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Name this Plugin Contest

It’s that time again. We have a new plugin just about ready for you guys, but we need a name for this thing, and we need your help finding it.

How To Participate

Just create a comment here with name suggestions. Suggest as many names as you want. That’s all there is to it. The name that gets us most excited is the one we will choose. Whoever suggested the name we choose gets a free copy of the plugin when it is released.

It’s pretty common for the name we choose to be suggested by multiple people (that tends to be the case with good names). In this case, the winner will be the person who had the earliest time stamp. So do not edit your posts after adding a suggestion, because it will change the time stamp. If you have more suggestions, just make it a new comment.

You must have your submissions in by Thursday August 31.

What does this plugin do?

This is a very simple but very handy plugin. With just a single knob (and a couple of buttons) it lets you apply micro delays to your left or right channel. It’s perfect for either correcting or creating very small timing differences between your stereo channels.

10x

Sometimes you need more than just a small delay. Enabling the 10x option increases the maximum delay from 3ms to 30ms for those times when large adjustments are needed.

Mono Check

Micro delays can create phasing issues in your mono mixdown (if you care about that sort of thing). The Mono Check button lets you hear what effect this plugin will have on your mono output to make sure you aren’t doing more damage than good. With just a single button you can check between mono and stereo to make sure you are getting the best sound you can get.

Smooth Adjustments

No clicky delay changes here. As you adjust the delay time, we made sure to keep that delay transition super smooth so you can automate it without having to deal with any clicks that tend to come with changing delay times.

 

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Tracking Without Headphones

 

vocal (Medium)

It’s a well known fact that vocalists are an odd breed of people (I can say this because I now consider myself a vocalist, as proven below). Their water has the be the exact right brand and temperature, they generally sing best after a two hour yoga session, and they get sick ALL THE TIME, etc.  But one of the things that is the absolute hardest things to deal with is getting the mix in their headphones just perfect. They can’t hear themselves, it’s not fluffy enough, the headphones make their voice sound orange. We’ve all heard these before.

Ok, to give a little credit to vocalists, it’s really hard to sing if you can’t hear yourself and the mix properly, and most people don’t practice singing with headphones on, so the whole setup is really out of their normal routine, which is why it’s hard for them (sorry, I mean us) to explain what they need.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to track vocals without headphone without having horrendous amounts of bleed? What if you could just play the backing tracks through the monitors and ditch the headphones altogether? Well, you actually can. This simple trick will show you how you can get rid of the headphones and instead track with monitors without having unacceptable levels of track bleed.

How it’s Done

Step 1: Set up your monitors so that the vocalist can hear comfortably and sing along. You don’t have to worry about microphone bleed.

Step 2: Track the vocals, bleed and all.

Step 3: Make a new track and record just the monitors with no vocals. This track is pure bleed. That’s what we want.

Step 4: Invert the polarity on the bleed only track and play the two together. Most of the bleed should cancel out and you are left with the vocals only, with much less bleed.

Hands On Example

Here’s an example so you can hear how it works. I’m not normally one to brag, but yes, that’s me singing.

Vox with Bleed
Bleed Only
Vox – Bleed

You should notice right away how much bleed is reduced when combining the two tracks. It’s not completely gone, but it’s worlds better.

Caveats

It’s not perfect. This method certainly has some drawbacks, and it’s important to know what they are so you won’t be surprised when it comes time to mix.

You’ll notice from the example above that some of the high frequencies still bleed through. This is because even the tiniest of movement in the room creates massive phase delays at higher frequencies, which causes them to not cancel as well.  Low frequencies are pretty much immune to this. So keep out any instruments from the source that you might not want in your final recording.

Make sure you pick your level correctly before you start tracking because if you change the level before recording the the background track, you may run into issues trying to get them to match in level.

A Few Tricks to Make it Work Even Better

Remove Some High Freqs

You can reduce the bleed of high frequencies by rolling off some of the high end in the monitors. You’ll obviously have to use your own judgement here to not overdo it and make it hard to sing to. Iin this example below, I pulled down the high end on the monitor EQ. Notice how much less bleed there is than the example above.

Vox with Bleed
Bleed Only
Vox – Bleed
 Position the Mic

Point a cardioid mic away from the monitor. Since most cardioid microphones are better at rejecting high frequencies coming from behind, it makes sense that it might help to eliminate some of the high frequency bleed. Here’s a test I tried to show you the resluts of that.

Keep Acoustics the Same

When you record the background track, if possible, have the vocalist stand in front of the microphone without singing (or breathing too heavily). The small reflections that happen off the vocalists head and body have an effect on the background track, and removing that may change the acoustics more than you want.

Experiment

As always, try it out and experiment with different techniques to find a way that makes it work for you.

If you have any ideas to add to this, feel free to add to the discussion by commenting below.

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Merry Christmas – Have Some Music

CDCoverIt’s that time of year again, where you have to research how to get sap out of your living room carpet and you can get away with showering less often because you don’t sweat as much. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? I’ve decided I’m going to take a little break from trying to sell you guys stuff and offer you a little something to get you in the Christmas mood. Here are a few Christmas songs I recorded on the piano.

You can download them here, stream them below, throw them away, give them to your grandma, I don’t care. I would advise not listening to them during any late night road trips through Nevada.

Download Zip File

Download Here

 

Stream Songs

   Silent Night Silent Night
   Oh Holy Night Oh Holy Night
   Angels We Have Heard on High Angels We Have Heard on High
   Away in a Manger Away in a Manger
   Silver Bells Silver Bells
   It Came Upon a Midnight Clear It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
   Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas