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Mixing Rap/Hip Hop vocals to cut through the mix is probably the most important thing you can do for the song.
photo by www.thalspot.com
The Most Important Part
I believe EQ is you best friend when tryingto get a vocal track(s) to sit within a stereo music track.
By stereo music track I mean track this a compilation of all the elements of the song already bounced down to 1 stereo track.
So the drums, pads, background vocals, etc… etc… are already on 1 track ready to mix in with the vocals.
The goal is to get the separate vocal tracks to sit with this stereo track, and make it sound and feel like it belongs together.
The most important part is to get the EQ for each track to work with each other.
You want to carve out small pockets of EQ for the music track to sit in, and a different pocket for the vocals to sit in and not compete for the same frequencies.
Compression and Effects
Next you can move on to using compression and effects to help the vocal track sit just right.
Compression can add some energy and get the vocals to sit right up front in your face.
This in most genres of music is important since the vocals are and should be the most important part of the song.
Adding effects like delay and reverb can also help the track feel like it was part of the music tracks and not a separate piece that you have to make fit in the puzzle.
Delays can add width and more excitement.
Reverb can add depth and ambiance. Be careful with too much reverb, because you can easily wash out the vocal which can work against you when you need the vocal be upfront and present.
Before I go any further, my post was originally published on the Disc Makers Blog.
In the article there is a video embedded that will walk you through the process of all the elements I’ve mentioned above.
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