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In this course, author Bobby Owsinski reveals industry tips, tricks, and techniques for producing professionally mixed audio on any digital audio workstation. He offers recommendations for setting up an optimal listening environment, highlights the most efficient ways to set up and balance a mix, and shows how to build a powerful sound with compression. The course also explains how to master the intricacies of EQ; incorporate reverb, delay, and modulation effects; and generate the final mix.
With harmony vocals, the balance is crucial in order to get the correct blended impact. In this movie, I'm going to show you how to mix harmony vocals so they have a great blend and work well with the other elements of the song. Usually the highest harmony vocal is the one that cuts the most. And as we get lower and lower, each one tends to get more lost in the mix. So just like with the drums, we're going to start from the bottom up, with the lowest vocal first, and then build on that. So I happen to know that BGV, or Background Vocal number 1, is the lowest vocal, so let's bring that up and let's start from there.
(music playing) Okay. Now let's bring the second vocal up. The middle vocal happens to be the lead vocal as well. This is not uncommon. Many times you'll have the lead vocal in the middle of a three-part harmony, with the lower vocal on the bottom and the higher vocal on top. Sometimes it works where the lead vocal is actually on the bottom and the two higher vocals are on top of that, but in this case it's the lead vocal that's in the middle.
(music playing) And what we're doing is we're bringing it up so it's just about the same level. If anything, we're keeping the lower background vocal, the lowest one, a little bit higher. And now let's bring the highest one in, which is BGV2, or Background Vocal number 2. Since it's the highest, it's usually the one that cuts the most, so this will be a little bit back in level from the other two.
(music playing) You can hear the vocal is pretty good together, but really we won't know until we listen in the track. Let's unsolo these and have a listen where we're at. (music playing) There you have it. That's how you balance three-part vocal harmonies.
If you do it like you do the rhythm section. from the bottom part up, you make sure that none of the vocal parts get lost in the mix. Remember that the middle vocal part is crucial to the harmony balance, and care should be taken that it's at the right level.
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