There are few music styles in which vocals plays a subordinate part. Indeed, it is a focal point of the entire music track for most of them so you should pay the closest attention to vocal professional online mixing mastering audio services. There are both arrangement, audio properties and physiological reasons for it. They are based on the mechanics of human hearing. Regardless of the processing quality of other music instruments, if the backing vocal mixing engineer has processed the vocals audio tracks poorly, the song will still sound dull and won’t catch listeners. This option isn’t of any interest for us thus we need to make the vocals draw the listener’s attention by bringing it to the right foreground what can by far be achieved with audio compression. And not only with it… Professional online mixing and mastering audio services engineersconstantly combine it with loudness automation (both before and after compression) and parallel compression. So let’s consider this subject matter in more detail and look into the five errors most frequently made by novices at professional online music mixing mastering services during voice compression.
1. Compression as the only means
Contemporary mixing canons require incredible music dynamics uniformity when every word is clear, distinctive and sounds literally “just in face” regardless of the real dynamics of the singer who is capable of throwing into both whisper and scream, from one state to another in a second. The mixing novice’s error is his attempt to have this effect only with audio compression what brings about just incredibly crushed vocals as well as distortions. Instead, professional online audio mixing mastering services engineers start with detailed track loudness processing by recording gain automation by hand. Whereas the compressor finishes processing of dynamics details and compresses the overall track sound. And even after it the professional online mixing and mastering music services engineer quite often carries out additional loudness automation.
2. The use of audio compression only as an insert effect
Even after detailed automation and multi-layer compression the engineer can find out that some separate words are still not legible, especially in contemporary music. The purpose of its mixing is density maximum of literally all the music instruments of which the sound wall is comprised. The situation gets worse with the use of spatial processing as delays and reverberation cover up the vocals and sink it in music. In professional vocal mixing and mastering services practice, there’s a technique that has been solving this problem easily for decades without bringing any distortions in music – parallel audio compression otherwise known as New York style compression. In other words, during mid side mixing techniques maximum density is achieved with a compressor (or a series) set as insert; and then a new aux bus to which target sound will be sent is created. Exactly here, the vocal mixing services engineer can and must literally force all the life out of the vocals and flatten it out till the complete dynamics loss but he gets incredibly consistent audio signal. That’s okay as during further mixing this signal will be mixed to the basic vocal track in a small proportion – lower down the fader of the aux channel to the max and then raise it smoothly until you notice that the sound of the parts which disappeared earlier is apparent. In professional vocal mixing and mastering studios practice, parallel audio compression is used not only for the vocals but also for drum, guitar (and so on) compression, practically for any instrument. Mixing novices are recommended to check final settings by turning on/off aux bus a couple of times – if vocal stability effect is obvious, everything is correct.
3. Too fast attack
While being in the pursuit of super compression, the novice can easily make the following mistake – to set attack so short that the compressor will quit letting audio transients pass by cutting them off immediately. Although during this best online mixing and mastering services the desired compression will be definitely achieved, nevertheless, transients in music are exactly that what allows an instrument to cut through the mix. While selecting much too fast settings, you are in danger of resulting in the opposite and putting the vocals backwards. Professionalengineers resort to this trick during their work with backing vocals – it both turns out to be compact enough not to get lost in music and doesn’t clash with the main ones. As a starting point, attack values around 1–2 ms will suit vocal mixing novices. They let the compressor respond to audio peaks fast without choking music dynamics.
4. Non-exploitation of compression right from the start
This item is the extension of item 2. As far as during vocal mixingmultilevel dynamics processing audio is the norm, it’s logically to use it already at the recording stage – there is no need in drastic values. Just set the compressor so that it can smooth the vocals softly and invisibly. It will simplify the online music mixing engineer’s further work and will let a singer perform his part more comfortable. Keep in mind additional colors which an outboard compressor will add at the audio tracking stage already. It doesn’t matter if there aren’t appropriate devices in the studio; today there are loads of plugins which also cope with the task well. Pick them out to your liking and achieve 2–6 dB of gain reduction by setting ratio 1:1,5–1:3. The vocals will be set to music better, and the work on the further mixing vocal line will get easier.