yet found time to play around with other compressors.

I'll def give my go and try TDR tonight, I feel like I've heard abt it actually.
 
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Krin

Passionate Fan
Feb 28, 2019
164
dunno if anyone's watching this anymore BUT I updated my original post with a new soundcloud track, this time the full "finished" version. to my ears, I think it sounds at least somewhat better now after I played around with different compressors, and did a bit of EQing. I settled on TDR as my main compressor, because that was the only one that I got some good results out of hahaha. definitely still have much to learn in terms of EQing though :/

@parallax_fifths tysm for helping out a n00b <3 lol
 

parallax_fifths

Passionate Fan
Jun 27, 2019
120
That Kotelnikov certainly did a good job on the vocals: smooth and transparent. I'll have to try it on my upcoming track. (One thing I've learned is that different compressors work more effectively on specific instruments/tasks—even pros use multiple compressors. One size definitely does not fit all!)

I hate to break the news, but I'm more noob than expert.

I also hate to break the news about EQ, but if you're using FL Studio stock EQ plugins, that once again might be part of your problem. Different EQs colour sound differently, except FL Studio's stock EQs, which seem to turn everything to grey. Colouration is most important when shaping sounds, and less important when low and/or high pass filtering.

Seeing that you liked the TDR compressor, you might like their free SlickEQ, which offers a variety of colouration options: linear, silky, mellow, deep, funky. Here's a detailed introduction video:


Ignite Amps also offers the PTEq-X, which is a free simulation of several Pultec EQ modules. Pultec EQ modules are "obsolete" analog EQs that are still prized for their colouration effects. Although I like the sound of the PTEq-X, I personally find the Pultec interface annoying to use. But it's good to have options. You can find tonnes of videos on YouTube covering various Pultec EQs: original hardware, recreation hardware, paid plugins, and free plugins. If you're interested, be sure to search for the Pultec low-end trick.

And as an end note: one strategy that has worked well for me when EQing vocals is to do high-pass filtering before compression, and then do colouration EQ after compression. But your mileage may vary. Also, try to do your EQing in context rather than in solo. For years I struggled with EQ, but then one day I tried while listening to everything in context and wow, what a difference! Decisions were so much easier to make. I felt like such an idiot for spending so many years struggling to EQ in solo. (Although solo EQing is still necessary in some situations.)
 

Krin

Passionate Fan
Feb 28, 2019
164
yeah!! while I was checking out TDR's compressor I noticed they had an EQ module (SlickEQ to be specific) so I ended up trying out both. my main focus was more on compression so I spent most of my time working with the TDR compressor to try to balance noice. I did however take SlickEQ for a (very short and kinda half-assed) run. didn't really spend too much time on it since I wasn't too concerned abt the way I EQ'd her vocals but now after watching that video... I absolutely want to take another look at SlickEQ!!!

interestingly enough I never thought about the "colouration" of vocals. I always payed attention to JUST frequencies/high-low passes and what I """"thought"""" the vocals needed :) but anyways, the colour of a voice... I really like that way of thinking.


ugh, this makes me want to quick wip up something in UTAU just to mess around with SlickEQ. too bad I never have much time :/. honestly, I never would have thought I'd get into EQing / compression this much, or mixing in general. I recently came back to UTAU just because I missed how fun tuning voicebanks can be but man this is wild lmao
 

parallax_fifths

Passionate Fan
Jun 27, 2019
120
I've also been guilty of only thinking about frequencies when EQing, a habit that I recently corrected. Now I know that it's more important to concentrate on the sound/music itself.

Mixing is partly science, but mostly art.
 

mobius017

Aspiring ∞ Creator
Apr 8, 2018
1,498
@parallax_fifths: Wow, you've passed on a lot of useful info! Just looking over this thread a bit gives a little of an overview of what some of these techniques are and what they're good for. Have you ever considered putting together a post(s) under resources about these sorts of mixing topics? Even if they're just links to other tutorials with some context around them, I'll bet people would learn a lot from them!
 

AALLF

I create symphonic metal/rock using Gumi.
May 20, 2020
89
United States
www.youtube.com
Hi, I know this is a slightly older thread, but perhaps I could offer my two cents?

Your track sounds really good. The only thing that comes to my mind (and this may be simply a matter of taste), but there seems to be, at times, a lot of low mid energy in the vocals. Perhaps notching out 1-2 dbs? Or maybe using a multiband compressor (if you aren't already). I'm not sure how the other Vocaloids are, but when I use GUMI, I have to do a lot of EQ (both pre and post) and multi-band compression to make her sit in the mix properly.

If I was mixing your track, the only thing I would do is notch out some 200 (or maybe higher? my ears aren't too sharp right now), and add some more comp to the vocals (or tweak the settings).
Of course, that might just be my taste. Either way, I think it sounds good!
 

Krin

Passionate Fan
Feb 28, 2019
164
Hi, I know this is a slightly older thread, but perhaps I could offer my two cents?
It's all good!! i'm always happy to receive mixing advice since I've been self studying it as of late :)

Your track sounds really good. The only thing that comes to my mind (and this may be simply a matter of taste), but there seems to be, at times, a lot of low mid energy in the vocals. Perhaps notching out 1-2 dbs? Or maybe using a multiband compressor (if you aren't already). I'm not sure how the other Vocaloids are, but when I use GUMI, I have to do a lot of EQ (both pre and post) and multi-band compression to make her sit in the mix properly.
Ok, listening to this again and I hear what you mean about there being too much mid-lowish energy. I'm not sure what sort of compressor I was using specifically but it was probably one of the stock compressors in FL Studio... which i quickly replaced for other compressors hhh. Since this was one of my very first attempts at **actually** mixing vocals rendered from UTAU up against an instrumental I'm sure there's a lot of issues going on with the sound.

If I was mixing your track, the only thing I would do is notch out some 200 (or maybe higher? my ears aren't too sharp right now), and add some more comp to the vocals (or tweak the settings).
Of course, that might just be my taste. Either way, I think it sounds good!
Thank you so much for the advice!! Oh I'm sure it needs more compression, If I remember right I'm pretty sure it was just some random preset lmao. I'd like to believe I've learned a little more since then...... hopefully.
 
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AALLF

I create symphonic metal/rock using Gumi.
May 20, 2020
89
United States
www.youtube.com
Awesome. I still have a lot to learn myself, but I'd like to share anything I know if you (or anybody else) need any help with the mixing part.

I spent the last 6 years (on and off) focused on the production and recording aspect before I was confident in releasing anything. I listen to what I released and still hear things that could be better, but if I didn't let go of it now, I never would have. :sleep: :ring_ani_lili:

Rock on, everybody :kaito_move:
 
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