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mixing vocals in pop music

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?

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creaze
KVRist
 
131 posts since 17 Nov, 2006, from Moscow

Postby creaze; Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:29 am mixing vocals in pop music

Hi everyone!

A simple question, that somehow never came up in my experience before and is not often mentioned in mixing tutorials.

When mixing in the studio, do you happen to make different parts and channels for one instrument? For verse and chorus? Or all channel settings have to be universal for the whole song?

Here is why i ask.

I got here a usual pop song, a Roxette-like ballad, with one solo voice and no backing voices. Both the music and the voice get more powerful in the chorus, but the voice intensifies more. It gets higher, brighter and several times louder in peak levels.

Now, i have been brought up in the belief, you should devote one channel for one instrument -- and set that channel so that it sounds perfect all along the part. Now in this song i cannot get the right amount of reverb for the voice. It either sounds too dry and casual in the bombastic chorus, or too wet in the verse.

I know, i should make two separate reverbs for these phases, technically its not a problem, but i wonder, if it's a common thing to do =)
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enroe
KVRist
 
475 posts since 18 Mar, 2008, from germany

Postby enroe; Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:46 am

It depends on the size of the project/song. You can have

1. different audio tracks for chorus and verse
2. use automation for the different setting of parameters.
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BertKoor
KVRAF
 
8290 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:23 am

It is not uncommon to adjust channel faders and fx send levels during a song. Raise the reverb level / lower vocal volume during bombastic parts, and do the reverse in the more intimate parts.

It's called "fader riding" and you can usually record it in an automation lane.
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skipscada
KVRian
 
745 posts since 22 Oct, 2004, from Schmocation

Postby skipscada; Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:29 am

First of all, you should do what makes sense to you, not follow some perceived idea of How Things Are Done.

The process you refer to has a name: multing. It is frequently used for exactly the reason you describe. A part (e.g. main vocals) may be recorded as one and considered as one in the greater scheme, but require different processing at different times. When it's a case of changing eq settings a bit or something very simple, automation may make more sense, but if there are many changes and these always affect certain elements, multing is the obvious choice. Only you can decide which method to use in each case.

For vocals in a quiet, intimate verse with sparse backing versus a belting, intense chorus with dense backing, multing makes sense.

For a complex, modern rock/pop mix, you can't expect to find settings that work from start to finish. You probably need to mix segment by segment.
skipscada
KVRian
 
745 posts since 22 Oct, 2004, from Schmocation

Postby skipscada; Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:33 am

I may have misread you a bit. Anyway, multing is to chop up a part and spread it over more than one channel to make it easy to process the part very differently in different segments of the song.

In the old days they had to change settings while playing back the tracks from tape, "riding the fader" to adjust volume etc. Later volume adjustments could be programmed to happen automatically at certain moments with so-called automation and "flying faders". In your DAW you can record such commands from a midicontroller or draw automation lines on the tracks to tell your effects how to adjust along the timeline. When this gets too complex, try multing.
creaze
KVRist
 
131 posts since 17 Nov, 2006, from Moscow

Postby creaze; Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:39 pm

skipscada, thanks!

That's about what i wanted to make clear.
experience is what you get for not having got what you wanted
---------------
Core 2 Duo E8600; RAM 3.25G
M-Audio Delta 2496
Win XP Pro SP3
randy4me
KVRist
 
256 posts since 14 Nov, 2009, from Chicago

Postby randy4me; Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:56 am

creaze wrote:skipscada, thanks!

That's about what i wanted to make clear.


Melda just came out with a new plugin for that purpose. It's only $27.

http://www.meldaproduction.com/mautovolume/
inboxzero
KVRist
 
48 posts since 2 Mar, 2012

Postby inboxzero; Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:31 pm

Most of the time, I'll do it with one channel and just automate the changes.
Other times, I'll split the sections into separate channels. Especially, if the end of the verse vocal goes over the start of the chorus vocal.
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