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Dealing with Bleed on Vocal Recordings, Headphone suggestion?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by exoslime, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. exoslime

    exoslime Member

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    Hi Guys,

    i need your help, can you recommend me good heaphones for tracking vocals and stuff like acoustic guitar.
    Until now i used AKG K240 Studios, which are semi closed, and i do have bleed of the audio and click tracks that is also heard in the microphone recordings, especially critical on fading or sustained notes. when the sound of the voice or instruments gets more quiet and intimate.. suddenly the click gets through.. aarrg.

    I recently bought a Beyer Dynamic DT-770 Pro, which is a closed type of headphone, but the bleed into the mic is insignificant less than on the AKG 240 Studio.
    We tried with some generic AKG and Bose Inears, which worked good, there was no bleed in the recordings, but they wernt as comfortable to wear during the perfomances (fell out or moved within the ear) also the performance of the singer was quite different because of the different sound and feeling with inears.

    How do pros approacht to this?
    Which headphones do they use and how much bleed is acceptable?
    I have no issues with bleed when i strum the guitar or the singer is singing with full energy, but only on those quiet and fragile, detailed parts, where i need and want to catch as much sound as i can get with the microphone.

    In the worst case, we just get molded Inears, like Ultimate Ears and use those. but also the singer needs to adapt to this different hearing situation so that the performance and voice doesnt suffer from this, to be honest, i would like to avoid this, but if its the only and "best" way how to do it, it has to be done.

    what about isolation headphones, like drummer use? are those also used on professional vocal recording sessions?

    Looking forward to hear your opinions and suggestions
    cheers
    exoslime
     
  2. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    I generally use my Extreme Isolation Headphone. It sounds like shit but I never had a complaint and no bleed. I also have the Vic Firth which sounds marginally better but is less comfortable in the long run.
     
  3. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Also try to roll of some low end in the headphone mix. I've even set a pair of phones on my desk swept though with an eq until I notice the loudest peaky area and pull that out. I also use extreme isolation headphones. Before I had those way back in the day I used a decent pair of ear buds and wore a set of earmuff style ear plugs overtop. Didn't sound great but no bleed. Also spent time really getting the volume of the headphones right. It should sound to the singer just like it would if he was in the room hearing himself. I'm not saying turn them way down, but I am saying I have seen a lot of people that love headphones loud as hell, I find bleed much worse and more importantly the singer pushes too much. Perhaps that's the sound some are going for. Cheers.
     
  4. exoslime

    exoslime Member

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    thanks for your posts yet. i´m going to look after such extrem isolation headphones and try them out
    also thanks for you advice about roll of the low end in the mix, i´m going to try that out.
    also what i was thinking is, to use an alternate click sound, less trebly and direct, but still enough to be in time.
    When i play guitar, unfortunatly i need to have the click quite loud in my head to not get out of time.
    i usually tab with my foot whilst playing and somehow it keeps me in tempo, but when i´m recording acoustic guitar i cant do that, lol.. but i think recording an acoustic with isolation headphones to avoid the click popping through sounds like the way to try out and go for me.

    yeah exactly, the right volume and on the headphone the balance between the music playback and the vocals channel are crucial for a good result, as you wrote to loud results in a pushed, often less pleasent way, or to quiet in a too soft performance.

    The Inears we have used worked not so bad, except the singer felt strange and a bit uncomfortable with it, which is not good, i try to get the singer as most as comfortable as he can get to yield the best performances out of him
    Perhaps he gets better used to them after a couple of takes over a few days/ week though.

    cheers
    exoslime
     
  5. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Learn to work the click or program it better. When I'm tracking drums/vocals/acoustics I'm CONSTANTLY turning the click on/off depending on the part, punching in clean ringouts with no click when needed, or using a shaker/tambo track and automating the volume via clip gain adjustments.
     
