When the equalization of the vocal is done, you can begin to process it dynamically, during music mixing. The dynamics associated with loudness, with its difference during the composition. In fact, in academic music, piano and forte are used for the dynamics.
When it comes to the dynamic processing of vocals, here we will talk about working with much smaller values than those indicated in classical music, that’s why the person who deals with this processing should have an exceptional scrupulousness. As it was already above mentioned, we will speak about loudness and the main parameter of the devices of dynamic processing is expressed in the following units – dB. What devices can be used for dynamic processing of acapella?
We will analyze what can we get from using these elements on vocals
Gate limits the signal depending on the level of the input signal. There is a threshold, which the sound producer exposes himself and which is expressed in dB. Anything that is quieter than this parameter will not be passed through the gate. The gate is not used too often on the vocal, it is used in cases of a restoration mostly. Its work is quite rough, very noticeable on such a gentle instrument as the vocal, therefore it is recommended to include the gate only in extreme cases and with a special care.
Why is it useful for us, while music mixing? If the vocals are recorded in not very professional studios and we hear the noise between the words clearly and if the vocalist has bad habits of champing, smacking and loudly breathing between words. In the gate you can set the threshold so that all sounds are quieter than the main signal, they will not be skipped.
In our case, the main signal is the vocals, it’s the loudest, everything else is much quieter, although, of course, everything depends on the artist. It is worth notice – the gate can be cut too roughly, in case you should try to change the release increasing it (signal recovery time). It is also necessary to listen to the gated acapella from beginning to end and without music. You should keep in mind that a person begins and ends words quieter than pronounces them in the middle, the same happens with the beginning and end of the phrases, and hence the gate with an inaccurately threshold can cut off all the endings of the vocalist’s words. In the case of loud human breathing, the use of a gate may leave undesirable rudiments behind it.
De-Esser. From the title it is clear that this device is working on removing excesses in hissing and whistling sounds. As a matter of fact, it is the strip compressor working with frequency 2k. Each person has his own diction and features of the speech apparatus, which can be the most important in the production of hiss sounds. In addition one can say, there are many “top” microphones which are particularly sensitive in the same sphere. All this bunch of sounds can give depressing consequences in the sphere of sounds “c”, “w”, “w”, “h”. Sometimes these effects may not be heard, but after using the equalizer and compressor they become very obvious.
Most often in digital di-essers there are presets such as Male vocal or Female vocal. In most cases, they need to adjust the frequency using the threshold and the bandwidth. Also, you should remember about the uniqueness of the diction of each person, so the settings of the di-esser in each case must be individual. Often de-esser as a means of smoothing sizzling is not used at all, especially in modern Western music. This approach also has the reason to live and depends on the taste and hearing of the sound engineer.