How To Get Vocals Ready For Mixing
Confidence and results are always hard to come by when tackling a vocal mix. With such a creative process, we can get lost in the exciting effects that come towards the end of chains and neglect audio treatment that should happen first.
RX by Izotope
A standalone and VST plugin that is honestly something from another planet. The sheer wizardry of the audio surgery that can be achieved with RX is what makes it such a staple for any vocal technician's toolkit, heres what it looks like...
Now this might look like information overload due to the amount of options available but here are the functions that matter most to a vocal recording. (Along with the settings I use!)
Sometimes studio equipment can betray us at the worst possible moment. The best performance can be ruined by electrical pops from cables, interface or even the computer. Thankfully this RX function can pick out pesky clicks individually or even analyse and treat a full clip.
If you've ever recorded a vocalist who's had mouth noises, this function will change your life. It gets rid of tongue clicks, lip smacks and saliva stuff amazingly well. I'd recommend to start out soft with this as If pushed heavily, you can cut the transients of certain words by mistake.
Pop filters are great but sometimes plosives can sneak through into recordings. Luckily this function reduces the impact and can save a good take. I'd recommend using this surgically rather than processing an entire clip.
An honourable mention to the other functions that are great for anything recorded in a bedroom or a not so perfect environment are De-Hum, De-reverb and De-Bleed. Honestly a world class plugin that can be accessed through Izotope subscription or individual purchase.
If you want to use some of the cleanest vocal samples on the internet, check out the "Jay Mason - House Vocal Pack".