  6. exoslime

    exoslime Member

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    THANKS, well thats a great advise, i´m go to lock into that more and programm my own click track on midi, and then automate volume or even mute specific notes.. i can imagine that would work very well
     
  7. B36arin

    B36arin Member

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    A trick which I usually use is putting an LPF on the click track. It makes the click much less annoying when tracking and it reduces click bleed.
     
  8. Nebulous

    Nebulous Daniel

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    This may sound simple, but I'd be looking at the following before anything else if using closed phones:
    - Make sure the volume of the headphones isn't too loud. By "too loud" I mean; a safe level to be able to maintain over the tracking period.
    - Make sure the mic placement isn't adding to the problem, including the distance of mic to the headphones (especially for singers)
    - Check that the mic gain isn't higher then it needs to be. This one might be debatable, however with the above suggestions this could be the final piece missing.

    Also, as suggested already; try to change up the sound of the clicks (or replace with shaker/ tambourine) to suit the part of the song or instrument being recorded.
     
  9. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    I normally just roll the volume to the phones back a bit until the bleed isn't noticeable. There are also some pretty good suggestions in here that I'll have to try in the future.
     
  10. exoslime

    exoslime Member

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    thanks for your inputs!

    indeed, it does sound simple but in reality its quite a challange ;)
    as the headphone volume is set so that the singer feels good and can perform good, with that way i also can do some micro-tuning of his perfomance, if he is singing too hard or too soft, i can slightly adjust with the volume balance to yield the sound we are after.
    also the main volume in the phones can affect the perfomance and the groove alot.

    same goes with the distance of the mic, too far is too roomy and to close is also not good,
    but i also going to try different settings on my mic-preamp and analog compressor (UA LA610MKII) , like reducing the input level of the compressor, at the moment the tube gain on the preamp is set to 0, and the level to about 6.8, and the compressor is setup pretty low already, just do have some minor analog compression on the way in before the signal goes digital.

    its not an easy task but its good to have challenges to learn and get experience

    many thanks for sharing your experiences with me!
    exoslime
     
  11. MrBongo

    MrBongo idiot at work

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    use in-ears underneath mickey-mouse?
     
  12. BearOnGuitar

    BearOnGuitar Member

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    Some vocalists like to keep the heaphones off on one ear to hear their natural sound. Something like this will be very useful unless you can mute one side within your DAW or whatever you use for monitoring.

    http://www.radialeng.com/stagebugsb7.php
     
  13. exoslime

    exoslime Member

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    thanks for the advise bearonguitar, we going to try that it, i can send the playback from my daw just to one side of the headphone, so i dont need another box, but thanks for the link!

    @Mrbongo, yeah, we tried that already and it worked without bleed in the recordings, but the perfomance sufferd from this, most likely it will work better with special molded inears and not generic ones that are loose in the ear, and some practice and for the singer to get used to sing with inears.
     
  14. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    You can also try to record the same track without the vocals, with the vocalist in position then invert the polarity of the said blank track to cancel the bleed. I tried it myself once and wasn't very successful to be honest but it might work for you.
     
  15. exoslime

    exoslime Member

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    thanks for your comment, this sounds like a technical solution, but thats something i not very keen to try out. i dont want to sacfrice my frequences from the recording as i want to achieve maximum quality in recording, and such a reverse polarity trick might work technicaly or other post processing filter or noise removal tricks might work in certain situation, like broadcasts ,but i dont like the idea i´m subtracting frequences from my audiomaterial that perhaps i´m going need later on, especially with vocals where i want maximum clarity and transparence.
    Perhaps its just my mind that thinks like that, so i´m going to try that out next weekend.. if its sounds good, its good. if not than not and it was worth the try :)
     
  16. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    It should theoretically not affect the quality of the vocals at all.
     
  17. raybrochill

    raybrochill Member

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    I usually don't track vocals with a click...
     
  18. AKoppenheffer

    AKoppenheffer Member

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    Another vote for Extreme Isolations... They don't sound that bad... At least not Vic Firth bad.
     

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