Vocal mixing generally involves lots of processing and varying techniques can be used to achieve different results. When it comes to reverb, using multiple instances of the effect in small amounts and with specific routing is a great approach that gives awesome results. In the next tutorial, we will show you how to make your vocals sound great with this technique.
We will start by listening to a track we made in our SoundBridge: DAW. The track contains all of the elements of the full mix, including vocals. They haven’t been processed yet.
Here is how the vocal line sounds solo.
In order to process our vocals, we will first create three return tracks in our project. You can do that by clicking on the + icon on the top of the SoundBridge: DAW interface, and from there choosing the “Return” track type. We will name the first return track “Room Reverb” and click create.
Now we have a new return channel showing up on our sequencer and mixer windows. For our room effect, we have chosen the MannyM Reverb plugin by Waves Audio. Here, we want a really short reverb effect that simulates a room. On the MannyM Reverb interface, we will choose “Room” and “Small” as our base settings, with some additional pre-delay, and boosting of mid frequencies with the built-in EQ. We will set the send amount from our vocal track to the room reverb to around 35 %. Let’s have a listen.
Once satisfied with this, let’s add another return track and load a Plate type reverb on it. For this purpose, we have chosen the Abbey Road Plates plugin by Waves audio. Plate reverbs change the character of the vocals and make them sound brighter. Again, the send amount to our Plate effect will be increased just a bit, around 20%. You will notice a significant difference in the vocals as we do this.
Next, after creating our third return track, we will add a Chamber type of reverb to it. Chamber reverbs are similar to halls – delivering a lush, ambiance-soaked sound. However, they also give you an extra dose of clarity, which prevents the washed-out effect inherent in many hall reverbs. Our choice for this task is the Abbey Road Chambers by Waves Audio. Again, we are feeding a small amount of our vocals into this effect.
Now, let’s hear how our vocal sounds processed with the three different reverbs.
Finally, let’s hear how our processed vocal sounds in the context of the full mix.