Login / Register  0 items | $0.00 NewWhat is KVR? Submit News Advertise
sjm
KVRian
 
936 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:37 am FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

I'm looking to emulate the sounds of mid-late 60s vocals. This is for a song that essentially has 2 distinct parts to it: a happy hippy sing-along-and-clap-your-hands chorus; and a trippy late-60s acid/psychadelic verse. I have recorded several takes of the vocals for double-tracking purposes, as well as some background oohs. I get the feeling that I'm sort of halfway there.

My biggest problem is figuring out what sort of FX chain I need to apply to both the main vocals and oohs and aahs in the trippy part. Not just what FX, but also what order they should go in. Suggestions for the cleaner singalong vocals would also be welcome, although that should be a lot simpler.

This is not my area of expertise at all, so I'd love some input on what I ought to be doing. In terms of general vibe for the song, I'm probably looking for a sort of mid-period Beatles (e.g. Sgt Peppers) sound. I'm also a big fan of the Kinks from the same period. Another - later - song I like with a similar vibe is Arnold Layne (Pink Floyd).

I'm assuming that reverb and (tape) delay are important, and that I am probably looking for a spring reverb for the trippier sounds - is that correct? Any pointers as to what would be good settings are appreciated.

I know that Leslie speakers were also used as vocal FX, but again I'm not really sure what sort of settings I'm looking for. I have managed to get a sort of acid bubbly sound from messing around randomly with a Leslie emu. I get the basic idea of how the speaker functions, but not how that translates into getting the right sound out of it.

So in short:
What are your suggestions for FX chains and settings for main and backing vocals in a 60s style track?
sjm
KVRian
 
936 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:52 am Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

Seeing as no one is biting, I've rendered out the current state of the song and included some info on what I've done.

Edit: This links to an outdated version; newer version is in the next post... I've left this here just in case anyone wants to compare the versions.

https://soundcloud.com/steevm/flower-girl/s-iMvtc

This is a WIP render of the song's current state to give you guys a little bit more context. The verse vocals are repeated, even though I have lyrics for both verses; I'm not happy with the verse recordings at all and need to redo the verses completely at some point (singing isn't something I'm any good at). But I'm sure you get the idea and can look past my vocal inadequacies. The instrumental parts in the verse are also placeholders - I worked out the basic chord progression on guitar, and everything else is really just me noodling around with some ideas. I'm thinking the chorus is just going to be basic guitar strumming and bass + clapping, tambourine, vocals, so largely as is with some polishing.

My current FX chains on the vocals are described below:

Chorus
  • Noise gate
  • Plate reverb
The vocals are double tracked but not panned yet. I'm assuming I need to pan them both slightly differently.

Verse
  • Noise gate
  • Compressor

The signal is then split to two channels:
Clean vox
  • Small room reverb (approx 50% wet), relatively short decay and lots of ER (which might be a mistake)

Trippy vox
  • Leslie simulation; treble speaker is a lot faster than the bass, quite a high spread, medium drive
  • Reverb with ~4s decay and large size, ~25% wet

Again the vocals are double tracked, but not panned. The clean vox are slightly louder than the trippy vox.

Background Aaahs
  • Noise gate
  • EQ (low cut, high shelf boost)
  • Tape Delay with ~350 ms delay, and not too much feedback
  • A band reject autofilter
  • Leslie simulation, with similar settings to the trippy vox , but more drive and only 50% wet
  • Hall reverb, ~1.5 s (maybe I should turn this up?)
These aahs are also double tracked; this time I have them panned mid-left and mid-right.

I'm kinda flying blind here, so these are rather random... :)

I don't seem to have any spring reverbs outside of guitar amp sims, so if you think a spring reverb is what I need, suggestions for a good free/cheap spring reverb (no dongle) are welcome.

Thanks for any input.

Peace and love 8-)
Last edited by sjm on Wed May 10, 2017 11:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
sjm
KVRian
 
936 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Wed May 10, 2017 11:32 am Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

Well it seems I'm the only person in the KVR/FL universe with a penchant for retro 60s pop... or at least the paucity of replies leads me to draw this conclusion. Either that, or this is posted in the wrong sub-forum, in which case please let me know...

