Music Production #FastTracks - Evan Morgan | LevelsFM
Music Production #FastTracks - Evan Morgan | LevelsFM - YouTube
just based off of our conversation about you know melody and and and that kind of stuff uh i think one thing we could look at is is mixing vocals um so whether you're mixing your own vocals or you're starting to to get into mixing yourself and you want to learn more about it um i think a lot of times people get bogged down with stuff especially vocals um so if we kind of break it into three steps um the way that i deal with vocals is is always starting with balance um you know so getting like a level balance and a tonal balance um and step two would be dynamic control and step three will be uh spatial effects so if we look at the balance first you know a lot of people i think they forget about their fader um and the fader is literally the most powerful thing you have in terms of mixing and you know a lot of people will get tracks and they'll instantly start you know all
that i the vocals not clear so i'm going to start boosting 3k or i'm going to put a bunch of multi-band craziness on then mess up all the phase and and you know sometimes it just just that's all all that it needs so um the the balance of the vocal uh in the mix is so important and then we get to tonal balance and that's where my you know fabfilter pro Q 3 comes in if i only had one plug-in that would be one and finding you know how in-text how that vocal sits with the music and a lot of times vocals are recorded very dark and the final presentation of vocals in a mix are especially nowadays they're very very bright um and there's a lot of brightness and hypeness in there so trying to find that tonal balance um using the fader um but also you know kind of tweaking the the top and the bottom or or the the low mid and the the top um is is where 90 of of
vocal mixing comes from on my perspective um and again i feel like people get bogged down in you know like a lot of these these sessions that i i get um you know starting from the rough session like we were talking about you know they'll have 10 or more plug-ins um it's funny to see a pro tools session come in where all 10 plugins are there and a lot of them are doing something that's undoing something else farther down the down the chain and then they'll they'll send it to a bus so that they can get more plug-ins on there you know um and it's just you take them all off and you you balance the fader and then you do a just a basic tonal balance of of top and and kind of low mid and and all of a sudden the vocal is alive again and it's it's there and it sounds like a voice and it sounds like a real person singing into a microphone um so that's that's always step number one with with me is is tonal balance and and volume um and then dynamic control is something
people talk a lot about compression mainly um and i do a lot of that nowadays uh at the clip level so like we were talking about turning the clip uh down before it hits your fader in your plugins you can do that word for word if you want so you can start to level um you know if rather than then bang a vocal into a compressor where sometimes it's doing three db sometimes it's doing 10 or 20 db you know some of that you can actually do by hand and it takes a lot of time but it sounds so much better it sounds so much better um and so a lot of my dynamic control if needed will be coming from actually uh clip gaining automating the the inter and what's the signal that's actually coming into your plug-ins um right and then you know de-essing then and can kind of fall into that as well you know like there's there are some de-essers that i like massey makes a
good one um there's one in the slate bundle uh i think it's the eiosis de-esser that is you know very smart and intuitive um but a lot of times if you want to turn down the s's the best way to do it is to grab the actual audio file of yes and just turn it down before it hits your eq before it hits your compression all that kind of stuff so dynamic control is is big um but there are a lot of new tools and you know dynamic eq we were talking about as well you know there's a lot of new tools since the advent of the 1176 um that allow you to do what it is that you're trying to do but a lot more effectively and a lot more um practically than just you know banging a 1176 on you know 20 db of gain reduction nothing wrong with that no that's that it still happens a lot um it's uh a lot of times it'll be uh you know if we do the the level and the tonal balance number one and then we do some dynamic control number two uh at the
gain level then a lot of times banging it into an 1176 or parallel processing or something is you're able to do it more as an effect to get the sound that you want in your head rather than being forced into doing that because you have an overly dynamic vocal and you know right you can't approach it the way that you want so now all you have to you have to you know and the the loud words that are getting too much gain reduction are starting to have a you know your tone to them that you're not in love with and then you do more plugins to try and compensate for that and and you know it's um mixing vocals can be uh simpler than you think and i think a lot of people complicate it a lot of times especially when it gets to multi-band stuff and and parallel processing and you know multiple auxes with all these different parallel things um a lot of times especially inexperienced engineers engineers that maybe don't have as much of a technical background
