Pro Audio Files

Mixing Vocals with Waves CLA Signature Vocal Plugin

Hey, what’s up people? I’ve got another video for you today.

Someone wrote in and had some questions about my vocal chain when I mix. What am I using, how do I have it routed, and whatnot, so I’m going to show you that today.

It all kind of goes into this CLA Signature vocal plug-in, which is super awesome. Let’s break it down.

Right here, you’ve got three vocal tracks. This is like a small kind of chill arrangement.

First of all, when I track them, no EQ, no compression going in, and it’s — I think I use a high pass filter on a UA mic preamp and like, a $700 tube mic pre. Or, a tube mic.

We’ve got the main vocal line, we’ve got a harmony track below it, and then I did some track jumping over here in the bridge.

I’ll EQ on the actual track the audio is on, and on this one, I happen to use this V four band EQ. I did some high passing, cut some 470 out, boosted a little 2.2kHz, and added some air at 10kHz.

Then out of that, we bussed to our vocal buss, which you’ll see right here. On that, we feed into this Chris Lord-Alge little magic box he has here for vocals.

I’m going to play it so you can hear it, and then we’ll talk about it.


Sounds pretty good for — it’s quick. It comes with a lot of great presets. Basically, this thing, if you go — I mean, we’ve got input signal going in, we’ve got signal coming out, right? Like we do on most plug-ins.

Then he gives you a bunch of options on these faders. You’ve got bass, treble, compression, and you have reverb, delay, and then this little pitch fader, which I don’t do much with. It — a lot of it just kind of affects the stereo, like if you want more width out of it or whatever, but I’ll usually get that in tracking or other ways.

I pretty much always bypass the EQ section. That’s not to say the EQ section sucks. I just like a little more control over what I’m EQing, and this doesn’t really give you that.

The compression fader, you’ve got three different types of compression. Push, which is like, I think probably two to one, and then you know, five to one or six to one, and then probably like, twelve to one or twenty to one for wall. Then you dump the fader up the more you want. Let’s listen to that.




So that’s that. Next one over we have reverb. I have it on a sort of a smaller room, the tight setting with the fader pulled down.

[vocals with tight room]

More of it.

Here’s what the large setting sounds like.

[vocals with large verb]

Here’s what the chamber sounds like.

[vocals with chamber verb]

Put it back on tight. Then you have your delay. Right now, it’s — I’ve got a slap on it, obviously.

[vocals with slap delay]

Right. Go to eighth note delay.

[vocals with eighth delay]

That’s what that sounds like.

We go to quarter note.

[vocals with quarter delay]

And I’m pretty sure it automatically syncs with the bpm of the tune. Whatever you have that set to in your DAW. Put this back on slap.

I’ll let you know what the — we can go over to the pitch fader here too. Let’s see what this does to it. So we’re on wide right now.

[vocals, adjusting pitch fader]

Almost like a chorus-y kind of sound.

[vocals, adjusting pitch fader]



It’s like you get a little more width out of things if you choose to use it.

I mean, it sounds good and it’s easy, and you don’t have to spend tons of time routing to a reverb and a delay and setting that up, and — which I like, because I like just getting things down. I want to work quick and I want to get ideas down so I — I don’t want to spend a lot of time focusing on gear, I want to spend a lot of time focusing on the tune and the music, so.

This is one of those tools to help me out. He makes a lot of different plug-ins in this series. This is probably his golden child out of the whole collection in my opinion.

The guitar one sounds pretty good too, and then he has an effects sort of collection as well with some cool telephone drivers and delay throws that are really easy to do that otherwise you’d have to route a bunch of stuff, and with these, you can just kind of throw a fader up and all of that stuff.

You can automate these things, so if you want to pull delay out, you can do all of your automation menus and write that in.

Anyways, check it out, demo it. I think it’s cool and I think this thing is a la carte now, I don’t think you have to buy all of them, but this one is the must have, I think.

So anyways, check it out for yourself. Like the video, subscribe, share it, add me on Twitter and I’ve got some new stuff coming down — coming down the pipe with — I’m going to do some complete session breakdowns, I think. We’ll walk through everything and exactly how I have it routed, what plug-ins I use, what EQ and compression settings, and I’m probably going to have those with a session file you can download as well with all the audio.

So just for Pro Tools, that’s all I use, so either way, you’ll be able to download it, and you should be able to pull the stems out I would think and dump it into Cubase or whatever you’re using.

But that’s it. I’ll see you next time. Thanks.



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.

Free Video on Mixing Low End

Download a FREE 40-minute tutorial from Matthew Weiss on mixing low end.

Powered by ConvertKit
/> /> /> /> /> /> /> /> /> />