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Tips for Backup Vocals

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Can someone point me to some good tips on mixing backup vocals?


Dave Martin:
It kinda depends on what you're after - the tricks that you might use for a single BGV change when you want three parts, and may change again if you're doubling or tripling. And the genre makes a diference as well. What kind of stuff are you doing?

What type of music are you working on?


Okay, while we're waiting on eLe's answer, some thoughts on recording BGVs:

I tend to eq them a bit on the thin side, so the singer sounds a little larger than life.  If there's just one BGV, I'll pan it a little to one side (usually to the right).  If there are several BGVs, I'll pan them close to, but not centered.  

I still love to double and triple and even quadruple BGVs, just to give myself some options if I have enough open tracks. I usually have them change place for each pass, and I don't let them hear their previous tracks until they're all done.

Anybody else?

FWIW, even on "rawk" stuff I will still often run an "air" track when mixing... I split the backing vocal group off to a stereo pair, filter out everything below like 4kHz, crank the shit out of like 12kHz compress the snot out of it, filter the remaining lows and mids out of it... then blend to taste.

It often allows me to run the backing vocals lower in the balance but still allows them to be heard and understood.

Sometimes it's cheesey as all get out and I remove it... other times it's the extra zing they need.

As always... YMMV


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