Darrell is an incredibly producer, mixer, recording engineer, and nine-time Grammy-winner, who has had the opportunity to work with many acclaimed artists throughout his career. He has worked with Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, Beck, Nigel Godrich, and many more.
Today, he is going to show us some of the techniques he uses to smooth out harsh vocals!
To smooth out harsh vocals, Darrell uses multi-band compression. There are several plugins available that offer multi-band compression, so there is one for everyone, no matter what kind of sound you want! One of Darrell’s personal favorites is the Oeksound Soothe, but try a few out and find the one that works best for you!
To start, Darrell opens up his plugin of choice, and starts to look for the high peaks that he can visually see would be causing problems. He listens to the track and compresses where he needs to in order to smooth out the vocal the way he wants to. Watch the video below to see exactly how he does this!
In addition to using these techniques on vocals, Darrell applies them to electric guitars, acoustic guitars, piano, cymbals, and more. He has found all kinds of applications where things are extremely brittle and harsh, and need to be thickened up with plugins in order to give them some more life and not be so pointy.
Watch the video below to see Darrell Thorp’s techniques for smoothing out a harsh vocal!