Mixing vocals while retaining the full texture can be quite a task in general. This is because the arrangement, the instrument, and the voice complement each other. Most of them somehow fit. But there is this one instrument or part that sounds entirely out of place. Sometimes it's vocal. It may only be part of a particular instrument. It can be the entire instrument in itself.
No matter what you do, it doesn't go well with the rest of the track. It seems that it was recorded in another room (or another planet). The mix should sound balanced, natural, and uniform. It prevents the mix from sounding coherent, broken, or unnatural. If a part does not match the rest of the track, it jumps to us and ruins the listening experience.
Today we will discuss some solutions to one of the most common mixing and mastering problems that occur during music production.
Why is this happening?
There are millions of reasons for mixing problems during music production. Perhaps some were recorded in a different acoustic environment (another room). Perhaps this song generally has a "warm", "dark" sound. But some sound "sharp" and "bright".
Songs can be thought of as a combination of instruments that have their own sections or pockets in the frequency spectrum. At the bottom of the is a bass guitar and kick drum. Next are vocals, guitars, and drums. Up next, there are treble instruments and cymbals.
Every device has its own frequency range that it covers and is located in. Too many instruments in a bag or section can be busy and tight. These instruments will be more prominent and more prominent in the mix rather than sitting well in their small section.
However, there are many ways to fix the problem. It's much easier to tackle the problem at the recording stage than to fix it in the mix. Prevention always takes precedence over response.
Still, resources, time, or space may be limited. Therefore, it is not always possible to fix this issue before or during recording. But first, there are some great ways to avoid mixing and mastering problems altogether. How you can keep your instrument or voice out of the mix:
Working with the arrangement
The instrument often doesn't fit in the mix because you need to edit the arrangement. Remember-the tracks are just as good as the musicians and the music you recorded. If you miswrite a song, the song will hit, and you will step on your toes. This causes some of the mix to stick out quickly and not be appropriately placed.
This is an example. There are poems where both lead vocals and lead guitar have clear melodies. One of these parts quickly spoils the "stable" sound of the track and doesn't fit in the mix. These pieces will collide despite the time spent on the frequency slots or reverb. If two parts collide when you start recording, fix the problem before you continue.
Try different tones
Using different guitar pickups can make a big difference. This is a wonderful trick if you are playing two guitars at the same time. Using the neck pickup on one guitar and bridge pickup on the other prevents the two from sounding the same and colliding. This gives each guitar its own sound and space.
This concept doesn't just apply to the guitar. Consider whether the sound quality of the background singer matches the sound quality of the lead singer.
Try different keyboard sounds, replace your instrument with another brand, or play it differently. Try different brands of plugins. Use different types of compression to give each instrument a different sound.
Experiment with different voice tonality. Give each instrument its own sound (even if it doesn't sound great on its own). Much easier than tinkering with the EQ during the mixing phase.
This is a pervasive problem. For example, the original song was recorded in one room, but some or two were later recorded and added in another room. In most cases, guitar or vocals are added after the drums have been recorded in a larger room. Therefore, these parts have completely different characteristics from the other parts.
Spend more time level balancing
Spend more time leveling and balancing during mixing. This is technically part of the mix phase, but it's a straightforward way to get the parts right in the mix. Adjust the levels to see if it helps before you get hooked on EQ and compression.
Minor changes are worth making a difference. It's worth spending more time balancing than heavy effects like EQ and compression. If the song doesn't fit well, it could be because another part is too big. Or the voice may be a little too loud. Experiment and trust your ears.
This is definitely a great tip! Volume is the most crucial tool just before EQ. These mixing tips will help you put something in your mix. But of course, it's possible to do something with a "mix" using a plugin. So here are some killer tips that allow the chainsaw to sit with the orchestra.
Use frequency slots to make room for the guilty part. Does the song go wrong? Try cutting the guitar at 300Hz. Mixing in monaural makes frequency slots much more effortless.
Be generous with high-pass and low-pass filters. Do not solo the part. Instead, turn on the filter while everything else is playing, increase the frequency until you get a noticeable effect, and then decrease it a bit. This can free up more space.
Isn't the sound of the instrument echoing too much on your face and having too strong a presence? Find the fundamental frequency of the instrument in your ear or frequency table and apply a comprehensive, fine cut around that frequency range.
Use Aux/Bus Sends to send everyone to the same reverb. This puts everything in the same room, making the track sound more consistent and natural. You can change the amount of reverb for each track by adjusting the send level.
Use reverb to add depth to the mix. If the instrument is not placed correctly, send it to the reverb block (as above) and lower the original track. This will make it sound farther away. If you want something closer to sound (usual vocals), send less to the reverb block.
Experiment with different reverbs on vocals to make them stand out more if they aren't at the top of the mix. For example, try a shorter reverb time or plate reverb.
Here's a top-notch trick to get your vocals to sit on top of the mix nicely. Send everything but vocals to your own Aux and apply a very subtle compressor (a reduction of just a few dB). This compressor connects the lead vocals sideways. This cuts the track by 2dB or 3dB each time the vocal begins. But, again, remember that it's subtle.
If balancing doesn't solve the problem, use volume automation. Turn down the volume (using automation) after the backing parts have been inserted to make room for the lead parts. Is there a new vocal harmony in the chorus? Launch them a little bigger to make them look more noticeable, but then lower them to reveal the mix.
If you have two instruments competing for the same sound space, you can also pan them apart from each other. That way, they won't collide and sit better in the mix. Instead of panning tracks randomly, give 50/50 Panning ago.
We hope you are now well-versed with making vocals sit in the mix. Avoid any mix running mistakes during music production by assigning a music company like Carry A Tune to tackle all your online mixing and mastering, music arrangement, and music production needs!
Rajesh Kumar Sharma
September , 2022
Honestly, vocal mixing is an art and it needs concentration and practice to do it properly. This blog had been quite useful to me while doing so.
September , 2022
Earlier, I often use to face a few problems while doing music production. This blog had helped me a lot in overcoming these problems.