We’re back with another episode of FAQ Friday!
It’s still very early in the year and we have a ton of great questions to choose from already!
Our featured question of the week is: How do you mix a vocal duet or duo?
I love this question, I’ve done quite a few going back to Isaac Slade and Emmylou Harris and they did a duet of Boulder to Birmingham (listen to the song here)- this song is pretty much Emmy’s signature song! She did an amazing job singing it. When it came to mixing there were whole sections where only Issac was singing the verse or just Emmy singing the verse.
When they came together and sang the choruses it was amazing. In those days I was mixing in the box but through a Neve so what I did is… I took the vocal so it was on 23 and 24 and I panned Issac 10% one way and Emmylou 10% the other way.
If you closed your eyes, muted them and only had one up at a time you could barely barely barely – I’ll say it one more time barely tell that it wasn’t center. It was as central as you could get, it was 10% but when they sang together it was amazing and the difference was enormous. It was amazing what the little 10% it was like when I put a db on each of them.
It was incredible how much separation was created because of 10% one way and 10% the other way. They were 20% or 20 degrees away from one another which is actually quite a big deal and it really helped. So with duets and duos, this is what I typically do.
What you can do in your DAW is have your lead singer number one coming down the middle, then when lead singer number two comes in (and lead singer number one disappears) they go in the middle. When they sing together 10% and 10%. – trust me you will love it.
The other thing to do is to not share a reverb, give them slightly different reverbs and different textures- give them something that makes them a little separate.
Another thing you could think about doing would be using a slightly different mono verb on each of them. Preferably with a tiny tiny amount of pitching on it that gets them out of the way of each other.
I hope that all helps I love doing duet stuff it’s really exciting.
We cover the following questions during this episode of FAQ Friday!
•What do you think about working on the vocal sound during the tracking session?
• How do you usually treat vocals with reverb? Do you use it often? Which type? Or do you refer dry?
• When Tracking Vocals, do you compress lightly to tame the vocal or tend to commit on the way in? What’s your go to compressor and approach?
• What do you mean when you say Dynamic reverb?