Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

 

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

 

Lesson Info

Basic Vocal Mix

Welcome to day 17 of my creative live metal recording bootcamp. I'm Eyal Levi, but today we're going to talk about a basic vocal mix. We've spent the last few days getting this Monuments tune that we tracked up to some sort of a basic instrumental mixing, I'm gonna start on vocals now. So, here's Pro Tools. The one, the only. And here are all my vocal tracks. And I've got them divided. You got the screams up here, we go to the scream bus. I've got the lead singing, go into the lead singing bus, and the harmony vocals, go into the backup bus, and then they're both, well, all three of them are going to a series of vocal buses, like effects and parallel and stuff, which is then going to the vocal aux where I can play with he volume. So, yeah. We'll start with screams, just 'cause. I'm gonna mute the singing, unmute the vocals and see what we're working with. (heavy metal music) All right, right away, that needs help, and that should have been cut off, but it wasn't, and now I cut it off. ...

Looks like... Ah, the 76 that I was using on them doesn't exist on this computer, so I guess I'm going to use a UAD 76 then. I'm just making sure sure that these are the only tracks I have selected. Okay. Cool. And I'm gonna turn my groups back on, and let's see what's going on with my scream group. I wanna be able to control these compressors all at the same time, so. Just looking through my groups. See a vocal group, and I'm just gonna handle this. Okay. Scream tweak. And I don't want the volume to be tweakable together because I'm not necessary gonna have these at equal volumes, and we'd like to a lot of volume automation. For now let's get this rev A set. Normally on heavy vocals I like to bury the needle. As you can see, and if you were watching this class, you already know I compressed really heavily on the way in, but that's not to stop from compressing more. (heavy metal music) That is very, very sibilant, and you hear the vocals already sound pretty good, and that's because Chris is a great sounding vocalist. Like, end of story. I'll just add a De-esser. I don't really use this one too often, but I'll take a gamble in front of you guys. (heavy metal music) We've got a smaller loop. There we go. (heavy metal music) That's De-essing pretty hard. (heavy metal music) Interesting. I kinda thought that these vocals were gonna be edited, but... I'll do a few basic edits. I don't want all that stuff coming into the chain. (heavy metal music) Let's see what the volumes are. All right, I'm gonna put the double six underneath the main. (heavy metal music) In all reality, what I would do is take the time to cut all of those out, all of those sounds, put them on their own track and you queue them differently, but I don't really have time for that here. Like, I would take all of those F sounds, all those T sounds, cut them out of every single word, move them down to a track and then deal with them individually. That would be probably the most comprehensive way to do it, but not gonna do that right now. (heavy metal music) I'm gonna get rid of that kind of stuff. (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) What I would actually do is totally remove that sound from one of 'em. (heavy metal music) Oops. (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) Okay. Don't need these breaths. Wanna see if those... Yeah, okay. These two screens right here should be in stereo. (heavy metal music) And then turn down. So... I'm gonna just go ahead and make a stereo vocal track and move those down. Stereo. Down. And then that's gonna go to vocal scream bus. Any more stereos? Nope. So I'm gonna get rid of these two tracks. Whoops. Altered my... There it goes. All right. Pro Tools is responding somewhat sluggishly. (heavy metal music) Cool, and now it will be able to affect that it's own way. First of all, I don't like that it's not coming in right on. (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) All right, that's coming down in volume. (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) Okay, so I had him track four of those screams in different pitches just to get it layered up, so that's why it's okay to put this one on a stereo track and turn it down. I might even give it its own reverb just for fun. Though not a reverb that crashes my system. So, I'm not gonna pull a valhalla shimmer. Won't let me pull up D verb, that's cool. That's awesome. (heavy metal music) (heavy metal vocals) (heavy metal music) So, I guess that means my voc verb, it doesn't exist because D verb isn't working. Interesting. I guess I gotta use something else for my vocal verb. (heavy metal music) That was on the send that I've got the vocals going to. For some reason D verb just is not working, so I just put Valhalla vintage instead. Already sounds pretty cool. (heavy metal music) Okay, so, clearly those need to be edited. I'm not gonna deal with that right now, but I'm do a little bit more EQ on these vocals. (heavy metal vocals) Just turning down a little bit of this harsh range. I'm gonna do a high shelf later on a EQ that's better for boosting, that's a little more gentle. I like Q10 because it's so surgical. Just trying to get rid of some of that harshness. (heavy metal vocals) (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) I think that these also need a little bit of multi band to just kind of smooth things out a little bit. Not to do anything crazy, but just to react. (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) I'm gonna do this another way. (heavy metal music) Starting