HexRat: How To Record & Mix Vocals Like A Pro (Start To Finish) Jonas Aden
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How To Record & Mix Vocals Like A Pro (Start To Finish) Jonas Aden

 what's up guys today i'm undergoing surgery don't worry it's not that dangerous but today i brought in a real expert on vocals he has sang on number one hits work with top names like martin garrix alan walker asap rocky and he's crazy good at recording and mixing vocals with hundreds of millions of streams to his name he wanted to share that knowledge with you guys introducing my good friend paul hearst hello guys today we're gonna go from this when you left me stay tonight will you let me stay till the morning to this let me stay tonight will you let me stay till the morning that was the vocal for jonas in late at night and i'm gonna show you how we recorded it how we mixed it and how you can do it yourself at home so these are the things we're gonna go through and i'm gonna first and foremost start by talking about what microphone you should get okay so what kind of microphone you should get that really depends on the singer's voice so if you have a female vocalist which have a very bright voice you want to get a more flat mic not a very bright mic so if the singer is like a male voice someone like me or jonas then you want to get a mic with a lot of high end all mics are different in that regard so you want to get what best suits your singer so if your room is echoey i would recommend going for a dynamic microphone just because they're less sensitive but otherwise or generally speaking really i would go for a condenser mic and these are the ones i would recommend if you're going for something around 100 bucks and these i would recommend for something about what 100 to 500 bucks if you want to step it up a little so this is the mic that i have used for a while it's a neumann tlm-103 and that's the mic that we recorded late at night on it's a bit expensive but it is worth every penny in my opinion so now i'm going to talk about acoustics which is very very important and you can get a lot done with very little actually so i would recommend treating all the walls with panels and stuff like that just to make everything quiet but if you don't have the money for that there are quite some solutions for example you can record in a closet which i have done a lot it works really well as a vocal booth so for example if this is your microphone you want to place it into the closet and put pillows blankets everything around it and you got to remember that the microphone records in a cardio polar pattern imagine this is the microphone in your closet you really want to block the main source which is that first voice the first echo that means you want to cover up with pillows and carpets and sweaters and almost everything that absorbs noise and you also want to get away from big blank walls with nothing on them those walls are going to work like a lot of sound you want to get away from that all right so another tips if you are recording in a room with a lot of echoes you can also sing very close to your mic your mic is gonna pick up the loudest volume the loudest obviously so if you get close to your mic the echoes will get lower in volume really but then you to be really careful about the proximity effect which is when you're very close to your microphone the volume is going to be very very sensitive imagine someone singing into your ear it's going to be very loud and very sensitive so keep that in mind and also when you get close to your microphone it's going to record much more low end so your voice is going to get really boomy if you are very close to your mic so if you know how to eq that away which i will show then you're probably going to be fine and when you get far away from your microphone it's going to cost the same effect on the opposite your voice is going to get thinner so maybe if you have a vocalist where a lot of bass and you want some of that bass out you want to place the vocalist more like this from the mic than this obviously i actually sometimes recommend getting close to your microphone and when you are recording like a big chorus which i will do also i would recommend get far away from the microphone that way the microphone won't pick up very big movements and changes and stuff like that billy eilish actually used this proximity fate a lot she actually records on this microphone and she actually likes to hold it like this if you have listened to billy alice she gets really personal in her verses so that is a effect you can actually hear when listening to the record really with that being said i'm now going to talk about the pop filter which eliminates peace so pop filters in general could actually be very cheap when you say the letter p it is a lot of energy so that energy from the p is gonna hit directly into the mic and cause a very bad recording so you wanna get a pop filter that will eliminate the p so you wanna have it like maybe like this far away from the microphone that way the p will have time to be broken apart before it hits the mic this is not gonna do very much if you do not have a pop filter you can tilt your microphone this way and your piece will hit this place and your voice will rather hit this place you can actually do this if you do not have a pop filter so when it comes to mic placement and pop filter placement i usually have it like this maybe when i see a chorus i have it like this if i get real personal i maybe come real close in here so i can use a proximity effect and you really gotta test for yourself what works best for you really but around here should be fine i think all right so now we're gonna record so i just placed my xlr cable into the microphone like this and i use apollo twin usb because that is what we used for late at night recording so this is actually the same setup as billy i always have used on several records really so you can do a lot with not that much really so now i'm going to talk about the settings inside my daw so i usually have a separate recording project because usually it gets very messy in here so this is what i will recreate today that was the hook for jonas in late at night which i sung this hook was actually recorded one semitone up so i'm just now gonna pitch both tracks both the instrumental and the