FAQ: When Should I Saturate Vocals In The Effects Chain?

Should I use saturation on vocals?

Apply saturation to tame wild transients and make thin or dull vocals fuller. It also does an excellent job at warming harsh sounding vocals. It’s the secret ingredient to great sounding vocals.

Where does saturation go in vocal chain?

I personally like to saturate at the end of the chain most of the time, because the I’m taking a finished sound source, that has already been EQ’d and compressed, and essentially giving it some “juice”. Adding those even or odd order harmonics tends to make the sound much thicker and more exciting.

Should you use saturation on every track?

That said, don’t marry the idea of saturation on every track. If it’s not making your mix sound any better, no matter how much you tweak the plug-in, just trash the idea and move on! Saturation can give you some interesting textures but it can also make your instruments duller.

Should you saturate before EQ?

Saturation enhances sounds by adding even and odd order harmonics. Inserting a saturation plugin before an EQ allows you to cut or minimize unwanted harmonic frequencies created by saturation. However, it’s also suitable to saturate after EQing.

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How do you add warmth to vocals?

Use Parallel Processing Instead of adding all the processing on the track itself, experiment with parallel processing. I like a good LA2A in parallel on vocals, sometimes with an analog-style EQ that’s boosted in the low-mids. Added underneath, it can give your vocals all the warmth you need.

What should be in a vocal chain?

A vocal chain is essentially a chain of effects you process your vocals with. Some of these are inserted directly on the audio channel strip while others are placed on return channels which you send the vocals to. Therefore, a vocal chain usually implies a combination of direct and parallel processing.

Where should compressor go in vocal chain?

They tend to live in the upper mids and in the softer parts of words. To counteract, next up typically comes a de-esser. A de-esser is an EQ and compressor at the same time, but it targets sibilant frequencies and shushes them when they get too loud.

How do you make a vocal chain?

How to create a vocal chain from start to finish

  1. Applying a preamp. The first step in our vocal chain is pre-amplification.
  2. Applying compression. Next, we’ll use Arturia’s FET-76 emulation to apply some compression.
  3. Applying reverb.
  4. Applying delay.

Should I use saturation in mastering?

Saturation is used less for creative purposes during mastering, and more for creating a competitive sound. Saturation is used subtly during mastering. More often than not, saturation is used subtly during mastering, as a way to augment low-level aspects of the signal and to “fill in the gaps” of a mix.

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Should you compress after saturation?

Running a compressor after a saturation will increase the overall noise floor if there is one which can offer an interesting effect. If you want it to be more clean, it’s best to run the compressor before hitting any final saturation stage. At the end of the chain, saturation is an effect tool for groups or the master.

What is the difference between distortion and saturation?

Distortion describes a more extreme effect than saturation. While saturation adds a warm characteristic to a sound without markedly changing its character, distortion breaks it up more radically. It can vary a lot in nature, from a smooth fuzz to harder-edged sound with a lot of high-end bite and a sort of buzzy sound.

Should I EQ before or after compression?

Each position, EQ pre (before) or EQ post (after) compression produces a distinctly different sound, a different tonal quality, and coloration. As a rule, using EQ in front of your compressor produces a warmer, rounder tone, while using EQ after your compressor produces a cleaner, clearer sound.

What order should plugins be?

Generally, plug-ins that work better with an unprocessed signal should be first in the (top-to-bottom) chain in the Insert section of a DAW channel strip. Also plug-ins that may correct for a basic flaw in a recording should be up at the top of the order.

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