Mixing Pop Vocals with UAD AMS Reverb, Helios EQ, FabFilter Pro-Q 2

Hey, what’s up guys? Welcome to a new video. It’s been a little while.

I’m going to do — this is a mixing video, it’s not a plug-in video. I’m going to talk about mixing vocals. A couple of announcements first, we just started a new sample company. Woodshed Audio. Check it out here: woodshedaudio.co.

I’m not going to go too in depth about it. First pack is a shaker/tambourine one. It’s a bunch of really awesome, natural sounding shakers and tambourines. Like, over a thousand loops and one shots. Click on the sounds tab here and you can check them out.

I’ve got a legit video on that coming out soon after it.

But just wanted to throw that out there. If it’s something you’re looking for, check that out. You’ll probably dig it.

But anyways, here’s the track. I’ve got a vocal here. It’s a pop tune as always, and I’m just going to break down the entire vocal chain, and I’ve got a couple of cool things I haven’t really talked about, so we’ll get into that, but here’s the first verse into the chorus. Here we go.


Alright, cool. So female vocal. I’m going to break down the chorus.

So this is what it sounds like by itself with all of the effects on it.


Alright. So with all of the magic turned off… I’ll bypass all of this.


Right. That’s the raw vocal coming in. It’s not super inspiring. Pro-Q2. Dipping out some 282 and some 780.

[vocals with Pro-Q]

A little better. Then we use a Maag EQ, and on this, we’re just using 10k on the air band.

[vocals with Maag EQ]

Just adding some air. I’m going to go through this kind of fast. So you can screenshot these settings or whatever if you’re into it.

1176 Rev A, Bluestripe because it’s a little brighter.

[vocals with 1176]

And it’s pretty much set to destroy.

[vocals with 1176]

Alright. Then we compress more with R Vox.

[vocals with R Vox]

Which kind of has a thing it does. I’m also doing a little gain staging. I’m pulling the gain down here.


And then we de-ess. Pro-DS. Gotta tame the top end, because now it’s really harsh.

[vocals with Pro-DS]

Just bringing them down around 8 dB.

Then I used this Helios EQ. I used the Mid band and TR Trough mode. I put it on 3-5kHz and I’m pulling out around 2, whatever 2 is.

[vocals with Helios]

Which is just sort of like, smoothing out a lot of that harshness we brought in.

Then we’re going to use an Oxford Suppressor. I’m going to tame the low end a little bit. This is kind of like sand paper.

[vocals with Suppressor]

It’s really just refining things. It’s taking all the way out, then you just adjust the wet/dry mix here in the bottom right. 16%.


Right. Then we do another instance of it for the mid-range.

[vocals with second instance of Suppressor]

Right. And then I use Metaflanger on pop stuff. The mix is at 2. You can check the settings out. This is super subtle.

[vocals with Metaflanger]

Pretty cool thing. Then we’ve got some plate verb, which is this AMS. If you haven’t checked this out, you gotta check this one out. This is my preset.

[vocals with plate reverb]

And the reverb is also filtered a bit.


Right? Then there’s some eighth note delay, which is just EchoBoy.

[vocals with EchoBoy]

Which is also filtered. Then it’s also sent to a plate. The same plate the vocal went to that I showed you.

[vocals with delay sent to plate reverb]

Then I send everything to a spread aux, which a lot of people have asked me about. I’m going to show you what that is. Sometimes I EQ going into it, but I didn’t this time. This is also sent to the — well, there’s not a lot to it.

I’ll show you what it sounds like when you send this to the plate too though.


Adds a little width.


Just brings some cool body to it. It’s basically a Waves doubler, essentially. It’s free and it comes with Pro Tools. Play with the threshold. Minus 6 on the right, and it’s basically four cents up on the left, four cents down on the right.

[vocals with spread]

Feedback is at 0%.


Sounds like this in the track.


Then what you can sometimes do, which I’ve been doing lately, I’ll run the EQ after it.

[vocals, EQ after spread]

Just kind of roll out some lows. Then send it to some verb.


Sometimes, I’ll send it to an eighth note delay as well.

[vocals, eighth note delay]

Then a multi-band on the vox buss.

[mix with multi-band on vocals]

And that’s it, guys. That’s the lead vocal chain on this track. I hope you picked something up. I know it went pretty fast, but screenshot some settings, try them out. These settings don’t work.

If you think you’re going to be able to plug these in as preset things, it’s not going to happen for you, but the principles are the same, and use your ears and fish around and find the bad frequencies and pull them out.

But yeah, that’s all I have. Check out the website, check out the samples. We’re really proud of them. I hope you guys dig them. That’s the website, again.

Check out more videos, subscribe if you haven’t already. I’ve been slacking on content, but we’re going to do a bunch more. I’ll see you guys in the next video.




Mixnotes is a YouTube channel with tutorials on mixing, recording, business, plugins and more. We've partnered with them to feature some of their videos on The Pro Audio Files.
Smiley face