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Vocals... and mastering
Old 1st July 2020
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robsilentcity's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Vocals... and mastering

Hi Jens, another fan of your work!

Soilwork's, The Living Infinite is absolute audio perfection! A couple of questions:

Björn Strid is an amazing vocalist, but how did you get that gloss/sheen without sounding harsh? They're so smooth and controlled. It's a trademark of your production style, particularly singing vocalists: the Amorphis and Leprous vocal mixes also have this same smoothness and clarity.

On the album credits, you mixed and mastered the record. How do you distance yourself from the mix before mastering?

Finally, a general mastering query: You have a plethora of incredible outboard to use for mastering, but do you have any favourite plugins to use at this stage?!


Old 15th July 2020
Thanks Rob! Vocals are the most difficult thing to mix IMO. It’s a careful planning and trial/error to find the right comp/eq/distortion/de-essing that will look a bit different every time. I’ve described that on here earlier, that

I like to make several attempts on key elements like this. Then I A/B or blind test myself for the one that was the most successful chain or attempt. Only when I have the core sound, I would proceed with delay/reverb or whatever I’m using. Automaton is also super important to me when it comes to (especially) vocals. I automate more or less every phrase or word or even syllable until it sits where I want it.

About your second question, I believe I answered something similar earlier on. The more time I can get between mix and master, the better it is. But the rest is just experience: back in the day, I found it to be way harder to “stop mixing” when I reached the mastering stage if you know what I mean.

Yeah, I use quite a lot of plugins during mastering. Flux Epure, Brainworx Digital V3, LinMB (be careful with multiband compressors), Oxford Limiter to name a few. Or most of them, actually. :-)
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