Will you share you workflow?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of boota boota 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #87825
    Profile photo of Need2retire

    Hi All,

    I’m a total newbie in the world of mixing. I just recently bought the SQ5 and still trying to figure everything out, and I’m at a point where I’m just using a very basic feature. The hard part for me was how to get things to sound good. I know “good” is a subjective thing, but in my case, the vocal, just doesn’t sound good at all … just thin and boring. I’m taking voice lessons, and in my teacher’s studio his setup made my voice much better when we do a recording. He didn’t give me the details but he said compressor + a little reverb + a little delay. I tried that on my SQ5 but it doesn’t sound nearly as good as what he has.

    A lot of it has to do with me being an amateur at mixing. I understand each situation is different, but can you please share your “go to” setup (parameter for compressor, eq, fx, etc) for vocal, guitar & drums (electronic drum). I understand eventually I would need to tweak the parameters my self, but if I could have a setup from a pro, it would get me to a starting point to start on. I search but not sure if there is a thread where people share their workflow.


    Profile photo of volounteer

    Yes! Good is totally subjective.
    Before you look at what you can DO TO your track, look at your mikes, room, your voice, instruments, yada yada, and how to get a better recording to start with. GIGO is not just for software. And fixing in the mix is not always worth the effort.

    Compressor will make it louder, verb will change things which may or may not be better.
    Our MD and I are trying to find the verb settings that will make him like the tracks I made of the choir.
    To me the dry input was great,
    but he thinks verb will improve it, by eliminating vocal issues some folks had, so they wont stand out.
    (My recorder used AGC so there is a bit of compression already).

    My verb plug in has 7 parameters to tweak, which makes improving it a guessing game.
    Personally I do not like verb at all but that is the subjective part, as the MD does want it.
    Delay will smear the sound or result in an echo if too big. Again very subjective.

    You might do better at forums like soundonsound or gearslutz with these questions.
    Try researching articles from sound on sound as they may well have addressed this issue in the past.

    Profile photo of titoen

    The presets in the library for each Compressor/Gate/EQ are good starting points. I would use up 2 or 3 channels for say the vocal. 1 channel is just straight through with nothing turned on. other channel load the preset of each. In a case for a vocal. There are presets for male/female, lead/backup. Listen to the differences. Turn on each one at a time to see if you can hear the difference and see how it sounds. I know some will say mix with your ears and not your eyes. But I use both. Listen to the changes but also look at the EQ curve when you select the Male preset. Did it make it lower/muddier? Now switch to the female preset. What changed on the EQ and turn those knobs.

    Analog gear you had what you had on the mixer. You added gear to get different sounds. Now all the tools are there. New to sound, digital is daunting due to this. Play around and get to know the mixer.

    Profile photo of Mfk0815

    He didn’t give me the details but he said compressor + a little reverb + a little delay.

    That combined with some EQing would be perfect.;-)
    There are some basic rules you can use to get some good sound on vocals.
    If you want more body for the voice add some low mids between 300 and 500 Hz. Use a low cut to have a more clear sound. If your voice needs more presence add some thing around 2-2.5 kHz. More Air you will get with adding higher Frequencies round about 12 kHz. You can reduce some of that frequencies if they are too prominent. Use wide, low Q-Factors for more musical EQing.
    Use a gently compressor with less gain reduction at a first approach. If your voice is very dynamic you can use more compressor or even a limiter to tame the voice.
    I am using larger reverbs/plates with a predelay round about 80 to 100 ms and 2.5 to 3.5 seconds decay and lesser diffusion to keep the voice understandable especially in live situations.
    I love to work with tempo delays on the voice. Less amount and 1/8 delays will bring some space to the voice and 1/4 delays with more amount on some words can give you special extra thrill on the voice.

    And, my central tool for my workflow are my ears. I use them to listen carefully what others are doing and then to compare that samples with that what I am doing.

    Profile photo of Barryjam

    Sorry for OT. Volunteer, sounds like you are recording or mixing your recording. If your MD is trying hide vocal errors in pitch or timing with reverb, have you considered editing pitch or timing of the troublesome voice(s) in a DAW? Fix rather than hide?

    Profile photo of Need2retire

    Thanks for the helpful tips, everyone!

    Profile photo of boota

    My workflow is centered around one principle: it’s really hard to make a turd pleasant by polishing it. It’s really hard to fix bad sound in any console, and you need to really know what you’re doing to get good results. It’s much easier (and more fun) to enhance good sound with a console.
    1. My workflow ALWAYS starts with microphone (or d.i box) selection.
    2. When a mic has been selected positioning the mic properly is crucial. (For singers mic technique is also important) for electronic drums, make sure they sound good coming into the mixer. If it’s only a stereo input, you’ll be somewhat limited in what you can do with them in the console.
    3. Set gain so you get a good, strong signal without clipping and feeding back.
    These three should get you to at least 95% of the sound you want (given that the PA is in good shape)
    4. After this set high pass filter if it feels too muddy in the low
    5. Eq
    6. Compression (on vocals I usually do between 1:2 -1:3 ratios, fairly standard attack and release times, there is a great video on compression Here , it’s recorded in Logic Pro but you’ll find the same parameters in the sq compressors)
    7. Add Reverb and delay

    No compression, eq or fx plugins are going to consistently shape your sound like you want it unless the three first points are done properly.

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