eloiseo brien Crystal Clear Vocal "In your face Mix" I often get asked questions like “how do you get these great sounding mixes?” or “hey man, the vocals sound crystal clear and smooth how did you do that?” It's really not all that complicated and I'm going to share some simple technics on positioning the vocal to sound front and center while staying completely transparent. There are four things that must be applied to a vocal every time no matter which genre of music or tempo one is working with. In no specific order here they are: 1. EQ (Equalization) 2. Compression (Vocal Dynamics Control) 3. Desser (Syllabus Control - S's and T's) 4. Reverb (Vocal Room Sound) Now, these aren’t the only processing functions used on vocals but the majority of the time you’re going to see these applied to vocals by a professional mix engineer. So you’re probably wondering "This isn’t new to me I already know this" ok granted, but this is where we leave the known for the unknown. Lets begin with - what does one do to a vocal before adding any processing to the mix? I like to call it vocal cleaning, picture a butcher at a meat market that will carve out all the fat and leave just the lean meat, that is the basic idea here. Sounds good right? So, how does one accomplish that? First thing, start with the lead vocal and listen on solo. Run thru the lead straight through and take notes on areas that sound problematic. Common issues are noise between vocals and headphone bleed and anything that isn't part of the natural vocalist performance. Eliminate by simply cutting out dead space (audio space) that doesn't have any vocal data. Finally create slight volume fades in the beginning and end of each vocal region for smooth transitions.