How To Mix Vocals In Logic Pro X

by | Mar 24, 2024

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Vocal mixing is a critical step in the music production process and one that you should not take lightly. Once you have perfected the art of recording a vocal track, you still need to mix and master it properly  to really stand out.

In this article, we’ll be going over the vocal mixing process in Logic Pro X. We’ll look at how to mix vocals in Logic using popular plugins, and provide you with some tips and tricks to make sure your vocal tracks sound their best! 

Why You Should Mix Vocals 

There are many reasons to learn how to mix vocals. First of all, it doesn’t take nearly as much time or effort as mixing an entire band. Second, vocals are the most critical part of any song. The human voice is an instrument that is unique to itself. It conveys a wide range of emotions, making it an essential part of any song. 

Additionally, a professional-sounding vocal is bound to help you get more gigs. Mixing vocals can be difficult and time-consuming, but it’s definitely worth the trouble. 

recording studio with microphone

Things to Keep In Mind 

When it comes to mixing vocals in Logic Pro X, it’s important to understand its capabilities accurately. Logic Pro X is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). It uses Audio Units (AU) for its plugins, including vocal effects. You can achieve exceptional results by utilizing Logic’s comprehensive suite of AU plugins tailored for vocal processing.

There are a few built-in effects that you can use for vocals, in addition to many third-party plugins that you can use. Let’s look at some of the best plugins for songs and how to use them.

When Mixing Vocals, Speaker Size Is Important

One of the essential things when mixing vocals in Logic is knowing how to adjust the size of the speaker properly. Speaker size can result in hearing too much or too little of your voice, resulting in an unprofessional sound.

Pro Tip: Always utilize reference tracks when you’re mixing vocals. Reference tracks will help you  better judge how your mix is sounding and make any necessary adjustments.

studio monitors

Key Vocal Qualities To Be Aware Of

When it comes to mixing vocals, certain qualities are essential: clarity, breathiness, and space.

Clarity allows the listener to hear every word. It will make your songs much easier to understand and can help enhance their meaning. Good breathing strengthens emotional delivery and helps highlight your tone. Finally, there needs to be a certain amount of space surrounding the voice. This air and space create a sense of energy and help your vocals stand out.

Top Plugins To Mix Vocals In Logic 

There are a few essential plugins that you will need when mixing vocals.

One of the most important plugins is a vocal EQ. An EQ allows you to sculpt and shape the sound of your vocal mix and remove harsh frequencies. EQ’s also help you eliminate competing frequencies. Finally, they help you highlight and enhance fundamental frequencies while de-emphasizing problematic frequencies.

Compressors are another important plugin. Compressors help control the vocals’ dynamics and ensure they sound consistent. Compression can help control the dynamics and ensure that the vocals are always at a consistent level.

Reverb plugins are another essential tool in the vocal mixing process. They add depth and ambiance to your vocals. Reverb plugins can make the voice sound larger and fuller as it echoes in the space.

In addition to reverb, there are other vocal effects that can enhance your track. For example, delay can add excitement and make the vocals sound more vibrant. Engineers can also combine reverb and delay to create a sense of depth, making the vocals sound like they’re coming from a distance.

Top Waves Plugins For A Great Vocal Sound

The first plugin we’ll look at is the Waves Vocal Rider. This plugin design levels your vocals so they sound consistent automatically. It’s one of the best ways to make your songs sound professional, and you can use it with third-party plugins as well.

Another excellent plugin for vocals is the Waves CLA-76. This plugin emulates the classic LA-2A compressor, and it’s great for adding warmth and presence to your vocals. It’s also a great way to add punch to your mix.

Finally, we’ll take a look at the Waves Puigchild 670. This plugin adds color and character to your vocals, and it goes a long way in helping to make your songs stand out.

mixing board

Steps For Mixing Vocals In Logic Pro X

Follow these steps to mix vocals in Logic Pro X:

  1. Begin by launching Logic Pro X and ensuring your vocal track is ready for mixing. Start with adding a compressor to your vocal track in the channel strip, setting its sidechain to ‘none’ to enable manual compression triggering.
  2. Next, apply the Waves Vocal Rider plugin to automatically level your vocals, setting its threshold to ‘0’ for optimal performance and adjusting the output to around -15dB to maintain a balanced volume mix by turning down its output to around -15dB.
  3. Now introduce the Waves CLA-76 plugin to your vocal track. In its sidechain section, choose ‘trigger’ to utilize the vocal track for compression. Adjust the attack time to approximately 8 milliseconds and the release time to about 30 milliseconds for a warm vocal tone. Fine-tune the input to about -6dB and the output to roughly 0dB to balance the dynamics.
  4. Enhance vocal warmth and character by adding the Waves Puigchild 670 plugin. Set its sidechain to ‘trigger’ and adjust the threshold until the vocals peak at around -6dB, ensuring they stand out in the mix. Adjust the plugin’s input to about 0dB and the output to -6dB. Finish by increasing the gain to around 6dB for added color and character.
  5. Finally, playback your track to review the vocal mixing effects. You can further refine your mix by tweaking the compressor’s threshold and output levels, as well as the input and output levels of the Waves Puigchild 670 plugin, to achieve your desired vocal sound.

This is just one way to create a great vocal mix using Waves plugins. Feel free to play around with settings and other plugins to add your own engineering style to a vocal track.

studio microphone

Tips To Create Professional Lead Vocals

Creating a vocal mix that offers a professional sound can be challenging . Here are three helpful tips for beginners on how to mix vocals:

  1. Adjust the gain of your device to a low level at first, and make a note of its volume. Then, turn up the gain gradually until it is at an appropriate level in relation to the other instruments in your mix. This adjustment will help you avoid the loudest peaks.
  2. Avoid clipping by not allowing the red warning light on your track’s fader or monitor levels to light up. If you see the light start to flicker, back off the gain until it stops. 
  3. Set your output level so that when you solo a vocal track, it is at or very close to 0 dBFS on the master meter. Changing output levels will ensure the lead vocal is always in the mix, regardless of the track’s volume.

Just remember to take your time and experiment with different settings until you find the right sound.

A Final Word On Vocal Mixing In Logic Pro X

We hope this article has helped answer your questions on mixing vocals in Logic Pro. If you need help, we offer a variety of recording studio packages for our clients that include everything from audio engineering services and production assistance to mixing and mastering. Contact Bay Eight Recording Studios today if you have any other questions or are ready to book your session!

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