Become a member
Become a member

or
Continue with Google
Log in
Log in

or
Log in using a Google account
learning

Headphone mix for the singer - Part 4

The ultimate guide to audio recording - Part 99

In this fourth part you'll learn how to fine-tune the cue mix for the singer by improving the ordinary in no time.

View other articles in this series...

Plastic surgery with an ax…

Before we begin, I’d like to point out that the following steps apply exclusively to the sound sent to the singer’s headphone mix! The signal you will be recording in parallel should always remain completely raw to preserve as much information as possible for the mixing stage.

And one last detail I would like to bring to your attention is the interdependence of the recording level and the cue mix, as we mentioned in step 2 last week. This unavoidable link will force you to check your levels at each of the following stages.

Step 3:

     Start by EQing the vocals in the cue mix. There’s no need to be subtle and/or precise at this time: a simple low-pass set quickly to counteract the proximity effect inherent to cardioid mics, if needed, a light “skimming” in the low mids with a peak filter, and maybe a couple of dBs in the high end with a shelving filter ought to make the cue signal much more pleasant for the singer. Make sure to always ask the singer if what you are doing works for him/her.

Step 4:

Enregistrement-99        Next, tackle the signal’s dynamics. Once again, remember you are not in the mixing stage here, so your goal shouldn’t be to go into any subtleties. The idea is to make sue that the singer can hear him/herself just as good throughout the loudest and softest passages of the song.

While you are dialing in the compressor, avoid the pumping effect and emphasizing any unwanted noise (breathing, tongue clicks and other mouth noises) because they will have an impact on the performance.

Do note however that some singers do not like their precious voice being compressed, especially the most seasoned among them. In fact they prefer the fluctuations and/or are able to control them themselves playing with the distance to the mic, for instance.

Step 5:

     Now add some reverb or delay. Some purists are no fans of this, but that’s rare and even for them a light and discrete Room reverb will contribute to make the cue signal sound more real or “natural, ” which will make their performance easier. It might be interesting to dig into typical effects, like a slapback delay, a somber plate or a bright room to match the feeling of the track your recording. This will help the singer to get into the mood of the song. But be careful not to overdo it because if the voice has too much delay and/or the reverb is way too luxurious during tracking, it might result in the singer having tuning and/or timing issues.

Step 6:

     Go back to the overall volume of the pre-mix. Start pulling it up until you reach a level that’s comfortable for the singer but make sure not to exceed the reference volume you had written down during the first step you saw last week. If the singer asks you to increase the playback level beyond that, it means there’s an issue and you should try to resolve it by balancing the vocal signal and the playback rather than increasing the level of the latter beyond what’s reasonable.

Step 7:

    To finish, make any retouches to the playback according to the desires of the singer. At this stage it might also be wise to fine-tune the pre-mix a bit to give the vocals a little push. Some EQ and compression will help the vocals cut through the cue mix, which will make the life of the singer easier.

And that’s it. Following these seven steps you should be able to create a comfortable cue mix for the singer. This will obviously take some time to put into practice at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can go through the entire process in less than 15 minutes. Next week we’ll see how to put this technique to the test with a practical example.

← Previous article in this series:
Headphone mix for the singer - Part 3
Next article in this series:
AUDIO RECORDING - ultimate guide (100 episodes) →
  • ritmava 2 posts
    ritmava
    New AFfiliate
    Posted on 03/10/2020 at 08:52:19
    2924505.jpg
    Sound is a set of ways in which sound is amplified. Generally speaking, sound is an increase in the larynx's capabilities and revealing of the ability to lie in the sound. This is where one can use all of their audio intervals. When you are in a crowd, you find that someone who has a better voice is more attractive and also has a say.
    Beginner Singing Training
  • fret24 11 posts
    fret24
    New AFfiliate
    Posted on 01/22/2022 at 06:21:42
    I love headphone mixing and I think it's a great approach for home recording.

Would you like to comment this article?

Log in
Become a member
cookies
We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent
These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Example: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).
Google Analytics
We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.
Advertising
This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Examples: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).

Google Analytics

We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it. When this parameter is activated, no personal information is sent to Google and the IP addresses are anonymized.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest.


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.
You can also find information about how Google uses personal data by following this link.