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Mixing Background Vocals + Slap Reverb Effect [Course Excerpt]

Transcript
…Other little backing vocal that came in here. That was really fun.

[background vocals]

So kind of the same thing that was going on with those jungle toms earlier. Did a little more aggressive processing on these to make them sound a little bit interesting.

[mix]

So I’ve got my same kind of processing. I’ve got some EQ boosting the high end, cutting the mids, keeping them sounding like backing vocals. That is not even the right buss. There we go. Cutting the low end. Here’s the fun part. Distortion, again, I love this thing. Let’s listen to what these are doing.

[background vocals]

So these backing vocals needed a lot of kind of fun stuff to make them have a point in this song. We were even on the fence of even doing this. It was like, “Eh, do we really even need that in there? Well, let’s try to make it sound cool to have a little moment.”

So first thing, filtered out any of that gross low end, but then this distortion…

[background vocals]

Really kind of thickens it up. A little bit of EQ, cutting out that low mid, the same one we did in the other one.

[background vocals]

Here’s the fun one. A little bit of flanger on there.

[background vocals with flanger]

Gives it that little bit of something that sets it apart from the rest of it.

[background vocals]

And then a nice long reverb.

[background vocals with reverb]

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And then, I actually put a compressor after the reverb to help that tail come out even more.

[background vocals with reverb]

Really fun. Let’s hear it in the mix.

[mix]

So definitely sounds more aggressive when it’s in solo, obviously, but it doesn’t matter how it sounds in solo, it matters how it sounds in the mix.

And it looks like I have one more fun thing going on here. What’s this? Slappy verb. Oh, I know what I’m doing here.

So this is coming in in the bridge. This bridge needed to sound a little more aggressive than the rest of the track. Kind of a fun way to do that is to put a really quick slap on something. It makes — it gives the impression of the singers lighting up the room. They sing a little bit louder, and all of the sudden, the sound is bouncing around.

So what I have here is my D-Verb set to ambient, which is really just the shortest reverb you can think of, but with like, a 35 millisecond pre-delay, so it sounds like a slap. I prefer using this over a straight delay slap, which sounds a little too kind of ’60s tape-y to me sometimes.

This is a little more diffused, it’s not going to be such an aggressive delay, but it gives that impression of being loud. So let’s see what that does.

[vocals]

So you can hear that really quick kind of slappy reverb sound. I love doing this to make something sound big. Reminds me of some of the stuff Nirvana used to do.

[vocals]

And again, just a simple EQ. Getting rid of some low end here. Let’s hear how it sounds in the mix.

[mix]

It’s a really, really subtle effect. You kind of never know it’s there, again, unless you mute it. But I love doing it. It just makes stuff sound more aggressive. Just a quick slap of reverb.

[mix]

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