Mixing a Vocal Duet | FAQ Friday

Mixing a Vocal duet

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I love this question, I’ve done quite a few going back to Isaac Slade and Emmylou Harris and they did a duet of Boulder to Birmingham- this song is pretty much Emmy’s signature song! She did an amazing job singing it. When it came to mixing there were whole sections where only Issac was singing the verse or just Emmy singing the verse.

When they came together and sang the choruses it was amazing. In those days I was mixing in the box but through a Neve so what I did is… I took the vocal so it was on 23 and 24 and I panned Issac 10% one way and Emmylou 10% the other way.

If you closed your eyes, muted them and only had one up at a time you could barely barely barely – I’ll say it one more time barely tell that it wasn’t center. It was as central as you could get, it was 10% but when they sang together it was amazing and the difference was enormous. It was amazing what the little 10% it was like when I put a db on each of them.

Questions answered in this weeks FAQ Friday
•What do you think about working on the vocal sound during the tracking session? (0:43)
• How do you usually treat vocals with reverb? Do you use it often? Which type? Or do you refer dry? (2:26)
• When Tracking Vocals, do you compress lightly to tame the vocal or tend to commit on the way in? What’s your go to compressor and approach? (4:56)
• How do you mix a vocal duet or duo? (7:26)
• What do you mean when you say Dynamic reverb? (10:27)