Mixing vocals with instruments is something any recording engineer will come across at some point. This is especially common in hip-hop/pop, where artists routinely upload pre-mixed instruments online and bring them to a studio for recording. The challenge in learning to blend in with the beat is sensing sounds in a room that sounds good. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when making this kind of mixture.
Drive The Beat
A pre-mixed rhythm was always compressed and limited by its volume. Many hip-hop producers mix their instruments specifically with volume in mind. Therefore, attempting to piece together new vocal information in what appears to be a complete system is difficult.
So the first thing you want to do is lower the level of the track to give yourself some wiggle room. If you don’t, you’ll hit 0 as you play the instrument. In general, I think 6dB is enough, but there are some particularly fast beats that demand more.
First you have to strengthen your voice.
If you have a lot of clients who are bringing you instruments, the best way to do this is to create a vocal mix template. This speeds up the mixing process significantly if you already have your vocal channels, reverb/delay sends, and other processing tasks ready. It’s also useful for follow-up when an artist wants to auto-tune, reverb/delay, or whatever else they want to record.
Usually your singing should complement the instruments, so keep that in mind when mixing them up. Here are a few tips:
The most common problem you’ll encounter when mixing vowels is that they feel lost beneath the beat or float awkwardly on top of it. This is mainly because the beet is already heavily processed and now we are also trying to add a lot of new information.
Most of the time we have no choice but to let these voices sit above everything so they don’t get completely overwhelmed. We can try to reduce this feeling, but it is difficult to avoid it completely. To better integrate them into the beat, you can compress them in small increments to get a compression feel similar to those of pre-existing instruments.
We talk about it a lot, but you should avoid letting the compressor do all the work. If you do this, you’ll hear him work so hard, it just won’t sound right. Use some compressors instead, all with conservative gain reduction.
Finding what works for you is part of learning to mix, but 1176 on LA-2A is a well-known vocal range that’s worth trying! You can then play with different payout amounts to get the results you want.
Pay special attention to the normal timing of the equipment. Is it great? Darkness? mid level? This will give you an idea of how you can begin to process your voice. You want them to “match” somewhat, so that the vocals appear in line with the rhythm. Much of this EQ and voice frequency can be done with Material Design.
If you rely on your vocal tone for a particular instrument, you may need to do a bit of beat-up work to give them a bit more space.
Try not to overdo it if you want to even out the pre-mixed beats. In general, unless you want to completely change the quality of the instrumentation, you’ll want to avoid wide cue and heavy cuts; Probably not a good idea. Sometimes a simple high pass filter around 20Hz can cut out some of the subfrequencies that take up a lot of mixing space, giving you a little more headroom.