Anyway, I've worked on this a bit more and this is the current state:
https://soundcloud.com/steevm/flower-girl-1

I'd love any feedback on whether this evokes a kind of retro-60s-hippy pre-woodstock vibe for you. I'm not looking to completely emulate the sound of a 1967 recording by any means, but I do want to capture that vibe. Any feedback/suggestions would be welcome.

I ended up sort of trying to emulate a tape based approach for all the vocal parts. I recorded myself doing the same part multiple times. Depending on the part, I did one of two things:
  • Take 2 or 3 takes, send them each to separate mixer channels panned L/R/C (center only when there are 3), and then routed these mixer tracks to a single stereo track.
  • Take multiple takes and send them all to the same mixer channel at once. Turned down the stereo width for a mono track.
I did this to try semi-recreate the process of recording and bouncing to tape. So some parts are essentially emulating a 2-track (stereo) and some a 1-track (mono) recording of several bounced takes.

Other than that I bunged a load of tape emu plugins on half the tracks, some Leslie sims (some of the vox, organ), plate and spring reverbs etc. I tried to avoid anything too "modern", so there's a couple of retro-style FX like flangers/phasers on some of the instruments.


So whaddya all reckon... do I sound like an ageing hippy? :D
User avatar
SODDI
KVRAF
 
3341 posts since 2 Jul, 2007

Postby SODDI; Thu May 11, 2017 1:03 pm Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

Did you take a look at the Motown mixing article I posted couple weeks ago?

Here's another: http://www.recordinginstitute.com/R2KREQ/excomp.htm
User avatar
planetearth
KVRian
 
1161 posts since 10 Jul, 2006, from Tampa

Postby planetearth; Thu May 11, 2017 1:20 pm Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

I'll listen when I get home, but my first suggestion would be to not use spring reverb on vocals, unless you're doing it for effect. In the '60s, plate reverbs became common, but you also had engineers and producers using a room (or, in the case of Simon and Garfunkle's "The Boxer", an elevator shaft) for the reverb. You can play the audio through one speaker (this was usually done in mono at the time), and have a microphone at the end of a decent-sounding room. That would be the "natural" way to do it, though you can get the same effect from most VSTs now.

If you give us a short list of the effects you have to play with, we might be able to suggest something more specific.

I'm working on a similar project, and trying to keep it "authentic", so I think I know what you want. The problem is, just throwing effects onto the vocals won't make this sound "authentic". Mic bleed (from vocalists), instrument bleed (during tracking), and other things all add up to create the sound you want. Why are you using a noise gate on the vocals, for example? I can't listen to them yet, but you don't want them too "clean" if you're going for a '60s sound.

Steve
I'm looking for lyricists and collaborators. Anyone interested?
Listen to some of my stuff here: https://soundcloud.com/shadowsoflife.
User avatar
donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
 
3843 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from the grimness of yorkshire

Postby donkey tugger; Thu May 11, 2017 5:47 pm Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

A few suggestions for effects etc;

http://www.shatteredglassaudio.com/product.php?id=106 Very good 60s style eq

http://micirp.blogspot.co.uk Some vintage mic impulse responses to add a bit of colour

Specifically for a John Lennon style vocal - try a short delay with one repeat wound up quite high with the top end rolled off.
sjm
KVRian
 
936 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri May 12, 2017 5:39 am Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

SODDI wrote:Did you take a look at the Motown mixing article I posted couple weeks ago?


I don't think so, I was on holiday for a few weeks and thus not following KVR much. Or I just missed it. A link would be appreciated. I read the article you posted a link to, and thought it was quite interesting, so links to other articles would be great.
BertKoor
KVRAF
 
9979 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Fri May 12, 2017 6:00 am Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

sjm wrote:
SODDI wrote:Did you take a look at the Motown mixing article I posted couple weeks ago?


