Mixing Vocals ➟ Using Vocal Effects to Compliment Specific Moments of a Song

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Mixing Vocals ➟ Using Vocal Effects to Compliment Specific Moments of a Song

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Mixing Vocals ➟ Using Vocal Effects to Compliment Specific Moments of a Song

http://theproaudiofiles.com // http://advancedmixing.com // A video on using vocal effects to compliment specific moments of a record.

Download the free multitracks: http://theproaudiofiles.com/dgrmultitracks

Transcript:

Hey guys, Matthew Weiss here — weiss-sound.com, theproaudiofiles.com, and advancedmixing.com, and while I’m giving little shoutouts to various dot coms, I have to certainly shout out davidglennrecording.com, because that is where the multi-tracks for this particular record and tutorial came from. David is of course an amazing audio educator, he is an excellent engineer, and he’s a decent guy too.

So go over there, download these multi-tracks, they’re a great learning tool, great for your reel, and now I’m going to talk about some vocal effects.

So I’ve discussed reverb a number of times, I’ve discussed ambience a number of times, and I always think of it in two different ways. I think of it as the three-dimensionality of the space in which the record is living, which is what its intended purpose is, but I also think of it as a tonal and rhythmic tool, and something that can be used to compliment moments in the record itself. This is going to be a tutorial on exactly that.

As you can see here, I have some duplicates of this main vocal track, and most of it is all muted out.

But, some of it is active. You might be wondering, “What’s up with that?”

Well, this is sort of a workflow thing, but each one of these different tracks is actually a different reverb return, except for instead of doing it on an actual send and return channel like an aux, I’m doing it on an audio channel where I’m just using a 100% signal on the channel itself.

Now, you might be saying, “Well, why would you do that? Isn’t the traditional way to do it as a send, and you automate the mute and you automate the level, and you just dial it in as each moment goes?”

Well, yes, that might be the traditional way of doing it, but since my computer can handle the track counts, there’s no reason why I can’t just make my life easier and put this on different channels, and the other little advantage is if I want the effect of say, a delay, which is what this is, to fade in, to not come in with a hard delay, but to actually rise up so that more delay is fading it, it’s very easy to just highlight a region and throw in a fade, as opposed to automate the mute in and then automate the level of the send going into the aux channel. Right?

So it saves me a little bit of time, and you know, being wary of my time constraints is something that I do need to be.

Also, I just don’t feel like doing all of that all of the time. It ends up being an extra half an hour to an hour worth of work.

So okay, let me give you this playback and start explaining some stuff.

[mix]

So if you focus on the ambience that’s around the voice, you’ll notice a couple of things.

First of all, like “Welcome to the planet, welcome to existence,” make me think I should be suggestion the image of this big, scopic space. I want the listener to see shooting stars and comets in their mind. I want the pan shot of the music video to open up to the whole galactic universe, right?

And I also want to make moments special. I want there to be some contrast and internal arc within these first couple of lines. I don’t want to just have the same, big, static delay on there, because it will actually take away from the specialness of the moment, and I will show you that real quick.

So I want you to listen really closely to the ambience, specifically on the vocal.

[mix]

Right, so the first one sounds like this big, weird reverb meets delay that just spreads out and becomes wider, and more scopic as it goes.

The other one kind of almost sounds like a spring reverb.

Watch what happens if I take out the second, the tighter ambience, and I bring in this one for both moments.

[mix]

It just sounds washy and out of place on that second phrase, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t just use a different delay.

So okay, I’m going to show you what these delays are. They are both presets, and I’m going to talk about that too.

This one is called EchoBoy’s Galaxy. It is exactly the preset. I haven’t even tweaked it. I started with the preset, and I was like, “That sounds perfect,” and I rolled with it.

Now, when you are working on a record, sometimes presets do not make sense.

On EQs for example, a preset doesn’t really make too much sense, because how can the EQ possibly know what you’re starting with? With a reverb or a delay, that makes more sense. You can have the delay be exactly what it is, and just feed it with whatever source needs to be fed. So there’s no reason why a preset doesn’t necessarily work.

[truncated]

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.

Mixing Vocals ➟ Using Vocal Effects to Compliment Specific Moments of a Song

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