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Problem slotting vocals into a busy mix

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by jmm22, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    I have intermittent vocals. The mix is essentially done (i.e., all instrumental parts) and busy, or full. I think I want to lightly duck part or all of the various tracks of the mix at the vocal parts, but in Cubase LE4, there appears to be no way to do that except automate volume on each individual track. But I already have some volume automation for other purposes, and the complicity of this recording is growing exponentially, which might be fine for those with experience.

    What is the simplest way to make some room in the mix at those brief vocal parts? My guess was export the mix to a stereo track and automate that, but I am wondering if it is wise to duck everything, or whether it is more normal to duck just some of the instruments. And if I duck everything, I am worried that it will be lost when the song is mastered, and comp/limit is applied. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    SSS Side Chain Compressor – Free VST for Windows & OS X | SonicTransfer.com

    Try this sidechain compressor. It's free VST.

    Run a submix ("group" in cubase) into the sidechain, and the Vox runs through it.

    I have never actually used it, sorry.
  3. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Thanks for the link. I could not get those comps to work. MInd you, it is doubtful that I could have learned how to use them effectively in such a short span. Worse still, I decided to use automation, and it is messing with the sonic quality. My song now has a serious case of digititis. It is very weird. I saved an earlier version where the instrumental parts are good, but now I have a real problem in that I might not be able to slot the vocals in. I mean I have tried, but it is impossible. The vocals are swamped by the music.
  4. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    I don't own Cubase 4 LE, but it is the same audio engine I used in former versions of Nuendo for a long time.
    Automation has never influenced sound.

    Ducking is awful... Everybody will hear that. You must blend the voice into the mix and move the center instrument a bit aside, panning, level & EQing.
    If you listen to it without the voice channel switched on, it must generate the expectation of something is about to be happening, not like something is sudenly missing, being kicked out of the way or wrong.
    Build an island in the middle that you can let dive and raise. Give it a little extra room with a short reverb ...
    Hard to say without listening to it...
  5. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Yeah, post a link to a snippet of the song so the pros here can hear it.
  6. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    I can't. It's a classified ADL 600 contest entry. :smile: I will just struggle on, although I will try a few things today, based on Big K's ideas.
  7. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Send it to me private mail.

    I herewith declare that I withdraw from the contest.
    I just can't find any time to finish my ADL opera in time.
    Goodbye you gorgeous piece of hardware, make me proud.....sniff ...
    Be a good Pre-Amp and always sound good for your new owner.
  8. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Big K, you are very generous to offer your help via pm. I am very grateful, and might ordinarily be inclined to accept, however, I have not even registered for Sound cloud yet, so I do not have any way to get it to you at least until then. I am not very tech savvy, and I trust there will be many obstacles for me to overcome to get my song finished and uploaded to Soundcloud.

    Still, your earlier post had very good information and subtle clues for me to make a breakthrough of sorts. It might not be ideal, or conventional, but I now have adequate tonal separation without ducking or automation. Thanks.
  9. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    +1 for Big K. Get everything away from center in the mix to allow space for the vox. I shouldn't be helping... I'm in the contest too... what am I doing?

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