Demo: Mixing in a Rock Track Vocals Part 1


Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM


Lesson Info

Demo: Mixing in a Rock Track Vocals Part 1

Where we last left our story, I was getting the overall vibe of the mix going, so I'm gonna continue to with that for a little bit more, but I don't want to like get away from the whole process here, so I want to, like, kind of streamline that I'm not going to quite get the mixto where I would normally move on to the vocal, but we're just too a little bit more and I'm gonna start bring the vocal, and so you guys don't have to sit through me doing the same type of thing twenty five times, but I do want to get this acoustic and electric guitar, drums and bass relationship a little bit more, so let me hear the song now I haven't listened to it for a few minutes, I want to get a fresh perspective, see what I think so despite loving this acoustic sound, I feel like I got to get something in here to give it a little bit more clarity cause it's just not there, so I'm going to zoom around with my cue to get and try to find some place I can get this a little bit more clear, cool, so as like I j...

ust said, while this is not where my normal stopping point would be with this, I'm gonna call this mix good enough, even though it isn't really for the sake of trying to show you guys some new things and keep going on protecting, since based on what I would be doing is I'd be keeping doing that thing. I mess with the har mike's, we've invested a compression and keep finding more ways for this, the poke out a little clear, but we're kind of we're going to call it good enough now, so I want to start bringing in a vocal. So the vocal in this song and the way they tracked it, and I I would actually track a vocal very similar this is that they didn't vocal for the intro where it's very spartan, I get this, and then they did a vocal for when the band kicks in, so I think here is so that's before the band kicks in, I'm going to actually see what it sounds like, the knock that down there, so now you can see you could steal cool editing trick for me here this may work, this may not, but one of the tricks I do a lot of time for these vocals that barely over up is I just basically put no fade on it, and then I expanded enough that it's past that point, so it doesn't click her pop, and now you have a vocal that doesn't quicker pop and could be on the same truck even though they overlapped by the slightest bit now if I had to do some automation on that I would undo them and then just duplicate the trucks they have the same settings but I doubt that's going to happen so we will see how that goes anyway so now I think we have this vocal for when the drums or kicked in so I want to find this sound first and I have made a bounce back and forth and I'm gonna get the beginning this song is these two vocal sounds going very very real related so I'm gonna get a five band just in case I need it so first thing when I hear my vocal is how much based can I get away with getting rid of just to start as usual let's get that hi pass filter going some wounds well hugh it's uh but it's time goes for gotten so this focus a little less compress the light like so I'm gonna try to fight and they get into getting this a little bit more written so I could actually really here where I want this to go well just put a surat on this because it's real transparent real fast put it out of setting I use a lot just so I could hear what I want to do with this vocal some wounds well hugh it's uh e I knew I picked this song for a reason mentions one of my favorite authors look at that so um this focus on is great I think it's going to work really well in the track now that I hear the sarah I'm not going to actually put it on that hard and so another the tips that I told you is any of the corrective compression we do like d s ng and all that fun stuff we want to do that before we compress it at all or do even a light things like the fate of right because that diminishes our dynamics so I'm now going to set up a vocal multi band the way I normally do it which is yet again and about two hundred twenty hertz up to five hundred hurt someone to make a band I'm going to make another band up to somewhere around four k I sometimes do this different and then the up around ten and then I'm going to make nice light ratios across all of this and try to control it like that uh so yet again one of the concepts I talked about earlier is that I don't like the way a compressor hits the very high air banned the ten twenty k where it's just the breath of a vocal so yet again I'm leaving that very untouched here right now so as I dial this I'm going toe kind of what this be but wait, wait so I'm hearing that I'm going to need some mohr compression help before I even dial this because right now I'm just not hearing it as clear as I want I'm having the sense that the type of compressor I want so I often use that tg compressor for my stuff, but something about this yet again is screaming that I'm going to like the way this way to a sounds on this vocal some moons well, hell is but some goes god my way cool, so I'm still fighting some stuff dot this the vocals not quite sitting and moving the way I'm used to quite yet I'm also going to bring my friend phoenix and I'm kind of skip was sitting around cause I know something I wanted to do and something I use a lot is this dark essence the dark essence is really get good at getting the asset of a vocal, but some goes of god mine well, just give up so obviously the vocal something really dry right now so let's get this in to our friend the harmonizer and some reverb, so first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna get this harmonizer level well, I'm realizing I did not put this in the bus that is the harmonizer on this mix there we go well, you is but some go so here's a fun tip for your pro tools preferences you can make this fader so it always opens up with it's defaulting at zero instead of infinity so you don't have to hit that turn up but if you usually are using your feeders around