133: The Vocal Effects We Use In Our Recording And Mixing Templates

133: The Vocal Effects We Use In Our Recording And Mixing Templates

Last week we talked about the importance of a good headphone mix for a singer. And that included using reverb and delay to make the vocals sound good and sit in the mix better immediately. 


Book a free feedback call with Benedikt, the host of the show!

Now let’s talk about what kinds of reverb, delay and other FX plugins we use on the vocals we record and mix.

Let’s also discuss why we chose those and what we typically use them for.

There are many different reasons to use effects like reverb and delay. And, as always, being intentional and knowing what to reach for in any situation is critical. At least as a starting point.

We’re explaining the thought process and “why” behind our plugin choices and the settings we start with or use most often.

So you’re gonna have great starting points to achieve some of the common and popular vocal sounds or to just make things sit better in the mix, as well as some creative approaches that might inspire you to come up with something unique and exciting for yourself.

Benedikt's voice on this episode has been recorded with the Antelope Axino Synergy Core.

Room Sound drum samples (The incredible Kurt Ballou Vol. 2 library is out now!):

theselfrecordingband.com/roomsound (affiliate link)

Room Sound Kurt Ballou Vol. 2

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB Podcast 133 - Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Benedikt: this week, we wanted to talk about what kinds of reverb delay and other effects plugins we actually use on the vocals, that we record and mix. I think it would also be a good idea to not only tell you what we use, but like why we choose these things and what we typically use them for. Hello and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host Benedictine, and I'm here with my friend and co-host Malcolm Owen flood. How are you? Malcolm?

Malcom: Hey, Benny. I'm good, man. How are you?

Benedikt: I'm good too. Thank you. there's something that I'm really excited about today that I wanna talk about right away. Just because it got me, it's one of the things, usually I'm not getting too excited over new ear or plugins that come out and stuff like that. my favorite drum sample company in the world room sound. Released the new library, the Kurt blue signature, uh, library volume two. I have the original one and I already loved it, but this volume two that they just put out. I don't know if you've, if you've seen that or if you've played out with it or something, it's 

Malcom: I haven't yet. No. 

Benedikt: I I've, uh, I got it a little before it came out, so, uh, just to check it out and so that they were sending me a, yeah, a license, basically. I think I can say that. And, um, I played around with it and it was just so mind blowing so fantastic. I haven't checked out everything that it can do yet, but like from what I've, what I've heard already and what I've done with it, it's, it's insane. And I want, wanted to talk about it real quick because. You know, we all buy plugins basically all the time, even though we tell you, you shouldn't do that. and usually I don't talk about it because it doesn't really matter that much, but in this case, I'm so excited about this because it's really that good. And, uh, so yeah, that's basically all I have to say. You have to check it out for yourself. It's the amount of, of, I don't know, the detail that went into this, like how realistic it is when it comes to the articulations, the velocities, it's, it's the, yeah, the most realistic sounding one that I've ever heard. And it's so versatile was tracked at Steve Beanie's electric audio. Um, it's called electric audio, I think so. Yeah. Um, studio whether use like all of, all of his live rooms, I think, and you can like choose between those rooms and then you can choose between whether the samples have been tracked to the computer or to tape and like stuff like that. And yeah, just the engine behind it, the, the humanization or whatever it's called. It's, it's incredible. I'm enjoying it so much. So people, if you wanna go check that out, I have an affiliate link for that. So full disclosure, if you buy that through that link, it's gonna cost you the same amount, but I get, uh, compensated. So if you go to the self recording band.com/room sound, um, you can get that library. I, I don't know if there's a trial or something, but just go there and check it out. It's not super expensive anyways. And now, um, because it's brand new, they offer a discount for a certain amount of time. I think. So that's why I wanted to mention it in today's episode. and yeah, really just try it for yourself. Don't take my word for it, but I promise you it's it's really, really great. that's what I wanted to say at the beginning of this.

Malcom: Yeah, I, I do want to check that out. Cause I did hear like the, I got the email about it and then I listened to like the first demo audio clip I could find just quickly clicking on the link and it sounded killer. Um, but that, that's all I've managed to look into it so far. So I'm glad that you've actually gotten to dig into it a little bit. Um, and I, I know that they're like already kind of the leader in like this in great drum samples and, and, and engines. Um, I mean, they're kind of the underdog, but really they're the best

Benedikt: yeah. Totally. And, and I can 

Malcom: they're not the biggest, but like they're the quality.

Benedikt: Yeah. And I can tell you a couple of things, uh, why I actually think that it's so great. So first of all, the one, one detail that a lot of companies miss for some weird reason is. That they don't just make this for you to be able to program drums, but they have the sample replacement or like, the sample enhancement in mind, which means every single sample is cut, like to the sample, like really accurately so that it always lines up perfectly and is never basically out of phase once you get it right. Because with some of the other libraries, I won't name like say names here, but some major companies that I've used before, when you trigger those samples and you try to blend it with your existing ones, every other hit will be outta phase, just because the samples are not cut accurately. Like there will be a tiny gap for one sample and then they cut into the next sample and stuff like that. And with the room zone stuff, it's like absolutely accurate. It's insane. Like how detailed that is. If you look, if you print them and look at them, it's accurate, period. So that is one thing. Then the other thing is the, the symbols sound fantastic, which is not always the case with a lot of these libraries. Um, I like that the way the sustain, like when you have a ride part where the, the, the ride symbol just keeps on ringing into the next hit and stuff like that, that is so ridiculously realistic in this library that. Super crazy to me how that works. that isn't one thing, one another thing. And then, I don't know. It's just the, yeah, also the velocities, the fact that like, you can use them up to 1 27 and it doesn't sound ridiculous. Like it's, you know, you can use the whole range and you can program out, hits as loud hits. Whereas with some libraries, if you use 1 27 it's it's like choking the drum because they sampled it so hard. Like they hit way harder than any drummer would ever do. And a 1 27 on those is actually still sounding like a drum and like one that's been actually been played. So there's these minor details that just make them so great to me. And they spend like a crazy amount of time on these libraries, which is probably a reason I don't know, but that might be a reason of why they aren't the biggest, because it would be more profitable probably to do it quickly and release more stuff, you know, but they put like two or three years into developing such a library. I think, I think in the case now, they said it's like three years in the making or something. 

Malcom: filed. 

Benedikt: Yeah, totally wild. And, and the other thing about the CRI blue thing is the first one he made was great already, but that sounded a lot like CRI blue, which is cool if you like that. But it's, it was really like a, a signature sound that if you don't didn't want that it, you, there was kind of no way around it. It was, to me, it was not very versatile and others might think differently, but to me it always sounded like, oo, I like it, but not on every project. This one now can sound like oo. But it's also very versatile, which is pretty cool. So 

Malcom: Yeah. I'm gonna have to dig into it. all that said today's topic is not about drums at all. Listeners 

Benedikt: not at all. I just wanted to mention that because I got so excited about it.

Malcom: yeah, no, 

Benedikt: all from my end. Like yeah. That's all from all. That's all basically from my end to, for the ban

Malcom: I have my own software thing that I wanna talk about, but I I'm gonna save it for the, the banter of next episode, because I know we're gonna record one right after this. So I'm saving it tune in next week for more random gear talk.

