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Recording Rock Vocals

Lesson 26 of 26

Mixing Screaming Vocals

Andrew Wade

Recording Rock Vocals

Andrew Wade

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Lesson Info

26. Mixing Screaming Vocals


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
3 Soundproofing Duration:24:20
4 DIY Acoustics Duration:12:34
5 Signal Chain and Microphones Duration:21:12
6 Preamps, Compression & EQ Duration:23:20
7 Working with a Vocalist Duration:36:53
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Editing Overview Duration:34:31
2 Fades and Basics of Melodyne Duration:13:53
3 Editing Female Vocals Part 1 Duration:27:39
4 Editing Female Vocals Part 2 Duration:09:51
5 Editing Vocals with VocALign Duration:17:34
7 Editing Screaming Vocals Duration:28:18
8 Vocal Effects Part 1 Duration:33:20
9 Vocal Effects Part 2 Duration:32:18
10 Intro to Mixing Duration:18:07
11 Mixing Softer Vocals Part 1 Duration:32:42
12 Mixing Softer Vocals Part 2 Duration:14:21
13 Mixing Screaming Vocals Duration:32:11

Lesson Info

Mixing Screaming Vocals

So this is my favorite compressor first for heavy vocals because of how low look at this the attack is at one point seven milliseconds that super super fast uh and the ratio is like a limiter it's at a thousand I don't know if that's because of the stuff we were doing yeah yeah so I'm basically on the actual track it's limiting it and kind of clipping it to make it sound so I usually have the release pretty quick boss star the wise so it's really a chart is not compressing it a lot but what it is doing is really affecting it a lot so in the other song that so that's why saying the way to mix vocals is what are you trying to do with the song and the last song it's like I want it to be dynamic I wanted to breathe you know this one it's like he's tossing attorney beneath the waves he can't breathe you know I'm just kidding but so for these I do kind of want it like distorted and nasty and um this isn't really distortion, but it's kind of it does make that happen do you use a lot of ah par...

