album masteringCleanup
Another important aspect in working with the vocals is how “clean” you would like them to be as result of online mixing and mastering services. The lower midrange, which makes the singer's voice sound "full", is also influenced by the side tone of the room, where the recording took place. This range also adds something called “muddiness”, but only if the lower midrange is excessive in the track. The engineer must decide where lies the desired balance between the “fullness” and “muddiness”. First, the overall tone of the LV track should be organized, then its integrity with the guitar and bass must be worked out, and the mud attenuation issue should be left for the end. Maybe when the whole composition is arranged, all parts will work smoothly, so you won’t have to fight for the clean voice lower midrange.
rock masteringDynamics
Heavily compressed sound of vocals is very typical for Hard Rock mixing. Every music mix master engineer has its own view on how to work in this case. I prefer start processing dynamics of vocals with a simple level automation, so the compressor is feeded in a uniform way without audible dips or overload. Only after the necessary compression level is reached, I perform the final volume automation of the compressed vocals in order to highlight especially emotional bits with the volume. The result achieved with this approach you can hear in mixing and mastering examples. In addition, notice that Rock music really loves distortion in all its aspects, so if a processing results in somewhat crunchy vocals, it’s no big deal – this will only help the voice make its way through the barrage of the guitars and bashy drums.