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How to Create Evocative Vocal Delay Throws

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How to Create Evocative Vocal Delay Throws in a Mix
How to Create Evocative Vocal Delay Throws in a Mix - youtube Video
Hey folks, Matthew Weiss here., I’m working on a record and I just want to show you a cool little trick that I’m doing here, something that maybe you can use as cannon fodder for your own mix. It’s a little thing you can do with a delay. I’m gonna give you this audio playback right here, check it out…

[vocals + music dry with no delay]

So, it sounds good. It’s maybe a little bit on the bland side at the moment, it could use a bit of something giving it a little movement and energy. So I’m gonna create your basic standard slapback delay. And all this is is a 100ms delay, it’s got a little bit of built in stereo separation, that’s just what this plugin defaults into. And now let’s hear it without any automation on here.

[vocals with slapback delay]

So it’s pretty basic, it just gives it a little extra glow, a little extra movement to it. Nothing special about that really. But now I’m going to turn on the automation.

So what I’m gonna do is on some of these moments where she says falling down and there’s another moment later on, I’m actually going to automate the feedback of the snapback delay which is this guy right here to crank on up.

[vocals + music with slapback delay + feedback automation]

So it creates a cool little effect and I do it again in a milder way over here.

[vocals + slapback delay + automated feedback]


So when she is sort of doing those moments where she’s letting go of the pitch, what I’m doing is allowing the space to fill up and sort of give that feeling of distance and — almost despair — I don’t know if that’s too flowery or not, but you know, whatever.

Anyway, now we’re going to perfect this little thing that we’re doing here. And I’m gonna create and audio track, one time effect busses, and I’m going to mute this past audio, so what’s going to happen is just this lyric right here [vocals with effect] — I’m gonna get that trail and I’m gonna print that onto it’s own audio track.

[vocal + slapback delay + feedback automated]

And one more time I’m just gonna do that for the other two spots where I’m doing this automation.

[female vocal + slapback delay + automation]

So now I have it happening in the three spots where it needs to happen and what I’m gonna do then is turn off this automation so now it’s just flat the whole way through but because I have it printed here I still have the effect where it occurs and I’m just gonna, you know, give it a little trim here, and little trim here. Just so that it’s not catching unwanted moments. And I’m going to add a little gain to this one. So now, what we’ll have it just the effects isolated.

[vocal + slapback delay + feedback effect]

The point of that is so when it goes “now you’re on your ownnnn,” the echo on own is trailing off, but it’s not catching the next word in the delay send, if that makes sense. Because if I didn’t do it this way it would go [music] — “you’re falling” would also have that enhanced feedback effect going as well. SO that’s the reason to print it onto it’s own track. The other reason is I might want to — in some way shape, or form — affect it like at this one at the end, I turned it up by about 5 decibels. [music]

It just makes it easier to control and I might want to do some kind of moving filter, or put reverb on just those one time moments, but the fact is this is a way to create a moment where otherwise it would’ve just been a little bit bland and stagnant. Alright, hope you guys learned something, take care.


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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