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  1. #1


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    I don\'t normally record and mix vocals, but I\'m working on a project that involves mixing vocals (which were recorded flat, with a good mic and sound great).

    My question is this: how do you get the vocals to sit IN the mix rather than ON TOP of it? Reverb doesn\'t do it -- besides, I prefer a more intimate vocal with only a very small amount of reverb, like most of today\'s music.

    Are there any tricks I should know to get it mixed in properly?

  2. #2


    Maybe you need to EQ the vocals and music so that they don\'t compete, and then reduce the vocal levels / raise the backing level?

    Just the other night my son was doing a documentary style video with music in the background. For the interviews to be heard the dialogue had to be very hot, and the music too soft. I showed him how to EQ it, and he was able to balance the two much better.

    Just a thought. It depends on what you mean by getting the vocals to sit IN the mix. It may take some compression too (or riding the faders), if the vocals alternatively pop out and then get lost.

    Best of luck...

  3. #3


    I third that!

    And don\'t forget---it\'s usually better to cut rather than add EQ.

  4. #4


    [ QUOTE ]
    I second that emotion --- a little EQ and compression at about 4:1 ratio should do the trick! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I second the compression suggestion. Compression is what adds the intimacy to a vocal. 4:1 is good, but some vocals like Travis, Muse, a lot of those british vocals compress the crap out of them. Not sure the exact ratio, but way more that 4:1. Also, pop vocals often have delays. Just a single tap around 80ms to 120ms. This can add a \"rounding out\" quality without muddling the whole track like reverb will do.

    But you do want some reverb. Try messing around with the pre-delay on a good verb. Raising the pre-delay to over 100ms will also have a clarifying effect, you\'ll get the big trails, but with the large pre-delay, they wont muddy up the vocal.

    Also you could try doubling or tripling certain vocal parts to bring them out more.

    Just suggestions.

  5. #5


    Everybody\'s made some good points but I think that Jon sort of hit on something that\'s particularly important and that is to look for other musical elements that may be competing with your vocal. Once identified you need to \'move\' these out of the way.

    It could be a guitar or synth line that\'s taking up the same frequency range in from the same point in the stereo image. I would suggest starting with the vocal, drums and bass only, then one by one bring up the other tracks until you feel the urge to reach for the vocal fader. Resist that urge and instead look to the track(s) you just brought in.

    It may be here that you want to apply compression/reverb/eq/panning (choice depends on the material) rather than to the vocal track itself.

  6. #6


    Thanks, guys. All great suggestions. I\'ll let you know how it works out.

    Thanks again!

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