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How Do You Edit Vocals in Songs?

There are expensive programs to edit your vocals, like Adobe Audition, but what if you don’t have the money to afford these expensive programs?

Here’s a couple tricks that I use to help keep my vocals as professional as I can get them!

Vocals are very tricky to mix!

I know I didn’t show you how to mix your vocals with EQ and compression, but I wanted to show you a little more on the “inside scoop” of what I do when there are certain clicks and pops within my voice!

I either chop the vocal where the click is, hoping it doesn’t effect the sound of the vocal, or, I will use Edison, like described in this video.

Another way of doing this, is using a gate.

Cleaning Up Vocals — Use a GATE!

Instead of me manually chopping all the vocal, this many times is what a gate is perfect for! A gate will help with unwanted background noise, such as a computer fan, paper movement, or just the dead space in between words. It may even prevent a few clicks and pops.

But even with a gate, I still prefer to manually chop so I know I’m cutting out the unnecessary sounds in the vocal. I may even use both in moderation ;).

A gate is pretty much the same thing as a compressor, but backwards! A compressor turns the LOUD THINGS down, but a gate turns the quiet things down/off.

For example,

Let’s say your recording a vocal, and there’s some background noise. A gate would simply block the background noise, depending on your gate settings, when ever you are not speaking.

Therefore, taking out a lot of the manual work involved in cleaning up the vocal. Quick and easy !

Don’t forget about a De-Esser!

I’ve had problems with ESS sounds in my vocals, while using an Audio Technica 2035. No matter how I EQ’d, De-Essed, or my mic position and technique, the ESS was sharp and piercing. However, a De-Esser has helped tremendously.

What’s a De-Esser?

FabFilter - Pro-DS

A De-Esser protects your listeners ears from your SSSSS sounds, other known as sibilance.  These can be very sharp, piercing words that can make a poor mix from a professional mix!

It does this by limiting the highs of your audio signal.  (In other words, the audio goes above the limiters threshold to “tame the high”).

There are lots of free De-Essers out there.  Click to try SPITFISH! (Absolutely free!). — I think you have to download all their plugins, then you can simply just choose the ones you want to keep!

The De-Esser above is the Pro-Ds by FabFilter. You can check out the review here!

Editing Vocals — Final Thoughts,

This was just a quick little tutorial to clean up your vocals, regarding clicks and pops. This is a very tedious task, but in the time where you need to clean up some clicks and pops, hopefully this comes in handy.

I usually leave my vocals as they are, listen to them in the mix, then adjust EQ, compress a bit, and listen for annoying annoyances such as sibilance, or these clicks and pops.

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