vocal and i'm gonna choose a nice loop for where i'm gonna record so when i'm making my loop i want to have some space before the chorus so i can get ready to record it will you let me stay down okay now that i listen to this this actually a lot of layers and it's going to get pretty complicated this was recorded maybe a year ago so it's a bit messy but i'm going to do my best to try to recreate it okay inside my vocal project i want to connect to my sound card which is universal audio usb in this case when you're recording you want to have your aco buffer size very low that way there will be no latency in your headset 128 that works fine for me but when you're mixing you want to have it on a higher number because here is more processing power and here is less so when you have a lot of plugins it's not going to sound very good when you have a low seo buffer channel so remember to set that up when you're mixing and set it down when you are recording or else you're not going to have a good time recording and for my inputs what i usually do i just move these ones just to the left and then i make a recording channel i just select my input here be careful with this by the way select your mono input because your mic is probably not recording stereo most mics record mono if i now pick stereo it's only going to be into one side in this case the left side and i want to have it in the middle i pick mono hello yes that is a signal okay now that we have signal i will get my project ready for recording and i like to have a quick channel with a lot of effects on it so when i'm comping i actually hear how the song actually gonna sounds like really when when i'm comping so i'm just gonna make a quick mixer channel right now and then i'll promise to explain everything when i'm going deeper into mixing so my comping mixer channel effect usually is like an audi tune a fruity parametric eq um compressor and just eq again i actually use this as a compressor as well great plugin but i'll first just set my audience correctly and i have no idea which key this song goes in so how i like to do it at least i know very little about music theory so i'll just open apple keys so i'll just plot in the notes of the melody day all right so this is my scale i see now and that is basically b major that i see so that now i know that my vocal is going to be in b major b major and i'm just going to set this to 20 this one humanizes 20 and just reaching speed maybe around here and this is my recording settings and again i'll explain all of these once i have my lead recorded okay so now you want to set the right gain for your audio recording it is actually very simple just have your vocalist kind of sing the highest note when you let me and you want it between the green and the yellow not in the red when it goes to the red it's clipping and it's distorting and it's going to ruin the take totally so you want to have it like maybe a bit louder than this so also by the way if your mic doesn't have any sound in it maybe you should check if phantom power is on that is the plus 48v button this microphone requires phantom power so i have turned that on okay so i now see that the gain needs to be a bit higher let me state or not i think this is good really let me let me let me stay up i actually like to record a bit um low so you have a lot of headroom in case you built something really loud out or something to actually like to have the input too quiet than too loud because sometimes if your singer sings unpredictably loud your whole take is ruined okay i'm trying to answer and cover all the main topics of recording and mixing in this video but there are some main topics and questions i cannot dive very deep into but which i will answer these on my instagram story right now so you can go and check them out i will also put them as a highlight so you can check them out whenever you want to really you can just shoot me a dm with any question and i'll try to answer them to the best of my abilities or i'll just ask jonas and take credit for the answers so if you have a mic stand like this you want to have it like in the height of the mouth of the singer like this maybe a bit lower maybe okay so you want to get your headset in make sure the volume is good let me stay tonight will you let me stay till the morning can we dance just you and die will you let me stay till the morning okay so now we have that one recorded i'm just gonna record 10 more okay let's listen to the one that i just recorded well you left me stayed at night will you let me stay till the morning can we dance just you and i will you let me stay till the morning so i'm now gonna comp the vocals which means i'm gonna i'm gonna take out the part that i like for example i really like that one so i'm gonna select this one and i'm gonna oh i'm gonna drag it down eventually gonna create like a huge bunch of cuts down here let's see if there was something else we liked will you let me stay till the morning will you let me stay till the morning and i like the end as well will you let me okay so now we have done our first step okay so a way that i put uh all the others into my lead as well is that i do like this and then i put it into the lead like this ctrl l will you let me stay right now i can continue choosing what i like and what i don't date a night that one was really clean when you let me i also like that lit right here oh good night okay i'm gonna pull these ones down okay so now i have picked out the best things that i like from the whole lead i had to move things a bit around here so now i do the same again for every one of these takes let's have a listen on some of these will you lie on your left on your left will you i really like this one that and this one so i'm slowly but surely going to create a lead here and as you see all those clips have a very harsh edge so i will make i will oops i would press generic bleeding and that will create this sort of fader effect right here with the volume so it will be much easier to comp together so now we have this so it's a bit harsh right here you can really hear it so i'm going to try to do like this maybe soften it out or move it around try to blend them together when you let when you let yeah that sounds much better all right i really like this one when you let's when you let me stay done tonight i really