Posted in : Forum : Mixing , Mastering And Production Techniques
Youve created a track but how do you give it that polished edge ? Discuss the art of mixing and mastering and swap production techniques.
Just wonder what is your creative process when recording music? Since now, I've always record vocals within my beat file with all the drums, melody, and mixing all done. However, I've seen people who have exported their beat into a wav and then recorded their vocals on top of the wav file. What is your process when recording vocals and which is the best way?
You should always treat the voice as another instrument and mix/master that way. What if, when the vocal is added it makes another instrument sound too prominent or not prominent enough in the mix for example? You will need to do another instrumental backing track and do it again.
And what if the vocal consists of multiple layers? What if some of those get buried in the mix or are too prominent? Again, you'll have to re-do the instrumental track.
I think some people do it this way just to make the vocal be on top of everything else.
Some reasons could depend on your level of experience, commitment to make the best sounding track, time, or if it is a release to a commercial or professional entity.
Now, speaking for myself, and just for myself, I prefer to export every time. When you receive an acapella or vocal sample you should never expect it to be plug and play ready. One of the many reason why I export to wav is so that I may need to trim the beginning and also trim the end of vocal and to also attenuate the parts that have vocal silence. Next I must control or reduce the natural ambient room feedback, the hum, the noises, the background noises, the mic noises, the poor mic pick up issues, dirt, pops and ticks. Do you need a De-Esser to control the sibilance? These are things many experienced vocal engineers do consider.
The vocal should be analyzed for the proper gain adjustments such as for vocal spikes and sharp drop offs by the recording vocalist. The vocal stem should be checked for breaths and ways to possibly reduce or remove them. Pitch correction, vocal compression, EQ, and over all tonal balance. The other reason why I prefer to export is because working and editing a vocal in let's say Sound Forge or Audacity is much easier on my system's resources rather than having a full DAW's project loaded and while working on the vocals in your DAW.
You may also need to check and verify if the vocal has been properly beat mapped. You might need to setup the initial downbeat marker for the vocal. If none of that matters to you then drop it directly into your DAW and keep moving and grooving. These are some basic reasons but I expect others will chime in to offer a more expand view and more in-depth reasons.
The only reason I export the instrumental as a wav, for recording vocals in a separate project, is if my computer can not properly play back the instrumental project.
Sometimes this happens with a nearly finished project, due to CPU or ram limitations. I will open the instrumental wav in a new project, and record my vocals in there.
If you are sure of your sound design, then it can be helpful to bounce/render all of the instruments to separate wav stems. Then the vocals can be incorporated with those, and the mixing can be completed with less load on the computer.
I am really not good in mixing at all and i do most tracks with vocals. But i always try to work with every vocal line as a wav. And i try to manage it so the way that i have for each vocal line a dry, a pre wet and a wet wav. So i can work with the complet track when it comes to mixing and mastering. Often i fail and mix some vocal lines to one new and then later i have problems to work with the vocals really the way i would like to do :) ….. so i would say make at least one wav in super dry. Then you can make changes and stuff later when you see that it would be cool in a different way.
its up too you but once you have a vocal track you can cut nd edit it in difernt spots you can duplicate it layer those cuts as many times change pitches add fx ect
I always treat vocals like another instrument and record them as a separate track or multiple tracks depending on what I am doing with the vocals right in the DAW. This gives me a better shot at getting them to sit in the mix. If you have all your instruments and beat rendered to a single wav you can't go in and adjust different things in each tack. Being able to EQ each track is a big help at getting a vocal to sit right. jmo
i agree with as other spoke on it treat vocals as a another instrument ,but i also keep in mind the vocal is the main instrument so i adjust the levels with my vocals until it is just right with the snare and i eq alittle of beat to make room for vocals if it is a loud beat but basically it all by ear at the end of the day i start with the vocal next to snare and play by ear after that
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