I don't think so, I was on holiday for a few weeks and thus not following KVR much. Or I just missed it. A link would be appreciated. I read the article you posted a link to, and thought it was quite interesting, so links to other articles would be great.
That post SODDI referred to was probably this one.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!
sjm
KVRian
 
936 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri May 12, 2017 6:02 am Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

planetearth wrote:I'll listen when I get home, but my first suggestion would be to not use spring reverb on vocals, unless you're doing it for effect. In the '60s, plate reverbs became common, but you also had engineers and producers using a room (or, in the case of Simon and Garfunkle's "The Boxer", an elevator shaft) for the reverb. You can play the audio through one speaker (this was usually done in mono at the time), and have a microphone at the end of a decent-sounding room. That would be the "natural" way to do it, though you can get the same effect from most VSTs now.

I have only put spring reverbs on the spacey out there vocals, not on the main vocals in the chorus. So yes, I'm using the springs for effect, not as the standard reverb for my lead vocals. I've been using a digital plate for those.

planetearth wrote:If you give us a short list of the effects you have to play with, we might be able to suggest something more specific.

Well the short synopsis is probably:
Komplete 10, which has a couple of compressor emus (some in use here) and reverb (but I think only hall/room IIRC), and I've used one of the spring reverbs in Guitar Rig too
Nomad Plug&Mix bundle - I've used some of the FX from that bundle
Tonebooster Reelbus is on a bunch of tracks
FL's bundled FX, most of which I would deem unsuitable for this kind of thing though
Several additional IL plugins, again probably mostly unsuitable for this kind of thing.
I have a bunch of freeware stuff, obviously... I've used the Ferric TDS and Baxter EQ from VOS
And some totally unsuited things like Glitch 2 like Trash 2...

I *think* that's more or less it in terms of paid FX. I also have a couple of the CM freebies, like PSP spring reverb, which I also used. I'm not particularly keen on shelling out a lot of cash on plugins, so if you have some additional suggestions, I'd appreciate them being affordable :) I know waves do some quiet highly rated Abbey Road stuff, but I can't justify spending that cash on what is just a hobby, especially as I might not use them on other tracks much.

planetearth wrote:I'm working on a similar project, and trying to keep it "authentic", so I think I know what you want. The problem is, just throwing effects onto the vocals won't make this sound "authentic". Mic bleed (from vocalists), instrument bleed (during tracking), and other things all add up to create the sound you want. Why are you using a noise gate on the vocals, for example? I can't listen to them yet, but you don't want them too "clean" if you're going for a '60s sound.
Steve


Good question about the noise gate. Seeing as it's been a while since I did the recording, I'm not sure, but I think it was because my first takes had a lot of "silence" in them where you can hear things like me scrolling down the lyrics, banging my foot on the mic stand etc. You can also hear the tick of a clock and stuff. So I wanted to get rid of the annoying noises that weren't meant to be there the lazy way. I guess I just wanted to save myself the trouble of automating the track's mute...

I've since redone some of the takes, and the way things are set up now, I probably don't need it anymore. I don't have noise gates on the other vocal parts at all.

I personally quite like the clean sound of the chorus the way it is now. I do think the mic impluses posted by donkey tugger could be worth a look though. As I said, I'm not looking to perfectly emulate the 1967 sound, so part of the vibe has to come from the arrangement and instrumentation as well.
Last edited by sjm on Fri May 12, 2017 12:06 pm, edited 4 times in total.
sjm
KVRian
 
936 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri May 12, 2017 6:05 am Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

donkey tugger wrote:A few suggestions for effects etc;

http://www.shatteredglassaudio.com/product.php?id=106 Very good 60s style eq

http://micirp.blogspot.co.uk Some vintage mic impulse responses to add a bit of colour

Specifically for a John Lennon style vocal - try a short delay with one repeat wound up quite high with the top end rolled off.


Thanks for the links and the delay tip. Will try this out later.
sjm
KVRian
 
936 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri May 12, 2017 6:10 am Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

BertKoor wrote:That post SODDI referred to was probably this one.


Sounds a bit like how I've been handling the background vocals. I've actually used a 4-track to do recordings in the past, so I did try and recreate some of the limitations you have to work with when you don't have an infinite number of tracks at your disposal and have to bounce periodically.

