Got this killer tip from a subscriber that I want to pass on to you.

It has to do with handling what I call the “self-centered vocal.”

See, I’m a singer, so I’m used to turning the vocals up nice and loud in my mix when I’m recording or performing. The vocal is the loudest thing in the mix by far.

The problem comes when I go to mix a song.

I can’t seem to shake this “self-centered vocal” disease that I have. I’ll end up mixing the vocal WAY too loudly. And since I’m a singer (or maybe it’s just because I’m a little slow), it usually takes me a while to get the vocal to the right level.

It usually goes like this:

Mix 1 – Vocal too loud.

Mix 2 – Overcompensate. Vocal too quiet now.

Mix 3 – Juuuuuuuust right.

But that’s annoying. Sometimes the entire mix is just slammin’ awesome, but the vocal isn’t at the right level, so I’ve got to go back and adjust it.

Well, this tip I got (which I can’t believe I’d never thought of it before…again, I’m a little slow) should help us all cure the self-centered vocal-itis.

So here it is.

Grab your volume knob and slowly turn the mix down. As the mix gets quieter and quieter, the vocal should be the last thing you hear in the mix.

If the vocal disappears and you can still hear drums and guitars, the vocal isn’t loud enough.

If the instruments disappear and you still hear plenty of vocal, then the vocal is probably too loud.

I tried this little trick last week on a mix, and it helped me get the vocal to “sit” in the mix pretty fast!

I’ll be honest. I almost never get the lead vocal level right on the first try.

This can happen to anyone.

But this just might be the cure you need.

Oh, and if you need a killer song to practice this “trick” on, head over to:

and get mixing!


Joe Gilder
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