Logic Pro X is an excellent platform for mixing vocals, and there are many plugins and tools within the app that allow you to mix correctly. There isn’t one way to mix vocals, but there are some tips and tricks to mix vocals properly.
My name is Donovan, and I’ve been working as a musician and producer for years. I have years of experience using Logic Pro X and have mixed hundred of vocal projects using the app. I’m familiar with the tools and plugins needed to make a great vocal mix.
This post will show you how to mix vocals in Logic Pro X. I’ll provide you with tips and suggestions to keep in mind during the mixing process. Everyone mixes a little differently, but there are a few crucial aspects to help create the best vocal mix.
Let’s start mixing.
- Mixing vocals or any other aspect of a project requires skills and experience, and not every producer mixes the same way. That means there isn’t one set of instructions to follow for a good vocal mix.
- Utilizing plugins and effects such as compression, EQ, and reverb will help you develop an excellent vocal mix.
- Vocals are often the main focus of a track, so you need to spend the time to learn how to mix them properly if you want them to stand out.
- A good vocal recording is an essential foundation for creating a solid mix. You will always have a better mix when the track is recorded and performed well in the first place.
How to Mix Vocals in Logic Pro X
There isn’t one right or wrong way to mix vocals in Logic Pro X. But there are some general principles and tips you need to keep in mind to help develop a good vocal mix.
Every other producer and musician I’ve worked with has a different method for mixing vocals, but they all utilize the key concepts outlined in the sections below. This isn’t a step-by-step guide but rather a list of essentials.
1. Start with a great recording
A good vocal recording is critical in getting a good vocal mix. Even the best producers in the world can’t make a terrible vocal track shine. So getting at least a decent vocal track to work with is the first step to mixing vocals.
You want to consider both the quality of the recording and the performance when getting a solid vocal take. Can you or the artist sing it better? Is there a better microphone you can use? These are the type of questions you should ask during the recording process.
You will save yourself time and effort by focusing on getting a good vocal recording before you start to mix. If you don’t feel like you have the best take, keep recording until you do!
2. The editing process
You can always edit several vocal takes to get the main vocal track. This is a great way to find the best vocal performance of a song in Logic. Remember to use multi-take recording and learn how to use this feature.
Adding elements like fades or crossfades can help with phrasing and blending. You should also edit out any quiet aspects of the vocal mix where breathing or pops can be heard so they don’t appear in the mix.
Other tools to consider using during editing leading up to mixing include pitch correction and de-essing. Pitch correction helps ensure the vocals are on key and in tune. You can go subtle with this and don’t rely on it as a substitute for a good vocal take.
Logic Pro X has a few different pitch correction tools like Antares and Melodyne that you can insert into your vocal tracks as plugins to tune them up. The de-esser plugin helps get rid of ‘S’ sounds on the vocals that can pierce through a mix.
Compression is an element of a good vocal mix that is nearly essential. Virtually every vocal mix you hear will have compression, and this helps to even out all of the levels, so there aren’t as many variations in volume or attacks.
Compression helps make the vocals sound more present by balancing out the subtle notes with the louder ones. And it does this in a natural way that doesn’t sound heavily processed. It’s a great tool for every producer and engineer to know how to use.
There are a few compressors in Logic Pro X that you can use here, including digital or vintage-sounding plugins. But professional producers commonly use an external compressor or third-party option to assist with the mix.
EQ is another critical aspect of a good vocal mix. EQ allows you to adjust the frequencies of a vocal track to help balance any sections that might need to be toned down or boosted. EQ changes can vary from singer to singer, so it’s really a customized aspect of the mix.
You want to use EQ before and after you compress the vocal track. In that sense, it’s part of both the editing and mixing process. This will give you a better mix than just EQing on one side of compression.
The Channel EQ is a great starting point for mixing vocals in Logic. You can use any of the filters to dial frequencies in or the graphic chart to cut and boost anything standing out in the mix. Both of these are highly effective during the mixing process.
There are also third-party EQ plugins that give you more functionality than what is built into Logic. But you can still achieve a quality vocal mix with just the stock plugins in the app.
Reverb is one of those effects that is a must for most vocals tracks. It’s rare to have a dry vocal track, meaning there is no reverb on it whatsoever. Reverb adds an element of echo and sustain to the vocals, which makes them sound more present and large.
Natural reverb exists within any recording environment, which is another aspect you can consider when recording vocals. But then you can add more reverb with Logic to enhance the effects.
Logic has a pretty sweet Space Designer reverb plugin that lets you craft custom reverb effects or choose from various virtual rooms. I use this plugin often during the mixing process, and it’s helped me create very unique sounding reverbs that add a lot to my mixes.
Mixing Background Vocals in Logic Pro X
Background vocals are an important element of a vocal mix, but there is a bit of different technique involved in mixing them. You don’t want the background vocals to be as prevalent within the mix, so you can blend them in through other methods.
I often like to use stereo panning when mixing background vocals. Placing them in a different section of the stereo field gives you the impression that they are actually backing up the main vocal track.
I usually give the background vocals a wide stereo spread, meaning I pan them heavily to the left or right of the mix. I like to keep the main vocals front and center and the background wrapped around them.
How to Mix Rap Vocals in Logic Pro X
Mixing any genre of vocals will involve all of the elements that I listed in the sections above, but you will want to make a few potential changes when mixing rap or hip-hop vocals.
Rap vocals typically have less high-end to them, so you’ll want to EQ the higher frequencies out or use a filter that does this. You can also use a lot of effects to help the vocals shine and stand out against the beat.
The mids will also benefit from a boost when mixing rap vocals, which will help cut through loud hi-hats and other percussive elements.
Mixing vocals is almost an art form all to itself. But spending the time to develop a good vocal mix is essential to creating a song that will stand out when it’s completed. The tips here will help you dial in your mix with that in mind.
Remember that there isn’t a single way to mix vocals. The more time you spend figuring out how to mix, the better you will get at it.
Do you have any tips for mixing vocals in Logic Pro X that I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments below.