Benedikt: Yeah. exactly. Exactly. yeah. Any, any other, any things you wanted to talk about before we dive into this? I haven't even asked you what you did this this weekend. I mean, I have before the episode, but not on the show. So

Malcom: no, not really. Uh, I mean, I had a great week, but it's just not, there's not a, not a thing that I did this week is relevant to our audience. it was like a lot of hanging out with friends going on, hikes and runs. And uh, I mean, I stuff we actually talk about on this podcast all the time,

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: but, but that's not topical.

Benedikt: no, no, Okay, cool. Great. Yeah. Then, uh, I guess let's dive into this, right.

Malcom: let's do it. Yeah.

Benedikt: Cool. So yeah, last week, uh, we talked about the importance of a good headphone mix and a couple of things that you can do to create that headphones mix for your singer. And that included using reverb delay to make the vocal sound good and sit in the mix better right away. Uh, while you're tracking now, this week, we wanted to talk about what kinds of reverb delay and other effects plugins we actually use on the vocals, uh, that we record and mix. I think it would also be a good idea to not only tell you what we use, but like why we choose these things and what we typically use them for. So in my, I don't know about you Malcolm, in my case, what I use during like tracking for the headphone mix and for my own mix to get in the ballpark, it's pretty similar to what I use in the mix anyway. So the, the two are basically the same or it's like the same sort of template that I use. I don't use the same settings all the time, of course, but like the starting points are kind of the same. and yeah, this is what I wanna talk about. And. I think this can, this episode as always can help you provide, like can help you, get two starting points. This is something I always have to say, because it's not a, this is how you do it. Or these are the effects you should use, but these are our preferences and they're gonna be different between M and I, and, and these are starting points and nothing else like inspiration, something you can try, some of the stuff might work for you. Other things might not work for you. That's totally normal. This is just what we use and something to think about. I think. Anything to add to that? Malcolm, is it the same for you like that? You use similar things for tracking and mixing, for example,

Malcom: Yes, if not exactly. like it, cuz I, I tend to spend, quite a bit of time when setting up a vocal session to find the effects that like really make it sound finished to me. So it's not uncommon for me to then when I'm prepping for a mix, make sure I am import that a exactly as it was. Um, so that it's like tweaked to that, that same amount. and, and same settings because it's like instrumental in, in how we built the vocal arrangement and stuff like that. I, if it's a like delay heavy song, for example, it's like, all right, that delays exactly what I want. We're gonna start with that in the mix. rather than just going back to the defaults and have to do it again. So yes, I, I, I'm kind of on the same page. and even if I didn't do that and I was just gonna be starting from scratch, it's probably the same plugin, that I'm using, like the, the plugins that live in my vocal templates. Are the ones that I use 99.9% of the time in the mix as well.

Benedikt: Awesome. Perfect. And one thing I wanted to say also before we dive into the specifics, the way I thought about this episode was that I wanted to talk about. Effects like things that you would have on a send return sort of configuration or use the wet dry kn on the plugin, but like things like chorus, delay, reverb, stuff like that, that you would use in, let's say parallel, quote, unquote parallel. not so much like the compression EQ in that sort of stuff. I think that's a different, kind of effect. So I'm not talking about that. So in case you're wondering about our compressors or EQs and stuff like that, that's not gonna be covered in this episode. We're gonna talk about the effects that we use and why we use them. cool. Because there's different reasons behind, uh, using one of these things. So you you can use plugins for example, to create space, to create a sense of space and depth. You can use plugins to create, um, width. So you can, you can think about like depth in terms of like front and back. You can think about width. You can think about creating a space around your vocal, there's effects that are. An audible effect, then there's things that are like rather subtle that just make a vocal sit in the mix better without being an audible effect. Then there's things that, cause that, that change the character a little bit of the vocal, then you know these. So it's important to, to know not only what we use, but why we use it and what we try to achieve with that, because there's different goals that you can achieve with those, with those plugins. I think at least that's the way I think about it.

Malcom: well, outta curiosity, Do you think we wanna talk about? Cause our last episode was really about tracking vocals and getting stuff ready for that. Are, are you wanting to talk about the effects we use in that situation? Or what about the effects templates that you have ready for just a mix? When, when you're importing songs for a mix, is it kind of one in the same? Um, 

Benedikt: That's what I, what I was trying to say in the beginning, like these are, these are basically the same, so we can, I might not use all of the, the stuff that I use in a mix. I might not use all of that when I'm tracking, I would just use one or two. but yeah, i, i, they are there. Ready? Yeah. In case we need them and we're gonna get to We're gonna get to why they, why you should have those ready, I think.

Malcom: told that. Yeah. Like, just so that's clear, it's like we've got a bunch OFS. Set up with these effects and yeah, while we're tracking, we might not use all of them and we might not use all of them in the final mix either. but it's like the sames are there ready? And we know, we know the flavors of each of them. It's like choosing ingredients from a spice rack or something. If you're a cook, it's like, okay, well I know what this one's gonna do. It's gonna make it spicy.

Benedikt: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Totally. And I think in order for you to get the most out of this episode, if you're like just starting out, it might be. learning a bit about routing, like routing, what is it actually called? Is it routing or routing? I actually wonder that every single time routing. Yeah. 

Malcom: Well, at least up in Canada, it's routing. I wonder now 

Benedikt: yeah. I think I heard someone say routing before, but like, yeah. Routing. Okay. So learn about that first. If you don't know the basics there, because it really helps understand signal flow and everything, and what we're trying to do, because you might be wondering, you might be thinking about like just the plugins on your vocal track. And what we say is like, you can, you can do that. That's why, but that's too much for this episode. So that's why I'm saying, learn about the basics of signal flow first. Maybe if you're, if you're not really familiar with that, because then it will make much more sense because basically what we're doing is we're setting up tracks with these effects on them, that we can then send our vocal to if we need them and then blend those effects with the dry vocal. That's what we do. And if you're not, not sure how to do that, this would be something I would check out first, I guess,

Malcom: Yeah, it is pretty important actually, because they're being run, uh, in parallel, not like not linear, it's not linear. So it's like, you know, if we run at a delay right onto the lead vocal track, not on an ox and then at a reverb, that delay is feeding our reverb, which isn't necessarily the case. If we set up a bunch OFS that run in parallel with our lead vocal, they're independent of each other. so I mean there's pros and cons for both. It's just a different sound of course, but it's much easier to control what's happening. If you have thes set up.

Benedikt: Yeah. As always being intentional is, is important. And in order to be able to do that, you have to understand how it works. 

Malcom: Yeah. yeah. And, and offices are definitely considered a best practice, I would say as well. So, even if you're getting good results with just throwing it on, you wanna understand and yeah. Like, like Benny said, familiarize yourself with routing and, uh, and just being able to get that set up quickly.

Benedikt: Yeah, for sure. All right. So with that out of the way, let's start with, maybe the ones that we kind of always use or like the ones that we reach reach first.

Malcom: All right. so we could start with reverb. Uh, that's kind of the first thing people can consider. I think. Not the first thing I consider, but I think first thing, most people consider

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: so my reverb that lives on, uh, like my go-to reverb bus is Val Halla, Val Halla ESPs the company, but oh, vintage verb. There it is.

