> Step by step
16. Pro vocal processing using multiple sends
1 By setting up a selection of processing plugins on aux returns, we can make a great sounding, custom parallel vocal mix balance that can be used as a starting point for any other vocal mixing. First, import the files beginning “House…” into a blank 128bpm project. We’ll need a selection of aux sends, so create four empty sends to use later on.
2 Adding distortion behind our vocal will give it high-frequency bite. Load Sound toys Decapitator on the first aux send, then set the send amount from the Vocal channel to -30dB. Open Decapitator, then enable Punish mode with the Drive at 10 to crunch our input signal up. Decapitator’s Low Cut and Tone dials let us remove unwanted bass from the signal.
3 After turning down the distortion send to blend it in, we’ll add a slapback delay into the mix. Insert any mono delay onto the second aux send with the Wet/Dry set to 100%. After creating an -18dB send to the aux, set the Delay time to around 80ms with 10% Feedback to slightly delay the signal, giving it a thicker-sounding timbre.
4 Next, we’ll add some tasty plate reverb. Call up Liquid-Sonics’ Reverberate CM onto the third aux send, then load the Long Plate preset. After setting the Wet/Dry to 100% wet, create a new send from the vocal to the reverb aux. We’ve set our send level to -14dB for a subtle reverb effect, but feel free to experiment in your own track, of course.
5 To even out the vocal dynamics without squashing the dry signal, we’ll use the fourth send for some parallel compression. After inserting Sun Ruys CM onto the aux, set up a 0dB send from the Vocal channel. Set up compression with a Ratio of 4:1 ratio, a fast Attack and a Release of around 40%, with the Threshold set to give 10dB of reduction.
6 After turning the compression aux send down to around -20dB, you’ll hear that the hyper-compressed signal decreases the dynamic range of the dry vocal, giving a fuller overall sound and increased dynamic consistency. To finish, select all of the aux sends we’ve created and save them to a handy preset which can be used again for future projects.