PREVENTING CHORUSING WITH UNISON VOCALS

I’m recording two different singers. Sometimes they sing in unison, and then I hear chorusing. How can I get rid of that effect? – Paul Winchester

Reply: Whenever you mix two nearly identical sounds, you can get a chorusing effect. A chorus plug-in or stomp box combines an incoming signal with its detuned replica. The result is a spacy, ethereal effect. It sounds especially beautiful on acoustic guitar.

You also can create chorusing by doubling a vocal: one person sings a vocal part, then overdubs the same part on another track while listening to the first part. When you mix the two nearly identical parts you might hear the chorus effect in some spots, especially if the two parts are mixed at the same level.

What if you don’t want to hear chorusing when you mix two vocals singing in unison? One way is to reduce the level of one vocal 6 to 9 dB during the unison parts. Another method is to delay one of the vocals by about 20 to 25 milliseconds so that the two signals are not so similar. Good luck!

RECORDING A VOCAL RECITAL

What are some effective ways to record a classical-music vocal recital with a grand-piano backup? – Samantha Pijot

Reply:

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Ask the singer to face the open lid of the piano about 3 feet away. Place a handheld digital recorder on a mic stand between the singer and piano so that one mic faces the singer and the other mic faces the piano. Record the recital.

Import the recording into your recording/editing software. Split the stereo recording into left and right wave files, and import them into two tracks. Add some reverb, and reduce the stereo separation by panning the two tracks half left and half right. Adjust the track levels for a good balance between voice and piano.

2. Mount two cardioid condenser mics on a single mic stand in a stereo arrangement, angled 90 degrees apart and spaced 12 inches apart. Place the mics about 6 to 10 feet away from the singer and piano, and make a stereo recording which captures the recital-hall acoustics. The farther the mics are from the singer, the more room reverb you’ll pick up. You could do the same thing using a portable stereo recorder with built-in mics.

3. Try two boundary mics, such as Crown PZMs or Bartlett Boundary Recording Mics, on the floor about 3 to 4 feet apart and 6 to 12 feet away. This prevents the sonic coloration caused by floor reflections.

Bruce Bartlett is a recording engineer and microphone engineer (http://www.bartlettaudio.com). His latest books are Practical Recording Techniques 6th Ed. and Recording Music On Location. You can contact Bruce with questions via L2PNet.com.

Originally posted 2009-12-14 19:38:13.