love this one as well when you let me stay tonight will you let okay so now i'm just gonna do that for the whole lead okay so this is the lead dance just you and i will you let me stay till the morning and now we're gonna do the exact same thing just create dubs me state and not you let me dance just you will you i like this one so this is how i make dubs really then i try to go into more detail with dubs afterwards i've done this kind of harsh comping i basically pick out those who sounds the most like the lead eight night data nine day night data night all right okay so now that we have created our dubs we want to bounce them out and this is how i'm going to do it without vfx of course this one oops all right let's put this one down here and this one down here and just make some more space here just okay and then we want to put our lead in between i think so now we're gonna go into volume automation we're going to manually automate each and every word right here because if you don't do that the compressor is going to have a very hard time with your loud peaks and your low words and that way you can also make sure that the listener hears everything you're saying even the quiet places so what i'm gonna do is to manually automate everything right here okay so i want this word to be very loud oops just let's just mute these dubs i want this volume loud and this a bit quieter so my goal here is to have a vocal that sounds the same all the way through here you can hear me it's very quiet i want that volume up and then i maybe want the attack on stay a bit lower let me state and let me stay will you let me stay tonight and i also want the esses steps okay so i don't like this let me maybe it will sound good in the mix or else we'll change it later i don't know so what i'm gonna do now i'm gonna pull this down because that's just how i do it i'm gonna make some dub channels dubs channels so i'm gonna continue to mix this a bit more right now will you let me stay done will you let so i think the autotune is a bit overkill will you let me stay tonight will you like me well you let me stay till the morning will you let me stay till the morning can we i think it sounds good now and just also want to cut some low end with fuji fruity per magic equalizer well you let me stay till the morning okay so if you don't have this auditing version you can also use for example graphical mode in new tone or waves autotune stereo that works great as well so for my compressor this is the edm vocal so it's going to be a bit hard compressed will you let me stay till the morning really just use your ears i think it's different for every vocal just increase the threshold well you let me stay till the morning will you let me stay till the morning this takes care of all the loud peaks well you let me stay till the morning so i also usually have my attack quite hard well you let me statue same for release will you let me stay till the morning well you let me stay till the morning so what i like about the glue is that you can take it to zero percent well you let me so now it's not doing anything well you let me stay till the morning or 100 so now it's doing everything well you let me stay i like to overkill the threshold a bit and then dry down this wet knob will you let me stay till the morning and of course some makeup game will you let me stay till the morning all right let's go into our bx control ssl 4000e which i love i really love this plugin i can do it from the beginning so i usually excite the vocal quite a lot well you let me stay till the morning well you let me stay till the morning and you can also use an eq for this the thing i'm doing is basically this okay will you let well you let me stay till the morning so i'm gonna do this will you let me stay till the mo just with uh this one kinda i like this sound better will you let me stay till the morning will you let me stay till the morning okay on this part just you and i will you let just you and i i don't think we have to remove that much low end just you and i so i'm also gonna apply some compression with this plug-in as well just you and i just gonna increase the threshold just you and i i really like to overkill the compression and then just take it down just you and just you and i just you and i just you and i just you and i so there are some nasty noises here it's that's just insane but i don't think you will hear that in the mix to be honest so i'm not gonna take care of that now okay so the vocal it doesn't have like that much low end but it has some boomy resonance frequencies which i'm gonna take care of so i'm gonna use fabfilter pro q so especially on let let let how i remove this is to like kind of find them this way let's not pretty now that i have exposed it you maybe are hearing it so it helps a lot to remove this but be gentle doing this or else you'll kill the vocal totally so i'm just gonna right click here create an automation clip and i'll do it like this this is without let let and also here it kind of just moved a bit up but i'll make a new one let's let's let oh let's let's play okay we have taken care of some resonance now i'm gonna make the dubs and by the way remember and like and comment and subscribe to jonasayden if this video reaches 50 likes maybe jones will invite me back i hope so what i'm gonna do i'm gonna copy the lead and i'm gonna make some dub channels dub left i also like to cover these color these ones blue i never color things but uh vocals i color okay dub right and these two is gonna go into a bus dubs bus dark blue and then i'm going to create i'm going to make um lead and the dubs bus go into a vocal bus vocal bus make the cream yeah alright so i'll take with the one dub we bounced into this channel right here and then the other one into this channel and now let me stay tonight you can hear how much of a big difference dubs make let me stay tonight east day tonight and without easter night and with so that is really important on choruses so i'm just going to create a volume automation for these dubs as well now i just copied over the volume automation from the lead on to the dubs that's why i have that parametric eq in the beginning of the insert channels okay so now i'm just gonna go quick over the dubs and place them like this and try to cut them up and have them sync together with lead