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Thread: Waves vocal rider

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    Waves vocal rider

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    Is this basically the same thing as sidechaining the vocal to the Instrumental mix? Like could the same thing be accomplished if I took the mix, minus the vocal and sidechained it to where every time the transients from the vocal comes in, the rest ducks down a little?

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    more like a gain control with a compressor type look-ahead function. You set parameters for how loud, how much reduction , etc. It is far from dong actual vocal riding with a fader but it can be a good place to either start (or finish if you have already automated your fader moves and are just using it as an extra layer of protection)
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4140 View Post
    Is this basically the same thing as sidechaining the vocal to the Instrumental mix? Like could the same thing be accomplished if I took the mix, minus the vocal and sidechained it to where every time the transients from the vocal comes in, the rest ducks down a little?
    I've only used a cheapo off version, but no what you're describing is more like 'ducking the mix, where if I'm not mistaken the 'riders simply attempt to ride the low or high spots in the track ('vocal), and/or look at the 'mix and try to maintain the vocal some amount above it.

    Actually, though I'm not saying I use it this way.. you could 'duck or 'ride a mix behind a vocal (or what whatever) by mixing it 'hot -and well above the threshold, without the need for a side chain feed.
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    Vocal rider is actually more complicated than it looks.
    I have it although I use it as described above - The simplest way.

    I remember looking up the manual to see what the 'music' control was for, though, and finding "Intelligently adjusts vocal level based on dynamics of the music tracks. "

    "
    MUSIC SENSITIVITY determines the amount Vocal Rider adapts to changes ininstrumental levels. (“Instrumental” refers to all tracks other than the vocal).
    Range: -12 to +12 dBDefault: 0
    Please note: To use this control, the instrumental mix bus must be assigned to the VocalRider side-chain input. "

    You could use key input on a compressor for a similar-ish effect,
    but vocal rider doesn't compress and, therefore, doesn't sound like a compressor.

    It also has upper and lower thresholds so it will ride your fader up and down around a specified central point, and within set limits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4140 View Post
    Is this basically the same thing as sidechaining the vocal to the Instrumental mix? Like could the same thing be accomplished if I took the mix, minus the vocal and sidechained it to where every time the transients from the vocal comes in, the rest ducks down a little?
    Not really. First of all, VR does not use compression to make your vocals ride in the mix. It is a great time saver if you are just learning. Once you do a few mixes, you will see just what it does as you listen, and then you can go in and do it the new/old fashion way. If you truly want to learn how to make your vocals ride in the mix, I highly recommend you buy this plug to further your education. There are other plugs for free that will do the same thing, but IMHO, waves does it the best.

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    Interesting, so it seems like it does volume automation without the tedious work... I just made a donation to Terry West plugins, he has voc rider, I cam try that to see if it works for me. Waves vocal rider has killer reviews so it seems pretty useful. I guess it would sound more natural that compression? Or if your vocal is already compressed and sounding good but it needs a little automation in certain parts..

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4140 View Post
    Interesting, so it seems like it does volume automation without the tedious work...
    Ummm, Kinda but yes you are correct.

    I just made a donation to Terry West plugins, he has voc rider, I cam try that to see if it works for me. Waves vocal rider has killer reviews so it seems pretty useful. I guess it would sound more natural that compression?
    Terry is a well respected person in the audio circles. You made a great choice.

    Or if your vocal is already compressed and sounding good but it needs a little automation in certain parts..
    Always do your automation first. This is just my opinion. Then use compression if needed. Record properly, master lightly.

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    I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence, one thing I've learned is if a song is recorded well, it makes it so much easier to mix and master. As far as vocal riding, the whole reason I got the idea was because in a busy mix some things the vocal seems buried. I've already made room in the frequency spectrum, compressed and all that. If u have any suggestions, please let me know. The only thing I thought of is having the music duck behind the vocal on certain parts but don't know if that's even a thing.. .

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    If your vocal sounds buried in the mix I don't think these tools are what you're looking for.
    I'm aware of 'ducking' as a technique in commercial beat-based music, usually to let the mix pump and the kick punch through, and for voice where clarity and diction is important, like radio/podcasts etc,
    but I don't think I've ever wanted to duck a mix to allow the vocal to be heard.

    Although a vocal rider isn't going to compress anything, it will turn your mix down and/or vocal up.
    If that was a solution, I'm thinking your previous volume automation would already have sorted the problem.

    I mean, try it....it's how we learn, but I'm not sure it's the way forward.

    If you have a wide-panned stereo effect on the vocal, like a stereo reverb or delay, try narrowing that for some clarity.
    Sometimes I blend in a spare vocal take with the main one, and sometimes I'll track word for word harmonies, when the main vocal isn't coming through like it should.

    Failing that, you could try muting each track one by one to see which one you think masks the vocal the most.
    If everything sounds great without one particular guitar, for example, then do you need that guitar? Or can it be panned out of the way a little or thinned out?

    Just a few suggestions.
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    Separating the main vocal tracks and all the rest of the audio into two stems and sidechaining (ducking)the music with the lead vocal is an old well worn and documented procedure, It is normally done with either a limiter or a compressor. As long as your settings aren't too extreme it is generally only noticeable to people who record audio. I have seen more extreme yet less noticeable results done with dynamic eq sidechained again with the vocal. That way you can duck only the main frequency span of your vocal instead of the whole mix
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