Nothing can wreck a mix more than an amateur sounding vocal track. So many variables and challenges. I like to think there is a Big 3 when mixing Vocals. These are Compression, Reverb and EQ. We found some help to help explain.
The First thing you can do to create a professional sounding recording is to use compression. This does 2 things: It squeezes the dynamics to make the quiet and loud closer in volume. Second it keeps things Energized. Think of a Radio Disc Jockey, they always sound loud and full. You can use too much though. Check out the simple Explanation…
Nothing cries amateur like a really dry or really wet mix. This can also be the difference in how good a singer sounds. I recently had a discussion with my fiancee about how bad a person sounded on one of those talent shows, but the judges gushed over them. Other than the judges not knowing talent when they see it, the reason could be it sounds better live in a theatre where the natural reverb enhances the sound as opposed to through a television.
EQ is by no means a fix all. Relying too heavily on your EQ can completely destroy a mix. Think of it in terms of a painting, You wouldn’t use a 3 inch brush to paint details on a portrait, you would use a very fine brush. Use EQ like a painter uses that fine tipped brush. Just slightly to enhance it.
Home Tracked Gives us some great pointers to get professional sounding Vocals.
For additional help Check out this great blog by Platinum Loops!