Scott Hirsch shows how multiple vocal harmony track stacks can be routed to a single submaster output, and panned properly, compressed, and equalized to better serve a background vocal bed for the lead vocal in a mix.
- [Instructor] Vocal stacks are made up of a lot of tracks,…which can sometimes be daunting to deal with in a mix.…Let's work through some mix techniques for…backing vocal harmony stacks, and I'll show you…how to pan, control, and mix a large amount…of layered vocal tracks into a song.…Here we have our harmony vocals.…The first thing you want to make sure of…is that you really edit them very closely.…Unlike the lead vocal, where we left some natural breaths,…we don't want any breaths or noises other than…the vocals themselves, so all edits should be…right up to the wave form.…
So here I have, you can see if I zoom in,…we've got a whole bunch of stuff that happens…before each take, so I wanna go ahead…and make sure that I clean this up.…I'll be using the trimmer tool…and I want to edit right up to the wave form itself…and then make a little crossfade coming in.…Now, I already made a edit group to deal with this,…so I called it backup vocals and I just…grouped all of these tracks, so I can use that…to do some of the editing, we can do more than one at a time…
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