Inside a Rock Mix: Vocals
So let's, talk these vocals. I'm going kind of bring up some of the things I find a little bit more interesting of these bowls. So there's three things happening at the ox you see only two oxes, but that's because two of the auc's is air, both getting the same thing. I did this to save dsp and there's. Nothing illegal about this. I know every one of the vocals and here except for the one that I have a spoken word is going to need a harmonizer. And this thing I call rock vocal spread so let's, look at what these are. I used to different plug ins for this a different times I use waves doubler, which I left on for these mixes because it's much more common and, uh basically, I could use this or one from sound toys called little micro chef, but there's a bunch of plug ins that do this. But those were the two I like best. So what this program is doing is it's putting a delay of seven point three milliseconds. And it looks like thirty five point eight milliseconds on the other side on this an...
d it's at different times, moving the pitch on one side up odd down eighteen said sharp, the other what beside eighteen said's flat I'm doing my arms from anyway, this is on most polished mixes and pop rock dance whatever this is one of the most common effects waves doubler has a bunch of presets that really, really sound good this one looks like I used one called another double take for the song I adapt the presets in these polygons tio each sigur each singer sounds different it's a very, very common sowed and I pretty much have this on almost every bix where I'm going for eight the we spit polished this rock vocal spread is literally just a priest that I like in this sound toys it looks like all this is is to really really tight delays that are really, really well with the mix and they're giving the re verbal depth and what I mostly do is a figure to the bix and then the vocal reverb which we have going in the vocal rivers just a tight ambience um in the song and what I'm basically doing with this is it's just a little bit of extra depth and bounce to the song what's solo everybody's cool and everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool. Let me get the soul of loop a little tighter so I could give you guys a good example uh, so I'm gonna turn each of these up so you could kind of hear the sound that goes into this everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool and everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool and everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool and everybody it's enough to drive you mad huh? Um anyway uh I like this is an example because one of the reasons I want to use this track is while greg gave a amazing vocal performance I actually had an amazing time doing the song he did such a good job for the feeling the storm is the right thing greg is not jeff buckley he's not the singer that just sounds amazing no matter if you don't put anything on him he needs a little processing so I think he's a great example and like all this stuff I'm doing when you hear it in the mix you're not saying oh wow I hear a ton of that harmonizer oh wow I hear a ton of that rock focal spread a while I hear a ton of that plate it's a dense mix it's just little things that I'm pulling down enough that they're helping accumulate that salty of making the vocal work in the song so one of the things I should stress is that a lot of the times these things are so so subliminal but if you take him off of the vics as I'll do right now they make a deal wait they're just low enough that they really, really help bring out an emotional song, so let's go over some last little things about this mix there's an e q on the vocal that's making me not have to work as hard the compressor is that working this hard? So that's the first thing I'm doing is getting rid of that. I didn't need to queue that vocal that much, but that I did process it a lot with this multi bed compressor, and this is where a lot of the so I should say. I tracked this vocal with an optical compressor, much like in l a to a setting through a pendulum audio quartet it's a really nice box to fifty one mike so everything was tracked really well, it sounded really good, and greg has good toad, even if he's not the most expressive singer on earth. So then what I'm doing with this multi bears kyra just shaping this the way a lot of the time people will do with q is a dis making strokes to control to the mix and controlling what he does particularly up here are doing a lot of d s egg and that I'm just controlling and keeping a big vocal side on your plate. Probably not the best example for d s six since he's not hang those s it is very hard here, but while I go over to a different part of the song where he is this's are, uh, whisper part that we would over yesterday you could see the s is air getting caught. I have a really high for uh what do you call a point two ratio on the ss I'm basically using this multi bad as a very broad stroked que toe shape this out. Where is a lot of people will use the q basically using this multi bed compressor? Is that so? The other thing is what I talk about there's not a lot compression here's the feeder writer plug it, which is obviously doing a lot of work. Let's go back to that chorus, everybody. Sarah is one of the greatest things on vocals for tae be down and just bringing it out. So the last bit of dynamic process that I'm doing on this fogel is just a light amount of pressure compression with a compressor I really like this is a very old pocket. I actually think there's plug it is they're doing better job but a better technology these days, but this is what I know works well with my vocal compressor segues, one of the weird things I tend to find is that there's a kind of talked about the solo yesterday is that there's plug ins that work for my stuff because my vocal compressor as an attack on a release that that needs to be compensated for the mix this one just does that but I don't use this for a lot of other people's stuff as you could see the needle is not moving a lot it's yet again just doing a little bit of fattening the second I hear that compressor moving I pull it back I don't want it going too far so the last thing that I have on this track that it's an interesting discussion is a little bit of delay fattening so let's do this with the solo this year is a thirty one millisecond delay cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool cool everybody's cool everybody's cool everybody's cool cool a lot of the time instead of reverb being loud you just need a little bit of depth somewhere between like a thirty and sixty milliseconds the way you can just make the vocal not so on and off sounding in the mix it could be a little more dry and really helps I usually just school around my delay times in temple with song until I find one that's good or I screw around the echo times until I find something that works with that cigarette this solves temple usually from storm a song this is always different but I really like that. I really like even putting it on the lead vocal track, right on insert instead of on an ox, even though, like the rule yesterday I was kind of saying is that, you know, that's on a ton of these vocals. Um, not doing the ways, putting those on sense because you're going to use the same setting. We cool there's something about when you want character on a vocal of sometimes putting the delay right on that track. And I really liked that for the song and the same thing with this device. This delay is a half note delay with this transmitter accused said I get it, I think. Let me find where I really used that. Um, you know, I think it's right in here. So everybody's cool. Everybody's. Cool. What? Everybody's cool. The reason I have this instead of on an ox is there's something about that going through the harmonizer that processing that sounds like a really familiar sound to me of the nineties in early two thousand's, like jerry finn mixes like I was really listen to, like, a lot of some forty one and blink twenty two on this mix, and I just felt like this sounded like his thing. Normally, you'd put this on the docks. But I want to show you that. Also, if you're doing like india, iraq and really moody stuff, there's something about putting the delay in line with the vocal. That can really do it. And there was just a character I liked on the song that I did that for, because that I chose to do that.
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.