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Old 10-05-2019, 10:58 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: nashville
Posts: 35,093
Default Re: Vocal Process Chains and Buses

And....just in case this fell through the cracks, delay plugins on an AUX track should also be set to 100% wet(that way they don't cause the vocal to get louder).

Back to the beginning for a moment; using tons of tricks and suggestions from videos and books is all fine, but try to get a handle on "why" those ideas are something you need to employ(rather than just piling on stuff because a video tells you to). Adding stuff that your track doesn't need just over-complicates stuff and that makes it hard to learn(something I am still doing after 30 years).

Here's my journey when it comes to vocals and processing(including WHY):
First insert is left empty for Melodyne(if needed)Tuning plugins work best on the raw audio.
Slot B is EQ III 7 band, but only with hi-pass around 120Hz while tracking.
Slot C is BF76 set to just grab the peaks.
Slot D is SMACK!, which has some "character"(its based on the LA-2A). this does more compression(4-6db of GR).
Slot E is a Pultec EQ-1A with a boost at 10-12K to add some "air"(which the double compressors tend to take away(Waves Puigtech is my fave, but the Bomb Factory Pultec works fine). This covers 90% of vocal mixing, AFTER using CLIP GAIN to level out the track(if you're asking why I use clip gain when I have 2 compressors already, that's a great question! The answer is: it makes the compressors stay more consistent in how much "work" they do, and keeps the "character" of SMACK! more consistent)

Come time to mix, here are my optional additions;
1-I MIGHT do some gentle EQ(slot 2)(the right mic and good preamp mean less EQ is needed).
2-in Slot F. If the vocal has lots of problem areas, Waves F6 is great for this, but is very complicated to learn(especially for beginners) so maybe watch some youtube videos(or Waves videos) about Dynamic EQ("multi-band compressors" are another great but complex tool for this).
3-in Slot G. This is where I insert a de-esser(but only if I really need it). Much of my de-essing(and controlling breath noises) is done with other methods(like automating volume or Audiosuite the actual "Ssss").

I use sends to AUX tracks for reverb and echo. Sometimes I will also send the echo to the same reverb so they blend in(depending if I want the echo to be subtle or obvious). Putting EQ on the reverb or delay can help clean things up. It can help to remove low end on the reverb, and I often remove the highs from delay(also to keep things cleaner). I know this is a lot to digest, but now you can try things knowing why. If you decide they don't work for you, that's absolutely cool(because you will probably understand WHY you don't like it) And yes, there are times when I dig deeper into the bag 'o tricks, but that's for another lesson
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