That said, I don't want to take things to extremes and completely emulate this by bouncing down at every step. But I think there's a lot of value in "working with what you've got" in this context, rather than falling back into the digital paradigm where everything can be edited at infinitum and you can always redo something later.
dannygavino
KVRer
 
14 posts since 19 May, 2015

Postby dannygavino; Fri May 12, 2017 1:17 pm Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

simply can be achieved with tape emulator kramar tape or a stupid cheap shitty guitar pedal linked into the tape emulator machine.
sjm
KVRian
 
936 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Sun May 14, 2017 2:45 am Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

donkey tugger wrote:http://micirp.blogspot.co.uk Some vintage mic impulse responses to add a bit of colour


Woah, there are so many impulses here that I am a bit lost. Do you have any recommendations, as the most of the models mean nothing to me? I experimented with a couple of them, as well as adding the delay you like suggested, and I did like the result. I've turned the delay down a fair bit on the chorus vocals, and have it relatively high for the verse.

Messing with the main vox also highlighted some problems I seem to have had with the overall mix and I've made a number of changes to the other channels as a result. That includes adding some EQ to various tracks with Code Red - it's quite different when you can't do surgical work like on digital EQs, but just have 3 fixed bands to play with. I think my overall balance - particularly in the busier verse - is now a lot better.

Thanks again for your help.
User avatar
donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
 
3843 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from the grimness of yorkshire

Postby donkey tugger; Tue May 16, 2017 10:12 am Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals (Leslie? Reverb? Delay?)

sjm wrote:
donkey tugger wrote:http://micirp.blogspot.co.uk Some vintage mic impulse responses to add a bit of colour


Woah, there are so many impulses here that I am a bit lost. Do you have any recommendations, as the most of the models mean nothing to me? I experimented with a couple of them, as well as adding the delay you like suggested, and I did like the result. I've turned the delay down a fair bit on the chorus vocals, and have it relatively high for the verse.

Messing with the main vox also highlighted some problems I seem to have had with the overall mix and I've made a number of changes to the other channels as a result. That includes adding some EQ to various tracks with Code Red - it's quite different when you can't do surgical work like on digital EQs, but just have 3 fixed bands to play with. I think my overall balance - particularly in the busier verse - is now a lot better.

Thanks again for your help.


To be honest it'll probably depend a lot on the track and just how lofi you want etc..but looking back on the mic impulses I've used from that lot before, I do keep coming back to the Sony FET one quite a lot, and have used the BBC one a couple of times too.

Code red is great as well I think if you just stick it on each track even if you're not using it for eq - quite subtle but the cumulative effect gives a nice retro feel - a bit like recording through an old desk.

I also thought of something else; not a freebie, but cheap and very good for vintage tube/desk emulation;

http://klanghelm.com/contents/products/SDRR/SDRR.php

Also, you mentioned Reelbus above (which is superb!) but also don't neglect TB Ferox which I also love and has it's own dirtier character. The 'tape compression' preset in particual can sound great on vocals I've found.

Anyway - have fun!
sjm
KVRian
 
936 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:54 pm Re: FX chain for 60s/retro style vocals - Update: Critique my mixing "skills"

Thank you all again for the helpful comments.

I followed a number of suggestions in this thread: keep the noise and bleed, mix and bounce sections to audio as you go, added some delay to the vocals, and kept the mixing FX side of things to a relative minimum.

I've since tried to mix the song, which was an interesting experience. I suck at mixing and being forced to rely largely on the volume sliders in the mixer and basic EQ with CodeRed taught me a lot about the importance of getting the general mix right without trying to fix non-existent problems with surgical modern FX. Hopefully that will stand me in good stead and make my mixes slightly less sucky in future.

If anyone has the time and patience to give me a little bit of feedback on the mix and suggestions for improving it, I would be very grateful.

https://soundcloud.com/steevm/flower-girl-2

I'm aware my singing is a bit off in parts, sorry 'bout that. Singing is not my forte. I have got feedback that the vocals in the verse might be a little buried/hard to understand. I'm not sure to what extent this is due to the volume being too low or due to the Leslie on the vox here. I've since tried turning the vocals up a little bit, which made them more intelligible. I'm not completely convinced that doing so preserved the flavour of the verse though. Your thoughts much appreciated.
Next

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Return to Production Techniques