The course starts with detailed tutorials on what we term as ‘corrective processes’ .
Corrective processing refers to processes we use to correct any errors that exist in the vocal recording (also known as the take).
These could include:
- Using a de esser to handle sibilance (the pronounced sss or fff ). I show you how to use a de esser on various vocal takes and using both Cubase’s stock plugins and third party plugins.
- Using a gate to remove background noise and headphone spill. This is quite a common problem and I show you various ways to remove noise from the vocal recording.
- Using pitch correction software to get the vocals in tune. We’ve all heard of Autotune and how useful it can be in correcting tuning problems. In this course use various pitch correcting software, including Cubase’s VariAudio, to correct different types of vocals.
- Using eq and compression to control plosives (the ppp and bbb ). Those breathy ppps and bbbs can creep up on you at any stage of the mix and they need to be treated the same as any other corrective process.
- Using compensatory equalisation to bring out the best in the vocals and to use advanced compression techniques to manage the dynamic range of the vocal take (recording).
- Creating vocal harmonies using Cubase’s tools and third party Plugins like Eventide’s Octavox.
Once the corrective processes are exhausted the course takes you on a vocal production journey showing you how to manage the vocals within a mix. Old School techniques for processing vocals are explored with many before and after audio examples and exercises, and all the processes you view are industry techniques used by the very best producers.
To get the best out of your vocal takes you need to learn about more advanced techniques that producers use to add life to their vocals and make it the center stage of the song.
The types of processes covered are:
- Layering vocals and creating harmonies. Sometimes a single take of a lead vocal is not enough and layering is just one example of how we beef up vocals to make them stand out in the mix.
- Side chaining the vocals against the mix. Quite often the vocals can get lost in the busier and louder sections of the song. I show you an industry technique that guarantees the vocals shine through.
- ‘The 4 stages of vocal equalisation’ is an industry technique used by some of us old school producers to help in finding the exact frequencies that need processing. Once you’ve watched the video you will kick yourself knowing how easy it is.
- No course would be complete without a section on volume automation. This is usually the first port of call for managing the vocal take’s gain/volume – using the DAW’s automation lanes to control volume across the whole timeline of the song. The most common form of volume automation is Bump Automation and I show you exactly how it is done.
- Ducking effects in real-time using the vocal take as the trigger. Sounds complex doesn’t it? Actually, it is deceptively easy to get effects to drop in volume when specific words are sung. Reverb is the main effect used for processing vocals but you can see how quickly the mix can get congested with so many other sounds feeding into the same reverb. You end up with mush. To counteract this engineers developed a technique whereby the reverb can be ‘ducked’ (dropped in gain) when the vocals are sung. I show you how easy it is to do this.
- Downward, Upward and Telecom Compression is an advanced industry technique that incorporates three types of compression modes to control the dynamics of any vocal and to put it to the acid test I used a fast dynamic rap take. All the modes of compression are explained in detail to help you use this pro technique on your vocal takes.
- With almost every vocal take I perform an industry technique that has been around for decades – using compressors in series to add volume and protect against errant peak transients. I show you how to route one compressor into another, what settings to use and why.
- An industry pro technique that we occasionally use is that of Expansion. Sometimes the dynamic range of a vocal take is too narrow and this technique shows you how you can extend the dynamic range as opposed to narrowing it.
- Using Modulators to control the vocal take’s volume. An advanced industry technique that uses a source modulator to control the volume of vocals. This is a very cool technique and I wanted to share it with you.
No course is complete without equal consideration given to the various genre specific vocals. With this in mind I have used EDM , Hip Hop, Rock and Pop vocals for all the exercises and video tutorials. Using both male and female vocals ensures you get a strong understanding of how to treat each type of vocal. This is essential as the criteria change somewhat depending on whether you are processing male or female vocals. I have made sure to explain this in all the videos.
Whether you are a recording artiste, an engineer, a hobbyist or a producer The Vocal Production Masterclass will guide you through technical concepts and industry techniques to master the art of vocal production.
Contents: 20 Videos totaling 4 hours
Author: Eddie Bazil