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One of the most important aspects of getting a great performance from a vocalist is the headphone mix. In this video, I'll show you how to set up a mix that the vocalist will love. First, set the level of the kick drum, snare, and bass high in the mix. (music playing) This will ensure that the singer can feel the rhythm of the song to be able to stay in the pocket and hear the fundamental key of the song to stay in pitch. Next, add a chordal instrument like a guitar or piano at a level that's not quite as loud as the bass and drums.
Make sure that you don't add anything that's modulated with a chorus or flanger since that can confuse the singer and cause him to search for the pitch. If necessary just give it a mono instrument feed without the chorus. Put all the other instruments in the mix at a level slightly below the first three instruments. Only increase when if the singer asks for it. If the singer is using a personal mixer, put the vocal into the stereo mix at a level slightly below the bass and drums.
The singer can raise it to the level where she is comfortable. If the singer is using a personal headphone mixer, and you need to have her sing harder, louder, or more aggressively, turn down the vocal track in the phones a bit or turn up the backing tracks. If you need to have the singer sing softer or more intimately, turn the singer's track up in the phones or turn down the backing tracks. And finally, adding a touch of reverb or delay to the vocal can help the singer feel more comfortable with the headphones. (music playing) To sum it all up, a vocalist's performance is based on how well she hears herself, create a mix around the rhythm of the fundamental chords of the song, and it'll be easier for her to stay in the pocket and on pitch. (music playing)
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