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: I just always call it Val hall. And I was like, actually, what is the name of that plugin

Benedikt: Yeah. They have different ones. Yep.

Malcom: yep. Um, yeah, no, Val Halla vintage verb is my go-to reverb and has been for like so many years. It's incredible. I can't believe I still love it as much as I did when I first tried it. it is hugely tweakable. Very. Fast sounding. Um, and, and just, yeah, like it, and pretty easy to, easy to manipulate, I would say as well, plus it looks so cool. which helps you be interested in it. Um, but yeah, like that, that is my, my go-to reverb on everything essentially other line drums. and, uh, we're talking about vocals today and I think it's fantastic for that. yeah, like that's, that's the one and it doesn't matter if I'm looking for a short, a short or a long reverb. That's the one I'm reaching for honestly. there's one more, but I'm curious is what's, what's your main reverb that you always have living there, 

Benedikt: I love and use the verb suits, um, verb suit classics. I think it's called, uh, by slate. Yep. That is awesome. Um, because it, it actually. It has all the, the, the, the famous common, like re units built into one plugin basically, or simulations of that, or it like captures of that. I should say. I think it's some, some type of IR it's not exactly an IR, but they use some, some proprietary, I think, technology to capture those devices and then reproduce them. so I really like that because it's so flexible and I can reach for whatever river unit I want and any, any patch on that, any, any preset basically, and then I can tweak from there. So this is one that I, that I always reach to, uh, I like the Valla stuff too though, but the first one I reach out for these days is the, the verb soup classics. Yeah.

Malcom: very nice. Um, now, so we're talking about templates. Do you have like a plate and a room and like kind of separated buses like that? Or do, is it just one that's called verb and you just select what you were looking for from the, the plug in itself.

Benedikt: Okay. So, Specifically for vocals. I have one, one ox that's called Vox verb in my template that has a plate on it. Usually as a starting point. The first thing I try is a plate most of the time, like, except with the exception of a couple of projects where I know it's not gonna work, but that's my go to, but then I have, that might be a little different from, from what a lot of people . Do. A lot of people do. I have a couple of general like reverb tracks in my template that I can use for vocals or for other things. And these are things like a small room, a medium room, a big room, a large hall, a small hall, a medium hall, a spring reverb, like all these types of verbs are on their own channel, which seems like overkill, but they are not active until I choose to use them, but they are there. And so if I end up not liking my vox verb thing that I have, I have a couple of options on that track, but if I don't like any of them and I wanna do something completely different, I can reach for one of the others. I can choose a room or a spring or as I said or a hall or something like that. That's already sitting there, but I'm not always using that on vocals. I might use it on anything that it needs it that needs it. so yeah, but, but specifically for vocals, I have one Vox word track and in, I don't know, 80% of all mixes, that's the one I'm gonna use. Not, not always the same setting, but that channel. 

Malcom: Yeah. That that, that's, uh, yeah, about the same for me in the vocal side of things that it's the, the one and it's so quick to use the plugin. Like I said, it's a really great, user interface on Valla, uh, vintage verb just to quickly change it and manipulate it to what I want. I do have one more. I have two verbs sitting ons, two different ones, and one is, yeah. Is Valla set to a plate as a default, with a pretty long pre delay. That's kind of a thing I like. and then the other one is, uh, the even tide reverb, 2016 plugin, um,

or no, what is it's, that's almost the name of it. I, uh, got that wrong 2016 stereo room plugin. and it, it just sounds pretty real right out the box kind of thing, where Val Hala sounds larger limb life. in its usual default settings. So I actually usually kind of end up using a mix of both of those, where I'll use the even tide one to kind of just get like, bring some natural room back into things because a lot of vocals are recorded really dead, which is how I like it. don't get mistaken. I don't want more room in the vocal. and then I'll, uh, find that like, kind of like pro shimmery reverb with Valla that's, that's kind of my usual stereo setup or stereo reverb setup.

Benedikt: All right, cool. Yeah. That's that sounds great. I think. Blending two reverbs can be a great move. I do a similar thing, but just not with the reverb. interestingly, we we'll get to that. Like, um, I use something else as a reverb basically, but we we'll get to that. Uh, but yeah, blending those different textures or sizes or whatever you wanna call it. Um, makes total sense because again, there's different things that you wanna achieve as you said, one is like the big, larger than life shimmer. Um, and probably an audible reverb tale also to that basically. And one could be a more subtle thing that just makes it sit in the mix better. so 

Malcom: yeah, well now, so , I think we're gonna stumble naturally onto what you were just alluding to. Uh, I, I said earlier that I think most people consider reverb first, uh, when they're kind of getting effects in, on a, on a vocal personally. And I wonder about you, Benny. I wouldn't be surprised if you agree. It's a, it's gonna be a delay for me. That's the first thing I'm reaching for usually. Um, or yeah, you're the same. Yeah. 

and. I am usually much happier if I get the delays living where I want, and they're kind of adding enough space and wetness that I, the, the reverb is like a, could take it or leave it situation. Um, it it's, it's not crucial once I have delays how I want them, where if I don't have delays, I end up using a lot of reverb, trying to like compensate for that. and it's way muddier. I am in a lot of cases, I think, but I mean, there's, there's no one size fits all, obviously, especially in this topic, but, uh, yeah, my, my first choice is to reach for, a slap delay. It's actually the first thing I like to find.

Benedikt: Yep. Same here. so, so next question would be then, is it a monos SLAPP delay or is it a stereo slap delay

Malcom: it's usually a stereo. but I have been playing with mono recently, for sure. Um, both. Both are awesome. yeah, my, uh, just to, to drop the, the, my go to delay plugin, it is the echo boy by sound toys, probably the most popular thing out there. I think. Um, great plugin, very versatile again, and, and very easy to manipulate once again, um, is kind of like a, this box does it all kind of situation, which is great, but and I know I've talked about this, plugin on previous episodes and especially on my mixes unpacked with, uh, what futures to there's, uh, the plexi tape one by audio, audio auditory, I think, that is a super cool delay plugin. obviously modeled after a plexi. And I find like using that in mono is a really cool sound as well. So within, within the last like six months, I've built that into my, my template as well, just to always have that plugin sitting there.

Benedikt: cool. Very cool. Yeah. So ex actually exactly the same here. I use echo boys, stereo lap delays. The first thing I reach for. Um, and I wonder how you use it or what you use it for, to me, it's not really an audible slap delay. Like you would like, like an Elvis type of thing or where you, where it's like, use this in effect. It's not, it's not that I use it to put the, the vocal in a, into a room in a weird way. It's like I could use a small room patch or something where I could use an IR. And sometimes I do that. but like usually I like the, like one echo, like a very, very short one on the left and slightly right. Or, uh, longer on the right is actually what I use. So it might be, I don't know, 80 milliseconds left and one 20, right. Or something like that. And I do that. I filter the lows and highs a bit because I don't want weird S sounds from the sides and I don't need the low end too. So it's kind of, kind of a lofi thing that blends well, and what that does, is it actually, if you don't turn it up too loud, it actually just sounds like a room. It's like one reflection that just puts a little bit of not really space around it, but that just moves the vocal into the mix more. For me, it just makes it sound less awkward and like less Brian up front. and I have to use way less reverb if I do that, it just sits better immediately. It gets a little wider. and, and if I do that with reverb, I could, as I said, I do a similar thing with, um, like a room sound or an IR or something, but that sort of muddies up the mix a little more. It's just not one reflection. It's a little longer than that always. And I just want that one thing without cluttering anything. And that's what a delay does for me basically just immediately sits better. And, uh, I find myself having to use, uh, way less reverb when I do that.

