Hey, this is Jason Moss from BehindTheSpeakers.com. Today, I want to share a simple idea with you that I think is gonna make your vocals sound a whole lot better.
Now, a lot of people don’t realize how important how you start a mix is. What are the tracks you bring in first? What are those initial moves that you make in the mixing process? Because, often times, those moves really determine how your tracks actually end up sounding at the end of the day.
Whatever you bring in first, there’s no competition with it. If you pull that fader up right at the beginning of the mix and that’s the first track in your mix, there’s nothing else competing for space. As you keep going down the line and pull up more faders and keep going, more and more space is being taken up by the tracks that you’ve brought in earlier. What you end up doing a lot of the time is trying to shave down those tracks that you add later on to try to make them fit in with the rest of your mix.
So in general, what ends up happening is the tracks you add later on in the mix end up sounding smaller. You’re trying to make them fit into this soundstage that you’ve already somewhat crafted. The tracks that you bring in at the beginning end up sounding the largest and big and three-dimensional, because when you brought them in, there wasn’t any other competition, so you really didn’t have to filter them down and EQ them and compress them and really do a lot to make them sound good. But later on, when you start adding more and more tracks, that’s when you start having to do a lot more to those tracks, and so, they end up sounding smaller as a result.
So, bringing this back to vocals, what ends up happening a lot of the time is people will spend the majority of their mix working on the instrumental. And then, right at the end of the line, they’ll pull the vocal fader up, and they’ll really try to make it fit in with this mix that’s pretty much already crafted.
A lot of the time, there’s no space left for the vocal. You have to filter the vocal down and compress it really heavily and make it super bright and aggressive so that it cuts through all of the stuff that you’ve already crafted in this mix. And so, what ends up happening is the vocal sounds really small and kind of one-dimensional. You don’t have any room for it, right? The entire mix has kind of already been built.
So, instead of bringing in the vocal right at the end of the line, I find that if you bring it in as early on as possible in the process, everything you add later on ends up being kind of fit around that vocal, because it’s already there. You end up with a vocal that sounds much bigger and larger in the mix, because everything else is fit around it, versus trying to fit the vocal into everything else that you’ve already created.
So, if you’re struggling to achieve a vocal that sounds kind of big and three-dimensional, try bringing it in much earlier in the mixing process. Try starting with the vocal, or get it in in the first hour. You’ll find that by doing this, the vocal is naturally gonna sound bigger. And I know it sounds so simple, but the truth is, sometimes those things, those simple things that we overlook make the biggest impact.
So, I hope you found that helpful. If you’re looking for more mixing tips when it comes to vocals, I also put together a free guide to vocal compression. So, if you’re struggling with vocal compression, this guide is gonna help demystify that process, so you can approach vocal compression with clarity and confidence in your next mix. Click the link in the description below or in the video, and you’ll get free instant access.
Anyways, thanks so much for watching. You can check out more mixing tips at BehindTheSpeakers.com. Thanks so much.
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