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Kenny Grieve

How to set up EQ and compression in your DAW, to print with your vocal recordings:


Hi Team

Is there a manual or video that will explain to me on how to set this up in cakewalk ?


This is an extract of a document I sumbled across and would love to test this theory

to reduce the vocal range dynamics


The Secret to A Perfect Vocal Chain: Recording with
Compression & EQ

There is a huge myth in audio that you want to record a track as clean as possible, with
hardly any effects being committed to the recording unless it’s an instrument like electric
guitar, or a synthesizer.

This myth is one of the biggest things stopping you from getting great vocal recordings.

Because if you can shape your vocal recordings with the plugins inside your DAW…

It saves you time, energy and effort when editing, producing and mixing your own vocal recordings
into a finished mix.
On top of that, recording with the right compression and EQ is a skill that will level up your home
recording and mixing skills, and give you true confidence that you’re making music of a
professional standard.

What is EQ?
Using an equalizer allows you to shape the sound of a recording - from boosting its higher
frequencies, to adding bass, removing any ringing or harshness, it’s an essential tool of recording
and mixing.
What is Compression?
Using a compressor allows you to shape the dynamic volume of the recording - it helps bring out
the lower volume parts of a recording, and reduce the volume of higher volume sections. You
simply can’t get a great vocal recording without using compression.
How to set up EQ and compression in your DAW, to print with your vocal

(These basic instructions should work inside any standard DAW, from Logic, Pro Tools, Ableton,

Studio One, FL Studio etc.)
Inside your DAW, you need two tracks - one audio track, one aux/bus track.
The bus track should have the input from your audio interface’s preamp.
From there, assign the bus track’s output, to be the input of the audio track.
Now enable recording on the audio track, and use the 2nd track for monitoring your own
vocal recording levels.
Now, use the first track to use compression and EQ plugins to shape, and create your perfect
vocal chain.
This immediately allows you to swipe the same concept of an analog EQ and compressor in a pro
studio’s recording chain, in the comfort of your home studio… saving you thousands of dollars in
the process.
Here’s what that looks like inside Logic Pro and Pro Tools, two of the most popular DAWs today…
How to create the Perfect Vocal Chain in Logic Pro:
The screenshot on the left is what the end
result should look like in your main mixer
Here’s how you get there:

To create a bus track in Logic Pro, it’s a little
more complicated than Pro Tools.

However, it only takes a few minutes to do.
First, create a new track (use the keyboard
command, Command key + Option key + N key),
and select the Output of the new track to be a
bus track.
Once you’ve done that, a bus track should
appear in the main mixer window (press X to
open it).

From there, change the bus track output to be
the input of your microphone preamp (in this
case, it’s Input 1), and the output to be Bus 1.
Once you’ve created that track, reroute your
original track to have an input from Bus 1, set up
your EQ and compression on the vocal bus track,
and you’re ready to start recording vocals.
In Logic, you can use the stock Channel EQ and Compressor plugins to EQ and compress
your vocals as they’re being recorded as a starting point.
There’s also the Vintage EQ collection that gives you emulations of classic studio gear to EQ your
vocals with, and you can experiment with the various types of compressors inside the stock
Compressor plugin after you’ve gotten used to recording with EQ & compression.
Here’s what it looks like in Pro Tools:
In Pro Tools, create a new project and start by using the keyboard shortcut Shift +
Command key + N to open up the New Track window.
First, create a mono Aux Input track:
Then create another audio track:
Then, assign the Aux Input track to have the mic input of your audio interface as the input, and
the output of the input to be a bus track (make sure it’s mono when doing this).
Then, assign the input of the Audio track to have the input from the bus track, add the EQ and
Compression plugins you want to the bus track, and your vocal chain is set up.
Here’s what that will look like finished:
The Vocal Bus is getting input from the audio interface, and its output is into Bus 1. The Lead
Vocal track is getting signal from Bus 1, and sending it to the stereo out of Pro Tools.
You can easily start with the stock 7-band EQ and Dyn3 Compressor, and use the BF-76 when
you’re more confident using a compressor.
Now that you know how to setup a basic vocal chain inside your DAW to run your raw
recordings through EQ and compression, it leads us to the question:

How do you record a vocal with EQ and compression?

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It's not a myth.

Cakewalk always records the signal at the track input.

Since plug-ins come after a track's input, the effected signal is after recording.

So, to record a signal after plug-in processing it is necessary to place a track after the FX rack.

Patch points and aux tracks may be used for this purpose.

Create a new track and set the output of the track with effects to the new track using a patch point or

Create an aux track and use it as the target of the track with effects.

Still may be a good idea to record the original track while recording the effected track, just in case.

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This is something I rarely do, but if you've set up all the track effects as you want them, I find it easier just to bounce it to another track so I've got a new track with all the effects / EQ etc baked in.  You can then archive the original just in case:


If you've got bus effects as well, you may want to SOLO the original track, and set the source to "Entire Mix".

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Thank you MSmcleod I do this on a few of my recording it works well as it give you a mix down of all the effects that where included in the Track

I think the answer to the setup I am referring to lies in the Patch Point Route I want to reduce a vocalist dynamic range by inserting a Compressor within the DAW before it enters the channel strip for recording  with in the question I posted it explains this setup in other DAWs I was just wondering how would you set this up in Cakewalk




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There's no point in doing this as the compression has to happen in the analog world before it hits the A/D convertors.  

I bought a Joe Meek 3EQ with a simple compressor just for this reason. There are many good pre amps available as well as analog compressors. You can't use most analog compressor unless your interface has insert however. It would need a mike pre built in first. 

Some audio interfaces and  digital mixers have compression built in but they are kinda pointless as they are digital so the A/D has already slammed the signal into distortion. They can work for "coloring" the signal however which is nice ( sometimes). I also have used small mixers that have a one button compressor on some channels, but they seem to only make the voice louder?  

Just record the voice best you can at a safe level and deal with the uneven levels afterwards ITB.  Or get out that credit card! 

Edited by John Vere
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 Hi John

I have never used it, I came across this document, I was wondering how it could be done in cakewalk

Always wanting to learn more Test everything and stick to the good ones that work

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