zero so I just had done the preferences it's under the mixing preference but some goes up god mine well just money it wass way goes so yet again keeping this pretty subtle in the mix that's probably even louder than to do this is vocals a little bit louder than I'm a real really have it and the next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna try to get a reverb so looking through the river bs I have I'm thinking I'm going to try this many m river because I've been really in love with this as I've kind of set up numerous times to his class so instead of scrolling through presets but you can do for a river but I actually think it's a really fun thing I don't want to bore you buy doing that one and I'm just going to kind of show you how I do it you know we used aboard fund to describe scrolling through either presets yeah, whatever man you're you're sick person jesse huh you know come out how awesome is that when you hear that phaser and this thing this phaser sounds so good anyway I'm so I know that I don't want this reverb to be any big whitney houston and I will always love you think I wanted to just be subtle enough that the vocal isn't so dry in your face is going to use an ambience ambience if you're not familiar is usually the easiest tightest way to get out of the way of just have a little bit of reverb that just doesn't get in the way of next so let's play with this a little bit way so we also need to make a vocal verb send and there it is but some goes of god my well just wait so what I was just listening for there is a point where the river breeze against his vocal patterns in a certain way that sounds pleasant to me I turn the reverb up way too out and then I kind of wait until I see that over time I might modify this but that is the most course movement of it that usually if I get it really well well it's loud I can get it. The other thing I love about this reverb is just blows meds and highs is that you can just easily tweak which when you get the reverb two out what you don't like about it so someone well you is but some goes of god mine well just monique it wass right way goes you just wait so the next thing I'm out here is I'm not hearing enough depth from this vocal as I would like so I'm going to go over as we kind of talked about in the earlier mix I'm a scroll through so the one thing is I guess either I didn't copy down the tempo to the song properly before so I'm gonna want to get a temp both for this probably at some point so um a quick and easy way to find the tempo for a song aside from just tapping it and then guessing and looking if it's on the grid properly is I can just go use my time to transient on dh tab this and I see that that's probably a bar I can go forty two forty three and that shows that it's probably at one twenty four one twenty one beats per minute let's try one twenty looking at it on the grid and it looks like this song is one twenty isn't that make life so simple? Yes so that's the nice thing about click track music is you can usually figure that out pretty fast especially if it's as well so this stuff was so we just leave this many on one twenty beats per minute and I could start to fight it the way that will make this work will believe beings I never I is some really from all of my fears let mama town so what I'm doing here is I found a tight delay that sounded pleasant to my ear like it just makes his vocal wilmore three d and state subtle I keep this very solid mix even solo's as it going tio callie's kid does intissar believe really tight if you click the time button and this doesn't glitch like it sometimes does so that's a forty six millisecond delay it's super super tight like below slap even on dh um yeah that sounds really good to me I will probably tweet this mix in this feedback setting as the mix goes I sometimes take the high cut in the low cut the vocal feels muddy and mess with it if I wanted more aggressive aiken sometimes trump the saturation in the style knobs there's tons of fun to be had with this is particular this book and there's this works on any delay plugging though I know this one is not the cheapest one but you khun do this literally. Almost all these perimeters are on stock delay plug ins in every single program that somebody makes music and play around with it find what works through this is always just makes a vocal sit a little three more three d and procedural lead vocal for me just a little bit more character and three dimensionality to as going tio so now that I have all the main basic moments in this frakking part I'm concerned about what my master fader is doing and what I can make it sound better and optimized so we haven't revisited the master fighter in awhile. Let's, make sure everything's looking a okay what's first check our head room now. I could also do this cool head room plugin that's there too, but not everybody has that. So I want to illustrate how you do this in any daw so what's the play god, I'm so good! I'm right there on that sixty b mark between the six and ten, so I'm feeling so good about myself that I embarrassed myself on live internet tv anyway. So now that I see my head rooms, good would see what I could do with these settings to make this song somebody wait. So I'm hearing that I want to alter that frequency span a little bit, and then I heard after that, I was like, you know, if the overheads come down a little bit more, maybe I can make it will warm bright before I get here, I'm taking that down, I feel like there's still a lot of clutter in the mid and it's not quite where I'd want to be, so I'm gonna keep doing a little working this. So what I do a lot of time as you just saw me space out and get all stevie wonder is like sometimes close my eyes because when I don't do this multi bit, I don't want to do with my eyes and I think there's something to be said for sometimes that we start to get in the patterns of like I know what this looks like most of my mixes, but since this isn't one of my tracking these I don't I want to make sure I make the right decisions so I blind eye this stuff sometimes