Malcom: Yeah, yeah. That, uh, uh, stereo room 2016 plugin. I mentioned that's kinda like my natural reverb. It doesn't get turned on. If the, if the slap delay does the job really, it's like, that's what I'm hoping to accomplish as well. and that plexi tape one, I mentioned that is the Elvis sound.

Benedikt: yes. 

Malcom: the one I like to push when I want that really like obvious slap kind of thing. Um, but yeah, if I just want it to kind of be a little wider and sit in the mix a little bit more, it's gonna be the echo boy one, some, some easy tips on that to like that I find really great are what you mentioned with filtering. Um, I definitely roll off like a lot of high end for example. but then I use the saturation quite a bit too to, to which just darkens it up and, and saturates it obviously. and then, uh, play with the, the reverb styles. so again, it kind of models, all these different types of reverbs as well. Like a memory 

man, or you can do a plexi as well. stuff like that. Do you have a, a favorite that you, you like to reach for first.

Benedikt: Yeah, actually, I use a pretty boring one. I just use the dual echo digital delay thing, the standard one, because I just roll off highs and lows saturated a bit. And that's it. So I'm not going, I'm not looking for an obvious effect there. If I, if I wanna do something like that, I might choose something else. But for my go to, I be pretty want it to sound pretty much the same as the lead vocal. Just with a, a bit more lofi and then, uh, it sits well, like nicely behind the lead vocal. So nothing, nothing fancy there

Malcom: All right. Yeah, I, I reach for the, the plexi again, and I, I realize I've seen said plexi like a hundred times in this episode already, but the, the plexi mode on echo boy sounds very different than that plexi plugin. I mentioned. the other one I use is like the tube delay, which is very saturated. and then there's the, the memory man as well. I think I mentioned that, that one's cool. It gets more lofi as it goes. I feel like, uh, like on the repeats, which, don't really use that for a slap, but. That's coming

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: um, so yeah. Yeah. First thing is, uh, yeah, the slap delay. Try and get that living just perfectly.

Benedikt: totally. And, and I wanted to add one thing because people might be wondering when to use a stereo slap and a monos slap. So when I'm doing the Elvis thing, it's typically a monos slap for me, might not be, might not always be the case, but oftentimes, but even with the subtle slap delay, just for space, basically I use sometimes use a mono one and that depends on how focused I want the center to be. If there, if I want, usually I'm going for the stereo one, but sometimes I want a very clear separation between the sides and the center. So I want all of my vocal stuff be very, Very focused and in the center and in that case, I might not even use any reverb or anything that makes it wide. I want the guitars way out and on the sides and the, the, the vocals very focused in the center. That's a certain sound that I sometimes want just for one part maybe or so. And in that case, I'm just creating depth in the center. Like, and I just use one, one repeat behind the vocal and I don't do anything on the sides, but in most cases it helps the vocal sit better if it's like, if it's got a little bit of stereo information from the two different delays left and right. So it's just a, again, being intentional and, and knowing for me, it's like, how, how focused do I want the center to be? And it is, do I intentionally want a very mono vocal or not basically.

Malcom: Yep. Which can make a huge impact and, you know, the kinda stuff that bring it back to tracking versus mixing. When we're tracking, we're probably not writing in like automation to have a stereo delay come in for the course. We've kind of just got it up to the set and forget point. And then that's the kind of stuff we do in the mix is like, you know, decide if, uh, something wide comes in at one part of the song, vice versa. but what we want is kind of like the general vibe. So yeah, if you had chose a doing the tracking and you set up a mono slap and that that's kind of like, great then in the mix you might bring in the stereo one for the course or whatever kind of thing. Like it's, there's, you can't have all of you. Can't get everything figured out. You get as much figured out as you can while you're going, but ultimately there's gonna be more to be done. So having the, the plugin, just sitting there so you can like audition and be like, okay, that's cool, but we can't have it on while they're trying to sing this quiet verse or something. Just mute it out, keep it handy. It's available. It's uh, it's gonna save you time.

Benedikt: Yep. One little trick there. I, I know we should avoid going down these rabbit holes, but it just made me think of one thing. Uh, when you said, like we can't have the, the reverb on, in this quiet part, there's one trick that I sometimes do that helps with that. And like, yeah, I, I have to do less work if I do that. And that is, I compress my vocals pretty heavily as we talked about before and YouTube. You do too. So I think so, um, what I sometimes do is I'll do I'd duplicate the vocal, or I I'd use the compression on my vocal bus or on a vocal master track and leave the actual track alone, but I feed the reverb or any effect from the uncompressed track. And what that does is. The vocal, the drive, the drive vocal without effects, um, without the reverb will be consistent and very compressed, but the reverb level will change based on how loud the singer sings because it's coming from the uncompress track. So when the voice is quiet in a verse, the, the reverb is also gonna be a lot quieter. And when they start to sing louder or start to yellow, go up or belt or whatever, the reverb will also explode in a way. And this kind of helps me, um, make the reverb sit a little better or like open up naturally when it gets loud, but, and not get in the way so much when it's quiet. When I feed the reverb off the compressed vocal track, it's kind of always there, even in the quieter parts, I feel like. And so that is something that, that can help with that. Just a side note.

Malcom: Yeah, absolutely. That that's great tip, really? it's, uh, pretty advanced and I love it.

Benedikt: Yeah. So, so, but what it means basically is that the re follows the natural dynamics, but the vocals not anymore, basically, you know, 

Malcom: Yeah. It it's very clever. So, okay. So we've got our slap delay. We we've got our, uh, and then I I'm trying to go through it, like, as we would in our process, then say, that's all done. You love it. What's your next step then? Do you look at reverb or do you look at a longer delay or something else?

Benedikt: I usually look at reverb next, but it's pretty much at the same time I try to compare the two. I try to audition a couple of things and I try a longer re more obvious reverb, like as an effect. And I also try another delay, but then that this time it's not a St uh, a slap delay, but it's an actual, mostly stereo delay with just more repeats. So it's might be quarter notes on one side and eight notes on the other side or something like that as a starting point, with the feedback turned up a little. So it's not just one like reflection one echo, but it's like multiple. And, um, I, I try to, I usually audition both real quick and then decide if I wanna use the reverb or the delay or. Or sometimes I use the delay, but feed it into a little bit of reverb to make it sit behind the vocal. That's can also be something where the vocal is dry, but the delay might go into a bit of reverb because otherwise the delay might be too upfront compared to the leave vocal. So this could be a thing. So I can't usually do that. I compare the two and as I said, the reverb is the, the plate as a standard go to. but in some cases I might use something different and for delay, it's gonna be some more, characterful thing in that case. So it's, I'm not reaching for the digital delay in this case, I'm reaching for some sort of tape delay or something that has, that even is a bit modulated, maybe. So that it's not a, an exact eighth Noal Cordone. I like to have a little bit of, of shuffle a swing in there with the echo boy, or I like to modulate it a little bit, or I try to, I don't know. I just kind of, don't like the very static, rhythmic sound. If it's just. Eight notes and quarter notes. I like it to be a little different and a little bit weird sounding room have, like, I don't know what it is. It's it just sits better to me. And it's, it kind of feels weird with the exception of a couple of parts. It kind of feels like I don't even know how to explain that. can almost sound a little funny if it's like exactly on the beat all the time and always the same sort of, um, feedback. I don't, I don't really like that. I like it to differ a little bit and maybe even change over time as the feedback gets longer. I don't know. That's hard to describe, but that's, that's what I try to do. Something more character full there. 

