Obi Audio (great site for Pro Audio)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Setting up a channel strip for recording vocals.

This is my channel strip setting guide that will work for almost any compressor, eq, pre amp set up. This is based on the Eureka though. But it still applies to other channel strips.

This will be for vocals.

Set everything to default.

PRE AMP- Line button [out], 48v [in] (for phatom powered mics), -20 db [out] (unless your signal is really loud then press in and start at step one agian), 80hz cut [in] (reduces boomyness), phase [out] (unless you have phase issues), Gain all the way down, impedance to match mic, saturate down (or to taste, mine is half up).

COMPRESSOR- Thresh to 0db, Attack between 9-11 o'clock, ratio to 1:1, Release between 12-3 o'clock, Gain to 0db, Sidechain 10 Hz. Soft [in], Bypass [in]

EQ- All to 0db. Eq>CMP [out] (could be used in), Bypass [in]

MASTER- 0db, GR to meter [out].

***Please read all of the setting marks on the Eureka (or your channel strip)***


1) with someone doing a mic check slowly raise the gain untill the VU meter reads close to 0 dbVU without going over too bad though this unit doesn't clip easily.

2) Now turn bypass on the compressor off and the GR to meter on in the master section. Now turn the ratio to 4:1. Now turn the threashold slowly clockwise untill the VU meter starts hitting -3db at the peaks.

3) Now turn the GR to meter back off and turn the gain on the compressor so that it get back to 0dbVU in the meter.

4) Turn the eq bypass off. Then tweak eq to taste.

5) If you do alot of boosting with the eq then turn the master down to get a 0db reading in the meter. Turn up the master gain if you do alot of cutting. If no eq-ing is done then leave the master gain at 0dbVU (at 12 o'clock)

This is settings for general music recording applications.
For Hip-Hop or Rock vocals you might want to try a ratio of 8:1 with about -5db of gain reduction.

Remember that some DAW software uses a dbFS meter for input signal which is different than a dbVu meter. You want 0 dbVu which equals about -18 dbFs. Hope this helps.

1 comment:

Rich O'Reilly said...

Thank you so much for this advice. Anytime I asked on a forum how to set this up I always get "use your ears".. Although true, this is a great starting point for us home recording guys..
I'm using A cad m9 Tube Mic into the Eureka (1500 ohms) then to my Focusrite Pro 40. Sounds great.