Three Ways to Mix One Rap Vocal (ft. Gift of Gab)

Transcript:

Hey guys, Matthew Weiss, www.weiss-sound.com, www.theproaudiofiles.com. We’re going to do something a little different today. We are going to have an interactive tutorial, which is kind of cool. I am going to be talking about stylizing a voice. So, what I have here is the same vocal processed three different ways with three different approaches in mind and I’m going to show you those vocals and allow you to hear them and explain to you what I was doing. Then after the tutorial if you leave a comment based on what you would like your own vocals to sound like, or if you’re working on a current project and you sort of have a idea what you want those vocals to sound like, write that in the comment. “Oh, I want these vocals to be super wide, oh I want these vocals to be kind of grungy.” Whatever it is, and I’ll leave a couple of tips as a reply to help you get there. Alright, let’s check it out. This first vocal process I decided that I would do something, this is modern hip-hop 2013.

[Music]

Characterized by a very open sound, very clear, very defined, everything is very focused, the dynamics are very controlled but they are also opened enough to breath. It’s a good sound. Now, the actual record really reminds me of a late 90’s under ground sound. So, I thought wouldn’t it be cool to do that approach? Meaning, I would do something that would have a denser mid range. Something that would have more of that analog sound, perhaps a rounder compression curve. Let’s check that out.

[Music]

I think that sounds pretty awesome, I think it fits the context of the track there is also something about focusing on that mid range that allows me to attach to the groove of his delivery really well. I like that, I probably stick with that for this record.

Now, I kind of think this is a raw production, not the most polished thing. It’s five tracks of audio, this is just some straight rap stuff. So maybe it would be cool to do a characterized type of sound, something with a little bit of grit and distortion in it. So let’s check that out.

[Music]

I think for this record, it’s not as compelling as the first two ways of approaching it. However, there is some cool stuff to it, it’s got a nice texture to it. It doesn’t sound bad, the dynamics are a little bit choked off, but that could be worked with and alleviated with a little bit of mixing. Probably wouldn’t go with it for this record, but for a different record, I very well might. And that’s the whole point, having context. Context is what makes things good, does this work for the rapper, does this work for the song? If so, can you make those work together? That’s what it really comes down to.

Leave those comments in the comment boxes under this YouTube tutorial and I will reply. If you say “I want my vocals to sound like old West, coast I can give you a couple of tips.” If you want your vocals to sound really wide across the stereo spectrum, I can give you some tips. If you want a lot of polish to the sound. Whatever it is that you want the vocals that your working on, whether their your own or someone else, I can give you a couple of pointers to get you there.

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is a Grammy nominated and Spellemann Award winning audio engineer from Philadelphia. Matthew has mixed songs for Snoop, Sonny Digital, Gorilla Zoe, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal, Arrested Development, 9th Wonder, !llmind & more. Get in touch: Weiss-Sound.com.
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