Reduce vocal volume

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by popthree, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    Weird question. I have a recording that I made a long time ago, and I lost the multi track so all I have is the wav or mp3 final mix...and the vocal is way way way too loud...i don't know what I was listening on when I made it...its incredibly far out of level.

    But the song is kind of cool otherwise...

    I doubt I can recreate it. It was kind of a Zen event, reslly, and sort of charming and bizarre.

    Anyway, is there some kind of eq method or other tool I could employ to cut the vocal volume?
     
  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    Can't help you much on a post mix Pop.
    Sounds like it was mixed for a live situation where the vocal is really pushed.
    Good luck with that though, snagging Zen is always a good thing.
     
  3. Masmus

    Masmus TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    16
    Feb 21, 2018
    San Jose
    Try a multi band compressor but you probably won't be completely happy with any attempt at a fix.
     
  4. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    Would the approach/goal be to squish the freq where the vocals are most present and boost those around it?
     
  5. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    49
    Dec 12, 2016
    Amsterdam
    Is it a stereo track with voc in the middle?

    If yes, you could try this:

    - Duplicate the track
    - Remove the vocals from the duplicate
    - Adjust the track levels; i.e. turn down the original track so your non-vocal track gets louder

    A few options for vocal removal:

    - GLS Vocal Remover VST, http://vst4free.com/free_vst.php?id=652&plugin=GLS
    - Karaoke Anything, a free utility from https://karaoke-anything.en.softonic.com/ (requires installation)
    - Free online vocal remover, http://www.vocalremoverpro.com/online-vocal-remover.html

    The result depends largely on the stereo separation of the instruments. Since you're mentioning lost multitrack, I assume this isn't a live recording - if it is and the instruments and vocals are all over the place I don't see any way to do it.

    Mind you, I've not tried exactly this; it's just how I'd approach the problem, based on something I actually have done... I once had a track with piano way too loud. Using mid-side processing, multi-band compression and EQ I managed to push the piano on the sides and sort of turn it down. The result obviously was nowhere near what a completely re-mixed track would sound like, but it did the job.


    EDIT

    The online vocal remover works and is free... sorta. Downloading the karaokefied track requires a paid subscription.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  6. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    49
    Dec 12, 2016
    Amsterdam
    I don't think that'd work very well alone. Vocals, guitars and keys employ the same frequency ranges so whatever you do for vocals will affect the other instruments as well.
     
  7. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    49
    Dec 12, 2016
    Amsterdam
    BTW if you do try this, please let me know whether it worked. Future reference, maybe :)
     
  8. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    May 11, 2007
    Toronto
    You can try a compressor, limiter really, at a high ratio and the threshold set so it’s mainly just catching the vocal and letting the other stuff through. You might try a multiband and focusing most of the compression on the mids of the vocal or simply not compressing the lows. It will probably take a bit of fiddling to get the best solution.

    This will probably work to some extent, but will the artifacts/cure be worse than the disease? There’s probably going to be a compromise Between the amount of volume reduction you can get via compression without it getting too pumpy squashed or unnatural sounding. But from your description you can probably get part of the way there.

    You might be able to automate particularly loud bits, like parts of words. Without it getting too weird. Maybe. Try it in a couple spots. You’ll find out quickly if it’ll work. Worth a shot.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  9. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    It's an impromptu recording I made in the garage on a laptop I had just reloaded. I had no song idea or anything, and I just sort of stream of consciousness created this monstrosity that is interesting, creepy and abrasive. My wife hates it. The laptop HD cratered a short time later and I lost the only multitrack of the monster.

    I found the mixdown by accident recently and was horrified yet infatuated...now I want to salvage the behemoth.

    Thanks guys I will try some of these suggestions.
     
  10. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Texas

    This
     
  11. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Texas
    I’d try loading it in DAW and record the vocal again on another track then mix. Will have some vocal doubling effect.
     
  12. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    I would love to do that. The vocal is way loud and has some real bad notes...pitchy falsetto stuff...ugh...if I can drastically reduce the current vocal I will redo it.
     
  13. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    49
    Dec 12, 2016
    Amsterdam
    I just tried mine with the GLS plugin (Get Lost, Singer :D). I'm actually able to lower the relative volume of the vocals :)

    Other instruments are affected as well, but I can compensate that by EQing the non-vocal track. This is a properly mixed track with a decent stereo separation (except for that bleeding piano...).
     
  14. Masmus

    Masmus TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    16
    Feb 21, 2018
    San Jose
    Yes but there is no good solution. Or maybe a combination of several.
     
  15. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlotte NC
    why not just re-record it ? it would be faster than trying to fix it !

    U did say there are plenty of bad notes so why lower the volume if indeed its not a good performance ?
     
  16. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    Not sure what I was doing/playing exactly...it is keyboard based and I'm not a keyboard player ...i own none of the instruments today, nor the amp and effects used....not saying i couldnt backwards engineer it and make another version....just wanting to improve the original to be more palatable....and I'm not sure its really worth redoing....i mean, it has a certain charm, but its no Grammy write.
     
  17. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Holic

    968
    Nov 17, 2011
    California
    Well....I'm going to be candid.

    I see it as an exercise in futility.

    You have this cut that's already a stereo mix.
    Maybe it's a bit sentimental to you yet not performed/recorded well.
    You're searching for any and all creative EQing ideas, cloning this, trying that to preserve or salvage it.
    I hear you....

    If it were me....and I only wanted to salvage it for my own personal listening and reminiscing then try all the suggestions offered and live with the result.
    They're all trying to help and maybe you'll get lucky.

    But....if I thought the song itself was worthy to truly stand on it's own creative merit and I intended on having others (not family or friends...they'll tell you it's a masterpiece), especially peers on a public forum to give a listen/comment, then I would face the reality of doing it over.

    But....that's just me....good luck with whatever approach will work for you.

    Carry on....
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  18. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Maryland
    try flipping the phase on one side. Won't be ideal, that's how a lot of vocal reducers work.
     
  19. boop

    boop Tele-Meister

    121
    Dec 1, 2018
    Massachusetts
    Just trust your wife
     
    popthree likes this.
  20. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    Ding ding ding #winner
     
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