allel compression on vocals or is it mostly just like straight of what signal ah, I think it's like always just the straight up this like one this plug in doesn't have not to my knowledge a way that you can like blend like that um so yeah it's always just the compression I I actually haven't messed much with peril compression at all um I'm getting results that I'm really excited about with uh with this compressor especially with uh have your vocals so let's look at what we have here blood sauce start benet the wives must exact, um of the jobs so these vocals this's how I like to think of it every vocal has uh there is a breath penis and a presence and airiness toe every vocal and it's in there and you've got to find it and I like to find it and when I can actually finally bring it out that's when I feel happy so sometimes people will just throw a ton of e q on there to boost the airiness and then those s is obviously here's the di essere those esses are super loud so they kind of try to find a middle ground but uh I don't want to do that I wanted to be as as like not as brighton areas possible but pretty extremely brighton area just so so I can get get that stuff cutting through the mix easily thing so this is the compressor that's on the actual vocals and like what we're talking about the attack is about ten milliseconds toe let the beginning of those words really punched through whenever they get in there it's not being being compressed a lot but uh the ratio isn't very aggressive there someone three um and I usually have the really between like eighty and fifty or something like that justice I love travelling so my so uh we got the d s sir so we got the compressor on there on the original track we have the d s ir on the bus then the compressor with a little bit less by slower attack and not, uh not as aggressive ratio and here we have a cz you recall I was talking about how those compressors are mid rangy um I kind of had to bring this down a little bit because of how it made it sound turn it off you can really like here that kind of hunky nasal just turning that on like puts it in the mix too like the other one it's like popping out of the mix in a in a weird way and especially these heavier songs you've got a lot of bass and you've got a lot of like high end so one of you do have something that's really mid rangy it stands out and not so great way so this is only about four d b uh mid range being cut out and then on top of that I have the uh the high pass on the vocals at one thirty eight pretty high you know, we were talking about that with screaming so even on lows I would still cut out you don't lo screams I was still cut out the low end which sounds like the opposite of what you should do but if you just if you add that low end it's goingto just money everything up way so jeremy's voice uh as you can hear uh has a lot of presents to it I have this at point five six turned out like in the presence and that's that about three and a half kilohertz there so jeremy's voices naturally pretty clear and the microphone that we use is really clear it step pollux so sounds phenomenal I love that thing um and he's been tracking for years so he knows just you know how to get the right sound when he's tracking um so let's go to, um the chorus actually because these vocals sound pretty insane without anything on him uh any before moved to this questions that's like screaming and stuff this I feel like this is a big one for people when he goes. Any specifics there why don't we give people just a minute to type in their questions about specifically screaming just because unless you have won a few questions about compression but I'm not specifically about screaming well I'm sure we have some screaming there are a lot of questions right now obviously mix egg section okay you want to answer a few or save it off? Yeah sure. Uh I don't want to go too fast for people because uh as I'm doing these certain things I kind of want to just stay focused on like the screaming or whatever before I kind of moved on to all right well let's give people just a minute teo put in questions specifically about screaming in the chat room. Okay john's got a question especially in heavy music whether it's screaming or even just like a gritty aggressive vocal um you you you have a lot of mid range tones that air coming out of the guitar so I noticed that by scooping the mid range out of the vocal it actually seemed to make the guitar stand out a little bit more yeah, a cz well is there certain frequencies that you find commonly fight between guitars and vocals, guitars and vocals? I feel like if you have and like I said at the beginning of this like if you have ah good mix to start with and that's kind of where you should start not the vocal um the the vocal shouldn't have that hard of a time sitting in the mix if if you are kind of competing in the mid range area for vocals er it is that's really that's a good question but it's really k specific um it could be around I mean around one hurts is I think we're like a lot of guitar guitar clarity and vocals kind of hit at like one kilohertz yeah between like wanting to yeah, yeah, so that's the area where you might want to play with the vocals there play with the guitars there and see like maybe maybe can't get a great mix or whatever right away and, uh, you might need to do that first kind of play with those areas that's kind of where the vocals will fight with the guitars say between between like wanted to and then on on opposite into the spectrum, but similar if you were doing like an acoustic guitar with a clean vocal um I think you had mentioned yesterday just about if you have a really bright guitar, you're you might not want to get such a bright vocal or vice versa, so yeah reference there for me, I think it's cool to like if you have a bright vocal but like not as right of it on acoustic guitar because the guitar has a lot of obviously, like low end and body and mid range and all that stuff down there and then when you have a vocal that's really clear it just fills out the mix er really well, but I mean keep clarity in the guitar, but obviously keep that in mind so it's like all right, I don't want to just make this acoustic sound as clear as possible I mean, while the acoustic might sound cool as clear as possible by itself as soon as you put that vocal on top you might have some problems getting the presence and high end to shine through like you wanted to without doing something really weird so yeah alright, they're really coming in now about, uh, screaming so, uh question came in from c uh came is josh who wants to know? Where should I boost my cue and screaming? Uh, well, let's go to what I mean, this is all this is all case specific again, but I will maybe I can try to explain this better uh what what I'm looking for let's go back to this. This what I'm looking for is the presence and the vocals now this is just like a relative like kind of a rough graff, but this this is kind of where you'll find these certain things, so you're going to find your presence in your vocal and what I would encourage you to do as screaming is to turn it up in this range and kind of just move the frequency back and forth till you find where it's most boosting the presence in that person's voice in the mix, not by itself in the mix and whenever you find that just leave it there and then turn it down maybe all the way and then go up or something but uh that's how you confined the presence of the vocalist whether it's singing or screaming but this is kind of like where it's going to be that presence is what's going to kind of cut through the mix a little bit in the high end the air might not necessarily cut through it all sometimes like whenever I first started mixing um I would boost that the air up like way up and I thought that it sounded really awesome that I play the vocal in the mix and like it sounded money like how is that possible? You know I just put all this high end innit it's because that's not where that's not what cuts through that's not what makes the vocal sound bright even though it is like the highest of high ends that's not what makes a vocal sound bright so that's why this is a really important graff so um yeah that should answer that question it's you've got to find it yeah, but this is this is a graph that's gonna help you find it we all did a lot of hard work right yesterday on group vocals weii deserved to sound big boobs mixing group vocals I think it's pretty fun now it looks like we're all like pretty on beat here that sounds good guys good job want to seeyou cameron just play uh anyway so let's put uh just put some quick phase on there for now so this is what I like to do think of grew vocals like this what is the biggest sounding group ever a lot of people that's what the biggest group is I know that sounds silly but listen listen whatever you have an enormous group of people and let's let's pretend we had one hundred people in the room to record group vocals that would be two mikes you know, just so it would sound in stereo on hundred people so what we want to compress and effect is the raw sound of a hundred people so because of that reason I do not put any kind of compression or effects or anything on uh the individual tracks at all because you have to think of it as it's all one track it's all one group of people that is actually that large. So whenever you whenever you do something where you compress them all individually you're kind of taking away the cool uh, characteristics that these will have when they actually