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Tracking With Aurora Gear Part 6 (Vocals)

Closing out the week here with some talk about vocals. Truth be told, we tracked vocals twice. Once when we did all these overdubs and once again when Paul got back from Nashville where he does quite a bit of work. So, when he got back, I asked him if he could come back in and do some more singin’.

Basically, the first time around we used a Shure SM7. He sounds great on it, it’s dummy-proof to get a good sound, and well, I just like that mic for just about anything. Maybe the only thing I HAVEN’T used an SM7 for is piano…although I probably did for something at some point, but I can’t remember. My thought was that the vocal was good, but I wanted to try a pass using a condenser microphone with the Aurora gear and see how that compares.

I put up a few mics:

Neumann U67:

Neumann U47:

Soundelux E251:

Neumann Fet 47:

So I quickly listened to every mic with no EQ or compression and then Paul and I decided what we both liked. The U47 was eliminated due to just being a little lacking in the clarity department. The U67 was taken out when I wanted a little more low end in there. I could have added eq, but we had the time to check out mics, so why not get picky. The E251 sounded great, but for this song, it made everything sound VERY pop. Maybe just too clean and Hi-Fi for both of our tastes that day. The Neumann Fet 47 seemed to do the trick. It had the big low end, smooth top that when Paul went to falsetto it didn’t get harsh, and for the most part we both just liked it instantly.

As far as processing goes, I patched in the Aurora GTC2 and used the Opto mode with a 4:1 ratio. I wasn’t slamming it or going for an effect. This was to really just control the parts of the vocal that got loud. I can’t stess enough how much I like the C2′s warmth & musicality. It can be pretty transparent if you want do you can get some pumping when dialed in for that. On this day, I wasn’t looking for an effect, so transparent it was.

Everything went down great and Paul and myself were happy with the vocal takes. In the next installment, I will be talking about the random stuff that was left to do once I got all these major chunks out of the way.

-Andrew

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