The interlude from Knights of Cydonia by Muse is a great example of terribly overcompressed backing vocals (even though it kind of works for this context). Your email address will not be published. If the vocal’s volume drops down then adjust the makeup gain (input). Learn how your comment data is processed. Older or less mainstream music tends to preserve the dynamic range (louds and softs) of different moments in the track. Because humans are expert listeners, any small unnatural-sounding volume jump or dip will be noticeable and detract from the power of the melody and lyrics. What happens next? Listen listen listen to as much as you can. Lead vocals in pop and mainstream music are the centre point of the mix. In general, faster compressor attack times will lower the level of consonants. Vocal Mixing Chain Advice for Hip Hop, Pop, and EDM, Understanding the Fletcher Munson Curve in Mixing Audio and Audio Production, How Much Headroom You Need Before Mastering. Backing vocals should be thought of more as instruments than vocals. If you want to learn more about our affiliate partners, click here. Compression settings for lead vocals should be as natural sounding as possible. Rap is a rhythmic genre of music. Different styles of vocal delivery and range will require different settings, right? These guidelines should help you to find a starting point for compressing your vocals. Set the make-up gain to 0 dB (as well as the output gain if you have that). It controls the suddenness with which the sound is compressed as it approaches the threshold. Now without soloing the vocal slowly turn down the Threshold knob to adjust the amount of compression on the vocal. This means that some the links on our site are affiliate links. But as you turn it down towards negative infinity, more of the audio gets attenuated or quietened. In group singing, however, it’s appropriate to treat all the vocals as lead vocals and give them identical compression settings. How compressed? A knee is also a time control. Slower attack times, on the other hand, will emphasize consonants. If you click on one of these links to purchase a product or service that we recommend, we will be compensated it. is a participant in a variety of affiliate programs, such as Amazon Associates and Loopmasters Affiliate Program. First set up the ratio 3:1 or 2:1. A softer knee means a smoother sound while a harsher knee means more abrupt changes in volume as the sound dips and jumps around the threshold value. Focus is placed on the percussive characteristics of the delivery. Generally speaking, the more mainstream the music style, the more compression you can use. We use compressors to make changes to the sound’s amplitude (volume). Threshold: –9dB; Ratio: 2:1; Attack: <1 ms; Release: About 50 … Let’s look at a few of the more common ones. Set the ratio to a moderate setting (~3:1). So in this post we’ll go over a few compressor settings to use when you’re recording and mixing vocals in your studio. Honest Gear Suggestions for Home Studio Owners and Music Producers. It’s also important to get familiar to various styles of music by listening critically to how the vocals sound. That depends on the ratio. All of those knobs on a compressor have different duties. The attack and release parameters are concerned with the time window during which the compressor is active. An incorrectly compressed lead vocalist, or overly compressed backing vocals, can seriously hurt an otherwise excellent creative masterpiece. If the song’s central focus is the lead vocal, the goal is to make it sound like you’re in the room (or hall) with the singer and avoid any extreme effects. A compressor condenses the louds and softs of an audio signal. Make-up gain simply allows you to turn it back up to match the levels in the mix. As a result, the overall sound is usually quieter after passing through a compressor than before it entered.