#1
first:
for along time ive been getting great quality out of my recordings, but when i get to vocals they are just out of the song. the sound too loud or too quiet depending on the part in the song. heavier parts, they just get drowed out, and quieter parts, they are too loud. ive used compression, envelopes, i just cant get it right. could it be how i am recording the vocals? i use a mxl 990

can someone give me a pic of a good vocal wave form

two:
when i get up to 13+ tracks with effects on some of them, my computer has trouble playing them all back, any help with this?
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#2
Volume automation. That is a solution to your problems, though I usually find that I don't need to automate the volume when I get a good compressor on the vocals. It'll stand out a bit more in the quiet parts, but it still sounds quite natural. So yeah, find out how to edit your volume envelope and you can turn it up in the parts where it's being buried. Often EQing will solve your problems too though. A generic rule would be to boost 3k on your vocal and cut 3k from your instruments. This will give the vocal it's own frequency space to stand out more. Can you post a link to a song or two of yours in which you're having that problem?

The tracks and effects problem I assume is just one with your computer. Different effects use up more or less of your processing power, and once you get to a certain point, your computer won't be able to keep up. I don't know if you use sends for effects at all, but if you don't, that could very well be a good way to get more out of your processing power. I don' t know what software you're using, so I can't help you too much, but as generic advice I would say that if you have a delay or reverb you would want to set up an aux send for that and send as many tracks as you want to it. That is much more efficient than adding a delay and a reverb to all the tracks that you want that effect on. Hopefully that makes some sense to you. If not, I can try and explain myself better, possibly with diagrams.
#3
thanks

i use cubase.

i could you help me or something in there?
Fender H Stratocaster USA.
SX P90 Mahogany Hawk
Gibson Les Paul Studio Double Cut

Delta Labs Tube Driver
Hardwire SC-2 Valve Distortion
Delta Labs Stereo Chorus
TC Nova Repeater
Korg Pitchblack Tuner Ped

Fender Super Champ XD