How do you mix down Rap Vocals

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Djtmagik, May 12, 2002.

  1. Djtmagik

    Djtmagik Guest

    How do you mix down the vocals to make them stand out of the track,.,.,..

    do you do a soft pan on the doulbes and center the adlibs or vice versa..
  2. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    I like to use a nice amount of compression to get the vocal to sit nice and clean on the beat. You might add a little top-end, or you might want it to sound dark and grimey???

    As for backing vox, be creative. Sometimes on even a Dr. Dre produced song I'll hear the backing vox blended center with the lead (most of the time these days in his latest records). Other times there will be a "chorus" delay to give a "stereo spread" feel. Whatever sounds best for the song. If the instrumental beat is pretty centered in the mix, it might sound good to have some background/dub vocals spreading left right to fill the "stereo field". Even if the rapper dubbed a little "yea" or soundbyte...pan that left or right. It's cool to keep the little ad-libs a vocalist might do as he/she's prepping to drop their verse. Sometime's it's not. These are production decisions only you can make. If you want to know some techniques to bring your ideas into fruition, ask and the good people in here will respond.
  3. Djtmagik

    Djtmagik Guest

    Thanx man that's what i thought... Cause what i did was give the main 2 vocals a soft pan and kept the adlibs centered.. Not on all mixes that i do that i kind of mix to where it sounds the best... I just making sure i was going about it the right way far as goes of compression how do you set the vocal compression for rap vocals without giving it that rock and roll sound to it... Cause the main reason for me cause i did use compression on some stuff it sound like that we were ready to open up for a rock group.... Check out the first song on check out the songs and tell me how the mixes is and the overall quality/
  4. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    You might want to keep your main vocals centered and pan your adlib/dub/backgrounds. The main vocal will have more power and presence down the center right in the sweet spot.
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    That would definitely by my first instinct as well. If it is truly an interactive duet lead with lots of cutting back and forth between voices (as opposed to just handing off from one verse to the next) I might pan the leads very slightly (no more than 11:00 - 1:00) to give a sense of spacial relationship between the lead voices.
  6. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    Littledog...I'm doing that panning right now on our latest track. The vocals are going back and forth switching off measures between the two leads.
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Yet another case of weak minds thinking alike! :D
  8. Djtmagik

    Djtmagik Guest

    thanx i don't do it all the time but someone told me to do that so i had to ask.. On The mixes on i kept the mains centered and the adlibs panned hard... Another question should the adlibs be soft or hard panned.... :roll:
  9. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    I've found that sometimes if you pan thsigs too hard they almost disappear in mono.
  10. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Yes...I'd apn vocals that are key (i.e. important) no more than 50% L&R. But then again I come from the RicKRuben school of very dry, in your face and punchy...
  11. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    "How do you mix down Rap Vocals?"
    Ummm ... all the way down ... :p
  12. sixpence

    sixpence Guest

    But RecorderMan.... You ARE Rick Rubin... :D :D :D :D :D :D
  13. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    If my entire mix is like a circle, then I want the lead vocal sitting powerfully right at the center or a little above. At the top of the circle I want my Hi-Hats sparkling, my higher freq pads that might "swirl" around on top of the mix. I want the attack on my kick drum sitting somwhere in the center as well so the vocal hits off of it. The bass stays locked at the bottom. My background vocal either stays center to blend with the power of the lead, or they get panned for "wider" effects. This panning depends upon how much "stuff" is already wide in the mix.
  14. Jim Chapdelaine

    Jim Chapdelaine Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    CT, USA
    a must: aural exciter - real or plug in. any model.
  15. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    This is what I usually do:

    Single tracked lead vocals are not panned.

    Double tracked lead vocals are panned in
    opposite directions, usually about 25% or so,
    and various effects are used to emphasize the
    stereo image:

    a) A 20-40 ms. delay (no feedback) is
    applied to one channel.
    b) for singing, one channel is pitch
    shifted by 5-10 cents and the other
    channel is shifted by -10 to -5 cents.
    c) one channel is equalized for an emphasis
    in treble, one with an emphasis in
    bass, and the channels are brought closer

    Incidental vocals are usually effected in some
    way (e.g. a bandpass) and are panned but not
    too drastically.

    But above all, just experiment; it's fun.
  16. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    If I got a lead, 2 doubles and an ad lib, I keep the Lead & Ad at 12 o clock, then I'll voc align the doubles (sometimes I don't) and hard pan them. Vocalign helps the hard pans sound nice & tight as well as big & wide. I'm also a sucker for taking the main rhythm instrument (or a bus of the main rhythm) and KEY compressing (and sometimes ducking it with a gate) it from the lead rap so everytime the rapper says something, the track gets out of it's way. I use this pretty moderately most of the time, especially if I'm compressing my stereo bus.

    Also, I usually compress a lot more on rap vocals which will help make up for rapper breathe control, but a lot of the time I have to de ess after the compressor.

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