I’m no vocalist. Let’s get that out there right now. And I must admit, I’m no expert when it comes to mixing vocals either.
I often find myself unsure of what compressor I should use and how I should set it; what EQ moves I should do – Cut the lows? Boost the highs?; and as for ambience – subtle room reverb? In-your-face slap back? – there’s a lot to think about.
One thing I am sure about however is that I can always find inspiration in a well-sung and beautifully recorded vocal track, and YouTube is, of course, a goldmine of such things.
And here’s some good stuff: The late, great Layne Staley of Alice in Chains fame, in glorious isolation for your aural pleasure.
Check out Layne trade lines with Jerry Cantrell in the haunting Would?, rage and fume (and drown in delay) in We Die Young, and Ann Wilson’s gorgeous refrain in Rooster, plus a bunch more, below.