Malcom: yep. 

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: Yeah. I'm, I'm kind of similar. I'm reaching for, I, I, I usually go from the slap to a longer delay just to see if there's like a timing based thing that is gonna be pretty instrumental in the song. And, and that can be a really wow factor for the artist as well. I was like, oh, I hadn't. Like thought of what, if those gaps were filled with a vocal delay kind of stuff. so when that works, it's magical, but it doesn't always work 

Benedikt: okay. So that's different though, from what I do, probably. Okay. Okay. We we'll get to that. So because the one that I do almost, yeah. Because the one that I do, I use is more, is almost sounding like a reverb. It doesn't really sound like a delay. That's filling the gaps. It's like a little more lush than that. A little, it's a delay, so it's not a reverb, but it's not like obvious, repeats 

Malcom: Echo. Yeah, no, I don't think mine necessarily is either because it's so down, but it's kind of just there . Um, and I mean, it depends how loud I go with it kind of thing, but, um, but there's like, it can be pretty busy without being busy, I think sometimes with the right song. so it, it, but longer than the slap, and, and feedback up a little bit kind of thing. And I'm usually trying to find a way, to like muddy it with either reverb or, or enough saturation and like high cut to make it really not. Like take away from the understanding, the leave vocal, 

guess. Um, and, and then that, like, that's, again, something I prefer over reverb. So I'd rather have that rather than like my longer plate happening kind of 

thing. Um, as, as a focus. but it's, it's kind of an experimentation and that's the beauty again of having these Oxy set up. I just turn it up, turn it down, grab the reverb, turn it up, turn it down and just like play with those levels and see what I like. And I'm thinking now, Benny of you having your FAERS set up in front of you and how awesome that must be to just be able to grab your differents with different fingers and manipulate that rather than a mouse that's uh, now I've got gear envy.

Benedikt: Yep. Yep. That's, that's really awesome. To be honest. Um, totally that's part like balancing decisions like that are the reason why I got this controller in the first place. It's it's like, yeah, not so much the automation, but like the, the, yeah. Being able to balance it just by ear with the finger on the fader is pretty cool. Yep. Yep. 

Malcom: guy

Benedikt: Yeah. yeah, but I I'm thinking, do you have certain times as starting points that you use or is it like, is it actually a note value sort of that you choose for the delay or is it just a certain amount of milliseconds or is it, um, like how, what, how do you go 

Malcom: yeah, it, 

Benedikt: the delay

Malcom: uh, it just is set to, uh, it's set to eight notes, tempo mapped or, or tempo locked. So it just like automatically syncs to the BPM of the session. Um, and then, but that's only because I decided to choose something and I feel like eight is a good starting point. Um, I always end up tweaking it. Uh, as I'm fooling around with it, just to see, and like kind of, you know, you listen and you have a rough idea of what you might want to try. so I just grab it quickly and, and, and mess around. I've thought about having a bunch OFS with them, like labeled like quarter note, eighth note, dotted, whatever. and, and just being able to do it that way, but I, I don't like having too many tracks sitting there so I just prefer to have like the, the one, my, my long delay ox, and I just grab that and, and play with it.

Benedikt: Definitely. I, I do the same, but I created presets in, echo boy that I can quickly audition against each other. So I don't like to set up the delay every single time I have presets for it. Like these things, like quarter notes, eight notes, then the, the mix things where it's like quarters on one side, eight notes on the other side, stuff like that. I have presets for that, for sure. Because yeah, it just takes too long to set up eCOA from scratch every single time for me. 

Malcom: There's a, there's one disadvantage to that though. Is that it? You can't have it like lock some of the settings. So say I get the like level or like the, um, the feedback, how I want it for that song. And then you grab a, a preset. It's gonna reset the feedback to whatever was saved on that preset, you know, where if I just manipulate the, the timing, that's the only reason I don't do it. That That way it it would be good to have some starting 

Benedikt: yeah. Yeah. 


Malcom: ground.

Benedikt: exactly. And it's quick enough to just, uh, change the, the thing from, from eight notes to eight notes to quarter notes. So I guess you're right. maybe just have one, one preset as a starting point, and then you can tweak the feedback and the value from there. I have still one question in mind, you set eight nodes as a starting point, which means eight nodes on both sides and you spread it by manipulating the two sides differently, or you use a preset that does that, basically, because if technically, if you have eight nodes on both sides, it would be a mono delay unless there's something 

going on 

Malcom: difference it it's actually built into echo boy under the hood. There's a width knob, which does it.

Benedikt: yeah, yeah. Totally. Yeah. I just, I know, but I just wanted to, to, yeah. I just wanted you to say that for the audience, because not everybody might 

Malcom: Yep. Yeah, no, it makes sense. 

Benedikt: Yeah. Okay. So it is stereo. It's not just an eighth delay, uh, in the middle.

Malcom: Yeah, no, it, it is stereo. Yep. You're correct. Um, and you could do it by manually just making the two, the left and right. Different with the timing controls there. You can just go to dual mode and, and do that, but yeah, the width, the width mode, does it in a way that I find sounding really good, just describing the width knob and playing with that. 

Benedikt: Now, do you use a mono delay two in your template? And if so, why? Like different from the slap one.

Malcom: not usually, yeah, I, I wouldn't say that. I usually do. Uh, I, not that I haven't, but have it built into my template at this point. 

Benedikt: Okay. Yes, but um, so I have a question then about, about that. What do you use for delay throws where it's like an obvious delay? Like not a. Like not this manipulated depth thing that sort of replaces reverb, but like an obvious delay where you hear delay throws to fill in some gaps. It's probably not on during the whole song, but maybe throughout a certain part or, or just on certain words. Um, what do you use there? Is there something in your template to do that? Like a, just a, a mono 

Malcom: Yes. 

Benedikt: might be stereo? I don't know.

