Vocals are the most important part of any song.
If your vocal doesn't immediately capture your audiences attention you've already lost.
Back in the day, artists like Bob Dylan could get away with lackluster voices and amazing storytelling. This was early on in the commercialization of music and like most developing industries, if a specific element of a product is great, that could be good enough.
Not anymore. Now you must have excellent vocals in order to capture your audiences attention. Especially if you're making pop songs, rap songs r&b songs or any other type of mainstream music.
So that brings us to the topic... What is a vocal preset?
- Prearranged channel strip settings crafted to sound like something specific.
- Typically designed to mimic specific artists (ex. Drake, Young Thug etc.)
- A learning tool for new producers who want to study how great engineers mix vocals.
- An asset for vocalists to instantly achieve better vocals
A vocal preset will typically consist of an EQ, Compressor, Reverb and some other creative effects.
Sometimes the creator will use Autotune, maybe some delay, possibly even some distortion.
If you have gotten to this point you may be thinking to yourself "Everyone's voice is different, how can I sound like Young Thug with a Vocal Preset?"
This is a very astute observation. This is correct to contemplate. The way I have come to understand it is, the singer/vocalist brings their tone to the party and the vocal preset brings everything else.
With a Juice Wrld vocal preset you may not end up sounding exactly like Juice Wrld. You will sound like your own version of Juice Wrld, which some say is even cooler. Utilizing vocal presets allow you to quickly create your own relevant style. You can make a song with a Juice Wrld vocal preset, achieve his vibe, and sound like yourself.
Are they worth it?
This is highly subjective and the answer will vary from vocalist to vocalist.
As a producer, I believe they're worth it for 3 reasons.
- They allow you to quickly switch between different vocal chains when recording a vocalist, enabling them to get instantly inspired and not hung up on the technical, an instant vibe killer in the studio.
- Help you discover new creative opportunities for vocals, opening your mind to new sounds and potentially helping you stumble upon a hit.
- Super fun to use as a collaborative tool. Being able to say to an artist "say yes or no" to different settings and scroll through a bunch of presets while they find their new secret sauce is an amazing experience for artists. It gives them instant gratification (everyone's favorite) and enables them to be creative, faster.
But what about as an artist...
Are vocal presets worth buying as an artist?
I will say again, yes, vocal presets are worth buying as an artist for 3 reasons.
- They help you mix your vocals extremely fast with very little mixing knowledge.
- Vocal presets help artists find new creative styles for their voice, insanely fast.
- Vocal presets empower artists to record themselves, no longer forcing them to rely on engineers who have their own schedules that ultimately conflict with your music career. Artists, take your career into your own hands.
In conclusion, vocal presets are a great tool for artists and producers alike. Music fans will no longer tolerate "decent" vocals so it is up to you to find a way to take them to the next level.
Hopefully this article helped shed some light on the use of vocal presets and their place in modern music.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out in the comments or through our contact page.