to sound aggressive and nice. And look past the edits and stuff. I'd rather get this sounding better than to worry about that. (heavy metal music) All right, I just clipped the hell out of it, but I only have it at about 20 percent mix, 'cause otherwise it's really overbearing, but I feel like that brought out just a little bit more attitude, and smoothed it out a little more, and I like it and that's what matters. (heavy metal music) And then finally, you're gonna think I'm insane, but I wanna flatten these vocals again. (heavy metal music) I like the distortion, so deal with it. (heavy metal music) Cool. Start mixing in some of these singing lines. And again, looks like my 76 is gone. I wonder if... I wonder if I'm gonna be able to use as many instances of it as I would like via UAD, which I'll find out. If not, I'll use the one in VMR. Okay. So that's on the lead vocals. (heavy metal music) ♪ Lost in the fire ♪ ♪ Concealing no doors ♪ Yeah, good singer. All right. Here's hoping. Okay. Cool. (heavy metal singing) Okay. I'm gonna make a group for lead tweak. Lead tweak sounds like a bad drug habit. All right, lead song tweak. And then I'm gonna do one for the harmonies. Harm sing tweak. I don't know how those of you who don't have these options get by in life. (heavy metal singing) ♪ Lost in the fire, concealing no doors ♪ (heavy metal music) All right, that is blasting loud. And again, we're just gonna have to ignore these edits. Cool. (heavy metal singing) All right, so first things first. We've got these vocals going to the effects bus. One thing that I'm gonna do is I'm gonna send the harmonies to the effects bus a little louder to the lead vocals. We'll put them a little further away. And I'll roll off some of the highs just a little bit more on these. (heavy metal music) Okay. (heavy metal music) All right, this needs more dynamic work. (heavy metal music) Okay. Gonna set levels for the harmonies verses. For the leads verses the doubles. Minus 1.6, minus 1.6. And then the doubles. I guess we'll always be a minus 11. I want the thickness from them, but I don't necessarily want it to be like really loud that it's doubled. Really obvious. (heavy metal music) ♪ Lost in the fire, concealing no doors ♪ (heavy metal music) ♪ Lost in the fire, concealing no doors ♪ I am going to put a multi band on the vocal aux. So, this is gonna have the screams and the sings, and the harmonies, everything all together, and I just wanna see if this multi band kinda just smooths them out. I mean, I'm gonna have to do a lot of level work and automation, but I just wanna see if this helps bridge the gap between all those takes. Different types of takes. (heavy metal music) ♪ Lost in the fire, concealing no doors ♪ ♪ Lost in the fire, concealing no doors ♪ ♪ We know we're free to go ♪ ♪ We're so damn anxious to be ♪ All right, that helps, but it's not all the way. I'm gonna still have to do a lot of work. I think that the clean vocals need a little bit of a high shelf to them. I'm officially getting into a conservation mode here, so I'm gonna go to VMR, which is actually a really good plug-in anyways in its own right. Like, it's great and it's very efficient. I wanna see how this Revival plugin helps. (heavy metal music) ♪ Lost in the fire, concealing no doors ♪ Okay, wasn't bad. Okay, gotta check these harmonies real quick. (heavy metal singing) ♪ We know ♪ Good vocalist. (heavy metal singing) (heavy metal music) ♪ We know, we know ♪ ♪ We know, we know ♪ ♪ We know, we know ♪ ♪ We know, we know ♪ ♪ We know, we know ♪ ♪ We know, we know ♪ ♪ We know, we know ♪ ♪ We know, we know ♪ (heavy metal music) ♪ We know we're free to go ♪ ♪ We're so damn anxious to be ♪ (heavy metal music) Yeah, I need more out of these vocals. (heavy metal music) ♪ We know we're free to go ♪ ♪ We're so damn anxious to be ♪ ♪ Alone this time ♪ Basically, I'm canceling a good amount of these dynamics so that I can do them myself, 'cause there's... And I can control the volumes myself, 'cause there's literally so many tracks, and it's bouncing around from voice to voice voice, that I'm gonna manually need to smooth this out quite a bit. So I don't need the tracks jumping around dynamically internally. I'm gonna decrease this C4 just a little. ♪ We know we're free to go ♪ ♪ So damn anxious to be ♪ ♪ We know we're free to go ♪ ♪ We are do damn anxious to be ♪ ♪ Alone this time ♪ ♪ This time ♪ Right now I'm basically just trying to get them all to kind of fit in a space together. ♪ Alone this time ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ (heavy metal music) One thing I know I'm gonna do is turn up the vocal effects on this part. So I might as well just automate that. So, turning up to send it to the vocal effects. ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ Interesting. All right, well, then I have to do this like this. I thought that there was already a send going to those from the clean vocals, but I guess there's not, and I'm gonna make one. A vocal effect send. (heavy metal music) ♪ Save this confirmation until the revel ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ Might as well put two. ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ (heavy metal music) ♪ Damn anxious to be ♪ ♪ Alone this time ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ Okay, at least that's going to the right place now. ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation ♪ I like that better. I wanted those delays to be longer. I might even turn the feedback up a little. I really wanted there to be a sexy tail on those vocals. (heavy metal music) ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ You notice that even if you have longish effects on vocals, it's amazing how much of that gets swallowed the minute you have a mix playing, so don't be confused or thrown off by the fact that when you play 'em by themselves they're really loud. They will get swallowed. ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ (heavy metal music) ♪ Lost in the fire, concealing no doors ♪ ♪ We know we're free to go ♪ ♪ We're so damn anxious to be ♪ ♪ Alone this time ♪ Time to de-esse those lead vocals. I thought that the fab filter one was pretty good, so use it again. (heavy metal music) The reason I'm turning off the look ahead is because there's already latency and plugin delay compensation calculation issues with Pro Tools, and I don't wanna exacerbate it by introducing a look ahead, which will make it worse. (heavy metal singing) ♪ Lost in the fire concealing no doors ♪ ♪ Lost in the fire concealing no doors ♪ (heavy metal music) ♪ Lost in the fire concealing no doors ♪ ♪ We know we're free to go ♪ ♪ We are so damn anxious to be ♪ ♪ Alone this time ♪ ♪ Save this confirmation until the revelry ♪ I remember this. This is a cool part. ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh, ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh, ooh ♪ I'm gonna turn this down a little. ♪ Ooh, ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ Even though I turned down the volume of that track, I'm turning up the amount that it's going to the effects. ♪ Ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ Cool. Just for the sake of not having that be annoying on a cool part, cut that breath out. (heavy metal music) ♪ Ooh Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ And that is supposed to sound a little bit like it's across the street. I remember that from the album. I'm gonna pan it a little. ♪ Ooh Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ (heavy metal singing) ♪ Alone this time ♪ (heavy metal music) ♪ Ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ Okay, so I panned that main one to the right, but this one that I sent to the, that I turned down and I sent real hard to the effects I'm actually gonna pan left a little bit. I mean to right a little bit to balance it, but you're not gonna really, really hear it. It's gonna be more of a 3D thing. ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ooh ♪ That pisses me off. ♪ Ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Who could deny ♪ ♪ This time, this time ♪ (heavy metal music) ♪ Ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Who could deny ♪ ♪ Such a creation ♪ ♪ The violin or melody ♪ Now, I'm not sure. I don't think that this double right here is meant to be on the crazy effects track, but it actually sounded kinda cool. Happy accident. This thing. (heavy metal singing) Yeah, I don't. So I'm gonna run with it, and actually turn it up, 'cause it's cool. ♪ Such a creation that ♪ And turn this one down just a little bit. I know I'm doing automation, but this is vocal mixing. ♪ Such a creation that achieves the violin or melody ♪ Just for the sake of a little bit of balance, I will also pan this guy to the right a little bit, the lead one. ♪ Such a creation that achieves the violin or melody ♪ ♪ Such a creation that achieves the violin or melody ♪ That's annoying me. Yeah, that guitar is getting... Pissing me off. ♪ Violin or melody ♪ Still pissing me off. ♪ Violin of melody ♪ That's not so bad. ♪ Violin or melody ♪ Remember I talked about taking care of things when you spot them? I'm doing that. Exaggerated tom hit right there. (heavy metal music) And also hear that in the rooms, that tom hit, 'cause the rooms are loud right there, so I'm gonna start their decrescendo right there. (heavy metal music) All right, so let me point something out. Right here we've got guitar leads, we've got rhythm guitars, we've got clean guitars, we've got synth, we've got four tracks of harmonies, two tracks of vocal lead, as well as, you know, bass and drums. That is a full stack. And then half way through it adds this pod guitar that I widened earlier, so this right here is gonna take a lot of automation. (heavy metal music) ♪ Who would deny you're one of me ♪ ♪ One of me ♪ Okay. I'm actually gonna move this down to that track where it was doing cool effects. ♪ One of me ♪ ♪ One of me ♪ Sounds pretty cool. Let's see if this one sounds better there. ♪ One of me ♪ No, I think the whisper sounded better. And this one should just be turned way down. ♪ One of me, one of me ♪ ♪ One of me ♪ ♪ One of me ♪ ♪ One of me ♪ ♪ One of me ♪ I can hear the click track coming through. Through his headphones, 'cause he was blasting them. ♪ One of me ♪ There we go, that was smooth. ♪ Me ♪ ♪ One of me ♪ (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) Actually I'm gonna just turn down the vocal effects on that part completely. Well, not all the way, but just enough so that they sound considerably dry. (heavy metal music) (heavy metal music) So, basically I think that they sound pretty good. I need to start automating this or it's gonna be a gigantic mess, and then once I have the levels and the automations a little bit more figured out, then I can see what other tweaks I'm gonna need to do to EQ. I definitely that this will need more EQ in terms of vocals and clean guitars and all that. It's not just volume automation and stuff making everything fit together, but frequencies. But now that I have every element actually in the song, now I can start automating like a basic automation mix. Let me fade that in. Fade that out, actually. (heavy metal music) This'll go on the stereo scream. (heavy metal music) Never mind. (heavy metal music) See what I mean? It's time for automation.

