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Old 09-03-2019, 11:19 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: nashville
Posts: 34,905
Default Re: Vocal Process Chains and Buses

Ben makes some very good points, so I will approach from a different angle. Remember that all of this is suggestion as rules can be bent or broken, but only experience will tell you when to do that

Balancing the level of the vocal is something to do, but NOT with automation(yet). I suggest using Clip Gain to manually "level" the vocal(even out loud and soft bits) BEFORE any plugin processing. Doing this first may allow you to use less compression and/or automation. It also will allow the vocal to "drive" plugins more evenly(why? So if you use a "character" compressor, it will be driven in a way that imparts the "character" more consistently).

Break down "processing" into 2 separate categories. Those that "correct" the sound(like compressors, EQ and De-Essing) and those that "enhance" the sound(like reverb and delay). "Correction" plugins belong inserted on the track. Reverb and delay belong on separate AUX tracks and you send the vocal to those via send and bus. Once you are happy with your "corrective" plugins, that's when you use automation to balance the vocal with the music(using automation).
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