sometimes they're doing more harm than good by doing a lot of that stuff you know in terms of phase and and intelligibility and and you know all those um and i guess the third step would be uh any kind of spatial effects that you're using um and i 99.9 do that on sends uh a lot of newer up and coming engineers will will do you know put delays and reverbs and stuff on their actual vocal channel and and they i i think there's a lot of problems with that in terms of your gain staging and your your overall level and how that affects stuff um so if you're doing it as a sound design perspective for ad-libs or whatever that's that's another thing but on your lead vocal um you know look look to using scent for most of your spatial effects um and spatial effects come into that uh aesthetics thing that we were talking about before a lot of the aesthetics of
the vocal presentation come from the effects um you know if you listen to the weekend or or travis scott or tom mcdonald or you know rain maida from our lady piece some of these artists we've been talking about like the presentation of the voice outside of the performance obviously the performances is everything the way the artist is delivering their material but once you get into the mix stage so much of the aesthetic is coming from the effects you know whether there's slap delay to give it that antiquated you know kind of throwback vibe whether there's a big wash of reverb which you know was popular a couple years ago but is now starting to ride that line between you know does this sound like a like a 2010s record or you know um and so having that that big wash of reverb um is is part of the aesthetic as well um
and so i usually in my different genres uh in my different templates i will have all kinds of things set up ready to go so that i can send to you know whatever i i think is needed for the song there's usually three reverbs you know like a short long and medium then some spatial things you know like an h2000 pitch um you know i there's there's a couple videos on my youtube channel where i talk about some of these these effects that i like to use um there's usually uh multiple delays there's you know slap delay and then eighth and quarter and and half note delay and depending on they're all kind of set up ready to go um with you know whatever plug-ins that i'm using at the time they'll change you know a lot of echo boy a lot of valhalla verbs um lots of sound toys stuff um and then i can just start sending there and see what does it sound like with this big reverb what does it sound like with a slap delay is that too you know is that the right kind of aesthetic for the song or not so much and it's just uh
it allows you to move really quick um and so yeah i know this is supposed to be fast but but uh just just if we again break it down to three it's it's balance tonal balance with your fader and your eq dynamic control and spatial effects and just start there and you know you i i promise you you don't need to go crazy with some multi-band parallel you know like there's there's lots of times in mixes where i will do a parallel especially the parallel distortion thing that kind of comes in and comes up for certain moments and comes down um but that's all auxiliary stuff that's all the the salt and pepper on the actual the meal you know you got to get the the meal right before you start you know a little extra pepper on there right right right that's great man that's huge love it lots of lots of uh clutch pieces of information in there do you have um
when you have your reverbs you said you had a short medium long kind of reverb are they are they rooms are they plates are they i usually like again different things for different genres um and i've got a couple like all my my templates are all just essentially buses there's no like you know pre-set up tracks or anything it's just it's just routing and then and then a whole bunch of of effect sends um and depending on the style i'll i'll pull in different ones but normally the short one is either a ambience algorithm or like a short room and what i'm trying to achieve with that is a little bit of a room you know just having that vocal that's you know normally recorded like this and bloody and just have it have a little bit of ambience on there um the medium will probably be a plate uh you know like just an emt or something just you know maybe a second and a half kind of and then the lung is usually a hull or
or a really long plate if i want to do something bright um but you know pop it might be more of a of a really long plate um you know kind of a rockier thing it might be more of a hull just something a little darker and just kind of has that you know that ambience in the background um and yeah a little bit of uh vintage the holovintage verb has been one i use a lot i've been on the the um liquid sonics they're caspi uh i think it's i can't remember what it's called seventh heaven is is one that i absolutely love um [Music] and uh yeah reverbs reapers are good reverbs are good
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