Recording vocal before or after mixing?

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Recording vocal before or after mixing?

Post by apaclin »

Hey peoples, so when did a debut single, where we recorded live drums, I learned that it's a good thing to record vocal after mixing, because your feeling and performance will be different with a draft mix as opposed to a great sounding one. So I'm thinking first to send the stems for mixing the instrumental with a reference vocal, then record an actual vocal and do final mixing. Although now I use Superior Drummer that sounds good initially, so maybe it makes sense to record the vocal before just to make it easier?

What's your process on this?
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Re: Recording vocal before or after mixing?

Post by worshiptuned »

interesting question
For me the answer is that if the draft mix is sufficiently defined, even if not perfect, it's really a subtle issue and you can record your vocals on it
If you plan to change a lot of parts and you are not yet sure on the final direction of your song then is different but budget wise is not wise to give double work-pay twice the mixing engineer

I usually start record the instruments and a raw vocal in one take that helps me to build the song
then when the structure-arrangment-mixing of the song are a bit more advanced, but still far from the end of the mixing process, I record the final vocals
;)
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Re: Recording vocal before or after mixing?

Post by The Elf »

It's a tough enough job, in many cases, to sit a vocal in a mix once it's available. Trying to mix without that vocal and hoping it will somehow magically fit in later, no matter how it's performed, is, IMHO, optimistic.

My typical approach is to give the vocalist a 'good enough' mix that they can work with, but not waste a lot of time achieving that. I've never had a vocalist insisting on a polished mix for them to be able to perform adequately.
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Re: Recording vocal before or after mixing?

Post by Ben Asaro »

My process: record everything as close to live as possible, including effects (which I know the Elf loves :D ), and then mix.
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Re: Recording vocal before or after mixing?

Post by blinddrew »

I think worshiptuned has raised an important point about how developed your mix is. I tend to mix and create as I go along for example, so I tend to leave the final vocals until quite late in the process.
But if you're talking about having your stems ready for sending off then I'd definitely side with The Elf because you're obviously far enough down the process that you have a good idea of the feel of the song; so pull up a rough mix and put your heart into how you know it should feel.
Then it's over to the mix engineer with the best chance of getting a decent mix in one go.
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Re: Recording vocal before or after mixing?

Post by apaclin »

Makes sense! Thanks.
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Re: Recording vocal before or after mixing?

Post by ore_terra »

Rough mix. Or mix as “ready” as possible in the time between band recording and vocals recording. In my case this is usually the day after if I’m lucky, or late in the day whem I’m not for small projects.
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