Malcom: I, I tend to keep it stereo still. Um, but I, I have another eco boy track that is just called echo. Uh,

Benedikt: Mm-hmm 

Malcom: underscore echo, and it's just always been that way for me. That's probably been the, the longest standing thing in any of my templates and it's echo boy set to pretty ridiculously, noticeable settings. and, and I turn that up and I play with it and, and look for those throws to work. and then more likely than not, I don't end up using that though. I actually like to then prefer to, find like, say, say it's half no delay. So that, that tends to work out really well in like modern rock courses and stuff like that. if that's a go I'll often like throw, then grab a plug in. Maybe it's that plugin, or maybe it's like plexi tape or, or something more noticeable, more colored, throw that right on the end of the, the vocal track, my lead vocal. So it's after all of the effects and everything and it's right on there. And then I commit that track. and that's my new delay throw track. It's like printed. I can see where they are. It's a hundred percent went wet is what I've committed here. And I just mute out sections and then manipulate them as I need. I find that workflow just works for me rather than trying to like ride the levels up for these delay throws. I just print, uh, totally delayed track and then cut and edit the audio as a, as audio clips. I can just delete the S I, I don't have to worry about riding the fater around it stuff like.

Benedikt: That's a great workaround. Actually, I have a workaround for that too, but it's completely different. Um, but the same reason. Um, but that's actually great what you do, because you can see them and you can manipulate them more accurately. You could even cut out like a harsh S or something, or like you could, yeah. If you see the wave form, I can see that work pretty well because you, yeah. You can have exactly the amount of throws that you want and stuff like that. That's cool. Um, what, what I do is I have track for delay throws with, um, a certain preset on there as a starting point. And I have an empty audio track below my lead vocal track that has like, that's just feeding that has the delay plug in on it on a hundred percent wet. And whenever I want to delay throw, I just cut out the word that I want for that from the actual vocal track and move it down to the delay. and then I only have the delay on that one word and that works. You still have control over what exactly is getting fed into the, the delay. But I have to tweak the, the feedback quite a bit to, in order to get the amount of throws exactly right. And stuff. Whereas with your approach, I could, you could actually see how many you have and stuff like that.

Malcom: Yeah, but there's, there's a lot of perks to yours because if I get it wrong, I have to recommit that section or, or something like that. Um, and because I haven't only dragged down some words, sometimes there's overlap from the phrase before on the line that I'm finding works really well. And then I have to recommit that your way. I like that. I think that's, that's gonna be my new thing.

Benedikt: Yeah. That's really cool. You can do it a couple different ways. You can either move down the entire thing and, and have a dry wet balance there. Or you can just copy it over and have it all to on wet basically. And yeah. And then you can decide if you want the delay track to be with the vocal processing or without it so less compressed or whatever. So, yeah, it's pretty cool.

Malcom: Yeah. Very cool. All right. This is awesome. We're learning new things here.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. yeah. Cool. So, okay. We do that, but the difference between you and I is that I use, and I find that interesting. I use a, a mono delay almost always to that. And you do the delay throws in stereo too. Basically.

Malcom: generally, yeah, generally. Um, and yeah, we just, never really crossed my mind to mono there, but maybe, maybe I'll give it a shot. See what I think

Benedikt: I don't, I don't even know why I do it mono. It just made sense to me that I that's a amount of vocal. And if I want the delay, it's just a mono repeat of that, but why 

Malcom: mm-hmm 

Benedikt: like you're right. yeah.

Malcom: Well, I think we both think you're right. Um, 

Benedikt: yeah. 

Malcom: it is gonna gel more into the background probably if it's stereo, but if it's mono, it's gonna seem more like a lead vocal. I dunno. There's but yeah, obviously pros and cons to both, but I kinda like the idea of setting it up as mono and then just using like a doubler to make it wide. If I wanted to 

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: just as good.

Benedikt: Yeah. I was about to say, I think that's what I've done sometimes because sometimes the one doesn't work and then I just spread it some other way. Um, yeah. Ah, okay. do you use any other types of delays before we go to the next category here? Typically? I mean, sometimes you 

Malcom: not in my template. No, no. Like if, if there's anything else it's kind of like a. Per song basis, I'm gonna just, you know, make a new bus or, or throw it right on the track, whatever, just to get that character happening. But there's nothing else that's just sitting.

Benedikt: Okay. And then one more question, uh, just to, to sum up the whole delay reverb conversation. Um, there's one thing I forgot when we were talking about reverbs. Do you use, is it almost always this plate for you or like one of, or the other, like the even title or the plate, or is it, do you use something like a, a hall or a room or any other type of re one vocals in your template or.

Malcom: So, so the plate is in the template, but if it doesn't work, I just change the modes to what I think would work and experiment there on that same thing. It'll still just be called plate. I usually don't even relabel it because I just know that's my reverb track pretty much. Um, and, uh, so, so hall, yeah. Is a common one. There's a, what's it called? I think it's called tiled room.

Benedikt: Mm-hmm

Malcom: something like that. Uh, is another one I quite like. so, so yeah, I do that. And then the, maybe one that is worth mentioning that isn't, doesn't live in my template, but it's the U a D um, capital, uh, studios. Echo chamber thing like that. That's nothing else does that, that I found it it's super unique sounding. And when it's right. It's right. So that one gets a honor honorary mention. I think

Benedikt: Cool. Any rooms or IRS or something more like realistic or something you use instead of the slap delay for that reason or something 

Malcom: no, not, not on vocals. I don't 

think ever

Benedikt: Cool. Cool. 

Malcom: not that you couldn't 

Benedikt: yeah, yeah, yeah. yeah. So it's pretty much the same for me. the plate is more of an obvious effect to me. It doesn't sound like a, um, like a subtle rooms type of thing. It is an effect it as a reverb tail and it, it has a, a sort of a presence to it. Um, that is part of what I like about it, but sometimes I want a reverb tail that's just a little more subtle or just blends better or is less synt. And in that case, I switch to a hall. Often I find like a, a typical, like Chas hall preset on a, an lexicon verb or something like that. That sounds really smooth. Um, not very, synt pretty dark. It, it blends well, it's like, it has a reverb tail, but it. Very, yeah, very smooth, not too exciting sounding, which is sometimes what I want. This is what I would use also for, um, acoustic instruments sometimes where I want to like, yeah, make it sound like a concert hall or something. And I sometimes use that on vocals if there's a, a pretty quiet part where I want like really lush, um, rich sounding vocals with a tail, but without the reverb, getting all the attention basically. So when, when I want the, you know, the length and the ambience and all of it, but I want it behind the vocals. Sometimes the hall works better than the plate for me, just because the plate is too obvious in a way or too, too much of an effect. So in those cases, I like the, the chess hall setting or just the medium hall or something like that. and then very rarely I use a small hall or room even when. I sometimes half the situation where all of the instruments are tracked in the same room and the band wants a fair amount of that room sound, but for they, they chose a more dry spot or something for the vocal or everything has room max except the vocal. And they want that to, to sound more like in the same room as the rest of the band, then I try to find an IR or something that sounds similar to what they used and all the other stuff and put that on the vocal. But I won't do that in the loud parts mostly, but sometimes there is like a quiet part or a bridge where, where there's just one guitar at the vocalist alone, and then they want it to sound like somebody's like a couple of feet away from the mic or something and in the room with the band sort of, and if I want that, I kind of have to push the vocal back with an IR or something. These are, this is why I have it in my template because I have that sometimes. But to be honest, I wouldn't even have to have that in the template because it's not the, the norm for me. 

Malcom: Yeah.

