Mix engineer Sean Divine demonstrates how to mix and process chorus takes to create a nice blend for a "bigger" vocal sound. We can even create "pseudo" takes with different pitches to create an anthemic vocal.
- [Instructor] We can use the mixing process to easily blend multiple chorus vocal layers and make them sound bigger and more exciting. Let me show you this hip-hop chorus, which contains multiple layers. So as we see here, these are the regions for the hook, and it's kind of a big chant style hip-hop chorus. And so I'm going to open the mixer, and what I want to do is just slowly blend in these layers so that you can hear what is recorded. And again, we'll blend and mesh them, and we'll do some panning as well.
We'll hard pan things left and right to give them width, and again, to give it a bigger sound. ♫ ("All Out" by Zach Fraley) That sounds like a pretty good blend on this first performer's layers.
So let's do some panning to give it more width. ♫ ("All Out") Now let's slide over to our next performer's vocals and we'll blend those in. ♫ ("All Out") And we'll pan them as well.
(♫ "All Out") So for these I want to do something a little bit different. And we're going to pitch these down, to again, just give it more of a crowd feel, a chant. So I'm going to select the Waves SoundShifter plugin to adjust the pitch here.
And we're going to take the pitch of these vocals down about three semitones. So we'll go over here and we'll just turn this down to about three. ♫ ("All Out") And then we're just going to hold option and command, and we're going to drag this plugin to our other chant layers here, so it will give it more of this effect.
♫ ("All Out") So now when we mix those back with our other performers' layers that are blended, we're going to get a much bigger, wider sound. ♫ ("All Out") As you can hear, even with a few chorus vocal layers, or maybe only one, the mixing process can still help us achieve a wide and exciting vocal.
In this course, Sean Divine—a producer and mix engineer whose instrumental catalog has received millions of plays online—demonstrates vocal recording and mixing techniques that can yield impressive results. While Sean uses Logic Pro in this video, he explains concepts in a way that are applicable to the digital audio workstations and audio plugins of your choice. To begin, he covers a few initial concepts in the tracking process, like microphone techniques and vocal editing. Next, Sean walks you through the mixing process and touches on unique plugin techniques that can help you reduce harshness and sibilance. Finally, he explains basic mastering concepts and shares tricks that can help your hip-hop song compete with other commercial tracks.
- Maximizing a hip-hop vocal with layering
- Recording ad libs
- Editing and comping hip-hop vocals
- Mixing hip-hop vocals
- Processing a premixed instrumental