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How to overcome static noise from recording vocals

TheVocalDudeTheVocalDude Pro Posts: 17
Hi everyone,

So I'm still working on volume one and have been recently working on trying to record things, however have faced a few speed bumps.

Most importantly, I have a strong static sound from my vocal recordings. Does anyone have any ideas on what might be causing this? It is definitely the vocals as the instrumental recordings by itself doesn't have anything

My current gear:

1. Mic - Shure SM57
2. Audio Interface - M-audio Fast Track (https://www.google.com.au/search?q=m-audio+fast+track&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiforG877rWAhXIXLwKHbR9D9gQ_AUICigB&biw=1600&bih=769#imgrc=0lponUlp5oYUKM:)
3. DAW - Audacity.

Signal chain - Shure SM57 --> Fast Track --> Audacity.

I've cover Moon River and uploaded it here https://youtu.be/ZAm_MTnElHg

Does anyone have any ideas how to have a cleaner vocal recording? Also how can I smoothen the mix to make it sound more professional.

P.S. You will need to turn up the volume on this!


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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    It doesn't sound as bad as I expected from your description. I don't really hear the static, but you drift out on the softer parts.

    Mixing is a balancing act. You want lead vocals to be predominant, and above the level of the backing track.

    So you have to first make the recording of the vocals strong, and mix the music in just below that level.

    There are a number of variables that you need to work with to see which ones help your recording of the voice to sound better.

    You need to be close to the mic, or you will get more "room noise" in the track. The closer you are to the mic, the less you have to turn it up, and the less it will amplify the room noise. You want singing voice, not room noise on your vocal track.

    You want to sing at a consistent volume, not drop out in places and be too strong in others.

    You can use a compressor plugin, most likely in audacity. There will probably be a preset for it that you can load that is set up for vocals. A compressor will automatically turn the volume down when you get too loud, and automatically turn the volume up when you aren't very loud. You should do that yourself with your voice (singing consistently) but adding compression will make it sound more PRO and even. When you aren't singing, it will bring up the room noise a bit. But you can add a noise gate plugin that can turn the mic off when you aren't singing and on when you are singing. That would eliminate the room noise when you aren't singing.

    You want to set the level for the mic to never make the clip lights come on when you sing, but be just below that level. So bring it up until it clips, and then back off just until it doesn't ever clip. That's as good as it gets.

    If being close to the mic makes popping, booming sounds, then you may need a breath or pop filter. That's like a hoop with nylon mesh over it, or a foam cover for the mic. That will reduce plosive sounds from your breath.

    Then play back your vocal track and mix it at a strong level (without clipping). Then bring in the backing track such that it does not obscure the vocals, but is still easy to hear at a good level.

    Try all of that and see where that gets you.

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    Thank you for the comment! I will definitely work on that
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    TheVocalDudeTheVocalDude Pro Posts: 17
    Thanks! I actually have bought a new mic. Thank you for the tip
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    its sounds like a noise gate not set properly. the attack is ok, but the release needs to be tighter. not sure if you've played with it or not on this recording, but thats what I'm hearing.
    I also use an sm57 for vocals. I just prefer the raw sound over my more expensive vocal mics, and I dont have any noise problems at all.
    For a good vocal track try this:
    You want the signal on your mixer/pre amp from your mic to be at the maximum without clipping.
    Then on your recorder you want to match the output level of your mixer to be exactly the same on your recorder input level. Then match the track level with both mixer, and input levels, and your vocals tracks should be clean, and clear which makes it easier to manipulate during mixdown.

    Peace, Tony
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