just curious


When I’ve around 15 tracks (guitar, drum, bas etc…) in a song and I record the voice, the voice is too soft. Before I cloned the voice, increased the volume of the voice etc. But it’s also possible to decrease the volumes of all instruments. What do you do to get the voice “on” the music (I know you can select in the settings something that when you record a track all the other already tracksvolumes changes but I don’t use that option)?
Besides that I discovered a few ways to increase the volume in the equalizer “thing”, what’s that for?


Lower the instruments. If the voice is soft (not low in volume), compress. Use EQ to cut unneeded frequencies. Where the unneeded frequencies are depends on the rest of the mix. Things should sound good together with the rest of the tracks, NOT soloed.

There are a number of things that affect where we think the sound is coming from, and it can be tricky to get the vocals in front but not so out in front that it doesn’t sound like it fits.

The main ones are:
* louder
* less reverb
* more high frequency

The fact that more reverb puts things back in the mix makes it seem like we shouldn’t use much reverb on lead vocals, yet we often do (well, maybe not a lot, but definitely some). Part of the key here is that we use more than one reverb: one for building the soundstage, that many different instruments are fed into, and another just for lead vocals to give them a smoother texture.

But I left out the biggest trick: compression. Well, compression only affects the volume really, so it fits in the “volume” category. But one of the problem with vocals is the volume changes a lot, and we don’t want the part to sink into the mix in quieter words of a phrase. Compression reduces the difference between loudest and quietest bits, and really helps to get the vocals out on top.

PS: If you listen to my CD, you’ll find the vocals often a bit buried in the mix – too quiet. There are a couple reasons, none of them terribly good:
- I think most pop music is mixed with vocals WAY, WAY too loud. All you can hear in many cases is the vocals and the bass. That’s not music, it’s just entertainment. But I overreacted to that.
- I’m still working through the phase of not liking my own vocals much. This phase has only lasted 30 years now, I suppose it’s time for it to be over!
- I really like the instrumental parts to come out clearly, and I paid too much attention to that.

OK, my excuses over! :D

I’m not sure what your question about EQ is, so I’ll start with the basics. Equalization, or “EQ” for short, is adjusting the levels of different frequency ranges: bass, midrange, and treble in the simple cases. But with n-Track EQ and most modern gear we have a LOT of flexibility on EQ. It’s a big subject and probably the first thing to master when learning to mix. Especially, learning to “carve out” EQ range so that tracks fit together well rather than stomp on each other. This is particularly important for electric bass & guitar, or two electric guitar parts: keep them from sitting in the same frequency zone.

A good rule of thumb is to try to avoid boosting the signal using EQ. For complex reasons, it tends to work better REDUCING a frequency range than BOOSTING it. So, don’t use EQ for volume changes: use it to craft the EQ spectrum of each track, and adjust the track fader to compensate as needed.

Anybody got a quick link to Limey’s Pyramid, or Jeezar’s “How to mix a pop song”? Both of those would give helpful clues here. (I’d read Jeezar’s first to get more specific info, and then Limey’s to get a flavor of how you might want to think about things.)

Er, what teryeah said, in so many fewer words and easier to read! :D

Quote (learjeff @ Jan. 09 2006,16:46)
- I’m still working through the phase of not liking my own vocals much. This phase has only lasted 30 years now, I suppose it’s time for it to be over!

Quote (learjeff @ Jan. 05 2006,16:58)

Then I could learn to sing, that would be even better. As you can tell, I’m not in love with my own voice (except when I’m talking rather than singing …) and given that I’m really happy with how well the vocals came out: better than I deserve. But not what I would say “Let me make YOU A STAR!” about.

Well, I didn’t say anything about your voice but about the sound. There is nothing wrong with your voice. Did you ever listen to paul mc cartney or mick jagger?? The only thing with singing is that you enter into the part that you are singing, let it all go, breath and open you’re trap! Singers that are good in putting expression in their voice are mostly succesfull. You should trie to touch people with the way you “bring” your message.


Anybody got a quick link to Limey’s Pyramid?

About singing: Either do it or don’t (I don’t; let’s all be grateful :) ).
And if you do it, do as maria says: put your heart and soul into it!

Hey, I do!

And Maria, don’t worry, I’m not being sensitive to your remark, which you already explained. I just do my best and fortunately it does keep getting better. (I think it helped a lot when I gained 30 lbs around the time I turned 40, too!)

Jezar’s artical can be found HERE. If he contradicts anything I said, believe him. :;):


Wooow…I read almost all information on the website Audiominds.com and in theory I understand it…:stuck_out_tongue: but uhm when I was together with my “musiccomputer” every thing became a little bit dark…ha ha! But I can say I’ve been informed, thanks because it’s really usefull!:)
When two tracks for example to guitar tracks are almost in the same frequentie, I can hear it because it seems almost one track. But is it possible in N track to compare tracks visual? Or can I only see it one after one instead of more tracks together?


But is it possible in N track to compare tracks visual?

n-Track dont include spectrogram display on the track view. You can compare them using some VST fx for this purpose, or load the two wave files in the freebie Audacity that is an Audio Editor that includes spectrogram view for each track.

With two guitar tracks, if they’re playing the same or very similar parts, it’s common to pan them wide apart – often all the way. In addition to separating them mentally, it also creates a nice stereo image.

If they’re different kinds of parts, though, you can pan them somewhat apart but not wide, and it’s far more important to do some frequency scooping. We also usually have to cut the low end of the guitar and scoop that region from the bass (leaving in the highs on the bass) to avoid collision between bass and electric guitar – a frequent problem.