Vocal mixing is a service we offer where we blend a recorded vocal performance to a finished track. This is great for singers and rappers who have a finished song or beat that they are adding vocals to.
It’s important to get the dynamics of the vocal right to sit with the music, and this is especially true of vocal mixing. This is because the track will often be very tightly compressed or limited and so has little bounce or dynamic range. When a vocal is added, the natural level variations are really noticeable and make the singer sound awful! So, the vocal needs to be nicely compressed to sit well with the dynamics of the track provided. This takes experience and skill of a technical and musical nature. Have a look at our blog post on vocal compression.
Reverb And Delay Effects
Some kind of reverb and/or delay is used most of the time too. This gives a sense of space and depth to the vocal and will help it blend in with the music. Often, the client doesn’t want to hear the reverb but most of the time it’s still there! This is because a microphone does not work the same as our ears do. The pickup is very localised and directional. The addition of reverb starts to trick the ear into thinking that the recorded voice is in a real space.
Best Speakers For Vocal Mixing
Obviously there’s a lot of important parts in vocal mixing (microphone, compressor, EQ etc) the type of speaker can often be overlooked. Now, we all know that it’s important to have good quality studio speakers but sometimes a pair of mid range speakers are great for a second reference. While they don’t have the detailed top end or the fullness of the bass they do draw your attention to the midrange balance.
This makes the process of sitting the body of the vocal in with the music a lot more efficient. If you’re just using speakers with HF (high frequency) tweeters you can be fooled into thinking the vocal is sitting nicely because the high end is cutting through. Often, a listener will be on some bad speakers and will not have those high frequencies themselves. The mid range speaker levels the playing field a little better and ensures the music plays back well on a variety of speakers.
You can see above the Avantone 5C Active speakers that we use for this (and other) purposes.
How Much Does Vocal Mixing Cost?
As there’s only 2 stems involved (track and vocal), the price starts at £40. From there, you can add additional stems such as backing vocals and double tracked vocals for £5 per stem. As always we offer discounts for bulk purchases. Get in touch to tell us about your project or have a look at our rates page for more info.