making a demo of my band, need advice

Most songs will have both lead and background vocals. Laying down the lead on Sunday, and then the background singers one at a time after that.

Thanks for pointing out that one part. Right now the mix is just a work in progress, as it only has to be good enough to give those still recording something to listen to. I’m sure I’ll drive myself nuts tweaking withing each song, not just raising or lowering each part as a whole

if you don’t mind checking these out, I would appreciate it

I reduced the amount of stereo in the guitars, did a little compression, added a touch or reverb (as little as I could figure out how to do) on the lead guitar and vocals, and added the background vocals.

I’m not sure if there’s too much reverb, or it only sounds that way because my ears are used to hearing it dry.

the gverb setting I used were

Roomsize: 1 m²
Reverb time: 0.1
Damping: 1
Input bandwidth: 0.7
Dry signal level: 0 dB
Early reflection level: -15 dB
Tail level: 0 dB

They’re coming along very well :slight_smile:
I still find some of the stereo panning to be a bit extreme, particularly when listening with headphones, but much less of an issue than earlier mixes.

Also I notice that the lead vocal is dead centre which on headphones puts the sound inside my head which is a bit disconcerting against the wide stereo spread of some of the instrument sounds.

I’d say there was a bit too much reverb, or to put it another way, not enough “dry” signal.

With GVerb I prefer to use the “Duplicate and mix together” method described here:

Also, GVerb is a mono effect, and this is largely responsible for the “inside your head” effect.
What I would suggest for the lead vocal is to make 2 copies of the vocal track (making a total of 3 lead vocal tracks).
The first track, leave completely dry.
The second track, set to the left channel (click on the track name and from the drop down menu select “Left Channel”
The third track, set to the right channel.

Apply GVerb to tracks 2 and 3 with the “Dry” level set to zero. These tracks will be “reverb only” (Wet). You can set the Wet level fairly high as you will be using the track Gain sliders to balance the ratio of reverb : dry

Here’s the trick: Make the reverb “stereo” and give the mix a sense of space by pushing the reverb tracks a little to the right. The further you push them the larger the “virtual room” will be, but the delay should be less than 50 ms otherwise it will sound like a distinct echo (unless that is what you want :wink: ) Move the left and right channels slightly different distances - for example, 35 ms to the left channel and 40 ms to the right channel. The difference between the left channel reverb and the right channel reverb are what give the vocal a stereo spread (but the dry vocal is still dead centre). You will probably want the level of the track that is delayed most to be a little higher than the other reverb track so that the reverb still sounds centred and not off to one side.

Tip: get the lead vocal reverb roughly right with the other tracks muted, then make the two reverb tracks into a single stereo track (Select the two reverb tracks and “Tracks menu > Mix and Render”). Now un-mute the instrument tracks and tweak the levels of the dry (mono) vocal track and (stereo) reverb vocal track so that you have a nice mix with the instruments. The higher the dry track - the more “up front” the vocal will sound.

thanks so much! I just NOW figured out the magic slider to give me the control I want on the gverb, but I’ll incorporate your helpful suggestions too tonight

more to come later!

ok real quick, I edited the clips above, putting another dry track of the lead vocals in there, and then did a simple Db adjustment until it sounded right. I didn’t go into the splitting left and right like you suggested because I’ve got to get to work, but give the links another listen and see if they are better this time. I’ll mess with them more later

I feel like I’m getting close, I can’t thank you enough for all of your help

I’ll also listen to them using my westone ear buds. So far i’ve just used computer speakers (good ones at least)

Sounding better already :slight_smile:

Chorus effect is worth a try …

I don’t see chorus listed… is that a downloadable plug in?

I used the free “Blue Cat’s stereo Chorus” plugin (windows only) …

Other chorus effects are available.
They do something similar to what Steve suggested above : they introduce a tiny delay (10-20 ms) between the left and right creating a wider stereo effect.

That’s much more like it. You had me worried there. I’m collecting notes.
You have each instrument and voice as separate dry tracks, right, and you’re effecting and mixing your brains out?

