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Getting vocals to the "Front" of your mix.

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Zak with OMG, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Zak with OMG

    Zak with OMG Bringer of screams

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    As I sit here and listen to some of my favorite records I can't help but notice that the vocals seem more to have more presence than any of my mixes have come close to having. You can almost feel the vocals in front of the entire mix.....Might anyone have any suggestions on how I might go about acheiving this feeling?
     
  2. Tachy

    Tachy Senior Fuckers

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    How is your vocal chain?
     
  3. Torniojaws

    Torniojaws They call me Juha

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    Because they are :p You mix the vocals much louder in relation to the other elements. Another way to achieve that is to start the mix with just vocals and bass. Then start adding other elements, and after each, check that the vocals & bass are not being buried/masked by the new element.
     
  4. exoslime

    exoslime Member

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    thats a very good advice.. i also like to start the mix with the vocals first and then bass/drums
     
  5. Erkan

    Erkan mr-walker.bandcamp

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    Make sure it's compressed/volume automated enough to always REMAIN up front rather than popping in and out between words. Also make sure you find the vocals fundamental and relevant EQ bands and make sure no other instrument is congesting that area. Other than that... well a good mic, a good room and so on, the same old I guess :|
     
  6. Morgan C

    Morgan C MAX LOUD PRESETS¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Be careful with the high mids of the guitars, use distortion/saturation on the vocals, use an exciter on the vocals (gives that whispery/breathy topend like the best singers have with.. not so good singers, and makes great singers sound even better).
     
  7. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

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    Yeah, don't be afraid to smash the vocals, and be sure to leave them some room to sit in at the presence range (depending on the vocals you usually find the sweet spot around 3-6kHz).
     
  8. Jevil

    Jevil Pro Evolution Fucker

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    I love Voxengo Voxformer for vocals. There is a preset for "in your face" effect. Very useful plugin BTW
    Download the demo and check it!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Pedro Teixeira

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    In terms of spectrum balance. eq, compress and that's it. If you're mixing them a few db's louder but they're still a bit "buried" then check other elements that maybe conflicting in the vocal range
     
  10. jval

    jval Member

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    you've gotta smash em... i think on most of my mixes these days i'm easily up to 25db total compression on lead vocals. big name mixers talk about it all the time. that'll get you in the ballpark, then from there it usually takes a healthy presence boost (8k), and maybe some 1-3k if it's still not out front.. and of course, automation so make sure it's a consistent level throughout the whole track.
     
  11. GarethSE

    GarethSE New Metal Member

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    yeah when i mix vocals they tend to be getting pretty dynamicless, that seems to be the key. then automation allll the way baby
     
  12. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Personally I like parallel compression on the vocals, really helps getting them to sit up front.
     
  13. kev

    kev Im guybrush threepwood

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    Great advice
     
  14. SocialNumb

    SocialNumb Damn Christians!

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    hmmm Yours looks different than mine. Come to think of it, yours looks the way it's advertised. Maybe it's just a Mac thing? Just the color it seems.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. darthjujuu

    darthjujuu Member

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    voxengo plugs have color theme options, poke around in there, you'll find it. also to OP- in commercial mixes, the vocals are going through extremely expensive tube preamps that pump the signal full of harmonic content and make it generally much easier to get them to stand out in a mix. i think i remember you saying you had some waves bundle from your dad....smash the shit out of it with rvox, that's always my starting point. rvox seems to saturate in a really tube-ish way, and there's no settings at all on it.
     
  16. fatalforce

    fatalforce Member

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    I usually drop lo-fi in and distort by a couple tenths (.10). Helps bring it out.
     
  17. DaveBlack

    DaveBlack Member

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    would you suggest that much compression on clean vocals too? I assume were talking metal vocals here.
     
  18. jval

    jval Member

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    i don't think it has anything to do with tubes or not.
    and yeah just as much compression on clean vocals... actually sometimes more because screams tend to already be a fairly consistent level.
     
  19. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Limiter-style compression helps. You want to catch all the peaks that eat up headroom. The CLA 1176 Bluey does a good job of this - so good in fact I'm getting a Rev A 1176 made right now for lead vox.

    Staged compression helps as always. A lot of folks like to use opto compression in conjunction with FET-style. I tend to be all-FET, so I'll usually be taking ~5dB off with the Distressor on the way down, and saturating it with the Dist modes. Once it comes to the mix I'll hit the vocal a touch with the Waves SSL Channel strip on fast attack, then finish it all off with the 1176 Blue. If you don't have this, the Waves RVox is still a very good vocal compressor. Softube CL1B can be great for adding a gentler, smoother vibe as well. With vocals you can basically throw the kitchen sink at em, and just see what works best. Each vocalist has a unique style so the one arrangement may not always work.

    As far as EQ goes, it's been quite well covered here. Saturation, air boosts, making sure the 'presence' range is in check. The new Creed record is a great reference for this IMO. The vocals are saturated to hell and back, the air and throaty spittle sounds are right up front.

    The MOST important thing is to ensure the midrange elements of your mix are being built around the vocals. Ensure the guitars aren't too dominant in the high mids, and that the overheads don't have any cymbals that interfere.
     
  20. Zak with OMG

    Zak with OMG Bringer of screams

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    WOW...Great memory. I think I said that about 4-5 months ago. :) I've heard many times that RVox is a usefull tool, but I've never used it. I'll give it a try.:kickass:
     

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