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Just asking if anybody can share some advice on how you go about mixing a singer who is singing to a backing track?
I had a session with a client the other day, he recorded the song "I'm Your Man" and provided me with an amazing backing track. Problem is though that both he and I pointed out that we couldn't quite get the backing track to mix with with his voice where it made it both:
1) Sound like he was singing with a band
2) Didn't make it sound like he was in a vocal booth singing.
The second one is the more pressing issue, as I kept getting a sense of "singing in the shower" with the reverb and everything was either too big or too deep.
I'm using Pro Tools LE 8, any help/ideas guys? Any comments will be appreciated!
Have you got a clean signal with no reverb from the singer?
If so, good.
To get a coherent sound with a backing track could be difficult.
From prior SOS articles, I think the trick is to play with the EQ until you get a near identical EQ curve, obviously match volume, then sum both tracks to a bus and use a non-transparent compressor on the bus to colour the backing and the vocal identically.
The trouble with a lot of backing tracks is they are too cleanly recorded and then mastered, it would be better if they were rawer
Here's a couple of things that might help ;
Create master fader if you haven't already and put a verb plugin on it but turn the wet \ dry mix right down so only about 9% wet. Something like Waves Rverb - Rooms - theater works great but Dverb will do if it's all you have. This will put some glue and make it sound more realistic while only slightly more wetter reverb wise
To get a better verb effect for the lead vocal ride the aux send that's feeding the reverb and automate it, pull it down before the last bit of vocal so you don't hear the obvious tail. Also place an eq plug before the verb on the aux track and ease off the high end and low end
For vocals subtle delays can work better in a lot of applications, create 2 or 3 and again write the automation rather than leaving the amount the same throughout the song.
^ Good points.
Also, just thinking, Logic has a valve effect - DaTube - which simulates a valve mic (or a slightly distorted amp). If you use that, or something similar for both, it will give a warmer compression than the clean one, and will flavour the overall tone of the recoring, evening out differences.
Thanks for all the advice guys! I'll definitely try out some of these methods and play around with them now I have an idea of what to do!
if the vocal has any room sound on it, you cant get rid of that. Sounds from your description as if the room sound or the ambient-space sound on the recorded vocal is simply clashing with the ambient space of the track, so no matter what you do, the vocal always sounds as if it's "sung over" some backing
probably it's that.
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As a singer/guitarist who uses tracks I can say what I do to make it sound " whole "
I use separate compression for the backing and vocals.
Multi band on the tracks with added limting.
That stops them from over powering the vocal.
I only use soft compression on my voice and use a bright plate reverb with 50ms of pre delay.
This helps blend the voice while allowing it to have character.
Hope that helps
Last edited by wolf5150; 18th July 2012 at 02:25 PM.
Bridgend , South Wales