interact with each other under a single compressor so that's how you have to think of it and that's why I do what I do uh you couldn't you couldn't put ah the a box choir that we're talking about on these group vocals but I'm not going to that that would probably be the only thing that I would put on on these vocals so think about this also um let's say they were in a big room now this is going to help you think where should the reverb go the reverb should come from if this was a really big group in a really huge room where the river would be their automatically going into the compressor it would be on the microphones it would be really so you put the reverb first because you want the natural sound of the vocals to go through the river first yeah what now? That's ah hall which is weird the biggest what sounds bigger to me than a hall which is kind of weird for group vocals is actually a room a big room sounds bigger than a hall whenever you're doing group vocals yeah, I know well theo no okay and I have these um yeah, I have these pan left and right for some strange reason they don't sound on stereo what because of the speakers are to the side never mind. Okay it's in stereo um okay, so and you just want to mix this sense you got room medium large room if the largest room the longer the reverb them or jumbled your group vocals are going to sound and the less the river's gonna actually stand out in the mix you've got three tracks you have like one centered one left. One right, center left, right. Okay. Um I always like to do on odd number so I can have one center, so, like, five would you feel if you had fine or five? Yeah, just so one could be in the center. It's a little trick. I know. Well, um let's see? Just used theo. What? No way. That's. Why? Okay, home alone? This is panning kind of weird o that was bizarre. Okay, wait. Now they're rivers that sound more real than this. And I would highly recommend for this particular thing to maybe use a better reverb, like the other ones that I mentioned earlier. There's r ver there's true verb um, there's a bunch of convolution river bs on those would all probably be a better choice, but just for this, we're going to use the built in reverb now, just like a vocalist. Well, we're all vocalists obviously in that and we have there's a presence in there and I'm going to find it right now. So what you got to remember? Bring up the only queue will filter here. No, no, coco, so there you go now, that might be dangerous to mix by itself if you don't know what you're doing or why um because you could put the hall reverb on there and think well there's a ton of reverb on that that sounds good but we're using the smaller room reverb so we can turn it up louder and so it doesn't so it's not jumbled thes air really important things were you doing group vocals you want like a big room reverb compression nothing nothing super compressed nothing crazy and then this is my favorite thing I like putting a lot of presence in the group vocals er you can really hear all those individual voice is a little bit better all right? At least I pretend like I can um okay uh singing I mean, the thing is the same I mean this all these concepts if you're understanding this all these concepts are basically the same you want to find the presence in the vocal but that presence isn't going to sound right if you don't have your dsr on there which is making the s's sound really loud. Um so let's do I want to do this chorus because it's a like a big sounding chorus and I was like reverb in chile on I just wanna show you guys the settings for that so this whole chorus I'm just gonna leave these on here have this pro tools were pro tools comprende? So okay there's some backups in their way so we gotta comm pressure compressor on every channel and then one also on the bus um I went a little bit aggressive on this bus because this one particular song particularly on lee has these vocals tripled anytime these vocals happened there tripled and it's every single word and I kind of liked doing a tight compression on all of them to kind of make him sound a little bit unified sort of like the group vocal idea so that's why these air like this and then uh just a touch of reverb in delay uh I got my delay it about twenty seven percent their rivers at eighteen let's check out this okay, so I got a pretty pretty high high pass here one eighty six um and again these aren't really even numbers that that I like memorized or think about like I just dia women and that's what I like and uh that's why I encourage you guys to do dial in what sounds good for what you're doing the presence of these vocals are a little bit higher I kind of have a muffled voice like when I'm singing for whatever reason so this was that about five uh point two and uh we got about eight d b uh of that on these vocals so there they are waiting so do you have the vocal line on those three okay yeah like always vocal line addict um yeah three b vocals but you're basically doubling that main line are they all panned centered or a couple of slightly off no these are all the way this is set up thought of the way I thought this was one vocal but the lyrics weren't really written where you khun singh from one to the next in a few parts so they overlap oh yeah I didn't mean that that section I just meant you you've got the main vocal in train local left and right and then because of these vocals uh because of the style of these vocals I have them all at the same volume and I'm kind of thing so it's ah centre left and right and then they're all the same volume so these air almost kind of being treated like the group vocals were okay are the left right subtle though are they hard hard, hard, hard and okay yeah yeah so you basically have like a wall of people singing this yeah field and then I also have um the backups there to theo just kind of cleaner vocals just so you could actually just hear the pitch is a little bit I have just when I should wear it's great thank you. Thank you. Um I assume so uh oh oh I really want to do really quick just because we were all involved let's go to the other group vocal part and fix that ah listen to you guys all right this won't take long at all but hey since we did it let's make it sound good right so first thing we want here is uh reverb which isn't a difference glue in a room well it's um compression and andrew's been coming through the chat room's a little bit while you're doing this demo I wonder if you can show us kind of a b of I pre imposed processing a lot of people have been asking robbie and specific we got your back bro yeah yeah I can uh what am I doing oh yeah uh compression now on vocals whenever people are singing and they're like holding out notes and stuff you want to make sure that your release is longer otherwise you'll get this really fast fluttery sound and it's specifically when it's group vocals or acquire if you have to do choir strings it's actually the same thing on strings if you're gonna do compression you want the release to be longer otherwise you get weird uh fluttering sound ah ah who and on singing uh grew vocals I really like to put uh delay so normally I would cut out you know those spots in between ah okay so you just heard that process and I'll just do it on processes that with their perfect thank you so much now this song has basically gotten the treatment that you know the last song had so that's what all this stuff on it well may as well take this off here too yeah yeah so it sounds a little bit sad ah, a lot of things there that you can't hear that you did and uh they just it all just disappears so yeah whenever you have all the right effects um did you guys get questions answer did you guys learn what you needed to learn from this really hope so yeah there is a lot there's a faster way but all right uh yeah well what we got here ah let's talk about the key takeaways of this class how's that sound um vocals matter guys literally only takes a vocal to make a number one single way I heard all those are remembered about all those other songs I just had the same chord progression what sets him apart that's the vocal a lot of people think they have pop music figured out because they understand the chord progression that's not what it is it is the vocal if you can write a vocal like that hey let's work together until then I don't want to hear about it all right? Anyway vocal recording is just as much mental as production know how uh you're working with people you're going to be getting clients hopefully coming back but you know maybe not if if you don't if you're not treated, treat him right and uh give them what they need, and they might not give you what you need in your in your sessions. Whenever you're trying to mix, these things make him sound as good as possible. Um, we went over gear plug ins, uh, mixing etcetera all just ways to execute your vision. That's really important. So that kind of makes you want to reiterate the settings thing. I mean, I know that you can watch this and kind of take away the compression settings and the settings, but that might not guarantee that your thing is going to sound right. As you noticed every single one of those songs, the settings were completely different. I mean, they were generally the same. That's. Why I made that little chart for you, it's. Just kind of just something easy, tio to check, you know, get it, get it in this range and then then find the presence of the vocal. Follow these steps in this course and you'll be on your way to creating better sounding successful songs.

