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Noisy computer fans, recording vocals in same room as PC....

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by bryan_kilco, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Title says it all. I'm soon about to track vocals for my bands album and I'd like to NOT have to move my computer to a room downstairs if I can help it.

    I'm going to be hanging some proper treatment on the walls before hand, definitely, but I'm afraid the computer running in the room may be too loud. There is a closet that I could put the computer in for the time being, but this would require me to have to open/close the closet every single time I wanted to press Record or anything like that.

    My thoughts are:

    - treat the room as best as possible
    - make a vocal booth
    - Have vocalist face towards the computer with the mic facing away from the computer, having the vocal booth/stand between computer and vocalist

    Or I could just move the PC to a different room, though only have a 50' snake to work with right now. Moving everything would be a pain, but if I can't figure anything else out, I'll have to do that. Chances are the noise may not be too noticeable in a mix anyway, but I don't want to take any chances.

    Any suggestions on this? I'd really like to be in the room with vocalist because we're basically doing pre-pro as we track and there's going to be a lot of time discussing and revamping parts.
     
  2. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Put tons of sound absorption around the computer during tracking. But be sure to remove it once and a while so it doesn't over heat. One time I had that problem more so with harddrive noise. I built a little surround around the computer and had a 4 inch 703 panel on back where fans exhausted. Between takes I would tip the panel off and allow the computer to breathe. I by no means recommend over heating your computer. Also use a dynamic cardioid mic with the null point facing the computer.

    Also couldn't you put vocalist in another room, nothing needed but a mic cable.
     
  3. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Thanks. I was also thinking about surrounding the pooter with blankets or something like you mentioned but am afraid it would get too hot.

    Also thought about putting vocalist in another room but there's only 2 rooms upstairs here ("studio" room being one of them) and the other room is our bassists bedroom and he sleeps during the days and works nights. So putting vocalist in the other room could work, then I'd have to treat the other room and I'd then not be in the same room as vocalist like I want to be. I could also turn my fans down a bit (I think?) on this machine as they are running 100% right now.
     
  4. Christian WUFU

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    Too late to nab a few silent fans? They're surprisingly cheap.
    Worst case scenario you can edit the vocal takes very tight so there is nothing before the initial transient or after the vocal line is finished.
    IIRC the slice the cake dude did their first EP in the same room as the monitors and it turned out pretty decent
     
  5. Nimvi

    Nimvi Member

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    Short-term i think the things you've mentioned are the only solutions.
    Long-term I would suggest to invest a bit into quiet fans and a well-isolated-yet-coolable case. That's what I've done and I honestly have to look if it's on sometimes :D I breathe louder than that. Very relaxing to work with; I never want to go without that anymore.

    Can't remember what exactly I'm using right now, sorry...it has been a few years.
     
  6. Clockwork

    Clockwork Bass playing guy.

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    What mic are you using? I just recorded my band's singer over the weekend in the same room as my comp (which is fairly loud) and we had the monitors blasting but the proximity effect on the sm7 was enough that the music/fan was not audible in the vocal tracks, though the room is treated so that helped some what. It may not be as bad a problem as you are anticipating.
     
  7. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    Absolutely change out the stock CPU fan for an aftermarket cooler. DO IT NOW.

    The stock Phenom II fan sounded like a fucking jet fighter. I slapped this thing on and it is much better.
    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005MSOH7C/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]



    I am also using a Corsair 550 case that has some sound insulation crap built into the case etc.
     
  8. mharwood

    mharwood Member

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    I picked up some Noctua NF series fans (the tan ones with the rusty-colored blades) to replace my stock cpu fans. Cost me about $40 total from Amazon.com (two 80mm, one 120mm) and they are MUCH quieter than the stock fans I had. They aren't as silent as some of the more expensive options, but my PC is in a rack case just a couple feet from my head when I'm mixing and the fan noise has gone from annoying as hell before switching to a complete non-issue now.
     
  9. anotherpaul

    anotherpaul Member

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    I've recently bought a new PC to replace an old laptop for recording and mixing purposes. I don't know what noise levels you are talking about, my fans are not exactly noisy, but can definitely be heard. I guess the loudest one is in the PSU or in the GPU.
    However, I can safely say it doesn't bother me, even when the PC case is right behind the singers back therefore in front of the mic.
    I mean if James Hetfield can record in front of the blasting monitors, anyone can deal with some fan noise.
     
  10. ForHerDeadEyes

    ForHerDeadEyes Señor Member

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    1. Record vocals.
    2. Recording again with the mic in the same spot (and maybe even have the singer stand there for supposedly best results), but with no vocals.
    3. Take the new recorded track with unwanted noise and invert it, it should cancel out the same noise (since fans are fairly static) in the vocal-track.

    I've done it with noisy amps, with surprisingly good results, but YMMV.
     
  11. DullElysium

    DullElysium Member

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    Was going to suggest this. Should work quite well. But ofcourse getting the computer silent in the first place would be even better.
     
  12. Sethis

    Sethis Member

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    ^This should work. Or even a decent noise reduction plugin.

    But I doubt that if you do all things you mentioned and the singer is singing loud enough that the noise will be very audible. Only perhaps at parts where the singer is close to whispering and is almost alone in the mix.
     
  13. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    We should be ok. He does have a few quiet parts though but I think if we get some sort of booth up along with the mic facing away, it shouldn't be too bad.

    I've heard of the trick above too, with phasing out the noise, but I've never tried it. There's a good chance he may be holding the mic though. The few vocalists I have recorded always performed way better while holding the mic compared to it being on a stand, for some reason.... :err:
     
  14. DullElysium

    DullElysium Member

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    This is true. You get a better vibe with a mic in your hands.
     
  15. Volcane

    Volcane Power Quest

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    Definitely invest in a decent aftermarket cpu fan, and a 'silent' Power Supply. Shouldn't cost you more than 50-70GBP.

    As above really, once your PC is quiet it makes for such a better work environment.
     
  16. 53Crëw

    53Crëw Member

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    I'd suggest using the closet as a machine room and put the computer in there. Get some long keyboard and monitor cables and a USB extension cable for the mouse. Then the computer can be in the closet with the kb, mouse and monitor in the main room.

    If that is too much trouble, then yes, upgrade to quieter fans, but even quieter fans are not totally silent. Just better. ;)

    I'd caution against covering the computer with blankets or whatever as you said.
     
  17. Jormyn

    Jormyn Member

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    You've clearly never heard the isolated vocal tracks from the Black Album, or you wouldn't be worried about fan noise. James sang in the control room with the monitors blasting, but you'd never know that from hearing the album.
     
  18. ArthurD

    ArthurD Member

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    I'm aware that they used two monitors, each one phase reversed, with the mic right on the focal point.
     
    #18 ArthurD, Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  19. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    ^^ So weird, why have a single guitar blasting which sounds like it's actually embedded into the vocal track?
     
  20. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    I guess they paid some dude $5 an hour to edit the track?





    :lol:
     

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