“List to the music.”



I swear there’s something off with the ordinary rhythm. In “Pretty Woman,” the Audacity lead-in and the drummer are not in sync.

I keep wanting to reach over and push the beat a little sooner.

Did you go through and set Recording Latency before you started live recording? If you didn’t get that right, the first track or two will be missing and then all the tracks after that will be slight off from each other.

Here’s an easy test. Run the Click track for several seconds and overdub a plain, simple drum solo as close to perfect time as you can get it. I bet the two tracks in playback never match up. Doesn’t have to be drums. Pencil on the table will do it.


we used a metronome to get the time in everybody’s head before we started, then I had the lead player do a choke strum to set the time for future tracks.

the gentlest way I can say i…t is our drummer has problems. He’s not a pro, he’s a very big hearted guy that everyone loves, but he frustrates the hell out of us sometimes. There’s no way he can play with a click track, or even headphones for that matter, I know because we’ve tried. The time is what is it, and I was hoping that 45 second clips wouldn’t show off his shortcomings so much.

having said that, I’ll see if there’s a timing issue on that song that can be fixed by me bumping his timeline one direction or the other. Thanks for mentioning it

trying! LOL

i’m getting dizzy scrolling up and down trying to figure ourt what track is what. I wish the “name” window was a little larger, or I’m going to have to stop titling tracks with the name of the song FIRST

our drummer has problems.

So it’s not just me.
All problems are not data related.
Once a long time ago I worked with a guitarist that, in the short form, couldn’t tune his guitar. Played like a dream as long as somebody else tuned it.

i listened to pretty woman, and to my ears, once the song settles, it seems to find a groove that everybody is in. try starting the recording several seconds in… do you still hear a problem?

The performance of Pretty woman is very good but mp3 has a lot of clipping
pretty woman mp3, has lots of clipping (going into red).png
It can happen in Audacity that there was no clipping on your mix but conversion to mp3 causes clipping , see …

The solution is to leave a little headroom, e.g. “amplify” the final mix to -1dB, (rather than 0dB), before conversion to mp3.

The clipping thing isn’t academic, it is audible as pop/click noises every time the waveform goes off the scale and into the red.

we used a metronome to get the time in everybody’s head before we started, then I had the lead player do a choke strum to set the time for future tracks.

If you do this forum thing long enough you pick up on what posters don’t say. You never set Recording Latency, did you? You might be able to get around a lot of these shifting timing problems by having the playback track in perfect time with the live performance – unless you’re not using the playback service at all.

[thinking about it]

But you must be or you wouldn’t be in sync at the end of the song…

There is exactly one way to do this on a default computer and it’s pretty sad. Everybody performs to click track playback all the time. Since new recordings are always the same amount off from the click track, all the musical segments will be in perfect sync with each other.

Most people would much rather layer music upon music as they go, and that will kill you if you have over a tenth second off (0.114) between segments which is what my computer was doing before I set it.


I’ll admit to not even knowing what recording latency is…

or a playback service

here’s what I did…

  1. recorded the guitars and drums on one day, all at the same time

did a rough mix of that session, listened to that though headphones while I played my bass part.

did a rough mix of the parts I had recorded, then my wife recorded the keyboards, tambourine, and vocals while wearing headphones playing the rough mix

Lead singer came in, recorded lead vocals while listening to all of the above

another rough mix, background singers recorded their parts

One more guitar with bit fills left to record, and one background singer who had a scratchy throat the day we did the rest of those vocals

Since everybody was basing their recordings off of the original track laid down the first day, there was no alterations from session to session. every time I recorded, I put the new individual in the left channel, and the prerecorded track in the right. It helped me sync everything back up visually when I got back to the computer

I’m sure it’s a primitive way of doing it, and I probably made you all sick by describing it, but it’s what I understand, and more importantly, it’s a method that I knew my band could be comfortable with. Didn’t seem to have any more problems keeping everything together any more than a live performance. If anything, we didn’t fight tempo nearly as much because our drummer did a better than average job (for him) keeping time