Professional Sound

How to Mix Vocals Like a Professional Sound Engineer

When you are planning to put out a song that you want people to vibe with, you must make sure that you have mixed it right so people can hear every element of your track. These steps will help you create quality mixes for your vocals like a professional sound engineer.

Record in a studio

If you want high-quality vocals for your music track, you cannot compromise on the noise and quality of your mic. You can pay way less for a session or two in a good studio compared to buying an expensive mic. But if you want long term investments, we suggest that you build your own home studio. All you need is a good recording with the right tone that will do most of the parts for mixing.


Editing is the next major step in producing high-quality sound. Edit different parts of the entire track together to keep a good pace throughout the track. If you want to keep the vocals as original as possible, you can skip this step, but it is highly recommended that you edit the track if you feel a single take may not give a standard result. Editing involves pitch correction, removal of noise, and cutting and replacing the parts that are not needed.

Gain automation

Vocals have a huge dynamic range that can affect the final output if the gain is not balanced properly. Every word in your vocal needs to be clear and loud while also being at the same volume level. This can be done with a volume fader automation and compression. You can adjust the volume using a fader that is present in all the DAWs.


Prepare the session

After these steps, you will need to export the audio file to a new channel where you can label and organize all your audio files. There are different ways of creating a session based on different genres. While hip hop requires more aggression in the upper mids and fewer effects, rock requires less top-end and more body and high mids. The vocals can be kept at a little back.

Gain staging

If you automate the gain, it will be around -18dBFS. If you did not automate it, you could add a gain plugin to the start of your plugin chain. Now adjust the audio until your gain achieves a -18dBFS.

Surgical EQ

You can use the EQs before an after the compression. EQs help in cutting nasty elements from the track and shape the tone of the vocals. It helps the compressor to keep the bad vocals down without ruining your tone adjustments.

Tonal EQ

When you are done with the surgical EQ, it is time to adjust the tone of the track. Sometimes when you use heavy EQ, the track will start to sound unnatural. This solves this problem, start with boosts and cuts at around 3dB. When you are adding aggressive bosts to the top end, it will add air to the track and make it sound expensive. This will help you produce top quality tracks for music videos and concerts.