A great mix without a great vocal sound, is no great mix at all. Maybe you think the key to great vocals is a better channel strip plugin or a secret compression technique. Ironically getting killer vocals starts not with gear or technique, but rather a simple philosophy.
No One Hears Anything In Solo
If you’ve listened to any major rock mixes in the past 20 years you’ve likely heard a Chris Lord-Alge mix. The guy is a monster mixer who always seems to get the punchiest mixes with in your face vocals and drums and I’m a huge fan of his work. Recently on the every insightful Pensado’s Place, Chris said something that is critical for us as mixers to understand if we want great sounding vocals.
No [listener] ever hears anything in solo. Period. So the only way to get a great vocal sound is when it’s competing with everything else in the mix. – Chris Lord-Alge, Mixer (Foo Fighters, Green Day, Dave Matthews Band, Switchfoot)