Monuments Mix Challenges and Vocal Chain
I didn't do this whole mix, but I did the vocal mix on this and produce the vocals so we're going to look at a band called monuments and um I'm gonna load up the vocal session and let you guys check out the song and, uh what I get when you guys to pay attention to the reason gonna place mix so well as go through the vocals this so that you can pay attention to just how much is going on at the same time and uh yeah here goes wait so really quick word about that is, uh, shameless plug right here is, uh hugh does like those guitar tones john brown, the dude who mixed the music to this the guitarist and he was actually in creative live with me uh in my song writing class we went through a lot of this stuff uh he were selling through my web store all these tones that he made the actual tones from that. So uh, you can download them and see for yourself how much tone really is in their hands, but it's it's actually really fascinating to me to play through his tones and realize how much I don'...
t sound like him but onto this actual mix now this is a very interesting situation because I had to give them mixed vocals to put into their musical mix already automated with the idea that maybe he would bring the volume up or down in the overall track but he didn't want to have to do any queuing nothing uh so somehow somehow we had to get on the same page across a notion about about this mix and uh this is uh I guess rightto let pro tools on think it happens one thing that's ah one thing that will you guys can hear about that song is that there's lead guitars happening there's clean guitars happening this rhythm guitars happening there's base happening there's background vocals happening there's back around harmony vocals happening there's lead vocals happening and there's lead harmony vocals happening and they're not all doing the same thing at all and they all work together seamlessly and so first of all once again like we've kind of been saying the only way to get that to sound good is to have it played really, really well and to be arranged really, really well, um the band happened to be super super tight, so that helps a lot. Um so once again I want to ask you guys in the room what you guys would think would be the challenges in mixing that well, this is loading up, so start with you mr matt all right, well, uh yeah, like what you mentioned balancing all those different harmonies and of course would be a bit challenging to make it sound natural and make everything to sit in the right place but I think also, well, the main clean vocal seemed to be in a kind of upper range in general which seems naturally a composition level again to fit fit well with what's going on with guitars and based on what not um so that's nice probably, you know, right out the gate but then I noticed the screaming stuff's more mid rangy so it's probably gonna fight more with the guitars absolutely naturally and that's a challenge that that I've had is getting is getting those two things to dance together to work together and sound full of thick so um I think the perfect the reason I picked this song that ten more is it's so well written that those issues do kind of take care of each other well rooted vocals that playoff of the music a compliment the music well, uh, will be much easier to mix because is when you doing kind of those problems of fighting frequencies and all that at least in the arrangement um they're not fighting each other so and as stepping over each other musically the whole time yeah it's naturally just working to do less corrective kinds of moves that way, I guess yeah, I barely had to do any any corrective moves is the interesting thing about this so this is actually kind of cool because all I had to focus on was vocal so I could really go all out with the local session but take a look real quick don't turn this up a little bit it turned out that that affects us he has ever had to just mix one thing and send it to somebody e interesting ok, so I'll let you hear just the lead vocal mean but I the field a breeze about manus disease scars to take the place of open channels with no stream I've got the answer teo the you can hear already just I'm just trying to get it a little bit more organized to show um the quality of of just a single vocal track is very, very high to begin with promises that were never meant tio forget what I said I just want you by that now with the background vocal in there as well, no effects wear never met tio forget what I just want you this's are you? That is because you should be able to solar your vocal and be like yeah that's awesome! Yeah, you should have a lot of time so let you saw the vocals and it's really awkward anyone mixing probably has been a situation where you're almost kind of embarrassed for yourself or for the artist even if they're not in the room when you're seeing a vocal so you just kind of want to disappear shrink to the size of an ant because it's kind of just terrible but the best sounding you know what I'm talking about the best sounding vocal mixes that I've been involved with on records you khun so the vocals and they already just sound great on their own and a lot like in that previous song that we looked at where when you took the orchestra and lead guitar and just sold it out and it just worked already without the whole band there than you already kind of know you're onto something so playing just playing that without you know without all everything else going on to back it up it's already good so that's already a plus the way that were never meant to wait forget what? Just and this is what I had to work with a rough mix so that's the first thing I wanted to point out is just the vocals just sound good period the vocalist is great it's well written you khun solo it and you could just listen to that and be happy um you know, talk about the actual vocal chain which is less important in my opinion than ah then the performance you have to say something anybody okay way tried like eight different microphones with a bunch of different pre amps and for some reason settled on as some seven b into an fbi into distress sir uh, somehow that just seems to work really, really well for me so and once again into an eleven seventy six uh but this time it was a you idea and let's seize it bearing the needle never meant kind of but not that much, but I've noticed he's eleven seventy six is sound really, really good um when you hit them pretty hard so that was the first thing maybe I'll take these off and show you one by one what they do promises made that were never meant tio you point something else out, you hear that without all the plug ins, it still sounds good is the all right then just added some q and not a crazy amount we just added a little bit of high end boosted the mids just a little bit and that's it just a little bit to help it cut through the wall of music because, like we said before there's rhythm guitars lee guitars, clean guitars all going on at the same time so that's all it was four wasn't to correct anything with vocals just to help it cut through a little more is that a little saturation promises made that were never meant tio and that's just to make it pop a little more and blend a little more than decapitate er is your friend not unpunished mode and pretty lows really not that much not that much but this's we're thin listen without ah promises made that were never meant tio just like with the orchestra adding a little bit of saturation sometimes just helps things pop ah and then a d s sir it's really simple vocal shane there's really I mean that's a vocal chain that most people I know use so one thing that we did hear that I thought was pretty interesting and pretty fun was routed down to all these different effects buses down here uh and blended them in just a different different degrees and uh so an airbus meaning not the kind of airplane but just a little bit sparkly high end a little bit more distortion a slack delay a long delay a doubler and the river and then that all these were bussed up to just a print track for and that is more so that john when he got this could just control the level of the effects and I had a couple other ones here just like this is on little another long delay that comes in and out volume wise and then a couple of individual effects that I printed like uh this guy sounds great doing it for some reason I felt like with this uh he'd that it needed its own track, its own processing. Sometimes you do that, you have a bunch of tracks like this, and you have an idea for an effect. That's, not part of your bussing scheme. Just cut out the vocal, move it to its own track and effective separately. Um, I think that's a really good way to do things. We haven't talked about that too much for you. Do that also, with, like lead guitars, like if you want tio say, you have a bend that you want to put a long delay on or something like that, sometimes we're really good way to do it is literally create a track, cut that one, note out, move it up to that new track, and then just put whatever effect you want on that track. So you do that here in there with that.