Man from Space - Synthwave + female vocalist

So, here we are again. I hired a singer/songwriter for one of my newest tracks, and although it is still a work in progress (some phrases could use some extra work), it already raises the whole track one or two steps…

Except for a tiny detail: i never mixed vocals in my entire life. Not a single time. Never.

So here I am, looking for fresh ears and useful feedback.

Note: this post continues the discussion from another post referring to the instrumental version of this same track: Man from Space asks you: "Is this 80s enough?"

Thanks in advance.

Sweet. One thing: I’m listening with headphones and there is a constant glitchy, sharp, high noise.

??? That’s really bad thing. How is that I missed it?

If you don’t mind, could you point to a time mark where you can hear the most?

Check around 00:32. Can’t tell if it’s coming from the vocals.

Thanks. I’ll check ASAP.

Hi there @nachenko

Yep, it’s amazing how vocals can push a track forward and give it a completely different feel, nice voice & vocals BTW.

I can also pick up those “glitch-y pops & clicks” in the mix as mentioned by @kuchenchef . It looks like it’s coming from the vocals. Did the singer used any auto-tune or voice processing effects while recording ? That could be one reason, another one is if you processed those vocals afterwards. Suggest you play the vocals in isolation, stick a low cut filter on an EQ and monitor with a FTT visualizer such as Voxengo Span, you should be able to pick up those picks. It could come from something else but it sounds like it’s happening only when the vocals are playing. So yep, you need to troubleshoot this.

Levels wise, either you crank up your vocals or you reduce the musical parts IMO, vocals are sitting a bit backward at this stage I think.

Arrangement wise, I would rather introduce a big hook ( with synth & guitars ) at 2:50 instead of this quietest part.

For vocals mixing in the context of synth-wave, retro-pop wave, maybe you could get some nice tips from Michael Oakley tutorial ( video 11 ) like the vocal-reverb-reverse trick and in general I found his course very nice to follow and with a great approach to making this genre.

But yes, first thing is to troubleshoot those glitch-y sounds for now, looking forward to hear how this track evolves :wink:

WOW, @kuchenchef and @Tekalight, look what I found at mark 0:35:

How the hell could I miss this?

Dishonor on my family! Dishonor on my cow!

:sweat_smile: :smile: … and at least for 7 upcoming generations… LOL :smile: :wink: :smile:

The problem is that there’s more than one, so you now have to check if it’s part of the vocals recording audio source, the worse scenario could be some line/mic/recording equipment interference during the singer takes. It can still be an effect pushed to hard or miss-used during recording too.

Maybe plugins like noise / clicks removal can help but it can be tedious to setup without affecting the vocals, would be much more easy if happening at the beginning of phrases / words, not right in the middle of 2 syllables.

Well, I think all them are mouth clicks. All them are placed just before singing or at the beginning of the first word.

Good news is that I managed to control those noises a lot using a combination of compression, noise gate with a slow attack and transient shaping. It can still be heard, but it’s much more subtle now. I haven’t tried a multiband compressor yet, but probably worth checking.

I just cut my dishonor from 7 to 5 generations.

Still working on it.

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I followed your suggestion and I replaced that drop by a synth + guitars arrangement. Holy moly, it sounds so much better now!

Besides that, I hand fixed the hardest clicks., The ones I could not control with noise gates or transient design. Lucky enough, spectral view makes them very easy to locate and all them were just one wave cycle long most times.

Now the dishonour on my family is only 2 generations long.

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Have you tried the Izotope RX 7? I have used it a few times for non-musical recordings, and the plugins did a decent job removing clicks and unwanted noise.

Ah, nope, I even forgot Izotope has this. So I did it by hand. Ouch!

To be honest, Izotope has fell off the radar for me. Ozone Elements is OK, but Neutron’s ability to eat a big chunk of my CPU for no good reason made me go FabFilter instead and forget about Izotope forever. I just forgot they have a restoration suite.