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What are the benefits??

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by BigTrey, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    Hello RO'ers, it's been over four years since I have been on, and it feels good to be back on the site. Took a break from music for a while, now I'm back into one of my favorite passions. My question is simple, hopefully. I have mainly done some production with hip-hop/R&B, and in the past I would just import the instrumental into PT and record the vocals on separate tracks and then do a mix down....since I also produce beats I was wondering if it's better to just mix the vocals in with each individual instrument of the track to get a more polished mix, better sounding mix? It has been a while since I have been doing this on a regular basis and I would like to be able to have better mixes. I'll include a track for preview in another forum for any feedback (all tracks that I have done before were done using scenario 1 above). Thanks for any advice given.....Trey

    Scenario 1:
    Instrumental track (stereo mix)
    Chorus Lead
    Chorus Backing Vocal
    Chorus Adlib

    Scenario 2:
    Kick Drum
    Bass Drum
    Chorus Lead
    Chorus Backing Vocal
    Chorus AdLib
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    for most of the hip hop work i do for other people they come in w/ a usually, rather shabby stereo mp3, that they downloaded from the internet. this severely limits what i can do to the beat. although can be done w/ a good result, it's leave far fewer options.

    i much prefer to go w/ what you defined in scenario 2. this doesn't mean you necessarily have to import each track. for instance if your using something like reason, there's a fair amount of mixing power in there, so you can keep everything on one stereo instrument track in pro tools, but still mix after the fact, to achieve the best continuity between your track(s) and your vocals.

    I would take it even further, and put each part on is own track in pro tools, so i could take advantage of some of my favorite plugins, but i would only do this if i had aftermarket plugins. the stuff you'll find in reason, or whatever else your using, is going to be about as good or better than any other stock pluggin, so i wouldn't take the extra time to do it. But i would make sure i had coontrol over each instrument in the sequencer program.
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    I take it you mean keep all the instrument and vocal tracks separate, and then mix them ALL down?

    Consider this:

    Scenario 1: You have to make the vocals fit into the already mixed tracks. That means you have to be a slave to the stereo mixdown, and you may have to radically EQ it, or EQ what may be great-sounding vocals to fit into the track. You can't get just certain elements out of the way, or change relative levels or EQ of any the instrument tracks, which may be less destructive than messing with the entire mix.

    Scenario 2: You record great-sounding vocals. You have all these separate instrumental tracks that you premixed as a "working mix", that sounded great by itself. BUT, no matter what you do, there is something in the instruments that needs tweaked to "fit around" the vocals. Is one element of one instrument causing a conflict of one element of the vocals? With separate tracks, you can isolate what that is and experiment. Maybe you have to tweak the instrument some? Maybe you'd rather remove, say, just a hair off the low-end of the vocals? Maybe just a little dab of both'll do ya? And, the rest of the instrument tracks may be untouched...or...more likely, since you've just changed relative levels/frequencies, it may now sound just a little off if you don't slightly tweak a few other things?

    With separate tracks...you can do that.

    With a premixed instrument track, you are limited to how much you can futz with.

    Good luck,

  4. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    Thanks kMetal and Kapt.Krunch (I thought of cereal when I read your name, lol). That's exactly what I mean as far as mixing the vocals with each element of the song on a separate track in PT..I mean I have done it for a long time using scenario 1, and have always thought that by using scenario 2, I would have better control over the different elements of the mix as far as getting them to fit better together. With a premixed instrumental, I have found that I can get it and the vocals to sound good together, but it takes a lot of tweaking on my part. Now that I have returned to music production, I have decided to go with scenario 2 on any mix that I do in order to achieve a better mix overall. Thanks for the replies gentlemen, at least I know now that the approach I want to take has better benefits than the way I used to go about it. I will probably still use scenario 1 when someone comes to me with a premixed instrumental, but for my own recording needs I will probably use scenario 2 all the time. Thanks again....Trey
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    the way a lot of guys used to do this stuff in analog days was to record a loop of a sample on multitrack for 3 or four minutes, and then record another and another and another, until all the samples were on tape. then they would track the vocals.

    at mix they would mute and unmute what they wanted at specific times. doing it this way allowed eqing to taste for each sound/loop and panning placements .. mults, compression .. effects.. it worked pretty well. i engineered a lot of these sessions and watched quite a few mix's go down. it was almost a performance in itself .. 3 guys standing at the console muting and un muting channels until the mix was made.

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