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Hip Hop Vocals - Mixing Troubles

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Hip Hop Vocals - Mixing Troubles

Postby Mentalography » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:18 am

Hello, my name is Pete and I own a home production/recording studio and could use some help. I am currently mixing projects for my brand because we cannot afford to outsource, but am running into many problems. When ever I listen to modern Hip Hop, their mixing seems pristine. Its almost like phantom center has a very secluded sonic world for vocals offering much clearity and separation. What I mean is, the vocals seem pushed back, dead center, extremely clear yet very separate from the rest of the song while meshing perfectly. No matter what trick I use or how much I learn and practice, I cannot mimic nor mix similarly to what i hear when I play a Drake or Rae Strummed song. Help Please, Im lost!
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Re: Hip Hop Vocals - Mixing Troubles

Postby ken long » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:56 pm

I find in rap mixing that unless you have a natural talent (and I'm talking about mic technique not rhymes!) you're better off compressing the vocal on the way in. This yields a better performance every time from the performer, IME.

If you are mixing raw after the fact, then compression again. I use an automatic vocal plugin but a compressor will do the same job. Some fast attack and slow release.

You can try to dip your instrumental mix around 1-3k slightly to allow a nice slot for the vocals to sit. You could also experiment with some light side-chaining. The possibilities are endless. Just have fun until it sounds good!
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Re: Hip Hop Vocals - Mixing Troubles

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:14 pm

Hi Pete, welcome to the forums. As well as Ken's points above, it might be worth posting a few examples tracks (private links on soundcloud work well) so that people can give some more targeted advice.
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Re: Hip Hop Vocals - Mixing Troubles

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:33 pm

I pretty much always put my vox through a compressor. Currently mixing a track with about 5db compression, but rap vocals can take quite a bit as they aren't as dynamic as sung vocals.
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Re: Hip Hop Vocals - Mixing Troubles

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:14 pm

Oh yes, the other thing I meant to mention was to look at the mix rescue thread (one of the stickies at the top). I put a track in a few years ago (3 years maybe?) and the help I got from that was huge.
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Re: Hip Hop Vocals - Mixing Troubles

Postby Zukan » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:52 am

In Hip Hop it is more about what is happening around the vocals than the vocal processing. Hip Hop tends towards a band rejected mid range so as to allow the spit and bvs to sit up front.
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