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Here it is! Nellie sings soprano, and stops the show with a high G!

I noticed back in 1999 when i started using VocalWriter that when i bounced it to audio, nellie's voice sounded just great on good headphones, but when i listened to them through the cheap speakers, all her consonants were muffled and it was impossible to understand what she was singing. Why? And why doesn't this happen to "real" singers?

At that time i used an audio editor called SoundEdit 16 made by Macromedia. It had a filter called "sharpen" that fixed the problem, but I never did understand what it did. And when i came back to work on Nellie a couple of years ago, that application no longer existed, and I had no idea what to do to "fatten" Nellie's voice.

I suspected an Aural Exciter was what i really wanted, but i had no idea where to get one, what they did, or how to use it. So I've been adding an equalizer to Nellie's voice track with a tall spike at around 4500 (about where Nellie's 'S's' are). That almost works, but if the spike is too high (high enough to work) it adds so much noise to the treble end it makes her sound like a hissing snake. And unless the voice was overdriven, I couldnt get the crisp consonants I needed to be audible on all systems.

Today (3/25/17) I finally found an Exciter (a VST/AU plugin) that does the job, and is simple enough for even me to operate. I cranked the high all the way up and it worked.

Once i had the secret ingredient, I worked more, and studied more, until I found a combination of things that finally enabled me to produce a something-like-industry-standard mix that played back well with full sound on every system i tried it on. I had just about given up on that. See what you think.

I began by mixing the song at low level, using the muddy computer speakers. That kept me from making the mistake of producing a master with too high a dynamic range. In the cheaper speakers, the quieter instruments just dropped out. (This was a big problem with "Clueless," which i mixed using hi-fi headphones)

Then I added the exciter to nellie's voice, being careful also to equalize her treble range nice and evenly and giving her lots of middle bass.

Then i performed a "hole-in-the-middle" EQ on the entire song, damping the midrange which is usually all you hear from the cheap speakers, and also damping the lows from 100Hz down, and then compressed it (using peaks), then brought the volume up to maximum.

At last i once again had what i had 20 years ago, a good mix suitable for all systems. Today, after years of trying and getting wildly varying results from one playback to another. I was about ready to give up.

Please enjoy.

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Nellie and the Drummers material copyright © and (P) 1998,1999,2000,2002,2003,2004 , 2016 and 2017 by Reed Waller, BMI.
Nellie & the Drummers are a new concept in multimedia and pop music, a computer created rock band combining computer-generated vocals, MIDI based computer-generated music, and 3D animated characters. All audio and video are generated on the desktop.


Reed Waller
309 Division Street W.
New Richland, MN 56072

© 2018 Reed Waller - Omaha the Cat Dancer
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