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Virtual Mixing

MIX DECONSTRUCTION 05 / Lead Vocal pt 1

This unit covers how I processed and rode the lead vocal in a finished mix.  This is intended to show concepts, not settings.  If you simply copy the settings you see on the screen rather than take the concepts you are missing the point and will end up with a bad sounding vocal. My usual vocal processing involves the following:

COMPRESSION: I rarely use compressors on voices for level control, but sometimes I will use one for the sound.  Most of the vocals I am sent to mix are already compressed enough (or too much). 
EQ: I try to emphasize warmth, clarity, strength and intimacy (or sometimes harsh energy) 
DE-ESSING: Only once in a blue moon, but since I used one in the clip I had to list it here.
EXTREME EFFECTS:  Sometimes I use noticeable or subtle distortion, octaves, etc.
VOCAL SPACE: I use delays and reverbs but sometimes go bone-dry.  This will be covered in “Lead Voc Pt 2”.
: I ride vocals for a very long time on various combinations of speakers.

In this case I added warmth and presence to the voice.  I then rode the volume of the vocal in an extreme way to change the feeling of the first line of the song. DYNAMIC RIDING involves changing the volume (etc) of an instrument to affect the perceived feeling of the performance and how it fits with the song.

"Lead Vocal Pt 1" Quicktime Movie