Vocals in the mix

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Mike7, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Mike7

    Mike7 Member

    Feb 4, 2006
    I seem to be able to get everything sounding really fine but the vocals always are very tough to get sounding correct in the mix. I record with a Yamaha 4416 and mix in Cubase. I have a decent collection of effects though most are digital they still work well. What is the deal with vocals anybody got any profound suggestions?
    Thanks for any and all help.
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Sedona, AZ
    Compression at mixdown, along w/a few volume rides.

    That, and the arrangement needs to leave room for the vocal.

    Do both of those and you won't have a problem.
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    You may need to pan and EQ to make room for the vocal. Sometimes you have to cut frequencies that are interfering with the vocal from other instruments.

    Yes, even if it does affect, say, that absolutely amazing guitar track with the great tone you worked so hard on...the vocal is the most important thing. ;)
  4. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    New Brunswick, NJ
    For the vocals to sit they need to be suitably compressed. The less dynamic your song (acoustic = dynamic, Rock and Pop = less dynamic, metal = no dynamics) the more you will need to squash your vocals. Most rock and pop (with the exception of ballads) features very squashed, in your face vocals. Keep in mind that its really easy to squash a vocal to the piont of lifelessness.

    you also need to make sure the other midrange instruments aren't competing for space with the Vox. Thin the guitars out in the 2-300hz range and see if the vocals don't pop out a bit better. If you want to get tricky you can put a multiband comp on the guitar and sidechain it using the vocal as the key input. set it up so that everytime the vocal kicks in it reduces the volume of only the low mids on the guitar.

    Its also a good idea to hi-pass (aka lo cut) every track thats not the kick or bass. This will reduce mud and make you mix clearer. Listen to the instrument in question in the context of the whole mix as you sweep the hipass from low to hi. Make the soud too thin and then bring it back to where it sounds right.
  5. scott757

    scott757 Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Hampton, VA
    I used a compression with a low threshold, quick attack, and slow release. Then I add a dark short plate reverb.

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