How to Mix Lead Rap Vocals

When you search online on how to mix lead rap vocals, it is certain that you will come upon pages and pages of data from different people telling you about different ways to do things. This is because almost everyone uses a different method when it comes to mixing vocals. Some can interest you and others won’t. So you have to be sure of which one is accurate and the ones that are not. As an audio engineer from Mr. Mix and Master, I specialize in mixing leading rap vocal. Here is how you can go about it to achieve better rap vocal for any track.

How to start

Before anything, you need to start it off from a good spot that happens to be the raw recording. Also, when learning how to mix lead rap vocals you need to use different plugins, and the first one should be the BMR. You can also use the VCC plugin on the first insert of every track and even use the SSL emulations. Other people like using the slate 1176 emulations to control the vocal with a few compressions and go with a fast release to keep the vocals aggressive.

A little bit of everything goes a long way. You can also play with the slopes to fine-tune it. Using a series of plugins and following up with an SSL from UID SSL E channels to fine-tune the whole process. Other things that can be used when mixing the lead rap vocals are the filter, the dynamic section, as well as the EQ. So how does these three work together to fine-tune your recording?

The filter: at Mr. Mix and Master, we roll off everything below 120 hertz before bringing the compressor. We also use the fast attack or the slower attack. Don’t forget to adjust the output. Adjusting helps to adjust where the volume was before going into the compressor.

The EQ:  At Mr. Mix and Master we boost everything in the rap which is above 8K. We boost our EQ to 1 or 1 ½ DB for anything above this range. You can decide the kind of boost you are going to do depending on the track you are adjusting. If you feel that the vocal are a little too thick you can pull out a dB with a narrow Q.

In general, the right low compression ratio to use is between 1:5 to 2:1. This ratio is good, but if the rapper has a percussive delivery that has hard consonants, you need to lower the threshold and use something like a 4:1 ratio. The slightly higher ratio will help clamp down harsh transients. Also, you need to play the attack and see if the vocal is sounding a little dull after you have compressed. The formula you choose depends on the vocals sound. If they are excellent, you won’t need to do much, and you at least need to know how to fix them.

Once you succeed in evening out the vocals, you can decide to bring in the compressor. You can use the Waves Renaissance Compressor to control the vocal dynamic. With the unique color, it becomes easier to use Vinny “Mr. Mix and Master” Deleon is ready to help you with mixing lead rap vocal. Click and you are good to go.