Class Description

Every great rock song starts with a stellar vocal. Get ready to learn the fundamentals of recording rock vocals from Andrew Wade, who’s worked with A Day to Remember, Motionless in White, and dozens more.

Andrew will cover everything you need to know about recording, editing, and mixing vocals for modern rock songs. You’ll learn about mic selection and positioning, key mixing techniques, and the secrets of time and pitch correction. You’ll also learn about how to work with each individual artist to get the sound they want.

By the end of this course, you’ll be fully equipped to work with a variety of male or female vocalists to get the results you need, from screaming to cleans and everything in between.



This is a superb course, was full of great informations and it has inspired me a lot. Learned alot of things, thanks to Andrew for this great presentation and sharing his knowledge and experience with us, also thanks to the people in the audience for bringing up good question and to the creative live team for making this happen. I really hope Andrew will come back to Creative Live someday, perhaps with a full course especially about working out and creating vocal harmonies :-)

a Creativelive Student

Absolutely essential information in this course. Very in depth. Even if you went and interned at a studio with a reputable producer, it would probably take months to absorb all the information so cohesively laid out in the course. I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking to properly record their own vocals, or for anyone looking to record other bands (whether in a bedroom, or a million dollar studio). Loved watching, learned a TON (learned a lot of great pro tools shortcuts as well). Well worth the money. Thanks for doing it Mr. Wade.