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Author Topic: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?  (Read 1850 times)

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Offline cd2go

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Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« on: March 06, 2022, 08:05:56 PM »
Working on a matrix with on-stage mics that sound fantastic but the recording needs some vocals from the soundboard mix. Unfortunately they are noticeably echoey in spots. Is there any way to help reduce echo using simple EQ or basic plugins? Editing with Amadeus Pro but can also use Audacity.

Thanks in advance!
-James
« Last Edit: March 07, 2022, 11:54:55 AM by cd2go »

Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal echo?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2022, 09:41:55 PM »
Echo or Reverb?

iZotope has a "De-Reverb" function. Never really used it so no idea how well it works.
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Offline tim in jersey

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal echo?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2022, 11:35:46 PM »
Nothing constructive to contribute, but I've had that happen a number of times. Kinda sux.

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal echo?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2022, 12:02:22 AM »
Are we talking intentional delay/reverb? Echo between the sources?

Offline cd2go

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal echo?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2022, 09:29:09 AM »
Are we talking intentional delay/reverb? Echo between the sources?

Maybe my terminology is off, guess it is reverb? It’s just from the lead vocals on the house feed, and not on every song. I definitely heard it out in the audience too. The vocals picked up on-stage from the monitors seem unaffected, but definitely need the help of the board feed.  I’ll post a sound sample tonight. Thanks!

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal echo?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2022, 11:11:34 AM »
Are we talking intentional delay/reverb? Echo between the sources?

Maybe my terminology is off, guess it is reverb? It’s just from the lead vocals on the house feed, and not on every song. I definitely heard it out in the audience too. The vocals picked up on-stage from the monitors seem unaffected, but definitely need the help of the board feed.  I’ll post a sound sample tonight. Thanks!

There is a definite trend among soundfolk to try to sweeten vocals by cranking the reverb up to 11. I have a couple of shows that suffer from similar "vocals sound like they were recorded at the bottom of a well" — I'll have to experiment with that iZotope filter to see what it can do.

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2022, 12:21:11 PM »
Try delaying the soundboard recording slightly.  Set it up so you can listen while adjusting the delay time (or micro-shifting the soundboard tracks relative to those of the on-stage pair).  If your mics were setup on-stage it probably won't take much, likely something less than 12 milliseconds or so.

Alternately there could be some delay through the soundboard, in which case you'd need to delay your on-stage mics instead of the soundboard to get the two aligned (the delay time needed in that case could be whatever, but is still likely to be minimal).  Try it both ways, listening carefully to see if you can eliminate the echo this way.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal echo?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2022, 02:24:20 PM »
Are we talking intentional delay/reverb? Echo between the sources?

Maybe my terminology is off, guess it is reverb? It’s just from the lead vocals on the house feed, and not on every song. I definitely heard it out in the audience too. The vocals picked up on-stage from the monitors seem unaffected, but definitely need the help of the board feed.  I’ll post a sound sample tonight. Thanks!

There is a definite trend among soundfolk to try to sweeten vocals by cranking the reverb up to 11. I have a couple of shows that suffer from similar "vocals sound like they were recorded at the bottom of a well" — I'll have to experiment with that iZotope filter to see what it can do.

I guess I'm a proponent of "leave it how it was mixed." If I went down the rabbit hole of trying to de-reverb/rebalance instruments in a 2 track mix, I'd never finish anything. Maybe the band wanted it verb heavy

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal echo?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2022, 02:47:49 PM »

There is a definite trend among soundfolk to try to sweeten vocals by cranking the reverb up to 11. I have a couple of shows that suffer from similar "vocals sound like they were recorded at the bottom of a well" — I'll have to experiment with that iZotope filter to see what it can do.

I guess I'm a proponent of "leave it how it was mixed." If I went down the rabbit hole of trying to de-reverb/rebalance instruments in a 2 track mix, I'd never finish anything. Maybe the band wanted it verb heavy

I agree in general, but in cases where there's a sudden burst of reverb because the soundperson was overexuberantly sliding faders, I don't think it was intentional.

In one case in particular I'm thinking of, the soundperson actually apologized to me afterwards for the wonky mix...

Offline cd2go

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal echo?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2022, 02:51:50 PM »
Try delaying the soundboard recording slightly.  Set it up so you can listen while adjusting the delay time (or micro-shifting the soundboard tracks relative to those of the on-stage pair).  If your mics were setup on-stage it probably won't take much, likely something less than 12 milliseconds or so.

Alternately there could be some delay through the soundboard, in which case you'd need to delay your on-stage mics instead of the soundboard to get the two aligned (the delay time needed in that case could be whatever, but is still likely to be minimal).  Try it both ways, listening carefully to see if you can eliminate the echo this way.

That sounds easy enough, I’ll give it a shot thanks!

I guess I'm a proponent of "leave it how it was mixed." If I went down the rabbit hole of trying to de-reverb/rebalance instruments in a 2 track mix, I'd never finish anything. Maybe the band wanted it verb heavy

Thanks I needed to hear that. Probably what will end up happening but I’d like to learn a bit and try before giving in.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2022, 03:24:45 PM »
If the echo / excess reverb is in the soundboard feed itself, better alignment of the sources wont fix it.  You can determine that by listening to the soundboard solo'd all by itself.  Listen for the vocals in it sounding echoy / over-reverberant prior to your on-stage microphones being mixed with it.
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Offline morst

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2022, 05:07:58 PM »
In situations where venues are small enough that only vocals and effects go through the PA system, you might hear some very "wet" vocals because there is nothing else in the mix to obscure them.
Small stages with loud guitars and drums only need the less loud sources amplified, like vocals, effects (non existent in nature!), keyboards, electronic drums, and acoustic guitars.
Board tapes from small venues thus are commonly heavy on the effects.


It is typical for stage monitor feeds to be 100% dry, and have zero added reverb or delay. It's tough enough to point speakers at microphones and not let them feed back without sounds hanging around longer than necessary (additional reverberation would be bad for this)


If vocals sounded reverb-y at the show, then the recording will show that.
I would just mix it a little lower than otherwise, but be careful not to bury the vocals too much.
Some types of music lend themselves to lower vocals, like grunge and metal... wanna hear it? CRANK IT UP.
Pop mixes generally are more intelligible, so a pop style band you can't really get away with burying them, so it's just gonna sound like it sounded.
Dunno if this helps at all.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2022, 07:52:54 PM »
^astute.

An alt-rock/pop genre exception that comes to mind is early era REM.  I recall hearing in an interview back in the 80's about how they fought to keep Stipe's vocals lower in the mix than typical on the first few albums to achieve the sound they were after.
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2022, 08:07:10 PM »
If you have RX7/8/9 you could try music rebalance to separate the soundboard elements and possibly edit the vocals by themselves. 
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Offline cd2go

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2022, 08:57:06 PM »
If the echo / excess reverb is in the soundboard feed itself, better alignment of the sources wont fix it.  You can determine that by listening to the soundboard solo'd all by itself.  Listen for the vocals in it sounding echoy / over-reverberant prior to your on-stage microphones being mixed with it.

Yes, this is the case :-\ Here's a sample of the worst example of it, if anyone with fancy plug-ins is bored, but I'm starting to make peace with it:

https://www.mediafire.com/file/aoyu1lao3lpi6q3/Reverb_sample.wav/file

I would just mix it a little lower than otherwise, but be careful not to bury the vocals too much.

Good idea, I'm already playing with the board mix level in hopes of minimizing the offending (to me anyway) vocals while still making it present and pleasing.

Offline morst

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2022, 01:41:09 AM »
I would just mix it a little lower than otherwise, but be careful not to bury the vocals too much.

Good idea, I'm already playing with the board mix level in hopes of minimizing the offending (to me anyway) vocals while still making it present and pleasing.
To me, the "audience recording" from the mics should be an accurate representation of what happened.
When I get an additional board feed, I have the luxury of choosing how much IF ANY of it to add to the "real picture" for sweetening.
At giant festivals with a full SBD mix, I've left the mics off.
At tiny gigs, I tend to use as little as possible of the clean signal, just turning it up until it is audibly improving clarity, but not changing the mix into something "unnatural"


^astute.


thank you!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2022, 01:42:54 AM by morst »

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2022, 09:24:55 AM »
That board tape sounds great to me. Guess it’s a little reverb heavy but definitely not distracting

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2022, 03:57:16 PM »
That board tape sounds great to me. Guess it’s a little reverb heavy but definitely not distracting
Heh, I finally listened to the sample, after reading this comment, and I agree.
This is a pretty typical board feed.
The fact that it's not representative of what the room sounded like is a good example of why a lot of performers don't allow board feeds!
One way to talk them into giving the feed is to reassure them that you'll mix it with the sound of the actual show.
This should mix in just fine.

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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2022, 09:47:49 AM »
I concur. Just listened myself last night, its a bit 'verby but not too bad.  Lean more strongly on the AUD pair in the mix. which is usually the way to go anyway.
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Re: Fixing soundboard vocal reverb?
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2022, 06:20:39 PM »
iZotope Ozone has a "Remove Mud" preset that can pull out room echo.  I would try that and tweak from there.
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