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Thread: Techniques for getting vocal levels even?

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    Techniques for getting vocal levels even?

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    Basic newbie question here.

    I'm laying down some vocals, but in some parts of the song they're a little too loud--louder than in other parts.

    So my question is: what are some ways to even out the vocal levels?

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    Clip gain. It might be called something different. What software are you using?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    Clip gain. It might be called something different. What software are you using?
    I'm using Logic Pro.

    What do you mean by "clip" gain? Are you saying to go through manually and adjust the gain in each region of the track until it's even?

    I thought there was a way of automating it, but maybe not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Diggler View Post
    I'm using Logic Pro.

    What do you mean by "clip" gain? Are you saying to go through manually and adjust the gain in each region of the track until it's even?
    Yep. I don't know about Logic, but some software (Pro Tools, maybe Reaper etc.) will let you automate the gain like you automate volume. Doing it upstream of the channel inserts is preferable if you're using compression, for more consistent effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Diggler View Post
    I thought there was a way of automating it, but maybe not.
    I've sort of done it by normalizing peaks then pulling all the clip (region) gains down together. But it's not much of a time saver since I tend to have to do a lot of manual work anyway.

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    There is a plugin from Waves called "vocal Rider" that people use and is like $29. However, most of those souls that use it STILL do manual edits of their track lanes to reduce gain/volume at the peaks.
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    Thanks guys, that's helpful.

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    I just do manual automation of the vocal track. Once you get into the method, you can do it 'almost' live - keeping ahead of the playback and adding points between phrases to bring them up/down as needed.
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    First, try your best to sing properly, of course. If you have to be quiet or very loud, then just do it, because turning up the volume in the mix isn't the same thing as actually singing it that way to begin with. But after you've done your best to sing how you want it, manually adjust the waveform phrase by phrase. Actually, this is easily the most time consuming part of my mixes. The time spent manually adjusting vocals. I can spend a whole day bringing up words here and there, turning down the chorus lyrics since I'm usually belting, and back and forth for hours. Once you have it as close as you can get it by hand, use some compression for the coloring and slight evening out. Don't rely on the compression for volume consistency though.

    I take it back. Sorting out and choosing takes is the longest part. I'll usually do the entire song 12-14 times in a row, picking the best words (literally words, not just phrases or lines) and making it fit together cohesively.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruthish View Post
    There is a plugin from Waves called "vocal Rider" that people use and is like $29. However, most of those souls that use it STILL do manual edits of their track lanes to reduce gain/volume at the peaks.
    Yes, I vouch for it. It's a good plugin and saves a lot of time; after running it you go in and fix the few errors it makes. Then you can gently compress to even out the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    I just do manual automation of the vocal track.
    What do you mean by "manual automation"?

    That sounds like an oxymoron...or maybe my definition of "automation" is wrong...

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