Vocal processing includes loads of automation which can lead your vocals away from their natural sound. Natural vocals can not be achieved through the use of any plugins or automation due to its high complexity. Of course, if we don’t have perfect sounding vocals, we have no choice but to add some compression. Compression helps balance out the dynamic range in vocal sounds.
For vocal compression, there are two things that need to take place. First, you need to level out the volume of the vocal. This is a basic compression job. The second thing is cutting the real volume peaks of the vocals. Afterwards, the vocals will have fewer signal issues when you increase the volume. This is because the peaks will be cut down to the level of the rest of the track.
Steps Before Compression To Achieve More Natural Sound
Automating the level of the vocal by ear before applying compression will result in a much more balanced vocal. It is important to do this step by ear and not by eye. To do this, manually adjust the volume peaks using the gain module. This is the step you take before you add compression. While the natural frequencies are not tampered with since we used gain, this would sound much more natural and balanced once you add compression. Controlling these dynamics result in clear sounding vocals without any ups and downs in the vocals.
Now that the compression is not squeezing the sound, the vocals sound much more enhanced and clear. Next time you work with vocals, try to add these manual steps so you don’t have signal issues or over-working compression issues. Tedious things like these always result in much cleaner sound. There is a plugin called Waves Vocal Rider and it performs processes like this!