Without a doubt, vocals are one of the most interesting audio sources to work with. Working with them is obviously a never-ending creative process. Numerous well-known music producers have distinctive vocal effect chains, distinguishing their vocal processing. In the following tutorial, I will show you how to make your vocals sound unique.

As an illustration, I have prepared a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW, which contains most instruments of the whole mix, including a vocal arrangement. Let us listen to it in the context of the entire mix and then solo.

This is my mix before I make the vocals sound unique

~Full Mix – Vocal (Unprocessed)

~Vocal – Solo (Unprocessed)

Make a Duplicate of Your Vocals Transposed -12 Semitones

As can be seen in the example above, this vocal sequence lacks some character. To fix that, I will soon apply a few interesting techniques. In order to have more prominence in the low-mid frequency range, I will duplicate the vocal channel and transpose the duplicated vocal for -12 semitones. Let us hear how that sounds.

This is my mix and images of the original and duplicated vocal channels.

~Duplicated Vocal – Transposed for -12 semitones (Solo)

Use Saturation to Make Your Vocals Sound Unique

Because I want this vocal process to have a distinct character, I will process it heavily with distortion. In this case, I used IVGI by Klanghelm. It’s an effect specifically that delivers soft saturation that works with a wide range of audio sources. After setting the desired amount of saturation, let’s hear how it processes our vocal sounds.  

This is my mix and the interface of UVGI distortion effect applied on the duplicated vocal

~Duplicated Vocal – Solo (Processed With Saturation)

Add a Good EQ and Stereo Imager

To fit this duplicated vocal even better in the whole mix, I will apply additional stereo widening by using the Haas effect and EQ to cut the low frequency of it slightly. Let us hear how the vocal sounds after being fully processed solo and then in the context of the whole mix.

This is my mix and the interface of the Haas effect and EQ applied on the duplicated vocal

~Duplicated Vocal – Solo (Processed With Saturation, Haas & EQ)

~Full Processed Vocal – Solo

~Full Mix – Vocal (Processed)

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