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How to Create Lead Vocal Ambience with Reverb and Delay

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Creating Lead Vocal Ambience with Reverb & Delay in a Mix [Excerpt]
Creating Lead Vocal Ambience with Reverb & Delay in a Mix [Excerpt] - youtube Video

Cool. Okay, so let’s start — we could go two directions from here. We could either build an ambience around the vocal, and maybe really bring the vocals home, we could firm up the low end a little bit more, or we could just start getting the other elements in.

I kind of want to do the vocals.

So let’s create some auxes and I’ll get these color coordinated here. So this is going to be tight plate, and this is going to be dynamic delay. Cool. Assign some busses. I’ll do this as our tight plate, and then this will be our dynamic delay.

So what I want to do is I want to have a bit of a tighter ambience around the vocal to just make it feel a little bit depthier and give it a little bit of polish, and I also want to have a delay that’s coming off of the vocal lines, and I want to have it be like maybe sort of an interesting delay, like some kind of a modulated delay.

So let’s… Yeah, let’s start with the tight plate.

[mix, heavy reverb on vocals]

Okay, cool. So I’m going to take the timing of the bass and mids down.

[mix, adjusting reverb lengths]

And raise up the predelay here.

[mix, adjusting reverb predelay]

There we go. And now we are going to just make less of it.

[mix, adjusting reverb amount on vocals]

Cool. Alright, so for this one, I’m going to use the AIR Dynamic Delay. Set it to quarter notes. Put that there.

[mix adjusting delay settings]

There’s actually a nice preset that makes life a lot easier. It says “Only While Silent.”



It would be good to get the tempo as well.

[mix, setting tempo for delay]

So, it’s kicking in a little too early, so I’m going to slow it down a bit.


Cool. Now I’m going to put a chorusing effect on there. Something to kind of flange it out. This is a good one.


Let’s do a little EQ here. Let’s take out a lot of the low end.


Turn it down. Throw the delay to the reverb.


Maybe roll off a little bit of the top end too.


Cool. Alright, let’s try and get this vocal to feel a little bit more consistent. So what I’m going to do here is I’m going to duplicate the lead vocal track…



Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is the recordist and mixer for multi-platinum artist Akon, and boasts a Grammy nomination for Jazz & Spellemann Award for Best Rock album. Matthew has mixed for a host of star musicians including Akon, SisQo, Ozuna, Sonny Digital, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal, Arrested Development and 9th Wonder. Get in touch:

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