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Basic Vocal Recording

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 100
This is just a basic description to help people create more clear, and better sounding vocal submissions that they would like evaluated.

Mic Level Input: You want to have the strongest signal you can coming in to the recorder. I usually set my vocal levels to PEAK at around -3db. That is the highest level that I want to see during my loudest vocal volumes. Even if the lowest volumes only peak at -15db you're still good.

Mic Level Output: This is your main output. You want to match the volume of your input (mic) to be the same as the volume of your output. (the outputs will be in stereo so you want to match both output meters to match the mic input). Hit record and go!

Mixing your vocals to backing tracks: I always set my music low. Usually around -15db, and let the music peak at around -20 db. I set the vocals over it using the same levels that I used during the recording process. The overall mix should not exceed -0db at its highest levels. I always set them a touch lower to ensure there is no clipping.

This is a very basic description, and is a basic principal for any software, or hardware you may have. If you want to get into it deeper just ask.

Peace, Tony


  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    I actually have a question.
    I'd like to start using my DAW more and my R8 multi-track less; so my issue is with connection paths.
    As I understand it: Mic -> Audio Interface -> USB into Computer...

    At this point, this is where I start getting messed up. :neutral:

    - Guessing DAW preferences set to receive input from USB Interface?
    - Headphones into PC speaker jack or out of Interface headphone jack?
    - What else am I missing?
    - Going to be using Cubase, if that is of any consequence...
  • Set up can be confusing as it was for me the first time. I have used my R8 as my interface with cubase in the past, but for me it's just easier, and sounds as good using the R8 as a stand alone.

    What are you going to be using as an interface?

    Cubase will prompt you to choose the drivers for input/output. I do believe those will be your ASIO drivers from whatever interface you choose to use (Which will have to be downloaded independently). It's been a while since I've used cubase, but I do remember that the combination was tricky to get at first, but after I figured it out I never had a problem toggling the drivers back and forth for cubase, to the computer audio drivers.

    If you have the original SD chip that came with your Zoom R8 it should have those drivers on it.

    Not sure if any of this helped you at all.

    Peace, Tony

  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Prosonus interface
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Do you run your headphones into the Interface or into your computer?
  • I'm not familiar with that interface or what outputs it may have on it to run monitors, headphones, etc.......So there I can't help you much
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    But typically, do you run your headphones from the PC or the Int?
  • with my zoom. I ran everything in, and out from it because it had better audio, but did all the controlling on the PC
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,466Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    You might use the headphone jack on your PC to hear the other tracks besides, or in combination with what you are recording at the moment. But if your interface (Prosonus) has multiple inputs and a separate path to get the instrument(s) or vocal mics into the phones and discretely out to their own record channels, then you may want to set up a headphone mix on the prosonus. Is it a prosonus digital mixer, or just a 1 or 2-input interface? Sometimes, depending on latency, it's easiest to listen to the whole thing in your interface.
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @highmtn, it is a Prosonus 2 input interface. I previously was using a Lexicon Alpha interface, but the lag was so terrible that I wasn't able to use it.
  • I was just checking out some of the presonus interface boxes, and they all have monitor, and headphone outputs as well as midi in/out so now it's just a preference thing, but I'm willing to bet the audio sounds better from your interface than PC unless you have some expensive sound cards installed.
  • @Furious_Phil Did you get your hardware/software set up?
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Naw, Its a server maintenance weekend :neutral:
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Tony, it just occurred to me to try my Zoom R8 for an interface while I'm waiting for the prosonus!
    Can you describe the connections and process of Configuring in inside your DAW? :-D
  • I was going to ask why you didn't use your zoom for that, but I figured you had reasons.

    First you have to download the drivers onto your computer that are on the SD chip that came with the unit. (it also has drum loops on it)

    The connections are simple. Just run it into a USB port, and your computer will recognize the device, but only after you download the drivers.

    I can't remember which had to be done first, but you have to get a key generator from Cubase. Not sure if you get it before or after downloading the program, but when you boot up Cubase it will ask you for the key generator code. (Only the first time)

    Then it gets tricky ha ha. As I mentioned above you have to configure the audio settings, but after you get it set, it's really easy to do every time afterwards.

    Do you still have the SD chip, and the documentation that came with it? I do believe that there was a separate document included that explains the whole process. If you don't have it anymore, I can look through my stuff to see if I still have it.

  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Just being obtuse I guess lol
    I have the owners manual and I think the original SD card for it... so I'll check through that for starters.
    If you have time, see what you can find as well.

    Thanks mate !
  • It's a process, but once you get it set, it works great with cubase. Automated faders, Great sounding effects. VST instruments. It will show your music in notation if you choose. It's really cool. You can only have it on one device at a time unfortunately. if you change computers, you have to get with cubase, and go through the whole key generator thing again. That's why I just use it outright as a stand alone unit.
  • Check this out. I did this on cubase with a stock piano in the piano roll section of cubase. all done with a mouse, no actual playing. I just clicked on the key I wanted, and dragged it to as far as I wanted it to sustain.

    I did a version of Elenor Rigby too. All instruments note for note. You'll dig using it.

  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @videoace: Awesome! Thanks so much! I guess I know what I'll be squeezing into my chaotic schedule this weekend :smiley:
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @videoace, I forgot to ask how the sound latency was with it, between playback and what you are trying to record? I have a Lexicon Alpha that was so bad for it, that it got tossed into the box of unwanted tech.
  • The unit itself will have no lag at all. It's specifically designed for that. As long as the computer can keep up with the data, you should be golden. I never had any problems at all with that issue, and mine was on a computer from 4-5 years ago.

  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Kind of excited to try this out... it would seem that like Loverboy, I'm "Workin for the Weekend" !
  • I'm excited for you. For the money, it's a great unit.

  • @Furious_Phil Well, how did it go? Are you hooked up? or gone crazy from the confusion? ha ha
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    More like "Volcanic Frustrated Rage from Hell" as it wouldn't stay connected in Windows 10 with the new driver...

    As a result, I have pretty much decided to do all recording on the ZOOM R8, as well as mix-downs... then import the mixed product into my Izotope Ozone/Neutron mastering suite on my laptop.

    THERE DONE! >:)
  • That's what I do. I record all my stuff on the zoom itself, then pop the chip out, and import it into my computer.
    Then I can use cubase for polishing, and making the final product.
    It's much easier than dealing with customer support for a few days lol
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,270Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    For sure... as there are definite R8 windows 10 driver issues.
    I know what to do now at least :-B
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