and wait till it feels good that I realize I'm turning the wrong nod when I look up and stuff like that how it's it's a good way though to keep yourself in check so I want to kind of like not look at this and feel it was it this way? So I was just doing there and some of this is I'm doing it because I'm not taking the timeto really milled some of these mixed moments as was a cz I'm using the crutch of multi band compression I wouldn't really want to hit this this heart, but I also want to get this mix working and show you what you could be doing and the other thing is is so I just tried I hear something that's six hundred hertz that's kind of annoying me in this but then when I took it down the whole mix of six hundred hertz, I said, you know, I'm missing some of this fun stuff in the vocal at six hundred hurts, so I should leave this be for now, and I should try to find what's the instrument that's annoying message in a church, and I tend to believe that at this stage in the mix, you should not be starting a notch out the c q and still leave this broad strokes that should be when you're nitpicking in a being a little bit more, but I was trying to do a short cut, and I realized I can't get away that shorter, so let me find what I'm not liking at six hundred hurts, and I think I already have my instinct here, which is that there's something in the upper mids that is not working in the spoke all going tio kelly's kid, I wasn't just believe things I never did no ice stand heat, so I think we talked about this a little bit yesterday or today, it's all starting to blend together a little bit, but that a lot of the times somewhere around seven hundred, nine hundred hertz khun sound a little like you're talking like this it's a little muffled in the vote calling, you could get some clarity out of the vocal what's I'm not something you do every vocal, but when you don't hear that clarity or a boxing this you don't like this could be a great so I'm starting to like that there's something still with the vocal that I really want to polish up a bit and I'm feeling like maybe the vocals a little cold, so I'm gonna yet again bring out my friends the fab filter saturn I'm to take him down to zero percent yeah, so that's giving me something I really don't floyd like in the spoke o and yet again, I'm mixing this in about twenty three percent it's a pretty subtle effect as it is, the one thing I'm hearing is, though the harmonizer is now something a little odd to me, so in turn, I think is I don't want anybody to actually hear that. So now that I have this basic vocal sound that I'm somewhat happy with but I'm going to probably tweak a million times, I'm going to put this on to the other vocals in the track as I know it's a good starting place, so I know that what's group all of the ones that are in the back of the song let's put those all over here for the front of song and then the back of the song here since I know that'll probably the there and let's copy these down so I don't know if this is other people saying this and I may regret this because then they could be recorded totally different but I know that this is usually the plug ins they're going to be in my palate even if I'm not change their settings I may get room I may not get rid of them um for the sake of this class we're going to make this work so that I can illustrate a little bit more of us because I I think I could demonstrate some really cool techniques to you guys with this so here's a nice little tidbit on this too as I copy this harmonizer since these air backing vocals you contend to overload the harmonizer obit if you have all your backing vocals coming and it could get ten to get really brought I tend to take it down about sixty b as a starting place are the hardest but for some reason the vocal just verb doesn't do that same thing for me the other thing I'm gonna do with these vocal no not with the harmonizer with the vocal verb is going to make the panning followed them because I'm gonna probably pan these out they're not going to go down the center so let's start getting a rough on the's harmonies that looks like one of these harmonies might be a lead to but some goes I've got my well being just run and get wass vice way. So here's a note on panning the verse harmonies, especially since his voice is not, you know, obama, billy will like mine a lot of the time what I will do when I'm to deciding where japan ah, harmony, if there's just a single harmony is, I'm going to go. If there's a lead guitar, I'm going to go in the opposite side of that. If there's a guitar doing something cool, I'm gonna go on the upside that since the is not, this is one of those really bringing it down type of verses, I'm going to just go on the opposite side of the symbol that the person spring is the symbol will cut into the vocal, and this will make a way easier for me to blend. Always think about with your panting where's, the space to go, especially with percussion. If you got a tambourine while time, if the high your persons putting the high hat put timbering on the other side of that high at wherever there's room, try to balance out your mix so there's more space it's, easier to blend in, easier for people to hear things, pay attention to that as much as he can, so it looks like this says vocal harm, but that seems like that's actually the lead vocal for the ends, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna copy this up to that quiet vocal track that we have for the intro and see how that works out so we have this harmony place we can say goodbye to this vocal for now and what that be that um let's try to see what the vibe of the intro of the song is compared to when the song actually kicks in so let's put this in the loop a lot of time I'll take a little bit of this and that so I can try to get levels that relate to the way the song kicks in to make sure I maintain the songs dynamics so remember what I talked about how he's going to use a guitar reverb because sometimes there isn't something on the other side this is a perfect time to illustrate that is that because