Nobody said mixing vocals would be easy, but with powerful tools and some knowledge of tips and tricks to back you up, you’ll have everything you need to get those vocals finally sitting nicely in your mix.
Lead vocals are often supported with multiple vocal layers to add emotion, build intensity, and give your choruses and hooks a boost. With iZotope’s free Vocal Doubler plug-in, you can achieve the same natural doubling effect in an interactive UI with simple controls. Quickly add natural, human-like excitement with the Variation knob, and wide stereo doubling with the Separation knob. No matter your budget or genre, professional vocal doubles are a few clicks away—free of charge.
Be sure to run Vocal Doubler on clean, “dry” vocals that don’t have reverb or other effects. The processing Vocal Doubler applies could potentially interact with any effects you leave on the track, causing unintended artifacts, like popping. Watch the video below to learn more.
We’ve rounded up our most popular vocal mixing content to help you improve your skills.
If the free plug-in and vocal mixing tutorials weren’t enough, poke around the iZotope Vocal Bundle—a collection of plug-ins curated to assist vocal production from the recording stage to the final mix—to shore up your vocal mixes.
If you’re new to vocal production or want to save a bit of time cleaning vocals, try Repair Assistant in RX Elements. Repair Assistant automatically finds noise within your vocal track and offers up three repair options to choose from. Check out this video to learn more about Repair Assistant, and listen to a dry vocal before and after repair with RX:
Whether used to adjust sour notes or to match a genre’s vibe, nearly all modern vocals pass through pitch correction software like Nectar 3 for larger global pitch correction or Melodyne 5 essential (included in Nectar 3) for note-by-note surgical pitch precision. Learn the fundamentals of vocal pitch correction, how to pitch correct with both Melodyne 4 essential and Nectar 3, and the history of pitch correction in music.
Hear the difference pitch correction with Nectar makes below:
After removing noise and correcting pitch, it’s time to add processing to sculpt the tone of the vocal. The Vocal Assistant in Nectar 3 was created to listen to your vocal like an extra set of ears—finding the best settings to create a custom vocal preset specifically for your vocal.
Adding this kind of processing to a vocal track will get you on your way to your finished vocal.
Hear the difference Vocal Assistant in Nectar 3 makes on our example vocal:
Carving out space for your vocal is next. EQ is often used to cut frequencies in other tracks that may be masking the vocal. With Nectar 3, just use the Unmask feature, along with the included Relay plug-in, to have Vocal Assistant automatically do this for you. Place the included Relay plug-in on any track that’s masking your vocal, and Nectar 3 will use inter-plugin communication to notch out the masking frequencies on the relay track.
Check out the video below to learn how to use the module.
Like most audio processing, VocalSynth 2 works best on audio free of clicks and artifacts, highlighting why the repair stage of vocal production is so important. Modules like Biovox, Vocoder, and Polyvox provide low-end harmonic power, while Compuvox and Talkbox contribute texture and grit. Here’s our track before and after adding color with VocalSynth 2:
Learn how to use VocalSynth 2 in the video below.
This article has been updated to reflect the newest versions of iZotope products.