Okay....so I was just chilling doing some vocal riding (this topic could also be applied to compression). I was wondering how much do you guys lets you vocals fluctuate in volume? I try to get a +/- 3 dB difference for dynamics. (eg: aim for -7db but allow -10db to -4db). Then I started to wonder...what do most of you people do. I am for a certain sound and keep the sound pretty constant through automation, but allow certain parts to be louder.
I know it's probably not the answer you wanted, but as noone else is giving their personal preferences...

Depends entirely on the song. If the song has a lot of intentional dynamic range, so will the vocals. If it's a compressed-to-hell mix, the vocals will be treated similarly so they always remain present. I see it more as a case of getting the most expression and emotion from the lyrics, so it might call for something to be barely audible one second, and then suddenly accent a syllable and swell in volume etc.

Edit: and I don't really aim for a specific range, I haven't a clue what the dynamic range of any vocals I edit/mix ends up as, as when it gets to mixing the vocals, I'm not really paying too much attention to the reading above the vocal tracks' faders... the rest of the mix would be way too quiet if they were in danger of clipping once I've thrown a compressor on them and brought the fader to a level that suits the rough balance of the song.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Jun 19, 2011,
Cool stuff, I'd hope we're not the only ones but I can't imagine anyone who's started to get the hang of mixing to ignore the expressive content and just go for machine-accurate consistent volume

Do me a quick favour? Is it just my phone playing up, or have my tracks all disappeared from my UG profile?! (They can't have been THAT bad, right? lol)
Hey, look. Sigs are back.

I think the whole MP3 and PM system is a bit messed up right now, Goliath.
Yeah I don't ever really use compressors on vocals cause I never get it perfect to my liking. I usually do light compression and vocal ride. It appears everyones MP3s are down currently...the was a thread in the pit. maybe maintenance?

Has been in the bugs section reported: here .
Last edited by FireHawk at Jun 19, 2011,
Ah ok, cheers guys.

And yeah, definitely lighter but multiple compression can be more transparent if you don't wanna go the vocal riding route/don't have time.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
I slam the crap outta them.

PSP Vintage Warmer
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
I use my ears. If the volume sounds level enough for me, then it is no matter what the numbers say.

Here's what I like to do (in protools). Start off by slapping some very light compression on the track before I really get into it. Then automate it down to the syllable to get it as level as the song calls for, then compress again to polish it off. Of course, that doesn't happen EVERY time, but it's what I shoot for unless the song is out of the ordinary.
Quote by CrossBack7
Ozone Izotope, brickwall +1. Tweak it to the point where it keeps it dynamic, though I still automate a good amount too. I spend more time mixing than is probably necessary.

lol if you using ozone your not lol

I spent like 3 hours just doing vocal riding yesterday haha
my vocal riding is really just to get rid of the bad peaks and valleys. im not a great singer, so sometimes it can be a bit of work. ive overdone it before, and that usually sounds worse than an unridden track. i try to set an upper limit so that that i dont go over that, and aim for most things to be 1-2 dB below that. i bring up stuff that is really low, but try to keep it dynamic enough, and usually leave myself more leeway on the quiet end.

ive found that sending the normalized track to another track and controling overall volume there works well. that way i can cut and boost larger sections after they are already where i want them.