Yesterday I was answering some questions for on of my VIP members.

He was talking about how he always seems to get a thin-sounding vocal in his mixes.

Here are my thoughts.

First and foremost, does the recording itself sound thin? If so, then no amount of EQ or compression tricks will really help.

It all comes down to mic choice and mic placement.

Mic Choice — Are you using the best mic for the voice? Perhaps a dynamic makes more sense than a condenser. Always try 2 different mics if you can.

Mic Placement — If the mic’s too close, it might sound boomy. If the mic’s too far away, it might sound thin. Spend some time with mic placement to make sure you pick the absolute best position.

Now, once you get a great-sounding recording, don’t get too caught up with what the vocal sounds like in solo. Make sure you’re listening to it IN the mix. (You’d be surprised how thin the vocal can sound in solo and yet still sound big and awesome in the mix.)

Even if your recording sounds great, making that great recording sit in the mix can be challenging, but it IS possible.

Being confident with EQ makes all the difference.

I can help. Click here:

Joe Gilder

6 Responses to “The Solution to “Thin” Vocals”

  1. Clinton

    I am trying something new. I have a little AKG Perception 220 in a shock mount connected through a reasonable preamp into Logic. Sitting directly above it I have a Shure SM58 running into a different preamp into another channel on Logic.I record both at the SAME time.
    One gives me a relatively ‘warm’ but more muffled sound (SM58) whereas the Perception is brighter and a little thinner. I am experimenting with blending. This also is giving me some area to move using automation if I get a bit too loud in the Perception, and also allows me to change the ‘feel’ in different parts of the song. I have also noticed, some of the plug ins affect each of the two signals in different ways (as you would expect) with interesting results. Not sure what your thoughts on this might be…?

  2. Xan

    You know it might not be the mic, EQ or anything else like that. Some people just have thin voices and that’s that!

    A more useful tip might be to simply do more than one vocal track. Do a double take. Even do one ov those takes down an octave if you can. You’ll me amazed at how well that thickens up a track. Pros do it all the time. If it worked for Axl Rose, it’ll work for you. 🙂

    Another approach is to do this artificially with an effect, such as a doubler or probably better, one ov the many vocal harmoniser plug-ins that are out there.

  3. Andrew

    Mic choice is SOooo important for vocalist (even more so than for any other instrument. At least in my opinion for the most part, but it can be debatable. That’s why engineers have a small selection to choose from for each type of vocalist that walks through their door.).

    I find for “thin” voices an Sm57 can do the trick (adds a little beef to them pipes). It’s also a very affordable poor mans work mic cuz it basically can do almost any job for the average low budget musician. “Thin” voices can also mean your singing from the throat more than the diaphragm (Maybe stand against a wall and sing into the mic for more enhance technique).

    If the vocal track/recording quality sounds “Thin” then it may be that you have recorded the vocalist to far away from the mic.



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