we have one guitar in the beginning I'm gonna want this to feel like it's in a rib it also sounds like this is a nice sensitive of lonely vocal so some room on this can make you feel alone like there's something cool about the feeling of hearing a little bit of echo and like a person in a room that like they sound alone in that room so it makes you feel the emotion of them being alone sometimes or maybe I'm just like dropped one too many tabs of acid in my childhood but like that's just one of those things that I feel when I listen to music if you don't feel that I guess you're mescal in dose wasn't a strong his mind um just kidding mom and dad I never did us it um anyway, so and so if you watch what I just did here is I did something that I would not normally do in the real world, which is I just found the preset called guitar ambience and I said that's the one but I don't want to bore you with me screwing for sixty presets but let's see how this one sounds first thing? Well, this one sounds pretty pretty close to something I would actually like, so we're in luck. So the one thing I'm not liking though is how much high end there is in this superb on dh because I only use this ferb there we go about three times in my life I don't know it too well, but like that a million times better. So let's do that. You know what? I didn't get to say in my reverb explanation something I'd really like to say and actually I'm going to demonstrate this on them many of meat because I think it's really important I struggled with reverb for so many years of my life and I only recently in the past couple years became confident if you struggle with reverb I think a reverb like this is the best thing that we're on because this thing's that's pretty great, no matter what, but there's really only a couple settings that you need to know on reverb, and I think that when we see these big things like this hopper river, which is totally awesome, I've been loving this thing, but this has four thousand parameters in twenty thousand presets I love the idea that there's really like six types of river bs there's a few more than this that are useful but just doing time pre delay. If you're on an ox, leave the mix at one hundred percent what so we're not going to count that. And then, like the high q that's, almost everything you need to know in a lot of reverb when starting out, if you can't make it work with time, pre delay and timing size to it could be the same thing time pre delay in the high manipulation in which style of river vis if you can't figure it out with those it's time to get to a different pre set or a different setting. It's not the river, but you're hearing in your head and keep experiencing there's not a lot of knobs that you really need to play with. In most reverb, especially with the amount of pre since we have and if it's bringing you down, you need to try something new and go to a different reverb don't just go my favorite mixer puts plates on vocals you know steve evans, who I work with you, I grew up loving his mixes he's one of my best friends were talking the other day and I was like, man, I hate plates of vocals it's, like all I do is place the vocals on like I love the way your record sound. I like the way my record said we all do things different, you don't have to do it that way find something that works for you don't just stick to that and just use those few parameters and experiment and eventually you'll find something that works for you with that little reverb lesson. So I got to find a way to balance this vocal and so it gets in and so it's that the right volume that the dynamics kicking in the song well, so the first thing I'm going to do even no, I doubt these settings they're going to be my final sitting is this I'm going to copy over this vocal setting and see what it does for us I already know I don't want is much harmonizer on it, so I'm gonna drop that down so the other way I'm going to test this is is I'm going to go to where the vocal overlaps with the main part of the song teo you're swimming in so I'm liking the way that's kicking in but it's not quite right and the one thing I'm hearing which gets us in the automation is I think this acoustic comes in way too out so while I'm not ready to get into nitpicky automation, I know this is going to hinder being being able to make good decisions this as you could see it's played way louder than it does when it's here so I'm going to start by taking it down I didn't even pay attention because I was talking three d b let's call it three and a half just for fun so here's the thing kids you hit solo on this automation point kids it didn't do his bags like him but bought it thin times that automation will click so you want to go in and do this? This is also why it's great to buy a fader set um I even use that persona single fader sometimes it's great and I've been playing with ipad aps to do automation I haven't quite found the one I love yet, but I'm hoping I d'oh teo just was your eyes by swimming in the cool so that's feeling relatively close but not exactly what I want

Class Description

While it’s easy to get distracted by the latest and greatest gear, plugins, and flashy tricks, the real key to a great mix is mastering the fundamentals. In this online class, veteran producer/engineer/mixer Jesse Cannon (The Cure, Animal Collective, Senses Fail) shows you all the essentials of mixing rock and electronic music.

In this 3-day class, you’ll learn how to set up a session the RIGHT way — including routing, gain structure, listening techniques, and other best practices. He’ll show you how to mix vocals, bass, drums, guitars, and synths. You’ll also learn how to use compression, reverb and EQ to make your mix come together, while achieving the punch and separation that takes it from good to great. The class is taught with Pro Tools, but the concepts easily translate to any DAW.

Whether you’re new to mixing, or are a seasoned pro looking for a refresher on the basics, this class will teach you how to seamlessly merge individual sounds into polished, cohesive tracks.