One of the biggest challenges everyone faces at some point is vocals that sound small, distant, or buried in the mix.
Here’s 3 easy steps to fix it and make sure your vocals sound bigger and bolder in the mix:
Step 1: Turn It Up
The most common issue is that the vocals just aren’t loud enough relative to your other tracks.
Turn your other tracks down, turn your vocals up, and make sure they are sitting at the right level.
⚠️ Important tip: don’t clip your mix bus. Do these steps in this order to make sure you’re properly gain staging your mix bus:
- Turn off all plugins on the mix bus
- Play through the loudest section of your track
- Make sure you are not clipping your mix bus
If you see clipping, turn all of the individual faders in your track down until you’re not clipping the mix bus.
Then, rebalance until your vocals are sitting up front.
Step 2: Compression
Another common issue is either too much or too little compression.
Both can cause your vocal to sound “not right”.
With Xvox, shoot for 6-12dB of Gain Reduction as a good starting point if you want a full, up-front vocal sound.
Step 3: Tone
Your Mid Frequencies are super important when it comes to getting up-close, big sounding vocals.
Try it for yourself - load Xvox and just play with the Mid Slider. As you turn it down, you’ll notice the vocal feels further away in the mix. As you turn it up, it’ll get closer and closer sounding.
That’s because the Mid Frequencies are the Presence frequencies in the human voice. You need to have direct control over the right mid frequencies so that you can adjust this presence effect without creating harshness in your vocals.
Adjust the mids until your vocal feels exactly where you want it. Modern and Clear mode are excellent for getting a super close, up-front vocal sound.
These three steps will help you dial in exactly how much you want your vocals to stand out. Maybe you want them just slightly over the track, or maybe you want a more modern, massive vocal sound.
In both cases, it’s all about getting these three elements right.