Yeah, no, that makes sense. I think the only thing left for me anyways, after, uh, vocals and delay would be, uh, like a stereo spreader or doubler kind of plugin, and I for the longest time, and it's actually still there. I've had waves, doubler sitting there and I've just got like the, the sides spread out and the, the center muted, um, so that it doesn't have that tri signal in it when I feed it. And, and that's, uh, I, I got that Billy Decker took that one. Uh, but I, I haven't used it in ages. I found myself just reverting to using, uh, micro shift right on the, the vocal bus. don't know why really just That's just mm-hmm um, cause I, I feed it into a stereo bus already just in case I want to use stereo plugins there. Um, and so I that's where I do it. And yeah, I, uh, I, I guess, and actually worth, worth mentioning it on that vocal bus is also where I'm feeding the plugin. So if I do it there, my stereo spread vocal is being fed to my reverbs and stuff like that. so, so yeah, curious, just something I've found that has been working for me. I like the, the, stereo better micro shift to be on, on the track there rather than on a bus. again though, I don't know if I would, I, I, I don't know if I'd call my use of micro shift as a doubler though. , it's never used enough to sound like a doubler. It's just, uh, it just makes it sit in the mix more, I think. and then for actual doubles, I use, I use nectar three. Have you ever used that by ozone?

Benedikt: I know it, but I've never used it.

Malcom: The double is super cool. It's, uh, it's a doubler, but you can set the doubles to be harmonies or Octas or whatever instead. Um, so it's also like a harmony engine. it's uh, very cool.

Benedikt: That sounds like fun. Yeah, that sounds cool. Yeah. No, I, I I've used not much other than, um, micro shift, to be honest, I've maybe tried a couple of different ones, but I always end up using micro shift for that reason. sometimes even just the, the little micro shift, because I don't even need the three different types that just need the microwave, whatever it does under the hood. Um, 

Malcom: totally great. 

Benedikt: yeah. and, uh, so I use it differently. but I guess I achieve a similar thing in a way, because it's also not a doubler for me. It's just to add, yeah. To make it sit better, to add a little bit of width. If I want doubles, I just make the band track doubles or, yeah, sometimes that's, that's not possible and I have to create fake doubles, but usually I have doubles and don't need to create them. but the thing is I use Microsoft on the doubles most of the time. So what oftentimes happens is that bands send me a lead vocal and one double for example, but I want the double to be stereo. And in that case, I might not put it on the leave vocal, but I might put it on the doubled vocal, and I might even put it on 100% wet so that I don't even have a mono double anymore. I just have the, the spread out double basically. And that turns the mono into a stereo double that that's what I do a lot of times actually. And I don't put it on the vocal bus because I wanna have, I wanna be able to decide if I want the micro shift on my lead vocals or on the, uh, doubles or on the harmonies or on other backing vocals. And usually I send all of those to the micro shift in varying degrees. I might send a little bit of it from the lead vocal, sometimes nothing. I might do like a lot of it from the doubles. I might do a bit of it on some harmonies, but none unlike backing vocals that just come from one side and have to be pretty mono or something, you know, it kind of changes. Um, so I have it on an ox and, uh, I send yeah, different amounts of everything to that ox. And, and, and, and in some cases I also put it on the, the double track, as I said, and turn it all the way to wet if I want to create the fake stereo thing. So that, that's how I use it basically. So just to, to spread out things and to make it a little fuller, uh, and also to create a difference, I guess, between the very focused mono lead vocal and the other stuff, because it makes it sink into the mix a little more. It spreads it out a bit, and that creates it, more depth and more of a difference between the Lee vocal and whatever is behind that to me. So.

Malcom: Totally. Yeah. Okay. You gotta try Nector three buddy. Uh 

Benedikt: Okay, cool. 


Malcom: uh, for that purpose of like they sent, they sent a mono double, um, and you're like, ah, I wish you gave me two, but we don't have time. Now we gotta mix this thing. nectar three is the answer. It just, it, uh, it's so well, I've, I've actually found many times now that I prefer this like artificial double that I throw it right on the track, a hundred percent wet, and manipulate it, however, Pretty fun interface, honestly. Uh, and it, uh, it's like, oh yeah, I like this more somehow than, uh, having the real doubles. it just, it, uh, it's got a different sound. It's not E every time, but like, sometimes it's like, oh, this is just perfect. so try that. I find it for rather than like micro shift. It, it does the job really, really well.

Benedikt: Cool. Really cool. Do you think, I, I think I need to go to get into the O isotope, plugins more anyways. I'm one of the very few people on this planet. I think in this industry who haven't used a lot of them, I, I know, uh, RX, uh, used to clean, clean up things all the time, but I'm still on RX seven, I think. Uh, or so, and I, um, I use a couple of their things, but like I've never been big into. ozone or any of that, but, but I, I know that they are all amazing. And, uh, so I'm wondering now that they also offer the subscription, which is actually pretty affordable for, for the crazy amount of, of like amazing tools that they have. So I wonder if it might be worth just to just get the subscri subscription for a month or two, check out all that stuff and then decide what I want to keep, or maybe stick with the subscription. I, I, at some point I still, I think I have to do that because people keep on telling me amazing things about the isotope plugins. And I haven't used a lot of them

Malcom: Yeah, worth, worth trying out for sure. Um, I, I do think you know, like nectar is essentially nectar and they've got one more neutron, are kind of built for people looking for all in one plugins, which generally I like, I don't really vibe with. I'd prefer to have my one compressor plugin, then my EQ plugin. And then, you know, like my, my doubler has a different plugin. I don't want them all living in one plugin window. but for songwriters I could see this being really nice. just having everything there. Um, so. It's good stuff. May, maybe we'll we'll nerd out on this, more off the podcast.

Benedikt: Yeah. yeah, yeah, for sure. For sure. Yeah. And again, we , this is the thing we always tell people to not buy gear. And then we talk about what here we 

should buy 

Malcom: totally 

Benedikt: But yeah, it doesn't make, like, you can do all of the things that we said today. Uh, a lot of the things you can do with stock plugins, the, the whole widening micro shift thing. I don't know if that's possible with, with the stock plugins you have, but BA reverbs and delays for sure. And there's no like to get into this and to learn the basics of what we just talked about today. You could totally do all of that with the, the stock plugins, for sure. 

Um, yeah. Okay. So let's talk about a couple of things that I have in my template. And maybe you do two that, but I never really use . So, because to me it's like reverb delay, the micro shift thing, and then different variations of all those. Uh, those are the ones that I basically always use, but then I have things in my template that I think that I thought would be a good idea to have, but I, if I'm honest, I almost never use them, but a lot of people do. So for example, I have a chorus in there. I have a FLA in there. I have, um, a kind of like the whole category of like modulation effects. Um, I have those in my template, but I very, very rarely use those. So might be because of the genre that I'm in or I don't know, but like, uh, instead of a chorus, I just like to play around with the micro shift more or, yeah, I don't know. And also things like a flame or phaser, like there's the odd part where I want something like that. Of course. When, when bands ask for that or when I just think it's a good idea and I, I come up with something creative. But it's not something that I do on all of my vocals. Like, you know, if you watch mixed tutorials by, especially by like older mixers that came up on consoles, or we were mixing in the eighties, nineties, they always use like FLAS and choruses and stuff. And some of them still do today, but I, I don't know. I never, I never really do that

Malcom: Me neither. Yeah. It's pretty rare. Pretty rare. And I, I definitely don't have them living in my, uh, my template for sure. I don't. Um, I just, in those cases end up making one, which I guess is slower, but it also doesn't take up space for all of the times. I don't use them, you know, so it's fine. but, uh, that all said, you know, just because Benny and I don't get our results with them doesn't mean that it might not be like exactly what you're looking for. You should experiment and, and see what effects you like. And then if they're right for you, build them into your own template.

