Mixing Vocals! – Pop Music

Hey, what’s up guys? I’ve got another tutorial for you.

A little mixing trick on some vocals. I’ve got a Pop track and I’m going to show you how to sort of blend in some distorted, phasey magic to kind of separate your chorus from your verse a little vocally.

I’m going to play this for you and then we’ll get into what I did.

[mix]

Alright. That’s our chorus. This is the second chorus, it goes into the bridge. There’s a couple of things you can do. This is a pop track, so it’s super synthy. We also have organic stuff like the human voice and some drum stuff going on up there.

This is what I did as far as stacks and doubles and all of that stuff went. So we have our main vocal track here.

[vocals]

Then down here, this darker purple track is the double.

[vocals]

Then that’s EQ’d like that. Take a screenshot.

Then when the chorus develops, we go to a harmony.

[vocals with harmony]

And then we also have this kind of pad harmony that we did at the beginning.

[vocals with pad]

That’s three voices. Two doubles, hard panned left and right, and then one lower harmony down the center, if you’re curious.

But then we did a really cool thing with this larger track I have. Take a listen to that when we add that in.

[vocals]

Here’s without it.

[vocals]

Let’s turn those backgrounds off.

So essentially, we just compressed, distorted, added a little movement, and did a little EQ on it. I’m going to solo it.

[distorted, phasey vocals]

You really only blend that — you blend it behind stuff to taste.

[distorted, phasey vocals]

Like, you really just want to feel it more than hear it, you know?

[distorted, phasey vocals]

Alright, so let’s get into what we actually did on this track to get it to sound all messed up and wobbly.

First things first, compressor.

[compressed vocals]

So all the way fast on the attack, all the way right. About medium-ish on the release, twelve to one ratio.

[compressed vocals]

That’s with it, here’s without.

[uncompressed vocals]

Then we go to our trusty Decapitator from the good fellows over at SoundToys.

[distorted vocals]

This isn’t a preset or anything, it was just me kind of messing with it until — again, it gets kind of subjective at this point. Play with the dry knob, the mix is all the way wet, the output is on auto.

The low and hi-cut are really important here.

[distorted vocals]

So I’m rolling off significantly. I’m also cutting. Then play with the style down here. You can get different tones.

[distorted vocals, changing setting]

I went with the N.

Alright, so that’s our Decapitator. Now let’s go to our Phase Mistress, which is right here.

[phased vocals]

Adding some movement. Again, it’s not really a preset, it was just me kind of playing with some stuff. You can grab a screenshot of this, it’s a sine shape, rate is down the center.

[phased vocals]

That kind of adds some low end back in, so I went back and just really high passed the crap out of it with this EQ.

[EQ’d vocals]

Here’s without it.

Here’s with it.

[EQ’d vocals]

Because we don’t want it to fight with this main track.

[vocals]

And the fader is pulled down quite a bit.

Then this track is all — these are all bussed to another vocal buss.

This is what it sounds like with the harmony in with it.

[vocals with harmonies]

So yeah. That’s it. This is it in the track.

[mix]

Here’s without the distorted vocal on the track.

[mix, no distorted, phased vocal]

Here’s with it.

[mix]

And that’s it. It’s one way to do it.

If you guys have a different way, by all means, let me know. Post up a comment video response. Tweet me.

You don’t have to use the Decapitator, you can use any sort of distortion plug-in, or even a virtual stomp box or something would work. You can use any kind of bit-crushing — anything that’s just going to distort it to hell, and then any kind of — you could maybe even play with a tremolo or something on it. I don’t know, get creative.

[mix]

But the trick is to just feel it and kind of give your chorus a little more edge, a little more movement, a little more excitement in the vocal.

But yeah. Check it out, I hope you guys like this. Subscribe if you haven’t subscribed, get at me on Twitter, go visit the website, and I’ll see you guys next time.

Mixnotes

Mixnotes

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.
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