What is the best way to record vocals with Ableton?

I have a Macbook Pro, Shure SM57, Ableton Suite 8, and my pre-amp is a Lexicon Alpha with phantom power. The problem I'm having is the same as when I was using the M-Audio $100 pre-amp: it's hard to hear my voice over the music, uneless I double or triple the number of audio tracks I'm recording into - often recording using tons of compression and effects to bolster the sound of my voice. Is it simply a matter of getting a better pre-amp?

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stattick 2 years ago | 1 comment

10 answers

  • Dennis DeSantis Ableton staff
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    9 votes

    To reiterate the answer that was added as a comment to the original question - you probably need to increase the input gain on your preamp. Either the Lexicon or the M-Audio should provide more than enough gain to get the input level of your SM57 loud enough to hear.

    Also, keep in mind that the input level cannot be adjusted within Live itself. It can only be adjusted via the hardware and is NOT related to the level that you adjust via the volume control on a track in Live. A track's volume control is its OUTPUT level, so you may simply need to turn this up in order to better hear what you're recording.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • Aaron Zilch
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    2 votes

    "Is it a matter of turning down the rest of the music, then?"

     

    Sounds like that is your issue exactly. Especially if your waveforms in the clips look nice and fat. Shift click to select all your tracks at once and turn them all down together by bringing down one of the faders ( so the relative volumes will stay roughly the same ). I generally start all my fader down around -13 db. Remember that those few vocal tracks are competing with all those layers of instruments and drums, so if you want a really upfront radio pop type vocal you're going to need room at the top of those faders to boost it significantly compared to the rest.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • aproduktion
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    2 votes

    To improve the audiobility I would recomend a large diaphragm condenser microphone and a compressor on the vocal track when listening back to the recordings. And like the other guys said, turn the vocal track up, the other tracks down until the balance is good. If you got the money, add a (hardware) mic preamp with compression built in. Then you can get proffesional results in no time.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • Hermanus
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    2 votes

     

    The input gain to your soundcard is the first step to check.

    Then in Live you can use  limiter rather than utility, you set the gain to +6db [or even +9db].

    This way you add gain without overwhelming levels. Meter never goes red if your track level is at 0db

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • puikegast
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    I won't say it's the best way, but.... if   lo-fi recording is your cup of tea or you forgot your microphone, try recording trough a headphone, it works! Also look out for vintage microphones in second-hand stores, you'll be surprised!

     
    2 years ago | 1 comment
  • puikegast
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    1 vote

    you could add a spectrum to your individual tracks to see the frequency ranges, this way it's easy to see which other tracks interfere with your vocal frequency. Next step is to eq the interfering frequency's away from eachother with, for example, a eq8. you could also try to make the vocal mono or pan them out left or right.

     
    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • ASSASSIN-O6
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    1 vote

    use asio drivers with a samson q1u mic you will get a great sounding vocals.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • robkim55
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    1 vote

    I could go in AUDACITY and open up different tracks for the instruments and another for voice. THEN I ADJUST the volume of each track to the desired level. THEN I export them to Ableton.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • deepaklohi
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    1 answer
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    1 vote

    Ableton is a nightmare for the Voice recording.. too complex not at all user friendly. i got licence for both but i would prefer Adobe audition . simple and perfect.. why is is designed so poorly ? thats why people dont buy it much

    3 months ago | 0 comments
  • stattick
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    0 votes

    The input gain on my preamp is turned all the way up. Is it a matter of turning down the rest of the music, then?

    2 years ago | 0 comments

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