Essential Keys to Mixing Vocals
Sound mixing is both a precise and complicated process that often goes over looked. It is more than just making volume adjustments; it is the polishing of a song’s vocal portion(s). Sound mixing is the process of taking all of the elements of a track (i.e. bass, drums, etc.) and adjusting them so that they are each at their proper quality and position in the song. Naturally, Mixing vocals is the process of adjusting the audio from the singers/rappers to the ideal condition. The mixer adjusts the aspects of the recorded vocals in order to make sure it is both in its proper quality and position in stereo. This can include anything from erasing sound blemishes to changing the volume to its proper position. Mixing is a complex process with many hidden tips and tricks. To help you get an edge over your vocal mix, here are a few essential keys for mixing vocals.
It is easy to get caught up in the natural feel of a mix that we forget that we have to establish the structure of the tracks before anything else. We have to first organize the tracks. To get the most accurate sounds, you have to the speakers and headphones that are properly accustomed to your mixing station. Make sure each vocal track is placed in an identifiable bin and name. If there were any bad tracks be sure to separate them but not delete them. You never know where you’ll find a unique sound for your track that the singer did not expect.
Foundations of Creative Flow
Once we have the structure of the song ready, now is the time to step back and actually judge it artistically. We balance the song as we judge the proper levels. One way to start the balance is though having an instrumental as a background reference. Even though this does not have to be the final beat, it is a good idea to have some kind of foundation for the balance between your singer and instrumentals. From there just be sure to make sure that your reverb, compression, and equalizing is on balance with how you aesthetically want to hear it. Sometimes we can get so into it that we have to take a break and come back to the mix later in order to hear the whole mix with fresh ears.