How To Mix Vocals Properly?

How To Mix Vocals Properly?

What are the essentials in terms of vocal mixing? 

First of all, please note that all mixings depend on the vocal itself you are mixing. These are just general rules, they don’t necessarily apply to every vocal sample you are mixing.

1 – Equalizer 

A general thing producers do is the cut the low frequencies and boost a tiny bit of the high frequencies. The low cut is there to clear out the sample a bit, you don’t want weird low frequencies to interfere with your sub bass. Usually, you cut everything below 100Hz, as long as you don’t remove any body to the vocal! The boost is the high frequencies is done in order to add some brilliance to the vocal. Again, it all depends on the vocal sample you are mixing.

2 – Compressor

A compressor reduces the dynamic range of the vocal sample. What is a dynamic range? The dynamic range is the range between the lowest and the highest volume of that same sample. Compression basically reduces the volume of loud sounds or amplifies quiet sounds, and so reduce the sample’s dynamic range. Use a compressor on vocals to make it consistent in volume, so that it doesn’t have a note lower or higher in volume than the other. 

3 – DeEsser

Something we don’t hear a lot about although has its important role in vocal mixing is a DeEsser. De-essing is the process of attenuating or reducing sibilance, or harsh high-frequency sounds that come from dialogue or vocals using the letters S, F, X, SH, and soft Cs. Sibilance lies in frequencies anywhere between 2–10 kHz, depending on the individual voice. Apply a DeEsser to your vocal in order to obtain something clearer to hear for you ears. 

4 – (Sidechained) Reverb/delay

Don’t make your vocal sounding right in the face, right coming from the microphone. Use some reverb (the amount of reverb depends on the vibe of the track) to add some space to the vocal, and some delay to fill in the empty spots where the singer doesn’t sing. Something more advanced to do here is sidechained reverb and delay. The goal is the diminsh the reverb and delay signal when the singer itself sings. There are a lot of tutorials online on how to do this, but you can always tell in the comments if you want me to make a tutorial about it. 

What do you think about those techniques? Do you think I forgot anything? 🙂 Tell me below 

Simon Cutsem

Music Producer, Beatmaker.

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