How to Create Space for a Vocal with Wavesfactory TrackSpacer

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How to Create Space for a Vocal with Wavesfactory TrackSpacer


How to Create Space for a Vocal with Wavesfactory TrackSpacer

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How to use the Wavesfactory TrackSpacer to create space for a vocal with frequency-dependant ducking.


We’re going to talk about creating some space for the vocal in a mix, push down some music a little bit, and how to open up the music once the vocal is no longer singing and no longer in the mix.

Very simply, we’re going to use WavesFactory TrackSpacer to accomplish this, and a simple send. So we’re going to load TrackSpacer, and I’m going to show you how to set it up. Then we’re going to bring this in and give it a buss. We’re going to pick buss 30. Then I’m going to go to my music. All vocals here, but you could go to your lead vocal if you wanted to. We’ll just do it from the lead.

We’re going to send buss 30. Come over here to the right, and I’m going to throw that up. Now that lead vocal is sidechained and sending into the WavesFactory TrackSpacer, so when I hit play and the vocal is on, you’re going to see some action coming in here. I’m going to actually turn it all the way down.


That movement is the vocal. So now watch what happens. I’m going to take the filters on the left and right here. This is the lows. I’m going to bring the low-pass all the way up to somewhere like 800 or so. Maybe a little higher. 800-900.

Then, the highs I’m going to come down a little bit to around 2.5kHz, somewhere in there.

Now, I’ve set that range. When I hit play, and I drag the ratio up, it’s going to reduce the music in that frequency range, almost like side-chain compression, but it’s different. It’s going to push down that frequency range of the music when the vocal is active and singing.


Horrible, right? But you heard it working. So that’s the point of this exercise. I want you to hear it actually working. So let’s listen one more time, here’s all the way in, pretty much.

[song plays]

And then, that frequency range comes back to the music whenever the vocalist is done.
So that’s the extreme, that’s just me showing you how it’s working. Now, in between, you heard that it was coming back, the music was coming back a little bit in between kind of quickly.


So those little [makes noise] is kind of opening up that filter.

What I want to do to control that is I want to work with the attack and release. So I’m going to set the attack I like. It’s kind of working for me, but I’m going to drag that release a little bit back.


There’s less of it, but I still feel like we can tighten up the release a little bit or extend the release so that when the vocalist disappears, the music doesn’t just all of a sudden come back and be full spectrum again. So I’m going to push this release back, and let’s go up here to the vocalist, and let’s find where he’s done with that last note and where the music is coming in.

[music playing]

I want that to come back in time. I want it to be almost a smooth crescendo back to the frequency spectrum.


It’s a bit slower, but I kind of like that. I want it to be subtle, I want it to be gradual.
Now this ratio that we’ve jacked up, I’ve jacked it up to help us find the settings that we like, and then – you can use this in mid/side mode by the way. This probably would be appropriate so that it’s only affecting that.

[starts song]

I’m going to pull it back a little bit just so it comes in just a nudge quicker.


Cool. So that vocal, now that we’ve heard it the other way, it’s like we need a little more space there.

[song plays]

So let’s try to gain some space for the vocalist, and we’re going to just drive it up a little bit as he’s singing.

[song playing]

I’ll boost it a little bit so we hear it.


So that’s probably still too much, but depending on the song you’re working on, that may be perfect. It may be kind of cooler to have that as an effect. You can use this for kicks and bass, you can use this for certain guitars that you want if you want the electrics to push the acoustics down, or the piano to push the electric guitars down when the pianos are coming in.

All kinds of things you can use this on, this is just one example, and I think it’s going to be a little bit more useful to us back down a little bit more subtle in this particular mix.

You get the idea. Hopefully that helps you set it up. If you dig it, go check out the WavesFactory TrackSpacer and feel free to write me. [email protected] We’ve got the new site, I’m going to take and mix this song start to finish right in front of you. I’m going to record the entire process. 3, 4, 5 hours long. There’s a private forum, you’ll get the files, you’re going to mix it yourself, it’s going on your resume. All kinds of great stuff with it.

About Pro Audio Files

Tutorials on mixing, mastering and producing music in Pro Tools with plugins from Waves, FabFilter, SoundToys, Softube, Sonnox, PSP, Slate Digital and more. Learn how to mix using EQ, compression and effects like reverb, delay, saturation and distortion on vocals, drums, guitar, bass and more.

How to Create Space for a Vocal with Wavesfactory TrackSpacer

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