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Care to share your techniques for mixing vocals to a stereo two tracks? Spatial Processor Plugins
Old 4 days ago
  #1
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Care to share your techniques for mixing vocals to a stereo two tracks?

Care to share your techniques for mixing vocals to a stereo two tracks and getting them to sound top 40 billboard professional?

I tried EQing the track, vocals, using waves center on the two track nothing is working. It's 2018 and I'm sure someone has knowledge on how to make this work and get around this problem. Is there anyone out there willing to share their knowledge?

(please don't recommend buying the stems. I know it will make it easier. I am trying to solve this problem so I can defeat it when I can't get access to the stems)
Old 3 days ago
  #2
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Well it's never going to sound 'top 40 billboard professional' IMO as compromises are having to be made somewhere or another that aren't when working with stems.

I'm no big mixer but I've always gotten good results using probably the same techniques as others.

For me it's just typically a little dip in the mid signal or the 2 track in the 1-3k range, you might need to eq the 2track quite a bit more since these Internet beats are often poorly mixed and the beat makers haven't really considered a place for the vocals when making them and aside from the typical vocal processing, you'll probably want a considerable amount of compression to help control and keep the vocal level consistent amongst the onslaught of the beat and then IF the vocal still isn't cutting clear a little sidechaining works great, and sidechaining the just to the upper mids of the beat or wherever the prominent vocal frequencies are will be even less invasive.

Hope that helps, I don't think there's any thing else to it, sidechaining is probably the most overt action to overcome the issue but isn't always necessary, depends on the beat. EDIT: Oh and parallel compression can be an alternative method or used in combination to help the vocal cut through, not a fan of parallel processing but in this case it can do wonders.

Last edited by Cabrone; 3 days ago at 12:56 AM..
Old 3 days ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrone View Post
Well it's never going to sound 'top 40 billboard professional' IMO as compromises are having to be made somewhere or another that aren't when working with stems.

I'm no big mixer but I've always gotten good results using probably the same techniques as others.

For me it's just typically a little dip in the mid signal or the 2 track in the 1-3k range, you might need to eq the 2track quite a bit more since these Internet beats are often poorly mixed and the beat makers haven't really considered a place for the vocals when making them and aside from the typical vocal processing, you'll probably want a considerable amount of compression to help control and keep the vocal level consistent amongst the onslaught of the beat and then IF the vocal still isn't cutting clear a little sidechaining works great, and sidechaining the just to the upper mids of the beat or wherever the prominent vocal frequencies are will be even less invasive.

Hope that helps, I don't think there's any thing else to it, sidechaining is probably the most overt action to overcome the issue but isn't always necessary, depends on the beat. EDIT: Oh and parallel compression can be an alternative method or used in combination to help the vocal cut through, not a fan of parallel processing but in this case it can do wonders.
Thank you man. I hope one day in the future someone comes out with a tool we can use to be able to take a stereo track and mix it right w/o sacrificing another element. Until then I guess I gotta just make it work if that's all I have.
Old 3 days ago
  #4
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Old 2 days ago
  #5
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Old 1 day ago
  #6
DAH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHINII View Post
Thank you man. I hope one day in the future someone comes out with a tool we can use to be able to take a stereo track and mix it right w/o sacrificing another element. Until then I guess I gotta just make it work if that's all I have.
Your hopes are as optimistic and consumer-driven as turning a rock into a steak.
However, if the beat is well mixed, the only thing you need is processing the vocals channels as in the usual multitrack situation and adjust its level relative to the beat.
BTW it is all about your monitoring.
Old 1 day ago
  #7
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Experiment with mid-side techniques.
Old 1 day ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAH View Post
Your hopes are as optimistic and consumer-driven as turning a rock into a steak.
However, if the beat is well mixed, the only thing you need is processing the vocals channels as in the usual multitrack situation and adjust its level relative to the beat.
BTW it is all about your monitoring.
What? because I said I hope a engineer makes a device or plugin to make it where mixing two tracks will be easier and no sacrifices would be made? No one would have ever imagined 50 years ago the devices that are made today would have been made. You're reaching extremely hard to sound intelligent.
Old 1 day ago
  #9
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Waves C6 sc
Sidechain the beat to the vocals boom *♂️
Old 1 day ago
  #10
Have a look at TrackSpacer by Waves Factory Trackspacer - Mix Faster - Award Nominated Audio Plug-in AU/VST/AAX.

I haven't used it to mix to a two-track, but I have used it in a mix where I had a busy synth that was a big part of the energy of the track (so I didn't want to lose it) but was clashing with vocal frequencies. It effectively does frequency based side-chaining, and you can select what frequency you want it to focus on more. I mostly use it on bass, side-chained to the kick, for which it does a great job.

Other than that on the two-track, you can also try:

A Mid Side EQ and use the Mid to carve out clashing frequencies, which you can then maybe boost on the Sides.
Dynamic EQ
Multiband compression
Old 20 hours ago
  #11
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Step 1) fix the 2track beat. They are usually not mixed very well, massively overcompressed, and absurdely limited. So I will use a transient type of plug-in to help undo the compression. I’ll also go in with a dynamic EQ with negative ratios to try and zero in on certain instruments that need to punch more, or be pushed back. I’ll use mid-side EQ to sculpt the overall sound. Basically, I get the 2track to where it SHOULD be. I DO NOT believe in any of that “carve out space for the vocal by cutting this or that frequency”. It makes zero sense to me. Would you do that on a regular record with multitracks? No. And every 2track is going to be mixed differently so any rules about cutting certain frequencies to make room for the vocal are 2track dependent and every situation is different. So instead, I fix what’s wrong with the 2track so that I’m at a point where it would be if I had the multitracks. Obviously it’s not the same, but I get it as close as possible so I can then treat things like a normal mix job.

Step 2) mix the vocals like usual. But I will buss all vocals and on that buss I’ll put a compressor with 2buss-like settings and sidechain it from the music. This is because I can’t undo ALL the compression on the 2track without making it sound bad. This mimics the 2buss compression I would normally get compressing music and vocals together.

Step 3) depending on how much dynamics I’ve gotten back, I may be able to add a smidge of 2buss compression.

I don’t get as many of these as I used to, but I still get them from time to time. Usually because there was some kind of issue preventing the client from getting the multitracks (usually, internet beatmakers who don’t practice good file management and can’t find the multitracks). And often these songs wind up on albums where I have the multitracks for the other songs. With this method, I can pretty much always get it so it doesn’t have that dreaded “vocal over 2track” sound. Will it sound as good as if I had the multitracks? No. But the problems with the mix won’t be that vox+2track sound vox sitting on top of the beat sound.
Old 12 hours ago
  #12
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Basically, this is what you do:



"I took a note, right? A sawtooth wave, right off of this Pantomine 4, put it back here, regenned it through itself, looped it back, mixed it with the sound of this crab committing suicide, and let it stew in its own reverb for about three hours, right? Then I pump it all out through this shoe, to give it that 'oaky' timbre."
Old 12 minutes ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
Step 1) fix the 2track beat. I DO NOT believe in any of that “carve out space for the vocal by cutting this or that frequency”. It makes zero sense to me. Would you do that on a regular record with multitracks? No. And every 2track is going to be mixed differently so any rules about cutting certain frequencies to make room for the vocal are 2track dependent and every situation is different
I disagree with your point about, whether you would carve out sounds in a mix. Of course you do. You have to consider all the instruments and tracks in every mix and put each in its right space, to hit whatever vibe or groove you’re trying to create. It’s second nature to typically make sure vocals are front and centre.

Of if the two track needs work you should do that first, keeping in mind where you think the vocals will sit.
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