when i am like aligning these i'm also making like some volume automations as well so now it looks like this i thought it was a bit boomy over here you can also do this trick with a parametric eq took away some low end on the leads and what i also do in this bus is to make some reverb i use fabfilter pro r vocal hole bright i like this one a lot let me state it okay so now we're going to add some delay as well i like to just focus at one thing at a time so i believe this one this preset was the one that we used in late at night so i'm just gonna automate the mix i'm gonna automate the wet um throughout the whole course let me stay tonight will you let me stay till the morning i'm also gonna do the same with reverb i like to do it at the same time so you kind of get really into those details you know so i'm just going to do this for the whole vocal okay i really like so when in in these quiet places i have it quite a lot as you can see for example here i want it to drag out if you don't automate it like this these parts that you kind of want to hear what uh what i'm saying you kind of want those dry like this that way the listener will hear the words better and it will sit better in the mix if you tailor the vocal and delay with automation clips like that this isn't 100 necessary but i like it it gets better results so now i'm going to record a sub to support the layers because now we have a lead when you let me stay tonight will you let me stay till the morning okay just give me one sec all right so now i have recorded the sub and i did exactly the same thing as i did with lead let me state a nod so it's very deep for me but it works will you let me stay till the morning okay so mixing wise for this sub i'm just putting it into a new insert and then copying the lead this way naming it's sub changing it to blue i like blue on sub that is not blue but i like it uh all right i'm gonna take it to the vocal buzz let's go and then for autotune this looks great i'm gonna lower down the heist because i really don't need that much of it let me stay till the morning maybe just even like this will you let me stay till the morning will you let me stay till the morning can we dance just okay so i'm also going to volume automate this sub all right so now the sub volume is done okay so now i will record some harmonies so how you do that is try to listen to like the chords so you want to do like because that is literally what harmonies are chords with the melody so so if you cannot hear anything that fits you can try to make the whole melody in piano roll and then add the harmonies in piano roll and see what fits and what not or just play it on piano really alright so now i'm just gonna record this just gonna make a nice let me loop tonight will you let me stay till the morning okay now we have recorded uh these ones and i will comp them as well exactly as i did with lead so i'm just gonna put them into a new channel like this and i will call this um harmonies make it pink okay so now i have comped uh two harmonies so i'm going to take one to each side so the way that i do that is of course duplicating the harmonies left right but since these are inflicting with each other if i pull let's say this one left then maybe i'll pull this one left as well and i don't want that so i have to make all of these unique uh and i'm just pressing m because that is shortcut when you're just pressing this here whoops and then i will place it in the in the next channel so they can each have one audition each and be panned each okay so now i'm just gonna make sure these are on timing with the rest of the vocal all right so i'm actually going to put these harmonies into a harmony bus that way we can control both the volumes at the same time so i'm just gonna make a volume automation will you here me stay till the morning will you let me stay till the morning can we dance just to understand the morning okay so now i'm gonna pitch the whole vocal down because that was exactly what we did uh mixing late at night i'm just gonna bounce out this lead so i have this for later which i can uh maybe pitch up or pitch down or do something funky with okay so for now i'm just gonna turn off the echoes and then i will bounce the whole thing out because that was what we did okay so i don't usually pitch things down and stuff like that but we had to fit it with the baseline and today i'm recreating late at night so this is what i'm doing right now okay so i do not want to pitch down the harmonies so i'm actually just gonna pitch each harmony down manually like this just a little altar boy on each okay so now it sounds like this will you let me state tonight will you let me stay till the morning and then with the instrumental will you let me just gonna put this harmony down here and will you learn with this lead that i just bounced out i'm gonna pitch it up so like for these kind of edm chill tracks i like to have a lot of reverb a lot of delay and a layer like this it actually creates like crazy nice vibe i think so i'm just gonna put that in a track and i'm sorry if this looks very messy that is always how i do it okay so for this last step i'm just gonna go over the reverbs and delays and do some final adjustments in this part i want it to be like very lush very like like big so i'm just going to make a volume automation for this high pitch lee as well really one high here and then i also want to glue the glue glue everything together and add some additionally highs and quickly i will just add a de-esser as well for the de-esser i will just take it slightly down it really catches that first s you can hear without it really does a lot in my opinion and also to get some more um vibe and wetness i will add a small some very small delay will you let me stay till the morning can we dance just okay so this is the final result will you let me stay till the morning so what is really left now from this being released is 50 hours more of just this just delay tweaking reverb tweaking and a lot of eq and more compression that is really it so basically this is all that i do and it's really not that much smart to it just a lot of small small small tweaks again and again and again and of course this is not mastered so it doesn't sound like very finished but quite close you

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