Mastering the Mix - 1: Practical Advice for Improving Your Vocal Mixing Techniques
The act of balancing, equalizing, compressing, and applying effects to vocals in order to produce a smooth and polished end result is known as vocal mixing. Enhancing the performance and making it sound as natural and vibrant as possible are the main objectives. Making sure the vocals sit nicely in the mix—without being either too prominent or too buried—is a crucial component of vocal mixing.
This may be done by adjusting the vocal track's loudness, panning, and EQing. Compression can also be used to enhance the uniformity of the dynamics of the vocals. Lastly, using effects like reverb or delay may help the vocals stand out in the mix. A well-mixed vocal may take a song to the next level and actually make it memorable.
Start with a clean recording: The quality of the recording will have an effect on the final mix, so make sure the voices are well recorded.
Set the levels correctly: Make sure the vocals are perfectly balanced with respect to the other instruments in the mix.
Carve out space using EQ: Use EQ to eliminate any unwanted frequencies that may be masking the vocals and boost the frequencies that make the voice stand out.
Reduce the low frequencies: Reduce the low frequencies below 80 Hz to minimize any rumbling or noise.
Control dynamics using compression: Use a compressor to even out the levels of the vocals and make them sit more consistently in the mix.
Use parallel compression: Parallel compression is an excellent approach to give sustain and body to vocals while preserving dynamics.
Use de-essing: Use a de-esser to soften any harsh "s" or "t" sounds in the vocals.
Use saturation or distortion: Saturation or distortion can be used to bring warmth and character to the voice.
Use reverb to provide depth: Use reverb to add depth and space around the vocals.
Use multi-band compression: Multi-band compression can be used to control the dynamics of various frequency ranges.
Use pitch correction: Pitch correction should be used sparingly: Just use pitch correction when required, and make sure it doesn't seem too robotic; unless it is an artistic preference
Use volume automation on breaths to make them less prominent in the mix.
In conclusion, voice mixing is an essential component in making professional-quality music. You can produce a unified and polished end result that takes your music to the next level with the correct techniques and resources.
Remember to try out different approaches and effects to see what works best for your particular project. With practice and perseverance, you can master vocal mixing and push your music to new heights.