Class Description


Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp will give you access to one of metal’s most in-demand producers and educators. You’ll also get to watch the talented and seasoned performers of Monuments show you how to record flawless takes and how to prepare to enter the studio.

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp is the definitive guide to recording and producing metal. From soup to nuts, start to finish, A to Z, you will learn everything you need to know about recording and producing a metal song.

Eyal Levi will take you inside the studio with Monuments as they record a song from scratch at Clear Lake Recording in Los Angeles. In this bootcamp you will learn how to:

  • Prepare for a session in preproduction by choosing tempos and organizing the session
  • Record flawless drums from selection and reheading/tuning to mic choice and placement to editing
  • Record rhythm guitars
  • Record clean and lead guitars
  • Record bass guitar
  • Record, edit and tune lead vocals, harmonies, and screams
  • Mix and master from session setup to final bounce

What comes with purchase of the class?



Lessons

1Intro to Bootcamp
2Purpose of Pre-Production
3Technical Side of Preproduction
4Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map
5Pre-Production: Importing Stems
6Pre-Production: Click Track
7Creating Tracking Templates
8Intro and the Tone Pie
9Drums - Lay of the Land
10Bearing Edges
11Wood Types
12Depths and Sizes
13Hoops
14Sticks and Beaters
15Drum Heads
16Drum Tuning
17Drum Mic Placement Intro
18Basic Drum Mic Setup
19Cymbal Mic Setup
20Touch Up Tuning
21Microphone Choice and Placement
22Drum Tracking Intro
23Getting Tones and Final Placement
24Primary Tracking
25Punching In and Comping Takes
26Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking
27Amplifiers - Lay of the Land
28Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out
29Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement
30Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain
31Finalizing Amplifier Tone
32Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin
33Intro to Rhythm Tracking
34Setting Up Guitars
35Working with a Guitarist
36Final Guitar Tone and Recap
37Guitar Tracking with John
38Guitar Tracking with Ollie
39Final Tracking
40Tracking Quads
41Intro to Bass Tone
42Bass Tone Setup
43Bass Tone Mic Placement
44Bass Tracking
45Intro to Clean and Lead Tones
46Clean Guitar Tones
47Lead Tones
48Vocal Setup for Tracking
49Vocal Mic Selection and Setup
50Vocal Mic Shootout
51Lead Vocal Tracking
52Writing Harmonies
53Harmony Vocal Tracking
54Vocal Warm Ups
55Scream Vocal Tracking
56Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction
57Vocal Tuning and Editing
58Routing and Bussing
59Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels
60Setting Up Parallel Compression
61Setting Up Drum Triggers
62Gain Staging and Trim
63Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ
64Drum Mixing - Snare
65Drum Mixing - Kick
66Drum Mixing - Toms
67Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms
68Drum Mixing Recap
69Mixing Bass Guitar
70Mixing Rhythm Guitars
71Basic Vocal Mix
72Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars
73Mixing - Automation
74Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek