Tips to Clean Up a Field Recording?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by The_Doctor [EV], Sep 2, 2019.

  1. The_Doctor [EV]

    The_Doctor [EV] Tele-Meister

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    So I just got back from a party over the weekend at which I recorded a friend's band (three piece: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass) with my recently acquired Zoom H2N. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with it. We had a good mix, good ambiance from the crowd and the nature sounds around us, I'm very impressed with the recorder so far.

    However, they're looking to put it up on their Bandcamp, and I was wondering if I could get any tips on how to EQ it to boost the vocals a bit? I have a *very* basic sort of understanding of home recording, but I've never tried to sweeten a single-mic field recording like this. Any way to up the vocals without messing with the overall sound too much?

    Any help is appreciated, and I'm willing to post an example if it helps.
     
  2. KG7IL

    KG7IL TDPRI Member

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  3. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Don't think in terms of boosting the vocal, think about eliminating the frequencies that are burying it- probably low midrange stuff in the 300-600 hz area. The rule of thumb for EQ is "always cut, never boost." There are exceptions of course, but you're much better off cutting offending frequencies.

    A super spiffy tool for this is a multiband compressor, which will compress frequency ranges that you define. In other words, instead of just chopping out the 300-600 range you can compress it so that there's still some life in that area, but the compressor keeps it from overpowering the vocal. Reaper has two you can use for this purpose, called ReaXComp and ReaFIR.
     
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  4. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    exactly what i was going to sugest
     
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  5. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Great minds think alike... apparently ours do, too!
     
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  6. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I think this comes from experiences, in the studio and live, LOL
     
  7. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Hey, I was going to suggest this, too.
     
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  8. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, can you please post the recording? Thanks.
    That'll give us some idea for your project.
     
  9. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    Ha....you stole my thunder! :)

    OP....begin with the above is my suggestion.

    A good day to all....
     
  10. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    I would see what I could do with surgical EQ before firing up the MBC. Like Beyer said, attack the low mids first (if you're not familiar with the "EQ sweep" technique, google it). Then high-pass (low cut) the subsonic frequencies — without a kick drum, you're not gonna have much musical content below about 50 Hz; most everything down there will be mud. Between those two EQ moves, you'll defeat a whole lot of the room boom and be able to hear what else needs to be done. Next sweep for midrange resonances, then search out hissy noise in the highs with an eye toward maybe rolling off the top end — with no cymbals to worry about, there's not much musical way up there either (above 10k). ... If your EQ doesn't have enough bands, it's OK to use two instances of it on your track. EQ always opens up some phase issues, but they're trivial compared with the background din of an open-mike live recording. Good luck!
     
  11. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    This would be a minor thing, and may not work for your particular recording, but I got a tip somewhere for a particular EQ, with a bell shaped band at 2.8khz. You boost a half db at 2.8 and it tends to bring vocals out slightly.
     
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