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How to Make Weak Singers Sound Larger than Life

Did you know the best way to use vocal compression to get a thicker sound out of shy singers?

You see, inexperienced singers can give you trouble during a vocal recording session.

One of the major problems you might deal with is their shyness with the microphone. Experienced singers will sing at the top of their lungs when they need, and they’ll give you a quiet whisper as well. But they always stay in total control of the breadth of their voice.

Shy singers are scared of the mic. They’ll do the exact opposite.

The result is a weak vocal recording. Their voice just isn’t as full and thick as you might have wanted.

If you’ve unsuccessfully tried everything in your power as a producer to get a better performance, then maybe it’s time to fix it in the mix.

Serial Vocal Compression

One of the great ways to make singers sound bigger is with the simple compressor. Sounds pretty obvious eh? But there’s a trick to it that you might not have thought of.

The wrong thing to do it to just slap it on and crank it up.

Oh no, that’ll just give you a squashy over-compressed, flat vocal sound.

The trick is to use serial vocal compression to add just a bit at a time.

That way you add thickness to the vocal without making it sound compressed. Because if you add a bunch of compression all at once it becomes very noticeable.

Not to mention how terrible it’ll sound. That sucking, pumping vocal sound like it’s desperately trying to come up for air.

However, if you add a few different then you’ll get a thicker vocal that sounds full and big, without making it sound squashed.

Just remember this little rule:

You can compress a lot if you just use a little bit at a time.

Be subtle and you’ll master compression in no time. If you want even more helpful tips on tackling compression, for any part of your mix, I highly recommend you check out Understanding Compression. Whether you need help on compressing vocals, drums, guitar or any other part of your mix, Understanding Compression will teach you how.

Check it out here:

Want More Help?

For more mixing tips like these, sign up for my free EQ Course here. Learn over 70 tips to cleaner mixes.

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About me

About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

At Audio Issues you’ll learn simple and practical audio production tips you can use right away to improve your music from your home recording studio.  Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release.

We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use right away to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

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