"wet" vs "dry"

joncpaul

New member
I frequently see the words "wet" and "dry" when reading articles on mixing; but I have yet to find a really complete definition, or info on how to set up wet and dry mixes.

I'm using the very basic Cakewalk Music Creator, which I find suitable for my current recording needs. I'm using music that has already been mixed down to a single track, then adding the vocal track(s) on top.

What I am trying to do is establish mixes that have different "depths" to the vocals, depending on the type of music - for more upbeat songs, I want the vocal "in front" of the music; for ballads, I want the vocal mixed more into the "middle" of the music. I'm not sure how to "move" the vocals front to back of the mix; and I think this has something to do with "wet" and "dry."

And, as a separate issue, has anyone found a magic formula for balancing the volume levels between music and vocals, other than just how it sounds?

Thanks for any help and suggestions that can be given to a newbie!!
 

dachay2tnr

One Hit Wonder
Welcome, jonpaul. Dry simply means without any effects. Wet means with effects.

Reverb is usually the effect/plugin that is used to control the front to back placement in a mix. The dryer the track (less reverb) the more forward it will be in the mix. Conversely, increasing the amount of reverb (making it *wetter*) will send it towards the back.
 

James Argo

Fancy Rock N' Roll
Just an addition to Dachay boy, you can also use several Plug ins that helps you "put the sound" in yer like. Some like Waves S1-Stereoimage+ helps you graphically put the sound. Even though it's not 100% accurate, its worth to try anyway... Understanding the how the frequency works also helps you mix the sound. You might need this link to check... for basic article... :)
 

blipndub

New member
poke around the mixing threads, as many people are on this quest for proper placement in mixes whether for vox, guitar, drums etc.

compression plug ins are also useful in altering placment.

welcome to HR.com it's a great board lots to learn, like amazing amounts!
 

Richard Monroe

Well-known member
Aside from placement in the mix, it's important to note that all effects, whether it be EQ, compression, reverb,chorus, flanger, delay, de-esser, or anything else, are a bitch to remove once inserted, and mostly can't be removed. I would say if you're mixing in-house, if you can get your effects right when tracking, that's OK. Many people have trouble tracking without reverb, especially some vocalists, and often the reverb will be added to the singer's headphone mix, but aren't recorded.
In my case, I'm tracking Sahara-class dry, and all effects will be added by the mixing engineer later. This allows the nice mixing engineer, who has better gear and better ears than me, to try out different versions, including re-amping the guitar, until we hit a pleasing combination. Whether you track wet or dry depends on how those tracks will be processed afterwards.-Richie
 

Dirk Diggler

New member
Just an addition to Dachay boy, you can also use several Plug ins that helps you "put the sound" in yer like. Some like Waves S1-Stereoimage+ helps you graphically put the sound. Even though it's not 100% accurate, its worth to try anyway... Understanding the how the frequency works also helps you mix the sound. You might need this link to check... for basic article... :)

I've found the panning article linked in this post to be so helpful that I'm bumping it up, in case others might find it beneficial as well. (Fortunately the page still exists seventeen years later.)
 
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