This vocal mix? :D


Ehi everyone :)
I would like to learn how to mix vocals but I find this a bit difficult.

I made an attempt in order to practice. Could you give me some feedback about it please? :)

It came me to the following questions:
1°) Is it better to use side-chain compression?
2°) The volume of the instrumental parts should be lower than the vocal in order to make place for it?
3°) Is compression a necessity?

vocals are at 00:13 and 00:42

Thanks a lot for your feedbacks, I'm a newbie in vocal mixing ! Cheers from France !! :D


Active Member

I would personally not use side-chain compression, but instead, work on the natural dynamics of the instruments. With guitar (or piano in your case), yeah, you can do a low volume trick, with orchestra, better think about "low dynamics" than about "low volume", and read chapters 5-6 of Rimsky's Principles of Orchestration that specifically deal with this matter ;) So: compression is not a necessity.

But it is possible to use side-chain compression to normalize things a bit. A light one, for example 1.5 ratio and 500ms release. If you're working a track for radio or TV, it even becomes a necessity. So I'd go with it or no depending on the purpose of the track. In either case: don't over-do it, because if you flatten things too much, you lose contrasts and emotional weight.

You can also work with EQ. Mud pinch @400hZ, another @ 1khZ (nasal range), boost @2,5khZ, you can also use a airband (Luftikus is free and similar to Waves Maag EQ-4). If you have EQ curves very differentiated between vocals and piano, they become very distinct. If you're not sure of what you're doing, there are sidechain plugs like Trackspacer that will to the frequency separation trick for you.

P. S. : I like the harmonization work on this piece! In love with your piano writing. But overally, there is way too much reverb to my taste :-(
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