Using an Expander on Vocals [Ask Joe]

Got this question today from Alex:

Is it a good idead to add an expander plugin on my vocal track? Could I make an AUX track and use it as a send for my vocals?

I notice how it kills the background noise in my headphones and just really pick up my vocals.

(more…)

Intro to Gates/Expanders

Do you ever use a gate or expander plug-in? Do you know what they do? Do you know how COOL they are?

I use them mainly for voiceover. They can help take a fairly noisy environment and make it seem much quieter than it actually is. I use them on the HSC Podcast, for example. In this video I actually use a snippet of audio from the latest podcast to show you how a gate/expander works.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lm_Kk8rM_4&feature=youtube_gdata

How do you use gates? Leave a comment! I’ll need 10 comments before the next post.

4 Ways to Deal with Noise in a Mix

It’s inevitable.

If you’re recording music at home, you’re going to have noise in your recordings. You obviously want to do everything you can to reduce the amount of noise in your recordings.

A few suggestions for cutting down on noise:

  • Use thick packing blankets. (I feel like that sentence is direct copyright infringement on the Home Recording Show…they love blankets over there.) These can be a cheap way to block out some noise.
  • Record in a separate room. This is ideal but not always possible.
  • Use a dynamic mic. They’re less sensitive and may not pick up as much room noise…but they usually require more gain, so you may have more pre-amp noise. Doh!
  • Record in outer space. Again, this isn’t always possible.

There are all sorts of tricks for cutting down noise, but that’s not the point of this article. Let’s just assume that you’ll deal with noise at some point in your home recording career…and by “some point” I mean “every day.” 🙂

On to the main attraction…4 Ways to Deal with Noise in a Mix.
(more…)