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Caught in a mix rut? Having problems getting the vocals to "fit in?"

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  • Caught in a mix rut? Having problems getting the vocals to "fit in?"

    Then I have a few suggestions for you in one of my recent articles.



    http://www.harmonycentral.com/docs/DOC-2769
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    Thanks Phil - that's some good thinking. This might work for recording as well as mixing. I've been learning the hard way that if the vocal isn't or won't be right, the whole thing falls apart. A passable scratch vocal has become one of my first things to track - that way if there's trouble with the key or the voicing of other parts, it becomes clear right away instead of after a whole bunch of effort to get the secondary stuff nice and polished.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">___________________<br />
    !</div>

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    • #3
      Great read, Phil- good stuff. I remember a few years back reading an article (in EQ, I think) about a mix guy who worked on one of the BIG R&B vocal groups in the 90's- and always started his mix with the vocals.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;I'm a mur-diddly-urdler!&quot;<br />
      <a href="http://www.tbushrecording.com" target="_blank">www.tbushrecording.com</a></div>

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      • #4
        Its good to change things up.

        Recently I been tracking my vocals to drums and rythum guitar only. Sometimes the bass too.

        I add my bass and leads after I have the vocals done so those parts are tracked

        to an existing vocal part. The benifit is you dial up exact sound you need to back the vocals

        instead of using plugins and EQ to force the parts to fit.



        It doesnt work on all songs of course, but I'd say its a win/win for lead parts.

        A guitarist naturally adjusts his tone to match the vocals and will use his string

        dynamics when it comes to playing leads which adds emotion to the parts being played.

        if the lead is there before the vocals, it may not be as tight, you have to rely on volume

        automation and editing to get the balance right and it just lacks that human element.



        Its also allot easire to write lead parts if the vocals are there first if you're into writing music

        because you can focus more on harmony notes that play well off the main melody.

        Comment


        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by WRGKMC
          View Post

          Its also allot easire to write lead parts if the vocals are there first if you're into writing music

          because you can focus more on harmony notes that play well off the main melody.




          Right on- my first actual producer (1993- Dino Elefante) told me that, and it stuck.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;I'm a mur-diddly-urdler!&quot;<br />
          <a href="http://www.tbushrecording.com" target="_blank">www.tbushrecording.com</a></div>

          Comment


          • #6
            You worked with Dino? Let's see - '93 would have been during the Pakaderm era - right about the time they started building Sound Kitchen in Nashville. Was it out here in La-La land, or in Tennessee?
            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by Phil O'Keefe
              View Post

              You worked with Dino? Let's see - '93 would have been during the Pakaderm era - right about the time they started building Sound Kitchen in Nashville. Was it out here in La-La land, or in Tennessee?




              Didn't mean to drop a name here...

              Yes, you are correct- it was June of 1993, when their studio was in still in Los Alamitos- I spent about 5 weeks there recording my band, Lovewar, and our only real release, "Soak Your Brain".



              Later I recorded at the SK a number of times, both with The Channelsurfers and as a studio musician.



              I learned so much from the Elefante brothers in that extended recording session- and believe me, I was all eyes and ears!



              And BTW- I love Orange County- great place to visit...
              <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;I'm a mur-diddly-urdler!&quot;<br />
              <a href="http://www.tbushrecording.com" target="_blank">www.tbushrecording.com</a></div>

              Comment


              • kittycaster
                kittycaster commented
                Editing a comment

                excellent tip, Phil!

                 

                It's disconcerting at first to start with the vocals but I've tried it before and it does help, yes the instinct is to always start with the kick drum... no wonder there's no room for anything else! :catlol:

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