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cpro
03-17-2013, 06:21 AM
Does anyone else feel weird about editing vocals? For example, adding some reverb seems to make my voice sound so much better, so I almost feel dishonest about doing it. A lot of people stress the "natural-ness" of a singer's voice. But I know that it is an essential part in recording and mixing a song, especially in the professional music industry. I just feel kind of funny doing it myself, so I try to keep the editing as minimal as possible.

What do you guys think?

-- a Paranoid Amateur ;P

Barbablanca
03-17-2013, 08:46 AM
John Lennon had the one of the most wonderful natural voices that George Martin had ever heard, but Lennon always insisted on exploiting how he could make it sound using effects. So, don't you worry that a little tweaking is making you sound "better" - If it works, go for it! The end product is the most important thing :)

JamieFromOntario
03-17-2013, 09:18 AM
Remember that many effects are built to emulate what a particular space does to a sound.

I don't think that many are going to accuse someone of trying to make their playing/singing sound by by choosing a performance or recording venue that changes their 'natural' sound. It should be much the same using digital effects.

Unless you're submitting an audition recording for a classical gig, I wouldn't worry about using some reverb. Also, many folks have good enough ears to hear when an effect has been used, so you needn't worry about dishonesty.


It's only when you start using the effects to fix pitch and rhythm problems that i'd start to worry.

spots
03-17-2013, 09:44 AM
+1 on what JamieFromOntario shared on effects being added to mimic the sound of a room.

Vocals are often recorded in a different location than the rest of the music to prevent instruments from bleeding into the vocalist's mic, to have more control over the vocal track, or for other reasons.

If the vocalist is in a vocal booth, or in a heavily attenuated room, the vocals will sound very dry - no reverb, echo, etc. If the booth is very small it can have a "boxy" sound - lots of low and mid range piled up but not much high end. Effects or equalizing will be used to balance the vocal sound to make it sound right.

It's easy to record dry and add echo and reverb to make it sound like you are in a hall, etc., but there is no such thing as a "de-echo" or "de-reverb" effect to remove echo and reverb when it's not wanted.

Doug W
03-24-2013, 06:10 AM
I just feel kind of funny doing it myself, so I try to keep the editing as minimal as possible.
Since most of us don't have the luxury of recording in a cathedral or a silo we try to imitate those locations with electronics. You have our permission to use reverb guilt free. It is much less harmful than crack or biting your fingernails.

The trick with effects is to use just enough. Too much reverb on the vocals can send your voice into the background or just make it sound strange.

A.H.
03-25-2013, 02:21 PM
Does anyone else feel weird about editing vocals? For example, adding some reverb seems to make my voice sound so much better, so I almost feel dishonest about doing it. A lot of people stress the "natural-ness" of a singer's voice. But I know that it is an essential part in recording and mixing a song, especially in the professional music industry. I just feel kind of funny doing it myself, so I try to keep the editing as minimal as possible.

What do you guys think?

-- a Paranoid Amateur ;P

Hey cpro -
I'm sure you could hear both my vocals and uke reverbed in my song I posted in the songwriting forum. I put those effects in cuz' I'm an amature songwriter/ recorder with "nowhere near professional grade" recording equipment (or singing/ playing skills for that matter!). I've tried recording just one track, no effects songs, but they just sounded.....flat. In fact, I'm listening to Bob Marley's "Jammin" as I type this, and all the instruments are totally reverbed, double tracked, ultra mixed, you name it. Has anyone accused him of sounding "unnatural"? As another member pointed out, most of us amatures are recording out of our bedrooms, mancaves, closets, etc., without the luxury of a recording studio/ cathedral. In short, don't worry about effects. It just adds another demention to your already awesome singing/ playing, based on what I've heard from the song you posted :cool:

A.H.
03-25-2013, 02:23 PM
Sorry, "amateurs".

Tootler
04-25-2013, 02:26 PM
I see nothing wrong in editing vocals to bring out the best in your voice. The main thing is not to overdo it. I regularly 'tweak' the EQ, use a bit of compression and add some reverb. Not always all of them; it depends on how the original recording comes out and whether I have the settings right on the mixer.

Most of the time it is small amounts of effect to try and bring out the best in my voice. I do sometimes, though get the urge to have some fun and go over the top.

cpro
05-26-2013, 10:46 AM
I agree, it is sometimes fun to play around and go over the top with the effects.

Thank you for all your responses, good thoughts here. :)

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
05-30-2013, 04:50 PM
Remember that when you sing into a microphone, record that sound (analog or digital), then play it back through some headphones or speakers, anyone listening isn't going to hear anything "natural". Use editing to make your voice sound better---many effects (reverb and compression especially) can be used to make recorded music sound more natural.

A.H.
06-06-2013, 08:58 AM
Is it cheating to add a little reverb to your ukulele recordings?

keonepax
07-09-2013, 02:59 AM
I've never cared for that opinion that a ukulele video is somehow more honest or authentic if you don't use audio effects (or for that matter, it should be a raw, first take recording, no multi-tracking, blah, blah, blah). To me, if you're asking people to spend some time listening to your music or watching your video, you want to present the best or most interesting sound possible. In my opinion, the question shouldn't be "is it cheating to add reverb?" but rather "what can I do to make the listening experience more enjoyable for my viewers?".

Also, for me, part of the fun of making videos is the production aspect...tinkering with the audio to make it sound as good as possible, adding harmony tracks and extra instrumentation, percussion, etc. I even used effects to change the sound of the uke if I thought it made the audio more interesting. And I've recorded over karaoke tracks because I liked how it sounded. I don't think there's any need to restrict yourself to a narrow attitude about how a ukulele video should be made. Have fun with it and do whatever it takes to present your song in the best possible way.