How to Mix Vocals Better in Ableton Live

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Do you struggle with getting vocals to sound polished and professional in your music? Don’t have a lot of money to buy expensive third-party plugins?

It’s true what they say: vocal processing is one of the most difficult aspects of music production.

If you start with a recording that is below par, or if your singer can’t sing in tune, and with conviction, then no amount of processing magic is going to help. Even if you’re working with a top-notch recording of an awesome singer, it’s STILL tricky business.

We’ve all been there: you labour for hours to get vocals to sit just right in the mix, only to realize they end sounding buried, dull, thin, or like a hot fatigued mess and completely out of place.

In this tutorial Ableton Certified Trainer, Ian Gallagher, aka. DJ IBG, reveals the core concepts of a simple, but profound approach to mixing vocals.

If you feel it’s time to learn how to intelligently process vocals, then hop on board and let Ian guide you through his multi-stage approach. Along the way he also covers topics like preamp distortion, transient compression, de-essing and EQ sweeping.

Ian has graciously made his secret Vocal processing rack, built exclusively with Ableton Live devices, available for free download!


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Ian Gallagher is a producer, songwriter and DJ specializing in hip-hop, house and pop music. Picking up the guitar at age 10, Ian devoted himself to rock and Delta blues guitar, emulating his idols Jimi Hendrix, Slash and Robert Johnson. Three years later, he began studying classical guitar at the University of Maine. After high school, he continued his classical studies at New York City’s Manhattan School of Music under David Leisner. At Ableton, Ian worked in the Documentation department for 3 years writing, editing and managing the Live Manual, while also giving Live clinics in the NYC-area. In addition to teaching at Warp Academy, Ian is deeply immersed in his pop music production team, The Identifiers, his drum n' bass crew, Bigfoot Master, and the trap/hip hop group Gold Bikini.