How to make vocals sound far away

June 06, 2020

If you want to make a popular song,


You will need to learn how to integrate depth. 


Modern recording techniques make depth more difficult since producers are often penciling in MIDI and using sampled sounds. 


Back in the 1960s instruments were recorded live, which gives songs automatic depth via room sounds and variable playing (guitar strums are different every time). 


As a result of the modern advancements in recording technology a key tool to giving sounds depth is…


Reverb


... reverb essentially simulates the sounds associated with space. 


For example, you may have heard of Hall Reverb or Room Reverb. These tools basically simulate what your sound, like a voice, will sound like in a Hall or Room, even though it was recorded in a studio directly into the computer. 


This technique of recording sounds directly into the computer and then adding reverb gives producers the best of both worlds. 


You can get amazing sound quality and control of your vocals via recording directly into the computer + the ability to control what type of space that vocal sounds best in. 


There are many different types of reverbs and they all have their place in making your voice sit in a specific space within your mix. 


You are urged to play around with different types of reverbs. There is no “right” or “wrong” type of reverb to apply to a sound or vocal. The listener won’t know the difference, only what sounds good or bad. Successful producers often follow this same approach. 


“If it sounds good, it is good” - Duke Ellington


By using bigger reverbs like “Cathedral” or “Stadium” reverbs and turning up the mix +50%, you will be able to make vocals sound far away. If you use a “Room” reverb or “Plate” reverb (man made reverb effect) and turn the mix below 20%, you will be able to make vocals sound close. 


You could mess with every mix setting in between as well so get creative. 


If you have questions, comment below. 


Ryan

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