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Best budget vocal setup? 
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Doing a project with a friend who does vocals. The goal is to get the bet possible tracking that we can and then pay someone to mix.

I am not really worried about the instruments portion since I am going to use SD3 and DI tracks but I do worry about the vocals.

Instead of paying for studio time we will just do it from home on our own time but what to do about the room? Should he just do the tracks in a closet with an SM57? Are there any tips you guys have to achieve this? Can spend a little $$$ on treatments/traps or a better mic but not too much as we are going to pay for the mixing.


Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:19 am
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GABmiral
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Maddnotez wrote:
Doing a project with a friend who does vocals. The goal is to get the bet possible tracking that we can and then pay someone to mix.

I am not really worried about the instruments portion since I am going to use SD3 and DI tracks but I do worry about the vocals.

Instead of paying for studio time we will just do it from home on our own time but what to do about the room? Should he just do the tracks in a closet with an SM57? Are there any tips you guys have to achieve this? Can spend a little $$$ on treatments/traps or a better mic but not too much as we are going to pay for the mixing.

Sing in a closet with clothes. Buy a cheap but decent mic from Sweetwater that at least allows for 3 payments. This way your maybe out $100 off the hip initially and if you don't like the mic, you can always return it.

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:12 am
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waaaaaaiiit a minute...

what KIND of project, what kind of vocals?

ive done great rock vocals with 57s on some things... but that choice came with vocalist AND band in mind. singing style was screaming and in dire need of compression and also a narrow range that was fairly midrangetly with little space. if that works.. roll with it. if its more spacious... reconsider mics!


Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:56 am
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There's no escaping the need for a quality preamp here. A 57 into a decent pre would work well; an SM7 into a quality pre is $ (with no dire need for room treatment)

A Great mic into a cheap preamp is ok
a cheap 57 > solid preamp can be awesome

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Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:20 pm
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I agree with cranky ray.

any condensor through a shit preamp = shit.
a bad condensor through a normal preamp = shit.
an sm57 through a good preamp = most likely awesome.
a good condensor through a good preamp = probably fine if the voice matches the mic.

SM57 = good enough for Anthony Keidis. (not that he's a great singer, BUT...)


And, yes-> SM7B through a decent preamp = fucking awesome. good enough for Michael Jackson and Scott Stapp.

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Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:53 am
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i'm not sure i agree that a less expensive condenser can't yield decent results if you can use an eq and a compressor. jesus i used c1000s into mackies for vocals and people swore up and down it was 'the worst mic ever made into the worst sounding preamps ever devised' in the 90's. now they're 300 bucks :lol: they sound fine. is it a u47 into an EMI preamp? no. does anyone even know what that sounds like who walks amongst mortals? i doubt it.

every audio rule is made to be broken. run whatcher brung, and figure out how bad fits can be made to work. that's how it gets done anyhow-- 'good preamp' is such a sliding scale... cause a bad vocalist into a great preamp is still a bad vocalist, and a good performance into a cheap interface can still sound great.

that said-- you gotta find what sounds appropriate regardless what you use, and you can always move a condenser mic back and not get that 'in your head' sound of a dynamic mic. or whatevs. but it IS hard to offer a recommendation just knowing that it's a project with your friend with no aesthetic guideposts. :D throw us a line here...


Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:56 am
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Metal music, screaming, growling, barfing type of vocals.

The mixing engineer we would use is really good however I would like the best possible raw tracking that I can do on a budget.

The sounds I am getting are decent out of the gate for guitars and drums. I do plan to get a Countryman 85 but what kind of PRE's should I be looking at?

Does a solid PRE even exist on the low budget? I can say I am aware of the difference between plugging into my cheap interface vs running through a Studio quality preamp. Night and Day and I do want one but always thought it would be too much $$

I do have time seeing how I need to learn SD3 and I do have a SW card however, money is an object. No set budget though. Willing to drop say $300 on a mic and $500 on a PRE.


Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:00 am
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i suspect you don't NEED a pre for that kinda biz- it doesn't hurt, but it's not like you're flushing out subtle nuances and tonalities :lol: a good pre'll soften edges though, and give it some grunt though.

i dunno-- i'd think a warm wa12 would do you a world of good and the ubiquitously recommended sm7 would be super kickass for that. i've used straight 57s too, and had zero problem getting usable vox for screamy rock vox- particularly with the warm.


Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:48 am
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