Audio engineer Scott Hirsch emphasizes an increased and focused control of dynamic range over specific audio frequencies for the voice through the use of a multiband compressor.
- [Instructor] Since we put so much focus…on the lead vocal of a song,…sometimes classic EQ and compression…leaves you still wanting more control…over the dynamics of a voice.…One tool that's extremely effective and useful…in this regard is the multiband compressor.…A multiband compressor acts just like a normal compressor…allowing you to narrow and focus…the dynamic range of a voice,…except in the case of a multiband compressor…you can apply individual compression settings…to specific frequency ranges.…
Let's open up the Pro Multiband Dynamics…that's part of the pro suite of plug-ins for Pro Tools.…Now, here we have four bands,…and these are isolated by frequencies which I've defined,…so everything below 250 hertz is my first band.…Then I have a band I specifically tailored…for the lower mids of a vocal between 250 and 800 hertz.…Then I have band three which is our…800 to 5,000 hertz, or five kilohertz,…that's our presence band,…and our fourth frequency range…from five kilohertz and above.…
That's sort of our air band of our vocal frequency ranges.…
Audio engineer Scott Hirsch starts with comping the vocals—combining the best performances into one final vocal master take. He explains how to edit out breaths and other noises and fabricate a doubling effect for additional texture and vibe, and then brings in some plugins into the mix—Antares Auto-Tune, Melodyne, and iZotope—to tune vocals and create more interesting soundscapes. In the "Mixing" chapter, Scott enhances the sound of the vocals with EQ, compression, reverb, delay, and automation, adding life and motion to the song. The final track demonstrates everything you can do to maximize the effectiveness of vocals with Pro Tools.
- Comping takes in Pro Tools
- Editing breaths and noise
- Doubling and tuning vocals
- Experimenting with iZotope's Stutter Edit
- Processing vocals with EQ and compression
- De-essing vocals
- Using reverb, delay, and modulation effects
- Automating levels and FX in Pro Tools