Benedikt: Absolutely. And it might be totally genre specific. Some genres just need a chorus on the vocal, for example, or, I don't know, like do whatever, whatever fits your, your style and what you're going for. Of course. yeah. So the only thing left that I do use though, and this is a different category of effects, but it still lives in my effects folder and on an ox. And this is, a, a vocal crush bus, which is not necessarily just, compression, because I said, we wouldn't wanna talk about compression. It's not just parallel compression, but it's actually different flavors of vocal distortion and kind of. Weird things that I have ready to go. If I need them, that I just know what they sound like. And I have things like, the devil lock, for example, the sun devil lock is the favorite of mine. I have a decapitated there. I have, a couple of things to destroy the vocal and then blend that back in with the dry vocal basically. And some of them even have like, there's a couple of cool plugins by, oh, what is the company comes with the plugin Alliance subscription to me. Um, it's called, is it called 

unfiltered audio? Is that the company?

Malcom: Maybe I 

Benedikt: so. 

Malcom: have anything of their.

Benedikt: Um, yeah, they're called like they're all in the plugin Alliance bundle. They have really cool plugins where they let you distort it things. But then similar to, you could do that with Saturn, I guess, because then you can like modulate the distortion and you can combine multiple modules of different distortion. And like you have these virtual patch cables that you can use to feed one and two the other and create feedback and modulations and stuff like that. I think with Saturn, you can do a similar thing. and, uh, so I have that and I tr I have some, some just presets built there that I like that are creative, that I can use and blend in with the vocal or use exclusively for one part all the way up or something like that. So I have this vocal crush bus that has five or six completely different flavors on that vocal crush on that bus. Um, or on that effects, strike that ox, I should say. And, um, yeah, if I, if I want some, a certain type of lofi sound or a certain type of distortion or a certain type of weird thing that I came up with once I kind of added to, to that list and I can pick and choose from those and, uh, like blend that in. I don't know if you have something

Malcom: That's cool. No, I don't, I don't, have anything like that. Um, I use distortions on my vocals all the time, but I don't have a crush built, like bus built up. Um, maybe that's something for me to experiment with too. Could be a fun way to do it.

Benedikt: Yeah. It's definitely fun. Like the, the standard distortion or drive that I use on my vocals is, is on the track itself. Um, typically, but like the really crazy stuff lifts on that, on that parallel thing. And I just keep adding to that list. Basically, every time I come up with something cool. I just move it there and then I it's ready to go.

So Yeah. 

Malcom: That's fun. 

Benedikt: Yeah. Okay. Anything else that we missed something because that's pretty much it. And I use all of these things, not all of them, but the, the things I use in tracking are from that list basically is when I track vocals and not mix them, I might reach for the stereo slap and the reverb or the stereo slap plus the longer delay or something. and that's pretty much it. sometimes I, I set up delay throws just because we hear it sort of while we're tracking. And then we're like, let's try if that works. And then we keep it in there because it helps the song or makes things feel different. 

So it's all ready to go. And it's exactly the same as in my mixed template basical.

Malcom: Yeah, I'm, I'm the same way. Um, these, buses just live there in the, in the session. So they're there. If I need 'em for tracking, they're there. If I need 'em for mixing, they're just, my go-tos saves a lot of time. Don't have to, you know, get out of the, the listening experience if it's already living there. So that's why it's important to have 'em ready. and as a self recording band, this is the only more helpful, you know, for Benny and I, we're mixing different vocalists constantly. So we constantly have to tweak and experiment and find just get it to work with that style and that singer. When it's you, you can really find like your magic sauce, that like routinely works for you. So if you're setting up your own vocal chain, this is like extra worth the time to experiment and get it ready and just always there for you. It's like, here's my go-to chain. I know it. I love it. Awesome.

Benedikt: Absolutely totally. one last question, Malcolm, is there anything you had in your template that like once or something that you've been using for a while that you don't use anymore, or that just doesn't work for you anymore, or that you found a better way of doing or some? I don't know. Something like that. Has that changed a lot over the years? 

Anything you. 

Malcom: I had more throws set up at one time, but again, they were just kind of cluttering things up. so, and I changed how I, I went about that. So they're gone. And then I did have one like crazy. Effects track, which was like, I was using echo boy into crystallizer and then into like Valla verb, when crystallizer is like a layer that also does pitch and modulation and splicing stuff. and so like essentially a delay would feed it and then get detuned and get all weird. And reverbed and I was like, ah, this sounds so cool. But of course it was useful for the one time I made it and never again. So it's just way too much. So that got deleted out. Um

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: yeah. Uh, so not, not really. And I guess like, there's the doubler, I mentioned that there's that doubler wave doubler sitting on a bus and I usually don't end up using that anymore. so it hasn't been deleted yet, but it, it, it's just not my go-to anymore.

Benedikt: Okay. Okay. 

Malcom: about.

Benedikt: no, but I should change it. That's why I was asking, because I have all these redundant things in my template that I never really use. So maybe I should just make a leaner template and get rid of some of the stuff. That's why I got me thinking about this, uh, this question. No, I haven't really, I, I changed the plugins on those UMES, but Theus themselves change. Didn't change much over the years, I think, but I I'm it's time. Maybe it's time for a cleanup there or for like rearranging stuff. Because what I Al also do is I find myself, using a certain ox track and then immediately changing the plugin or changing the preset because I don't use it anymore. So I should probably update my template. So I don't have to do these things all over again all the time. So, yeah, no, that's the only thing it's kind of the same, but the tools sometimes change and there's a lot of stuff I don't use anymore. That's still in there, like the flame chorus and that sort of thing.

Malcom: That makes sense. I, uh, I'm sure I'm forgetting something, honestly. So maybe maybe next episode when it comes, comes to me, I'll, I'll mention it as a, a little add on, but, uh, but like, honestly, I think that's a lot of, 

Benedikt: yeah, 

Malcom: of ammo to get started with.

Benedikt: totally. Let's just say, even if we forgot something, if you only had the things that we mentioned this episode, 

Malcom: overkill. 

Benedikt: So 

Malcom: Yeah. Overkill. Yeah.

Benedikt: yeah. All right, cool. I really hope that helped. and, uh, yeah, let us know if you have any questions, maybe, uh, we didn't cover something that you would've been interested in and, uh, in that case, send an email to you podcast@theselfrecordingband.com or, uh, comment in the Facebook community. Uh, when I post the episode, just comment below and let us know your follow up questions to. You can always go there by going to the surf recording, ben.com/community. And, uh, yeah. See you in there.

Malcom: see you 

Benedikt: Bye. Talk to you next week. 

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