You’re nearing the finish line on your latest mix.
The drums are massive. The guitars have balls. And that spot delay you spent three days crafting actually sounds pretty cool.
But then…it hits you.
Could the vocal be too quiet?
You check a few references.
Maybe a dB louder…
You inch the fader up.
Eh…now it’s too loud, right?
You push it back down.
Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.
Ever wonder why top-tier mixers print “vocal up” and “vocal down” versions?
It’s to hedge their bets.
(Because sometimes, even they don’t get it right. Sssh…)
I used to struggle with finding the perfect vocal balance too.
Until my friend Bob Power taught me this vocal mixing tip.
It’s so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it earlier…
How To Find The Perfect Vocal Balance—Every Time!
First, turn your speakers down really quiet.
Like, so quiet that the sound of your fingers hitting the keyboard is distracting.
Listen to the vocal.
It should be a bit too loud. It should stick out. You should want to turn it down. Just a little.
Then, turn the speakers up loud. Like, so loud they hurt.
The vocal should sink into the track. Now, it should be a bit too quiet. You should feel like it’s getting lost. Like you want to push the fader up. But just a little.
In short—the perfect vocal balance will sound a bit too loud at low volumes, and a bit too quiet at high volumes.
It’s that easy. Try it!
Do you have a favorite vocal mixing tip? If so, share it with the world by leaving a comment below!