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dgracian0
Forum Newbie


Registered: 03/03/10
Posts: 1
Location: , United States
 
Mastering Garageband Vocals
Wednesday, March 03 2010 @ 01:44 AM CST

Hi everybody, I'm new to MacJams. I looked through all the forum posts and couldn't find a topic relating to my problem...I'm a budding musician and I'm recording a vocal track in Garageband with a Blue Snowball USB mic.

I can't seem to find a tutorial or article on mastering vocals in Garageband...Is it even possible to get a really nice vocal sound out of garageband like on professionally produced album? Or come close?

I also have one part where my pitch goes a little astray, but I hate the sound of the autotune and i don't want to record the whole thing over either...

My apologies if these topics have already been covered...im basically teaching myself how to produce...but I really want to learn, and I believe I have found a great site to help me start! =]

thanks for your time!
lengold
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 698
Location: London, United Kingdom
 
Re:Mastering Garageband Vocals
Wednesday, March 03 2010 @ 03:14 AM CST

Hello there and welcome to MJ's - hope you will post some of your music.
You are opening a massive topic here.
Of course it is extremely difficult to get close to the vocal sounds produced by professional studios that have spent many thousands on microphones, compressors, eqs, the actual recording space and their mastering techniques.
Having said that quite a few artists here are getting very good sounding vocals from garageband. I think that this is such a big topic that you would probably be better off finding one of the many available tutorials on recording vocals. The techniques apply to all programmes and not just GB.
Melodyne is a superb plug in for pitch correction.
Somewhere to start:
http://macidol.com/tips/garageband/2006/03/recording-vocals.html

Must try harder
Jim Bouchard
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 2018
Location: , MA USA
 
Re:Mastering Garageband Vocals
Wednesday, March 03 2010 @ 08:46 AM CST

A lot of the professional productions use very expensive equipment to get those results. A high quality microphone combined with a high quality mic preamp is pretty much the standard for the industry. Blue makes some high quality mics, but the Snowball is one of the least expensive mics they make. There isn't a preamp, really, as it inputs via USB. So there you have two factors in your setup that differ from that which is found in a professional studio. Not to say that it's impossible to get great results from a USB mic, but if you're looking for differences between recording vocals in GB with a USB mic and professional studio recordings, that's a pretty obvious one.
Equipment aside, then there is technique. Most professional recordings will do multiple takes of the vocal track and often the final take is a composite of the best of those tracks. If you have one part where the pitch goes astray, replace that part with another take where your pitch doesn't go astray. You don't need to sing the whole thing again, just that part. Of course you may just want to run it all again to get in the flow of the song and then just cut and paste to get the pitch corrected.
That article that lengold cites is a couple years old, but the basic ideas are pretty good and should point you in the right direction. It probably will take a long time to get very refined results with your Garageband recordings, but it is possible (with a lot of trial and error, and patience).
michael2
Forum Full Member


Registered: 03/18/07
Posts: 3094
Location: Los Angeles, Cali USA
 
Re:Mastering Garageband Vocals
Wednesday, March 03 2010 @ 11:46 AM CST

there is an artist here named rsorensen that uses the very same mic and get's incredible results from it. i would hit him up for tips (he's a great guy BTW).
crissew
Forum Full Member


Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1061
Location: , NC United States
 
Re:Mastering Garageband Vocals
Wednesday, March 03 2010 @ 12:45 PM CST

Some vocal tips I have learned in garageband. First off, I find the matrix reverb to be very good for vocals. I use the plate reverb at 15-25%. I vary the amount of reverb, panning and effects on each vocal track so the stand out. Also, compression is key. I dont use the GB compression anymore, channelstrip has a FAR better compressor. The only time I use the slider bar reverb in garageband is when the vocals are too bright. That reverb is darker and takes some harshness out, while the matrix reverb seems to add a little. The key to a good vocal is doing enough takes to be able to put together a good vocal from. I get lazy in this area quite often, just doing a couple takes and splicing them to make one good take. Ideally, many takes should be used. Working the mic is also important. Staying relaxed when singing is another big one, especially on the higher notes.
michael2
Forum Full Member


Registered: 03/18/07
Posts: 3094
Location: Los Angeles, Cali USA
 
Re:Mastering Garageband Vocals
Wednesday, March 03 2010 @ 07:45 PM CST

Quote by: crissew
The key to a good vocal is doing enough takes to be able to put together a good vocal from. I get lazy in this area quite often, just doing a couple takes and splicing them to make one good take.



haha, i am sooo lazy. i will usually just do it once maybe twice and find myself thinking: "good enough." really need to get better at this.

there are some great freeware compressors and reverbs out there. the matrix reverb is awesome, I also like ambience (freeware).
http://magnus.smartelectronix.com/#Ambience

here's a good free plate reverb:
Poor Plate
http://www.vacuumsound.de/plugins.html

and another:
TAL Reverb
http://kunz.corrupt.ch/?Products:VST_TAL-Reverb

a really nice free compressor for vocals (and the stereo output track) is:
Slim Slow Slider: C3 Multi Band Compressor 1.2
http://www.apulsoft.ch/freeports/

this one is also really nice:
Roughrider
http://www.audiodamage.com/downloads/

a good free plug here for vox (and drums) is the channel plug. emulates some classic old boards:
Channel
http://www.airwindows.com/
 
dgracian0
Forum Newbie


Registered: 03/03/10
Posts: 1
Location: , United States
 
Re:Mastering Garageband Vocals
Thursday, March 04 2010 @ 01:52 AM CST

WOW! Thank you all for the great advice and tips!! I will try all the stuff that you guys mentioned!

I do have a basic setup, but I am a firm believer in getting the most out of what I have, so I was just curious how far my USB mic and garageband could take me!

You all gave me so many things to look at! If anyone else has anymore tips on getting quality vocals I would love to hear them! (No pride here lol)

I will hopefully be able to post a song up here soon!

Thanks everyone!