How Much Should I Compress Vocals?

Should I compress my vocals?

When used correctly, compression is a key ingredient for vocals that sound professional, modern and radio-ready. When used incorrectly, compression can quickly ruin a good vocal recording and make your music sound amateur and over-processed.

How much should I compress?

If you’re looking for compression that sound smooth and transparent, shoot for somewhere between 2 and 4 dBs of gain reduction. If you’re working in a heavier genre where obvious compression is ok, you may want 6 to 10 dBs of compression.

How much compression do you need for pop vocals?

For most pop, rap, and rock-based genres you’re going to squash the vocals a lot more than you expect, especially due to the mixes being denser. So, for dynamic compression, start with a 5:1 ratio and explore going higher, even up to an 8:1 ratio, depending on the threshold.

How can I make my voice sound thicker?

Once you apply these ten techniques, your mixes as a whole will improve.

  1. Top-End Boost.
  2. Use a De’Esser.
  3. Remove Resonances.
  4. Control the Dynamics with Automation.
  5. Catch the Peaks with a Limiter.
  6. Use Multiband Compression.
  7. Enhance the Highs with Saturation.
  8. Use Delays Instead of Reverb.
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Should you compress or EQ first?

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 is the ideal mixing level?

I recommend mixing at -23 dB LUFS, or having your peaks be between -18dB and -3dB. This will allow the mastering engineer the opportunity to process your song, without having to resort to turning it down.

What is the best compressor for vocals?

The Best Vocal Compressors for Studio-Quality Audio

  • Avalon. VT-737SP. A go-to for professional pop, R&B, & rap studio recordings.
  • Warm Audio. WA76. This limiting amplifier is designed to affordably emulate the classic UA 1176, which is nearly impossible to find these days.
  • FMR Audio. Really Nice Compressor.

What happens when you over-compressed vocals?

This means the very distinctives of the voice are brought closer to everything else. It also means when a vocal line is over-compressed, you lose the clarity and individuality of the vocal.

Should I compress my master track?

In summary, compression can be a useful tool if your ears tell you that the mix needs it. That said, you should use compression in moderation; try not to over-process, and keep the gain reduction to no more than 2 dB.

How do you know when to compress?

You want the compressor to engage as soon as signal rises above the threshold, and you want it to stop compressing as soon as it falls below the threshold. Peak compression has been applied to the second half of the following audio example.

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Should you put a limiter on every track?

You only limit tracks when there are peaks you want to limit. If that is on every track then so be it! The more limiting you do, the more distortion you have. Compression will distort a little, but far less than any aggressive limiting.

How do you get the cleanest vocals?

While it’s best to mix with monitors in a balanced room, good headphones are the second best option.

  1. Import the Original Vocal.
  2. Apply Vocal Compression.
  3. Use Equalization to Remove Bad Frequencies.
  4. Create Space with Reverb.
  5. Clean Up the Audio.
  6. Thicken the Sound.
  7. Vocal Mix via Aux.
  8. Perform a Relative Mix.

What is a good EQ setting for vocals?

Best EQ Settings for Vocals

  • Roll off the low-end starting around 90 Hz.
  • Reduce the mud around 250 Hz.
  • Add a high shelf around 9 kHz & a high roll off around 18 kHz.
  • Add a presence boost around 5 kHz.
  • Boost the core around 1 kHz to 2 kHz.
  • Reduce sibilance around 5 kHz to 8 kHz.

How loud should vocals be in a mix?

Every vocal is different and every song is different as well. But generally speaking, lead vocal should be moderately loud or the loudest element next to your drums in your mix.

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